Andrew Peters

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Pavlos Kanaroglou




It was the main objective of this particular thesis to deterrnine whether the experiences of the Greater Toronto Area with respect to patterns in the redistribution of its population, were similar to those in urban areas of other developed nations around the globe. Although a plethora of studies were carried out relating to the counterurbanization phenomenon during the late seventies and early eighties in these other countries, to this point few have been carried out in a Canadian context. In light of this, in completing this thesis. first, we hope to contribute to the literature by highlighting patterns of population distribution in the GTA from 1971-91, utilizing the hoover index of concentration as the primary means of doing this. The results suggest a pattern of population redistribution away from the core, favouring municipalities peripheral to this area. Second, through careful consideration of the key criticisms put forth relating to the study of the counterurbanization phenornenon, we have determined the validity of each in terms of the extent to which they would affect the observed trends in the distribution of the GTA's populations. The results of this analysis offer evidence in support of the 'metropolitan overspill' hypothesis which interprets these trends in the redistribution of population away from the core as the continuation of the process of suburbanisation, only an accelerated level of the phenomenon. Finally, in realizing the importance of studying economic activity alongside any trends in the redistribution of population, analvsis of data from the Transportation Tomorrow Surveys of 1986, 9l, & 96 has been completed. Once again, we find the results of this analysis lend additional support to the 'metropolitan overspill' hypothesis.

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