Toronto Metropolitan University
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The Changing Spatial Organization of Ethnic Retailing: A Case Study of Chinese and South Asian Grocery Store Retailers in the Toronto CMA From 2001 to 2016

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posted on 2021-05-24, 17:52 authored by Samantha Perry
Understanding the changing spatial structure of ethnic grocery retailing in Canadian urban regions can provide insights into ethnic business development and the well-being of residents, particularly relating to the availability of healthy food and risk of nutrition-related illnesses. This study explores this through a case study of Chinese and South Asian grocery retailing in the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area (CMA). In particular, the changing spatial relationship between ethnic grocery business distribution, ethnic residential patterns, and spatial accessibility is examined between 2001 and 2016. A combination of location quotients and global and local indicators of spatial autocorrelation were utilized to assess the relationship between ethnic groups while measures of spatial central tendency and a nearest neighbor analysis assessed the distribution of grocery retailers. An integrated marginalization-accessibility index was then developed to highlight any spatial mismatch between the level of material deprivation and grocery store access, highlighting patterns of inequality throughout the CMA. The results of the study reveal that Chinese and South Asian grocery retailers and residents have suburbanized over the study period. Index results also indicate that some census tracts (CTs) experienced limited access to both mainstream and ethnic grocery stores, particularly among the South Asian community. Finally, there is a growing number of CTs that are well-serviced to Chinese and South Asian grocery stores but are under-serviced to mainstream retailers, potentially identifying areas where ethnic grocers are filling gaps in service. Key words: ethnic grocery retailing, ethnic residential patterns, accessibility, healthy food provision, marginalized neighbourhoods, Toronto Census Metropolitan Area





  • Spatial Analysis


  • Spatial Analysis

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type

  • Thesis