The Characteristics of Declining Neighbourhoods in Toronto
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This report explores relative changes taking place in the lowest-income neighbourhoods in the Toronto CMA between 1981 and 2006. Through analysis of census data, three categories were created to trace change in demographic and housing stock characteristics, along with spatial patterns in the lowest-income neighbourhoods over the 25-year period. The three neighbourhood categories explored were: 1) neighbourhoods that declined into the lowest-income decile; 2) neighbourhoods that increased from the lowest-income decile; and 3) neighbourhoods that remained in the lowest-income decile. Neighbourhoods that declined into and remained in the lowest-income decile were found to be spatially concentrated in the inners suburbs, while neighbourhoods that increased from the lowest-income decile were concentrated in the inner city. Characteristic profiles show that neighbourhoods that declined into and remained in the lowest-income decile experienced reduced labour market participation, despite substantial increases in educational achievement. Additionally, a deteriorating housing stock that was predominately constructed between 1946 and 1970 was prevalent in neighbourhoods that declined into or remained in the lowest decile. The relative income decline of neighbourhoods to the lowest decile was found to be mainly a private market phenomenon as low-income households were pushed out to spatially isolated inner suburbs.