The Design District in Hamilton.New immigrants are frightened by house prices in Toronto, Canada. Bassam Mansoob, a 32-year-old software engineer, emigrated to Canada from Australia a year ago. Although he successfully found a job, he had trouble settling down for a simple reason: Toronto house prices are too high for him to afford.Please Visit: The Design District in Hamilton to Get Your VVIP Registration Today!
Because the company is in downtown Liberty Village, he wants to settle his wife and 5-month-old daughter near his place of work. Although the income is good, the average price of all kinds of houses in Toronto has exceeded the $920000 mark, which really bothers him. Toronto has high housing prices and high rents, so the family had to extend their goal of looking for a house and finally bought an apartment in Stoney Creek, a small town on the outskirts of Hamilton, west of Toronto.
The software engineer said he couldn’t give up his job in Toronto, so he only had to run around 401 five days a week, and only he knew the hard work. He told CBC News that the experience of looking for a house in Toronto is almost equivalent to another “cultural shock” of immigrants. He had no choice but to stay away from Toronto: because he could afford the house in Stoney Creek, and his family loved the neighborhood, he balanced it, and he had to make some “sacrifices” in order to live in an affordable house.
According to data released by Statistics Canada on Monday, the immigrant population has increased significantly in the suburbs of big cities: in the Toronto census urban area of CMA (Toronto Census Metropolitan Area), for example, the proportion of immigrants in suburban areas was 40% in 2001, while the 2011 census found that the proportion of immigrants increased to 51%. Demographically, this ratio is also known as immigrant suburbanization (suburbanization rate).
In fact, two other major Canadian cities have this tendency: the suburbanization rate of Montreal increased from 27% in 2001 to 33% in 2011, while Vancouver increased from 66% in 2001 to 72% in 2011.
According to feature papers published by two Canadian scholars, Mireille V é zina and Ren é Houle, in the past, most immigrants settled directly in the center of Toronto, but this pattern is changing rapidly, and now more and more immigrants settle in the city center and then move to the suburbs, or simply settle in the suburbs. As a result, more than half of the immigrants now live in the suburbs of Toronto, including Brampton, Oakville, Milton, Vaughan, Pickering and Ajax.
The two scholars pointed out that among the three major cities, Toronto has the fastest and largest increase in the suburbanization rate of immigrants, which is largely related to housing prices. Take Harshal Dalal, an Indian immigrant, whose family emigrated to Canada in 2010 and decided to settle in Oakville, west of Toronto, and the decision was mainly based on house prices. However, he laughs that the house price of Oakville is now “rising all boats”.
Graham Haines, a research and policy manager at a research institute at Wayason University (Ryerson City Building Institute), commented that the cost of settling down not only in Toronto but also near it is getting higher and higher, so it is clearly an economic and rational choice for new immigrants to choose suburban areas. He suggested that the government should pay attention to this tendency and provide community services for immigrants in suburban areas, as well as start-ups and employment opportunities.
Margaret Eaton, executive director of the Toronto area Immigration Service (Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council), agrees. She says the cost of settling down in the city center is rising, and migrants have to move to the suburbs in search of cheaper rents or to pay less on mortgages. However, new immigrants also have challenges in suburban areas, that is, it is difficult to find jobs related to their educational background and work experience, so the unemployment rate of immigrants is also higher than that of the general population.
She also said that in a sense, immigrants sacrifice their quality of life in order to reduce the cost of living, because they have to spend a lot of time commuting, whether driving their own cars or using the public transport system, which actually creates new inequality. it also reduces the opportunities for new immigrants.