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ETHNIC RESIDENTIAL SEGREGATION THE SOLIDARITY OF THE GROUPThe urban metropolis and its function in society cannot be understood without studying its composition as a city of immigrants their newcomer families and friends and the ties that bind them By overlooking the ethnic culture and networks of the citys immigrants the study of the urban centre is at best a futile effort Ethnic tendencies and particularly ethnic residential segregation are areas of examination than cannot be neglected if we are to understand the individual and group experiences that ultimately influence urban growth It is therefore important to carefully explore these areas so that insight into the underpinnings of the urban metropolis is achieved Looking at Canadian urban centres from 1850-1920 specifically the city of Toronto I will examine the issue of ethnic residential segregation and its significance to the urban centre I will attempt to prove that this phenomenon is a consequence of ethnic concentration in particular industries resulting from ethnic networks and socio-economic inequalities present within society Furthermore the existence of these vibrant yet segregated ethnic communities does not imply that assimilation is failing to occur Consequently standard assimilation frameworks which assume that proximity to the majority group increases with socio-economic gains must be re-evaluatedUrban and historical geographers have become increasingly interested in studying residential segregation through the context of changes in the industrial workplace Scott 1986 A number of industries like clothing textile iron and steel have employed large proportions of immigrant workers Leiberson 1933 Toronto is no exceptionEarly immigrant settlers came to North America in search of a better life and increased economic opportunities Lindstrom-Best 1979 and Torontos economic ambience appealed to them 1850s Toronto saw increased prosperity with expanding enterprises jobs and especially railway building By the 1860s when this first rail construction boom had faded the city blossomed into a regionally dominant railway centre with track access throughout the province into adjoining Montreal Detroit and New York More importantly though steam
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