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The Intersection of place and ethnic entrepreneurship: the role of ethnic entrepreneurs in the making of three Toronto neighbourhoods

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journal contribution
posted on 21.05.2021, 16:12 by Zhixi Cecilia Zhuang
Ethnic retail neighbourhoods in the Toronto area are not only indicators of Canada’s ethnocultural diversity, but also important social places where ethnic businesses have made longlasting physical impressions on urban landscapes. This paper aims to investigate the social, economic, and physical processes of the making of ethnic retail places and the role of ethnic entrepreneurs in these processes. It explores three ethnic retail strips in Toronto’s inner city targeting the Chinese, South Asian, and Italian business communities. Key informant interviews, shopper intercept surveys, and field observations were conducted. The findings reveal profound inter-group differences, and demonstrate that ethnic entrepreneurs are the driving force behind the social, economic, and physical processes of neighbourhood transformation. These findings will help bridge research gaps associated with the spatial and physical aspects of ethnic entrepreneurship and offer empirical knowledge for municipalities.