This book chapter explores eight urban ethnic enclaves in the inner city of Toronto based on existing studies and eight Chinese and South Asian retail clusters in Toronto’s suburbs through extensive field research and interviews and surveys with key informants.
"Toronto’s ethnic retail clusters have not only sprouted across the inner city but have also speckled suburban landscapes. Driven by the increasing settlement of contemporary immigrants in the suburbs, ethnic businesses and ethnic economies have flourished and become the catalyst for neighborhood change and suburban retrofitting. Research has demonstrated that the development of immigrant entrepreneurship has contributed to social cohesion and economic vitality. What remains unexplored is the role of ethnic businesses in influencing space, (re)defining place, and (re)shaping community.
Furthermore, little is known about how ethnic entrepreneurs interact with other key players in city- and community-building processes and affect policy development, or vice versa.
Case studies reveal the role of ethnic entrepreneurs as city builders, and also how public policy and institutional structure promote or impede the development of ethnic entrepreneurship. The findings also point to important differences in urban and suburban settings such as built forms, physical constraints, and municipal governance and policy frameworks that may affect the interactions among various key players and spaces."
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