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Toronto Immigrant Settlement Trends by Neighbourhood (Census Tracts), 1961 to 2001

The following maps and graphs provide a decade-by-decade look at changes in immigrant settlement patterns in Toronto from 1961 to 2001. For each census tract, the number of immigrants who recently arrived in each Census year is mapped as a percentage of the total population.

There is some variation among the maps, because the period of arrival in Canada tracked by the Census has changed over time, but the maps still provide an overview of the changing residential destinations for newcomers in Toronto. Whereas once immigrants were most likely to settle in older inner-city neighbourhoods, today they are more likely to settle in places such as suburban Scarborough, North York, and Etobicoke.

The final two maps show immigrants throughout the entire Toronto Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) who arrived between 1996 and 2001 and between 1981 and 2001. Since most of the outer suburban areas around the City of Toronto were more sparsely populated in the 1960s and 1970s , it is not helpful to map the entire CMA back to 1960. The CMA maps must be interpreted cautiously, because many parts of the large census tracts outside of the built-up areas of the Toronto region contained relatively few immigrants in 2001.

The bar chart shows the growth in the immigrant and Canadian-born population between 1961 and 2001 in the Toronto CMA. In 1961, immigrants accounted for about 33% of the total population. By 2001, they accounted for 44% of the population. Immigration has been responsible for half of the population growth in the Toronto CMA over the past 40 years.

The line graph shows the change in the origins of the immigrant population over time for immigrants living in the Toronto CMA in 2001. Up to the 1960s, most immigrants came from European countries. Since the 1970s, most have come from Asian countries. This change results from a shift in Canadian immigration policy in the 1960s that eliminated the preference for European immigrants and placed more emphasis on immigrants' educational qualifications.