Immigrants in Ontario: linking spatial settlement patterns and labour force characteristics

Di Biase, Sonia
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University of Guelph

This thesis is an investigation of the spatial settlement patterns of immigrants in Ontario. Recently researchers have addressed the importance and need for inter-governmental coordination and participation in the area of immigrant settlement, particularly in light of regional disparities and labour shortages between urban and rural regions. This research reviews immigrant settlement patterns in light of changes in immigration policy and describes the settlement patterns of immigrants in urban, intermediate and rural regions across Ontario. Several methods of analysis are employed to identify and interpret the geographic distribution of immigrant settlement patterns in relation to labour force characteristics and factors that influence immigrant settlement. The findings suggest that immigrant settlement patterns depict a spatial polarization between rural and urban regions and that labour market characteristics have varying degrees of influence on the settlement location of recent immigrants. This research illustrates that immigrant service agencies, in conjunction with previously constructed perceptions of places, play an intrinsic role in the shaping immigrant settlement location.

spatial settlement patterns, immigrants, Ontario, immigration policy, urban, rura, labour market characteristics