New research reveals the racial, social, and geographic divides of Toronto’s housing crisis

Spaces and Places of Exclusion: Mapping Rental Housing Disparities for Toronto’s Racialized and Immigrant Communities is a first-of-its-kind study, mapping spatial exclusion by racialized and immigrant status in Toronto’s wards. Disaggregated race-based and other social data from the 2016 Census of Population are used to examine key indicators of rental housing inequality, including core housing need, lack of affordable housing, unsuitable or overcrowded housing, and housing in need of major repair.

Presented through over 50 new maps and figures, our analysis reveals

  • the ways in which racialized individuals, specific racialized population groups, newcomers, and refugees are disproportionately affected by the housing crisis in Toronto;
  • identifies the intersecting social, racial, and spatial dimensions of Toronto’s housing crisis; and
  • confirms Toronto’s position as a major site of Canada’s housing crisis and highlights the precarious housing circumstances of many renters.


Toronto’s Housing Crisis is a Story of Social Exclusion by Space, Place, and Race

For example, ward maps of racialized and non-racialized individuals in tenant households with unsuitable or overcrowded housing reveal stark disparities by race and place:




And ward maps showing rates of unsuitable or overcrowded housing for newcomers, long-term immigrants, and non-immigrants in tenant households show deep social and spatial inequities:


Long-term immigrants


Spaces and Places of Exclusion: Mapping Rental Housing Disparities for Toronto’s Racialized and Immigrant Communities by Beth Wilson (Social Planning Toronto), Naomi Lightman (U of Calgary), and Luann Good Gingrich (York University) was produced through a research partnership between SPT and York University, and is part of a larger project entitled Tracing and Addressing Social Exclusion in Canada (TASC). TASC is a five-year study supported by a SSHRC Insight Grant, led by Dr. Good Gingrich. TASC examines social exclusion in Canada through quantitative analyses of Statistics Canada datasets and is informed by qualitative exploration. SPT is a community partner in the project.



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