Six Cities In Canada INDEPENDENT STUDY PROJECT CANADIAN POPULATION CHANGE IN SIX CITIES Population Change in Six Canadian Cities Since the first moment that humans arrived in Canada, Canada has undergone many changes and will continue to do so as time goes on. One of the most remarkable aspects is the growth and development of large cities throughout the country. Although Canada is the second largest country in the world, Canada’s population remains centralised around those regions where opportunities are available. Because of the amount of opportunities and other social factors, people from across the world move to large diverse Canadian cities, such as Chicoutimi-Jonquiere, Montreal, Oshawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, and Vancouver. Between 1991 and 1996, Canadian cities have changed significantly.
Using the mentioned cities as studies to show Canada’s growth, figures show that Winnipeg and Oshawa follow somewhat the same trends as well as Toronto and Vancouver. Chicoutimi-Jonquiere and Montreal on the other hand follow their own patterns. The latter two are much more different from the others because they are French dominated cities. However, most trends occurring in all six cities are results of Canadian history. Populations in these cities are very different, Toronto has the highest population and a relatively high population increase between 1991 and 1996 due to a number of factors.
When settlers first settled in Canada, they settled along the southern strip of what are now Ontario and Quebec. Since then Canada’s centre has remained in these regions and attracts many immigrants with its high level of employment and opportunities. Toronto remains more attractive to immigrants however due to its culturally diverse population and upscale employment opportunities. Montreal, who has a very large population, is however not as quick with growing its population because of the current instability due to separatists and because most immigrants are not Francophones causing a smaller desire to move to Montreal. On the other hand, Montreal is a very business oriented city and a large centre for corporations, headquarters, and small business, which in turns creates a very opportunist place to live who may be bilingual or French speaking. Out of the six selected cities, Oshawa and Vancouver have the fastest growing populations.
Oshawa being very focused on the automobile industry, offers housing at lower costs than other parts of Toronto’s surrounding peripheries, and thus attracts many migrants; Oshawa also has a very low population to begin with and thus is makes it easier to have a higher percentile of growth. The growing city of Vancouver is also rapidly growing due to international immigrants, mostly from Southeast Asia, because of its short distance across the ocean and its numerous amounts of import and export ports. Thus, Southeast Asians can arrive quickly and less costly when travelling by boat across the Pacific Ocean. Chicoutimi-Jonquiere, the lowest populated city, is the only city with a decreasing population. Located in northern Quebec, Chicoutimi and Jonquiere are homes to many Native Canadians, Metis, and French Loyalists. The cities are very French oriented and are not desirable places for immigrants unless the immigrants have a specific reason for moving to this region. Population decreased by 474 people or 0.3% of the five year span for lack of pull factors to attract attention, therefore while people are either leaving the region or dying, not enough are being born or moving in order to replace one another. Population is very unevenly distributed across Canada due to history, international relations and existing communities, and will continue to be very disperse as long as different amounts and cultures of people migrate to selected cities and regions. Toronto and Vancouver, unlike the other four cities are very diverse in cultural minorities; they are home to large amounts of immigrants and carry wide ranges of languages amongst their populations.
The other four cities either fall into English spoken or French spoken inhabitants. Chicoutimi-Jonquiere, being home to many Natives and French are dominated by non-English mother tongue people, with very few immigrants and few visible minorities; meanwhile, Oshawa and Winnipeg have populations dominated by those who primarily speak English, are non immigrants and are not of visible minority. Again, the social aspects of these cities have very much to do with the cities’ history and employment set up. People of English mother tongue, the amount of immigrants, and the amounts of visible minorities all correspond with each other in reflection to a particular city. Chicoutimi-Jonquiere and Montreal are both populated cities in Quebec and because of the provinces dominant amount of Francophones, the two cities have very low percentiles of English mother tongues, and however only Chicoutimi-Jonquiere has extremely low amounts of visible minorities and low amounts of immigrants. The reason for this being, most inhabitants living in Chicoutimi-Jonquiere are derived from first generation Quebecois, whether from France or from Native descent. It is not a desirable place for immigrants because of the language barriers that may exist and because of the lack of job opportunity in northern Quebec.
Montreal, a business centre of Quebec, on the other hand is home to more cultures and immigrants due to employment opportunities. Because of the amounts of businesses set up in Montreal, there are very many English French bilinguals who may be more attracted to Montreal than to other parts of Quebec. Montreal is also where McGill University, a national renowned post-secondary institute, is located thus attracting students of all cultures and minority groups across the country. Oshawa and Winnipeg have very similar figures in exception with visible minority however for very different reasons. Ottawa’s factors include its specialisation in the automobile industry, and its absence in the decentralisation of Toronto.
Back when immigration into Canada was at its peak, Toronto’s centrality to Canada spread out to form surrounding peripheries. In this occurrence, different cultural groups moved to the surrounding areas in herds; for example the settled Italians of Toronto migrated to what is now Woodbridge to make room for the incoming Irish. Moreover, Oshawa was never taken over by a specific cultural group and soon became home to the General Motors Plant, which created many jobs who are filled by non-visible minorities who speak English primarily, thus not attracting new immigrants. Winnipeg’s situation is a bit different because there are a significant amount of visible minorities in comparison to Oshawa. It does however remain dominantly English with few immigrants. Winnipeg is a province of agriculture and is thus not very populated and does not pull in migrators due to the lack of employment diversity.
Unlike the other cities, it is not a part of central Canada. Central Canada is known for its population and diverse cultures and employment, therefore Winnipeg loses a possible stereotype that could have attracted more non-English minorities. The most socially diverse cities are Toronto and Vancouver. Toronto has a very explicit history and story, from the time it first became urban till the present. The table shows that 61.6% of Toronto’s citizens are English speaking mother tongues and 41.6% are immigrants, and that 31.4% are of visible minority.
Therefore it is most likely that the remaining percentile of people who do not primarily speak English are of minority who are immigrants. Toronto’s formation is caused by the employment opportunities available to the immigrants and because of the already established communities of the minorities, which makes immigrants more comfortable to move to. Vancouver’s story is different because it has to do with the short distance between Vancouver’s shoreline and that of Southeast Asia. Many immigrants travelled the short distance in history and settled in Vancouver thus making ethnic communities existent for those who want to migrate now. Vancouver is also one of the largest business depots of western Canada, where much importing and exporting occurs, and thus is very attractive to immigrants of all cultures, although mainly Southeast Asian.
The ports create a very good business district for international trade firms and warehouses, therefore creating employment opportunity. Canada’s work force is very diverse, from home employment to office work, to agriculture, and to industrial work. All the six cities’ working percentile is between 43-53 percent. This may seem extremely low at first, but remember the figures’ comparison includes those who are unable to work and those under and above the typical working age. Although, Canada’s actual unemployment rate is at a low, all six cities use employment as a pull factor to attract immigrants. The recent low is due to company downsizing, the use of part-timers instead of union workers, foreign competition, and the need for profits not survival.
The one remarkable aspect of the given figures is that the rate of employment varies awkwardly between the cities. The largest cities do not have the most employment, and thus could be caused by type of employment and the mentioned lack of de-streaming of those who are not part of the workforce. Education in the six cities is somewhat the same. All the cities, except Chicoutimi-Jonquiere, have higher amounts of university graduates than those who have only completed grade nine. Toronto and Vancouver’s university graduate percentile actually more than doubles their percentage of grade nine students. These figures show the importance of post-secondary education in all of these cities. In some regions education is of higher need to succeed, which is a reflection in the average household income to average house value ratio.
In some cities housing is a larger intake of the household income. This is due to the regions available land space and the amount of population density. Toronto is very limited in housing and is thus very dense and expensive, although, housing is available to those who are willing to travel a bit. Vancouver’s housing takes up a bit more of income because of the lack of peripheral areas where people could have moved. Habitants of Montreal and Oshawa also spend much of their income on housing which shows the importance and costly types of housing in these two regions. Whereas in Chicoutimi-Jonquiere and Winnipeg where ratios are1.6 and 1.7, people are spending almost a relatively reasonable amount on housing. Different conclusions can be made, first, that different regions have different attitudes towards standards of living, second, housing is less expensive in certain regions, and thirdly, that land space is limited in some areas more than others are.
Either of these suggestions however reflects the type of population who lives in these towns because the ratios reflect the rate of population growth. The higher the rate of growth, the higher the ratio of average income to average housing value is. The importance of knowing the different population change is to understand the different effects it has on the city containing a given population. History does make a difference in what exists today and while it may not seem important to why people move to certain regions, or graduate from different levels of education, or be of different ethnicity, researchers and the government can try to develop and accommodate people of a given area. It also gives them time to prepare for the future.
Each city is different not only in size but in people and that is what makes Canadian cities and its populations distinguishable across the country and across the world.