Distinct paths : race and public housing in postwar Toronto and Chicago


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Distinct paths : race and public housing in postwar Toronto and Chicago
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vi, 235 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Reid, Audley George
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Political Science thesis, Ph. D   ( lcsh )
Dissertations, Academic -- Political Science -- UF   ( lcsh )
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theses   ( marcgt )
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Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 2002.
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 221-234).
General Note:
General Note:
Statement of Responsibility:
by Audley George Reid, Jr.

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University of Florida
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To my parents, whose hard work, perseverance, and commitment stand as
examples of success in life. One Love.


I would like to extend my utmost thanks and respect to Dr. James Button, the chair of my dissertation committee. Dr. Button's advice and encouragement through this challenging yet, ultimately, rewarding academic experience has been invaluable. His work as a scholar, particularly his award winning book Blacks and Social Change, has impressed upon me the value and importance of utilizing diverse methodological approaches to the study of America's eternal issue, Race.

I would also like to thank my dear friend and fellow department colleague, the late Dr. Barbara Roth. Her intelligence, quick wit, and common sense not only made for engaging intellectual debate but also served as a constant reminder to me that academic study, although important to a scholar, should not be taken so seriously that it overshadows other things that life has to offer. The best scholars are those who learn to take advantage of life inside and outside of academia. Thanks, Barb, God Bless You.

Finally, I wish to thank and acknowledge my fellow scholar Julian

Chambliss with whom I share an abiding intellectual curiosity about urban life and the history of the African Diaspora.

iii I




ACKNO W LEDG EM ENTS ....................................................................... iii

A B S T R A C T ........................................................................................... vii


1 INT RO D U C TIO N ............................................................................ I

Why Chicago and Toronto? ................................................... 3
Why Discuss Public Housing AND Segregation? .......... .......... 5
Race Related Research in Canada .......................................... 7
A Note on Canada-U.S. Studies .............................................. 14
Current State of the Field ........................................................ 22
Research on Race, Space, and Housing ................................ 25
Pre-WWII Chicago: Research on Race and Housing .............. 31
Theoretical Basis and Proposed Model ................................... 39
Interview M ethodology ........................................................... 42
N o te s ....................................................................................... 4 3


A Note on American Slavery ................................................. 44
European Immigrants in Pre-WWII Toronto ........................ 46
Afro-Canadians in Urban Canada ......................................... 51
European Immigrants in Pre-WWII Chicago ....................... 58
Afro-American Migrants in Chicago ...................................... 64

INVOLVEMENT IN HOUSING PROVISION ............................ 76

Legal Facto rs ......................................................................... 76


Government Rationales for 20th Century Housing Provision
In C a nad a .................................................................... 80
Provincial Involvement in Subsidized Housing: Ontario ....... 85
The Role of Cities in Subsidized Housing: Toronto .............. 90
American Government Involvement in Subsidized
Housing Provision ....................................................... 96
Subsidized Housing in Chicago ............................................. 103
Institutional Characteristics and Constraints ........................ 107


Informal Rules, Actors and the CHA .................................... 118
Afro-American Elites and the Politics of Public Housing ...... 128
Consensus over Conflict: Constructing
Public Housing in Toronto ........................................ 131
Postwar Immigration and Demographic Change
in U rban Canada ....................................................... 139


Segregation, Political Incorporation, and
Urban Black North America ........................................ 158
Minority Political Representation in Chicago and
T o ro nto ......................................................................... 16 7
Has Minority Political Incorporation Been Achieved?
Substantive Representation in Toronto and Chicago.. 172
Elite Views on Minority Political Incorporation
in C hicago ................................................................... 178
Elite Views on Minority Political Incorporation in
T o ro nto ...................................................................... 183
The New Politics of Public Housing in Toronto .................... 186
Beyond Electoral Politics: Segregation and the Quality
of Life Of Black Residents .......................................... 197

RESIDENTIAL SEGREGATION .................................................... 211

7 CONCLUDING REMARKS ............................................................ 216


INTERVIEW QUESTIONNAIRES ...................................................... 219

BIBLIOGRAPHY ............................................................................... 221

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................................................ 235


Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy


Audley George Reid Jr.

May 2002

Chair: Professor James Button
Major Department: Political Science

This dissertation is a historical two-city case study of Chicago, Illinois, and Toronto, Canada, and their experiences with building federally supported public housing projects following World War II. The study argues that racial demographics were central to explaining why public housing was built in a racially segregated pattern in Chicago while housing projects were dispersed throughout Toronto with race playing little or no part in the decision making process. The study then goes on to compare and contrast how the larger issue of racial segregation has impacted the political and socio-economic standing of Afro-Americans and Afro-Canadians in Chicago and Toronto, respectively.

The study uses archived data including newspapers and personal notes,

elite interviews, and census material to compare and contrast the impact of racial


segregation in each city. The study shows that Afro-Americans in Chicago were able to achieve political representation and influence in the late 20th Century by using the segregated South Side neighborhoods to elect blacks into political office. By contrast, Toronto's black population has been unable to pool the votes of black voters due to their spatially integrated residential patterns and their smaller number.

The political influence of Chicago"s black community has not been sufficient to curtail the growth of socio-economic disadvantage evident in economically impoverished neighborhoods. Conversely, although blacks in Toronto are significantly less politically influential, those who live in impoverished neighborhoods do not appear to experience the same levels of social, economic, and educational isolation typical of their Chicago counterparts.

The level and impact of residential segregation for blacks in both cities are less a function of any cultural distinction between Canadians and Americans and more function of urban racial demographics and specific historical circumstance.



In the post-World War II era, urban centers in several Western

industrialized nations have undergone significant changes in the ethnic and racial makeup of their respective populations. Racial and cultural minorities are increasingly visible in large urban areas in Canada, France, England, the Netherlands, Germany, and the United States (Body-Gendrot 1995). These rapid demographic changes present challenges to political and social institutions and their respective elites. The quality of urban life in these industrialized countries will largely be determined by how successful existing institutions and elites are in integrating racial and cultural minorities into the political, economic, and social mainstream.

The extent of spatial integration of racial minorities is an important

indicator of the level of social, political, and economic incorpor-ation that these groups have achieved in Western industrialized societies. Within North America the formation and continuance of racial segregation, particularly among AfroAmerican urban residents, has been well documented by urban scholars and specialists (Drake and Cayton 1945; Goering 1986; Massey and Denton 1993; Taeuber and Taeuber 1965). Racial segregation for generations have frustr-ated


attempts by community elites as well as federal, state, and local governments to carry out the mandate of civil rights laws, raise the level of minority home ownership, and remove inequities in basic municipal service delivery (Button 1989; Orfield and Ashkinaze 1991).

Despite the historical, political, and economic similarities between the

United States and Canada, Afro-Canadian urban residents experience noticeably lower levels of racial segregation in Canada's largest cities (Fong and Wilkes 1999; Ray 1997). This state of affairs is a noticeable exception to the typical experience of black residents in most cities in industrialized North America. Unfortunately, while a great deal of research exists in the United States on explaining the origins and assessing the impact of racial segregation, the search landscape on this issue in Canada is relatively sparse. The studies that do exist are generally limited to describing the contemporary spatial distribution of minority groups without providing the contextual or historical background that would help to explain how the present situation came about (Balakrishnan and Wu 1992; Breton et al. 1990, 92-129; Fong 1994). There is a need for more historically and contextually grounded analyses of urban racial change and group segregation between the United States and Canada.

The author seeks to expand the existing knowledge and methodological base of urban segregation research by providing a historical comparative case study of two North American cities that epitomize the spatial contrast of blacks in both countries. The discussion will focus on Toronto, Ontario, and Chicago,


Illinois (see Note 1), and the experiences of residents and officials with postwar urban public housing policy and its role in institutionalizing the contemporary racial segregation patterns of black residents in each city. The discussion will also include an assessment of segregation's impact on the political standing of people of African descent in each city.

Why Chicago and Toronto?

Any academic attempt at comparative urban inquiry, particularly an inquiry that crosses national boundaries, is fraught with methodological and empirical obstacles and questions. No two cities are identical. But some cities and countries do allow for comparative study because they share important and relevant national and local characteristics, histories, and/or public policies. Comparative research on Canada and the United States offers scholars the opportunity to use two countries that share several important national characteristics. Both are former British colonies that are among the world's most economically advanced industrialized countries. Both are politically stable democracies that have federal systems of government. Finally, Canada and the United States, particularly since the 1960's, have entered into various financial, economic, technological, and strategic alliances that have created one of the most open and comprehensive trading regimes in the world (Aldridge and Hewitt 1995; Collins 1990; Finbow 1993; Leyton-Brown 1981; Upset 1990).

There are also similarities between the two countries at the sub-national level that makes comparative urban analysis possible. Unlike other nations such


as Egypt, Mexico, and to a lesser extent England and France where one city--a primate city--attracts the majority of residential and economic growth, Canada and the United States have a complex urban metropolitan system (Flanagan 1999, 158-9). While metropolitan Toronto and New York City are major areas for new residents, jobs, and businesses, several other large metropolitan conglomerates having viable, independent economies and communities complement them.

The cities of Toronto and Chicago are home to some of the largest

populations of racial minorities in North America. Toronto, in terms of proportion and actual numbers, has the largest population of black residents in Canada. Chicago, with over 1 million Afro-Americans, ranks among the top three American cities with the largest black population alongside New York City and Los Angeles. Toronto and Chicago are also leading destination points for immigrants from Asia, Africa, and Central America.

In addition to demographic and racial characteristics, Toronto and Chicago share similar histories in terms of public housing programs. Both were major recipients of public sector dollars earmarked for high-rise public housing construction following World War IL Chicago has one of the largest public housing infrastructures in the United States. The Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) administers to over 142,000 public housing tenants, second in number only to New York City (Fiske 1989). The city is home to the Robert Taylor


Homes and the Cabrini-Green complexes, two of the largest as well as most publicized public housing developments in the world.

While Toronto has a smaller number of total public housing units, the city's public housing agency-the Toronto Housing Company (formerly the Metropolitan Toronto Housing Authority)-manages Canada's oldest and largest stock of public housing. Fully 14% of the country's public housing units are found in the city of Toronto and managed by the Toronto Housing Company (Murdie 1994). The Toronto region was, by far, the largest recipient of public funds for housing development among Canadian cities in the postwar era. Thus, each city in its respective country has a significant public housing infrastructure as well as a substantive history with large scale, high rise public housing. Both cities also began and ended their experiments with federal public housing in the same period, from the late 1940's to the early 1970's.

Why Discuss Public Housing AND Segregation?

This dissertation was originally intended to be a study of post-WWII public housing policy without any discussion of racial segregation. However, I quickly came to realize that to fully explain the behavior of public officials as well as housing bureaucracies in both cities, it became necessary to discuss demographic and racial trends as they were shaped in eady 20th Century. Race, particularly the existence of a large and growing minority of black residents, more than any other single variable is the main reason why Chicago was and is so segregated in the private and public housing market. Lack of racial diversity


is the main reason why Toronto is relatively integrated in the public and private housing market. The ethnic and racial character of each city in the early 1900s and the reactions of political elites and urban residents represent the independent variables that would eventually lead to the creation of distinct strategies for providing housing to low income, largely minority residents.

The ongoing reality of racial discrimination and bias against blacks in North America found natural outlets in the actions of white policy officials and white residents represented by housing and community organizations. If a history of social, economic, and educational discrimination existed against a sizable minority group in a given urban area, these biases were likely included in and were often the driving force behind decisions made by housing officials and the public bureaucracies they controlled with regards to the construction and placement of housing projects. Decisions made in the public realm were but a portion of the much larger universe of housing and residential discrimination taking place in the private marketplace where most residents in Canada and the United States, whether black or white, lived. Thus, while public housing policy and the larger issue of racial segregation are often seen as two distinct issue areas, they are closely linked. The former is a natural outgrowth as well as an extension of the latter.

The final section of this work is a discussion of the impact of racial

segregation on the political influence and power of Afro-Canadians in Toronto and Afro-Americans in Chicago. Again, I do not follow the assumption that racial


segregation and public housing policy are and should be treated as separate issues for separate dissertations. Each is highly dependent on the other for its continued existence. Segregated public housing projects with largely minority populations feed racial stereotypes and images that help to sustain racial segregation in the private marketplace. The negative images and stereotypes about low-income black people impact on all people of African descent. Electoral politics at the local level is often driven by negative group stereotypes whether spoken or unspoken. Thus, a discussion on the electoral impact of racial segregation in both cities is relevant to a study of postwar public housing policy.

Race-Related Research in Canada

The research landscape on racial issues in Canada is relatively sparse compared to that of the United States. Thus, the number of writings on race and housing issues, while growing, remains scarce as well. The historic lack of academic literature on racial issues in Canada is largely a result of the salience and historical importance of language in Canada, the late arrival of large numbers of racial minorities into Canadian cities, and elite and popular perceptions within Canada that racial issues are inconsequential.

Although Canadians of non-European descent have resided in Canada for over 200 years (see Alexander and Glaze 1996), they were not a significant or especially visible presence within the Canadian mosaic until the late 1960's (Ray 1994). Well before this period, the issue of language dominated much of the political and social discourse that took place between Canada's French and


English-speaking elite. Similar to the issue of race in the United States, language issues and controversies in Canada have left an indelible mark on the country's social, political, and constitutional personality. Canada's French and English elite saw Canada as a bicultural and bilingual nation with other ethnic or territorial groups having little say in national decision-making (Wilson 1993).

The ongoing debate over language helped to give rise to a large industry of social scientists that wrote and researched exclusively on the social, political, economic, and constitutional impact of Canada's national obsession. While American politics became embroiled in the civil rights movement of the 1960's, much of Canada was focused on Francophone Canada as Quebec underwent profound cultural and political changes that were part of its so-called Quiet Revolution. The province moved from a largely agrarian society dominated financially by English-speaking residents to an increasingly industrial society where Francophones began to assert themselves in all sectors of Quebec province. During this turbulent and dramatic period, few other issues in Canada, including those tied to race, garnered as much political or scholarly attention (Jackson and Jackson 1990; McRoberts 1995).

Ironically, during Quebec's Quiet Revolution, Canada's largest cities were also experiencing significant changes. As a result of changes in Canadian immigration law, large numbers of visible minority immigrants took up residence in Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal beginning in the late 1960's. From 1961 to 1971, according to geographer Daniel Hiebert (1994), the national origin of


Canadian immigrants from Africa more than doubled, while those from South and Central America increased from 2,738 to 16,,687. Asian immigrants saw the most significant increases, from 2,901 to 22, 459. European immigrants, who accounted for the overwhelming majority of newcomers prior to 1961, actually declined in number during this period.

In addition to being largely non-European in origin, the demographics of this new immigrant class were also largely urban. In 1991, the cities of Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver were the destination of approximately 60 percent of all immigrants, continuing a trend that can be traced back to the 1960's (Hiebert 1994, 256). As the 1960's came to a close, the racial makeup of new residents in metropolitan Toronto was significantly different from the decade of the 1950's. However, the changing complexion of urban Canada went largely unheralded, at that time, due to the nation's focus on Quebec's cuftral revoliNon.

The second factor that helps to explain the historical paucity of racerelated research in Canada is that racial change in Canada came relatively late when compared to other large North American cities. The racial complexion of many American cities had begun to change as far back as the early 20"' Century. By the WWII period, racial minorities made up a visible and growing portion of residents in Chicago, Detroit, and New York City (Kasarda 1985; Wilson 1980, 62-87). The social and political controversies that flared up involving race often gained publicity through print and television media. Although studies on race relations and urban politics during the 1940's and 1950's were not especially


numerous in American social science journals, media accounts of racial controversies as well as personal accounts by the people involved would provide future academics and policy researchers with several sources of information in which to conduct research (see Wilson 1987, 165-187).

The late arrival of non-European residents into Canada is the result of over half a century of racially restrictive immigration policies traced back to the late 1800's. Although the Underground Railroad made it possible for thousands of people to enter Canada and escape bondage, many soon found that racial discrimination existed within French and English Canada as well. In 1901, there were an estimated 18,000 blacks living in Canada. This was the tail end of a massive decline in the black population of Canada resulting in part from the promise of Reconstruction south of the border and the recognition by many that Canada did not fully welcome the influx of dark-skinned people within its borders. Many Afro-Canadians left Canada and returned to America hoping to take advantage of new opportunities opened up by the legal ending of plantation slavery. A generation after the Civil War, a significant portion of the black population of Canada left to seek a better life in the United States (Alexander and Glaze 1996, 78-9).

The exodus of blacks from Canada to the United States was welcomed by Canada's political elites. Canadian policy officials, the popular press, as well as professional journals, typically saw blacks as inferiors whose presence in Canada


was invasive and unwarranted. A sampling of Canadian-based newspaper articles reads much like those found in southern pro-slavery journals.

These included the Windsor Mail, a Nova Scotia based newspaper dated 1876: Negro ""peculiarities [are] so abnormal that ... [sic] he sinks to the level of the animal, being fond of gin and fried liver, of outlandish religion, witchcraft, sex, and song" (Alexander and Glaze, 95, 107). The Week ro based newspaper dated 1887, also reflected a belief in black inferiority: Canadians wished to see the Negro *"work out his own intellectual, moral, and economic salvation if he is to be saved." These beliefs were not limited to Anglo-Canadian media. Immigrant newspapers also reflected the dominant view found in Canada as evidenced by a Winnipeg-based German language newspaper Der Nordwesten. ""[W]e would like to add that the numerous instances of the lynch law in the southern states, about which we read almost daily and which deal almost exclusively with crimes likely each committed by Negroes, these instances should convince us, apart from other reasons, how undesirable such an increase is to our population" (from Alexander and Glaze, 95, 107).

Public officials seized on these popular sentiments and often discouraged American blacks from migrating into Canada and sought legislation to bar nonEuropean immigration. In 1911, even though it was clear that Canada needed people to settle the Prairies, care was taken to extend a welcome only to white Europeans. William Thoburn, a conservative member of Ontario's parliament, in debate over immigration asked rhetorically whether Canadian leaders should


preserve for the sons of Canada the lands they propose to give to niggers?" (Alexander and Glaze, 107). Francophone leaders, despite serious differences with English Canada on a host of other issues, agreed with Thoburn's feelings. Arthur Fortin of Quebec called upon Frank Oliver, the minister responsible for land-related issues, "to prevent or at least control the immigration of Darkies; into the Dominion. Just as it does for the Chinies-Hindoes-and the laps" (Alexander and Glaze, 95, 107). These sentiments, along with racially restrictive immigration laws passed through the early 1900's, left Canada and its largest cities with relatively few racial minorities-Black, Asian, or Hispanic-a situation that would not change until the late 1960's.

Scholarly research on race-related issues has also been sparse because popular media and journals, by and large, have given it little attention. This inattention, in turn, is linked to popular sentiments and images of Canadian society held by Canadians themselves. Several studies on racial and ethnic diversity in the Canadian media have recognized the discrepancy between policy rhetoric and the performance of broadcasters (Fleras 1994, 272; Henry and Tator 2000). Despite minorities making up an estimated 8% (and growing) of the Canadian populace in the early 1990's, minority employment and representation within media institutions have not kept pace with their growing numbers (Karim 1993, 212). Canadian ethnic and racial minorities, arguably, have a better chance to relate more to personalities and characters presented by American


television shows because of the larger number of shows that feature racial minorities in leading and supporting roles south of the border.

The Canadian media are of key importance in any discussion of the

presentation (or lack of it) of popular images and/or stereotypes in Canadian society for two reasons. First, the media, according to some scholars, form part of our "psychic environment"; that is, the media help to define, through the images and issues presented, what is normal, respectable, and debatable in a society (Fletcher & Taras 1995, 292). What is considered appropriate content is heavily influenced by cultural norms, the official and unofficial practices of media organizations, and current fashion (Soderlund et al 1984 31-5). Thus, what we see and hear through the media, as well as what we do not, informs us about the assumptions held by the media elite, as well as by Canadians themselves. Second, Canada's policy elite, particularly since WWII, have long argued that broadcast policy and broadcasters can and must play a role in creating, promoting, and protecting Canada's national identity (Collins 1990). The media in Canada were, and are, seen as important weapons in the fight to maintain Canadian culture, keeping it distinct from American popular culture (105-140).

The English media elite's vision of national identity was a restrictive one. It was a reflection of their own particular class and ethnic background, and one that was heavily wedded to British culture. As pointed out by sociologist John Porter, the media elite, particularly in the 1950's and 1960's, was characterized by recruitment on the basis of upper-class family ties, exclusive private school


education, Anglo-Saxon origins, and its religious (largely Anglican) affiliation (Porter 1965, 532-540). The restrictive definition of national identity forwarded by Canada's early broadcast policy-makers, in effect, discouraged recognition of non-English and non-French Canadians as Canada's new cultural and racial landscape began to take shape in the late 1960's.

Uke many other countries during the 1950's and 1960's, Canada watched as America went through the drama of the civil rights era. To a nation of people that has struggled to mould an identity for itself separate from that of the United States, many Canadians saw the civil rights movement as a key distinguishing feature between themselves and Americans. The civil rights movement, according to elite and popular sentiment, exposed divisions in American society that simply were not present in Canada. Even in the case of the ongoing English/French conflict, there were no images of hoses or attack dogs being set upon protesting Francophones as was the case with black citizens in the southern United States. Consequently, many Canadians were of the opinion that insofar as group conflicts existed north of the border, they were dealt with in a kinder, gentler manner (see Cannon 1995, 7-18; Singh et al. 1988, 13, 187).

A Note on Canada-U.S. Studies

Historically, comparative research on race and ethnic relations in Canada and the United States has been sparse, again owing largely to the factors previously outlined. Postwar studies in the field of Canadian-American relations have generally tended to focus on broad economic issues, including trade and


monetary policy, and how they impact on the political, economic, and/or cultural standing of Canada vis-a'-vis the United States. There has also been an emphasis on macro-level or national-level characteristics between the two countries aimed at explaining their general political, economic, and social personality.

In comparison to other regional relationships, the political, economic, and trading regimes that have been formed between Canada and the United States are among the strongest and most comprehensive in the world. North American comparativists have a host of issues and research areas to draw from in studying national and foreign policy issues debated and discussed by Canadian and American elites. Much of the traditional work from Canadian comparative scholars has focused on how best to define the macro-economic relationship between Canada and the United States. Comparativists have defined the relationship utilizing a variety of perspectives and terms. A large and diverse body of literature within this field holds that the Canada-U.S. relationship is one of Asymmetrical Autonomy (see Leyton-Brown 1981, 87-8). This perspective acknowledges the substantial differences in political, military, and financial resources that exist between Canada and the United States but emphasizes that the relationship takes place between two sovereign and independent states. The process and outcome of bargaining between Canada and the United States, with the attendant gains and losses, is the main focus within this body of research.


A significantly different set of assumptions and conclusions guide

Canadian scholars utilizing the DominancelDlqoendence perspective, arguably the most influential and controversial approach within the literature on CanadianAmerican relations. The Dominance/Dependence school holds that Canada is in an economically dependent position vis-6-vis the United States. One of the principal arguments of this position is that, as a result of massive American direct investment in Canada, many of the business decisions that affect the Canadian economy has become externalized and beyond the reach of Canadian elites to control (see Leyton-Brown 1981, 81). It is argued that the lack of autonomy of Canadian subsidiaries of American companies, in effect, limits the ability of the Canadian government to shape and control its own economic policies (Levitt 1970). Furthermore, this set of circumstances has helped to create a Canadian capitalist class that benefits from and helps to perpetuate the structural inequities found in the Canadian-American economic relationship. In sum, the Dominance/Dependence approach holds that the Canada-U.S. economic relationship is one of institutionalized inequity with Canada bearing the brunt of the costs.

Closely aligned with the economic dependence argument of the

Dominance/Dependence perspective is the literature on cultural dominance and dependence. These writings focus on North America's print and broadcast media and lament the high-percentage of American-produced books, periodicals, and television programs sold and viewed in Canada. This argument, which helped


give rise to and continues to drive national Canadian broadcasting policy, is concerned with American cultural penetration of Canada and the possibility that Canadian values and culture are being overwhelmed and lost (see Leyton-Brown, 83).

Terms such as culture, ideology, and belief systems figure prominently in the second broad sub-field of Canadian-American studies. Macro or national level comparative analyses of Canada and the United States often view these terms as key explanatory variables in seeking to understand the apparent differences between the two countries. Noted sociologist Seymour Martin Upset (1990), for example, has argued that the United States and Canada are guided by different formative philosophies that are made evident by each nation's orientation towards state intervention in society. The founding philosophies or culturalist perspective that looks back to the American Revolution as a formative event seemed to reflect and help set in motion the distinctions that continue to typify each country. The United States was the country of revolution in 1776, a country whose organizing principles were classically libertarian. This resulted in a society that emphasized populist impulses and distrust towards the state (Upset 1990, 2).

Conversely, Canada was the country of counterrevolution. Thousands of Americans still loyal to the British Crown during the American Revolution moved north into Upper Canada (now Ontario) and New Brunswick. These settlers brought with them British Tory cultural "'survivals" which included social


deference to the state, acceptance of social elitism and oligarchy, and an emphasis on Peace, Order, and Good Govemment as the rallying cry for nationbuilding rather than Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness typified by American revolutionaries (Finbow 1993, 676; Upset 1990).

These competing belief systems, posits the culturalist approach, fuelled

the actions of revolutionaries and loyalists and were durable enough to influence the general personality of individuals and institutions within the two countries up to the present-day. Upset relies on secondary survey research data from a variety of sources to support the cultural distinction argument. From the data, Upset concludes that there is strong evidence of consistent and lasting differences between Americans and Canadians in terms of their social, political, and economic beliefs.

The breadth of the subjects covered by Continental Divide, the intuitive appeal of its main thesis, and the fact that it was written by a renowned political sociologist, all helped in garnering the book much attention and praise. It also encouraged more comparative research on Canada-U.S. relations that focused on areas other than economic or trade policy. One of the more influential and acclaimed examples of this is The M& of the North American City by Michael Goldberg and John Mercer (1986). In this work, Goldberg and Mercer extend the cultural distinction argument by focusing on socio-economic and political issues at the sub-national level, specifically, on urban areas in both countries. The two authors argue that there are real and lasting cultural distinctions between the


U.S. and Canada and that these distinctions have impacted on the character and personality of cities in each country.

The arguments forwarded in the book include the belief that pro-business city politics is a uniquely American phenomenon historically and is the product of pervasive values of individualism and privatism which privileges the marketplace over state-run or collective efforts at governing (see Garber and Imbroscio 1995, 596). Conversely, Canadian cities are governed according to collectivist and interventionist traditions, resulting in more state economic regulation and the use of public corporations and other non-market-based strategies for urban growth and governance (596). In addition, the book argues that Canadians and Americans are distinct in terms of their respective sense of national identity. Canadians seem to be more uncertain about the origins and symbols of reflecting their national identity and heritage whereas Americans have a stronger sense of national identity and purpose (18-9).

Pointing out the relative weakness of Canada's national identity is

important, according to Goldberg and Mercer, because it helps to explain why the ethos of the fneftg pot is forwarded in America's most diverse areas while that of the cuftufal nwwic is used in Canada. The authors explain that the ethos of the melting pot, with its emphasis on accepting and being accepted into a uniquely American culture and way of life, is a reflection of the influence and assertiveness of American national identity and pride. The melting pot ethos, in


effect, insists that new Americans rid themselves of previous so-called Old World beliefs and ways of life and embrace those that are uniquely American.

The melting pot ethos, assert Goldberg and Mercer, contrasts with that of the cultural mosaic forwarded by Canada's social and political elites. The concept of the cultural mosaic in Canada emphasizes a laissez-faire approach to national identity and cultural unity. It is closely linked to Canada's policy of Official Multiculturalism which rejects a single integrative identity as too confining and static for a racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse state to follow (see Hades 1993). The cultural mosaic asserts that by allowing one to practice and express one's Old World beliefs, a uniquely Canadian identity can be formed, one that results from the expression and practice of cultural and ethnic diversity rather than their suppression.

In large part, the cultural mosaic argument is ostensibly based on a

rejection of the American melting pot concept. Historically, the cultural mosaic concept and its proponents are as much concerned with differentiating Canada from the influence and pull of American culture as they are with creating a national identity unique to Canada (see Fleras and Elliot 1992; Morton 1972). The emphasis on the cultural mosaic in Canada, assert Goldberg and Mercer, reflects the relatively weak sense of national identity that typifies Canadian society. Canada does not have as strong or as influential a national or cultural ethos as does the United States. There is more ambivalence regarding what


constitutes being Canadian, and consequently, there is little in the way of a model into which immigrants might assimilate (Goldberg and Mercer, 18-23, 40).

The authors also discuss the distinctions they feel exist between the two countries with respect to race relations. They assert that the urban geographical distribution of several racial and ethnic groups is strikingly different in each country (254). Canada's more spatially integrated setting, they argue, is reflective of a more tolerant attitude by Canadians towards racial minorities. Canadians appear more "accepting of persons such as East Indians and blacks as a neighbor or a relative" (24). The authors feel that these apparent distinctions on racial tolerance and urban segregation stem partly from the policy of Official Multiculturalism through which "ethnicity and--diversity or pluralism are officially valued" (40).

The authors do, however, introduce a note of caution regarding their observations. They point out that situational determinants are important and caution against discussing cities in an abstract fashion without considering their specific contexts. Given Canada's historical record of discriminating against certain ethnic and racial groups, note Goldberg and Mercer, the relatively integrated and tolerant settings found within Canada may be more apparent than real. The authors perceptively hold out the possibility that "'if non-whites were as significant an urban minority [in Canada] as they are in many U.S. urban contexts, one might find less willingness among Canadians to accept them as near-neighbor-s." (24).


Current State of the Field

Despite the paucity of historical records and information, discussion of and research into race-related issues is today one of the fastest growing areas of academic inquiry in Canada. Entering the 1990's, Canada's largest cities continued to become more diverse as a result of large-scale immigration from new source countries. As a result, academic journals, government bureaucracies, and non-profit organizations began to look into the social, economic, and cultural implications of these changes. Many of the current studies also have an urban focus due to the large number of African and Asian immigrants who settled in Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal.

Looking at the Afro-Canadian community in particular, a small but

significant group of scholars have attempted to look at the historical standing of blacks in Canada prior to WWII. One of the most comprehensive studies of the historical journey of Afro-Canadians is The Blacks In Canada: A History (1971, 1997), by Yale historian, Robin Winks. Winks attempts to trace the black community from 1632 when the first slave was sold in New France (Quebec) to the early 1970's-a period of significant West Indian immigration into Canada. Unfortunately, as critics later pointed out (including Winks himself) The Blacks In Canada, contrary to its professed intention, was less about a history of black life in Canada and more about blacks as an issue in Canadian life. Some critics have noted that the author in various chapters seemed to evince an insufficient understanding and appreciation of black culture (see Winks 1997, xvii). Winks


also gave little attention to the critical role that the black church played in giving solace to the community in its fight against racial discrimination.

In the most recent edition of The Blacks In Canadal Winks-with the luxury of hindsight-admits that more emphasis should have been placed on the black community as an active participant in the fight against Canadian racism rather than a passive recipient. In addition, statistics on the size of the black population during the 1800's and early 1900's, based on federal government figures, are likely inaccurate. Despite the criticisms that can be leveled at the book, today, it stands as a pioneering work, one of the first that attempted to provide a comprehensive view of the historical journey of Ahu-Canadians. It continues to provide a wealth of historical information on the Afro-Canadian community to interested researchers and teachers.

In addition to The Blacks In Canada, a handful of other works provide

information on the socio-economic and political standing of Afro-Canadians prior to WWII. These include Keith Henry's Black Politics in Toronto Since WWII (1981) and A Black Man's Toronto by Donna Hill (1981). Both provide a sense of the geographic and cultural diversity within the black community in the early 20ffi Century and the challenges it faced in forming viable political organizations. A more comprehensive, historically based work titled Towards Freedom, by Ken Alexander and Avis Glaze, is a well-written textbook that traces the history of Afro-Canadians from the 17th Century into the 1990's. Finally, Canadian sociologist Daniel G. Hill (1981), in The Freedom Seekers: Blacks In Early


Canada. chronicles the story and challenges facing blacks as they sought to escape plantation slavery by entering Canada.

Much of the research on the Afro-Canadian experience focuses on the

post-WWII period, particularly on the black community as it stood following the arrival of large numbers of West Indians into Canada in the late 1960's and early 1970's. The term "visible minority" (an umbrella term that is often used in reference to native and foreign born Canadian residents from a non-European background) quickly became accepted into academic and popular discourse on ethnicity and race in Canada (see Hou and Balakrishnan 1996; Wilson 1993). As changes in federal Canadian immigration laws significantly increased the proportion of so-called visible minority immigrants entering Canada, the proportion of academic studies focusing on racial and ethnic minorities increased as well.

Articles on the postwar Afro-Canadian community are often linked to the issue of immigration. Researchers point out the historical and cultural distinctions between "new wave" immigrants from poorer African and Asian countries and "older wave" immigrants from the Northwestern Europe (see Hiebert 1994; Sillalli, Trovato, and Driedger 1990). Other works attempt to gauge the success (or lack of success) that visible minority immigrants have had in advancing up the socio-economic ladder (Hajnal 1995; Ley 1999; Ley and Smith 1999). Some academics have also taken on the issue of contemporary racism in Canadian society. Several of these studies emphasize two related


issues. The first issue is the extent to which racial discrimination has a significant impact on the lives of visible minorities. The second issue deals with how the views of visible minorities on racism and race relations differ from those of European-Canadians and the political elite (see Anderson and Frideres 1992; Fleras and Elliot 1992; Henry, Tator, Mattis, and Rees 1995; James 1995; Troper and Weinfeld 1998).

Unfortunately, many studies only provide general information on the

historical and socio-economic characteristics of visible minorities in Canada. Due to the limited historical data that exists for some visible minority groups and the expense involved in accessing specially tabulated information, academics and researchers are often limited in the type of questions they can ask and in their focus of inquiry (Croucher, 335-339, 343n). As a result, academic and popular journals, books, and newspapers often present information on visible minorities from perspectives that fail to adequately account for the myriad of cultures and races that fall under the banner of visible minority.

Research on Race, Space, and Housing

Comparative research into racial residential segregation between Canada and the United States remains sparse. The few existing in-depth studies have generally found that there is in fact a noticeable difference in the level of segregation between whites and non-whites when both counties are compared. Rationales for this differential have included the possibility that black skin color in America is uniquely bound with negative stereotypes absent from Canada. The


argument has also been made that black immigrants to Canada arrive with relatively high levels of education compared to Afro-Americans and this allows them to access middle-class neighborhoods closed to poorer blacks in the United States. However, these and other explanations are generally tentative and emphasis is placed on the need for more historical and contextual research that would provide more grounded explanations and understanding (Fong 1997; Fong 1996).

With respect to Canada specifically, there have been some key studies that have made a historical contribution to segregation research. An early 20t century research report on ethnic group residential patterns in Montreal by University of Chicago sociologist Charies Dawson stands as one of the seminal studies focusing on a Canadian city prior to WWII (Driedger 1996, 210). Dawson and his colleagues were primarily interested in exploring population growth patterns in Montreal utilizing the concentric zone model of urban growth and change used earlier in Chicago School studies of Chicago. While ethnic segregation patterns were tangential to Dawon's interest in this study, later examination of the data revealed that there were clear lines of spatial separation between French and anglophone groups with racial minorities concentrated near the central business district (Driedger, 1996).

Other studies focusing on predominantly English-speaking cities found

clear evidence of ethnic and racial segregation patterns. Richmond (1972) found residual ethnic residential segregation existed in Toronto even after controlling


for socio-economic status among residents. Hiebert (1998) found that these patterns of ethnic and racial concentration in Toronto extend as far back as the 1920's and 1930's. Immigrants during this period relied on family, kin, and ethnic networks for jobs and shelter thereby reinforcing residential segregation. Hiebert cautions against concluding that group segregation in Toronto was identical to that found in large American cities. Unlike many U.S. cities, Toronto was dominated culturally and demographically by those of British origin, thus making "'many details of Toronto's social geography unique" in comparison to American cities (71).

Residential segregation was deemed to be in decline in a study of 16 Canadian cities by Balakrishnan (1976). Increases in the number of several European immigrant groups in Canada's largest cities were found to correlate negatively with ethnic segregation levels in each of the 16 cities. In other words, the lower the percentage of British residents in Canada's urban areas the lower the level of ethnic segregation. Unfortunately, the only non-European group included in this study was Asians. Consequently, the possible impact of racial factors on group segregation patterns was not a main point of emphasis. Balakrishnan does note that as the number of non-European immigrants continue to increase, racial segregation levels may evince patterns distinct from those found in the study.

Contemporary studies that specifically include racial minorities have found that Blacks and Asians generally do evince distinct spatial residential patterns in


comparison to Anglo and European Canadians. Fong and Wilkes (1999) concluded that although Afro-Canadians experience noticeably lower rates of residential segregation than Afro-Americans, they have difficulty translating socio-economic resources into desirable neighborhood environments (615). Thus, issues of institutional discrimination, adequate access to loan and banking institutions, and cultural group preferences are still relevant in discussions on race and housing in Canada. The authors posit that the spatial assimilation model conventionally used to describe the experiences of 20th Century European immigrants into the United States may not be appropriate for analyzing the experiences of racial minorities in Canada or the United States. If used at all, it must be applied with caution and with an appreciation ""of the complexity of the spatial assimilation process of immigrant groups" (619).

While institutional discrimination must be taken seriously as a variable that explains why racial minority Canadians exhibit distinct geographical and neighborhood patterns from European Canadian groups, cultural factors and preferences unique to a minority group may be just as important. Research by Skaburskis (1996) showed that while 62% of white Toronto residents are homeowners, only 34% of black residents own their own homes (223). A factor in this result is that a significant portion of the latter population resides in low and high-rise apartments, which are usually rented. Even after controlling for permanent income, education, immigration status, and other relevant


characteristics of prospective homeowners, large differences in homeownership rates between Afro and Anglo-Canadian residents persisted.

The study argues that more research should be done on minority group perceptions of tenure and the role of cultural preferences in housing market decisions. Specifically, are black and Caribbean immigrants directed into public housing; is there a preference among members of this group for public residential housing; and are there information deficits regarding the advantages of home ownership among visible minorities (244-5)?

Tenure choice for visible minorities, particularly among those of African descent, is the result of a complex mix of cultural preferences, housing market bias, and economic constraints. In a study based on focus group interviews, Murdie et al. (1995) found that feelings of unequal and discriminatory treatment by individuals in the private marketplace were strong among Jamaican and Somali residents. These individuals felt that bias in the housing market served to limit their access to residential areas outside of public housing. However, concurrent with these feelings of unequal treatment was the view that lack of information regarding the housing market along with pressures to reside close to already established friends and relatives were also factors in explaining the relatively low proportion of visible minorities in Toronto's private housing market (8-9).

Attempting to disentangle the relative contribution of the variables that

explain minority tenure decisions is made more difficult by the lack of consistent


and valid data collection on the racial and ethnic backgrounds of residents by local, provincial, and federal housing authorities. Murdie (1994) drawing on several specially tabulated data sources, each with inherent strength and weaknesses, concluded that blacks residing in Toronto public housing suffered from a form of "'constrained choice" (456). That is, discriminatory constr-aints exist alongside other factors including family composition and size, time of immigration, and housing costs to effectively confine a significant portion of the black community to public housing projects.

In addition to the issue of access to homeowner-ship in Canadian

metropolitan areas, scholarship on race and housing in Canada has also focused on the issue of racial and cultural prejudice directed at racial minorities who are already homeowners in the private marketplace. Ray et al (1997) considered the role that racial and cultural stereotypes played in homeowner responses to private housing inhabited by recent Chinese immigrants into metropolitan Vancouver, British Columbia. The theoretical base of their work was built on a literature found in geography that views the physical landscape and the built environment as the results of competing "'ideological formations, systems of power, and sets of social relations" (77). The authors found that with the entrance of Chinese immigrants into suburban areas of Vancouver, there had been a corresponding change in the architectural style of newly built residences away from the traditional British appearance. Much of the local response, however, by established Anglo-Canadians homeowners was laden with


stereotypical images that viewed the Chinese as a threat to the traditional cultural, architectural, and social way of life (95-97).

It is clear that the majority of scholarly literature on race, space, and

housing in North America continues to focus on cities within the United States. However, despite the relative paucity of studies in Canada, the field is one that is growing and, as a result, there is an increasing number of high quality articles and studies within and about the Canadian urban experience. More research in this area will also lead to more historically based comparative research that seeks to clarify the similarities and distinctions that exist between two of the globes most urbanized Western countries.

Pre-WWII Chicago: Research on Race and Housing

Few other American cities provide as rich a research landscape for urban scholars as does Chicago. Large-scale migration provided the fuel for the political, demographic, and social trends that unalterably changed the landscape of Chicago in the 2& Century. Two long-term demographic movements played a significant role in encouraging scholars to focus on race and housing as a topic for analysis prior to WWII. The first was the immigration of southeastern Europeans to Chicago, which began in earnest at the turn of the Century, and second was the migration of southern Afro-Americans beginning in the early 20 th Century. These internal and external migrants added to an already growing and complex demographic setting. The competition that ensued for jobs, social status, and political power soon became evident to residents and scholars alike.


Even in comparison to recent southeastern European immigrants, AfroAmerican residents in Chicago lived with very high levels of dilapidated and crowded housing conditions. Chicago Housing Problems IV: The Problem of the Nggro (1912) by Alzada P. Comstock was one of the first in-depth scholarly works that sought to analyze the problem of housing for Chicago's south side residents. The article was one of a larger series sponsored by the Chicago School of Civics and Philanthropy. Chicago Housing Conditions is significant because it pointed to some of the key conditions that kept black residents trapped in sub-standard shelter (247-248). Comstock, for example, noted that blacks paid higher rents and were less likely to own their own homes than lowincome European-Americans (253, 257). By looking at these issues along racial lines, Comstock and her colleagues helped to introduce the argument that first, collecting information on blacks and housing was needed and important, and second, Afro-Americans faced unique disadvantages in the housing market (Breckenridge 1913).

Prior to the Second World War, the most influential and celebrated academic writings on race and spatial issues emanated from the so-called Chicago School of Sociology housed at the University of Chicago. The work of the Chicago School took place during the 1920's and 1930's. The group of scholars most closely associated with it based much of their empirical arguments on the rapidly growing metropolitan Chicago area. Robert Park, a sociologist and prominent member of the Chicago School, sought in his writings to articulate


how the apparent chaos and unpredictability of urban life was in actuality a predictable pattern of systematic social and spatial occurrences. Park envisioned the city of Chicago and all cities as natural laboratories (Park et al. 1925).

The general perspective of Park and his associates emphasized the role that social interaction played in creating and molding urban social, economic, demographic, and political change. These interactions by human beings were actually part of a larger process that formed, in effect, a ""natural history" of stages in the life of a city (Persons 1987, 60). These stages resembled ""an irreversible series of events set in motion by a disequilibrating event and leading toward a hypothetical state of equilibrium". (60). Park and (academic colleague) Earnest Burgess (1921) analytically viewed these stages as proceeding from initial social contacts through competition, conflict, accommodation, and, finally, cultural assimilation (67-68).

Explaining and predicting urban change through the lens of five general

stages formed the base of much of the Chicago School's writings on the issues of race and racial segregation. Park (1950) viewed the black urban experience as similar to that experienced by European ethnics. Afro-American migrants who entered Chicago and other large American cities in the early to mid-20 th Century were simply the most recent group of migrants that would undergo the five stages of group accommodation. Thus, like Europeans immigrants, blacks would slowly and inexorably move towards the final stage of cultural assimilation which


represented a high stage of acceptance into the American social, cultural, and geographic mainstream.

The assimilationist assumptions of Chicago School sociology were tested in a major study of a large race riot that occurred in Chicago during the summer of 1919. The N!ggro in Chicago (1922) sought to explain the events that led up to the destructive riot and make recommendations on how best to avoid further racial conflict. The principal author of the study was Charles S. Johnson; a graduate student in sociology at the University of Chicago and a protege' of Robert Park (Persons 1987, 64). The study was one of the first comprehensive academic assessments of racial tension and discrimination in a large American city.

Ambitious and substantive, The Negro in Chicago traced and described the great migration of southern blacks into Chicago, the economic and social barriers that faced them once they arrived, and the impact that these circumstances had on Afro-American life in the city. Conceptually, the study sought to follow the stages of group contact associated with Chicago School principals (Person, 65). Ironically, in their conclusion, Johnson and his associates differed with a key tenet associated with the Chicago School. In contrast to what the ethnic cycle perspective presupposed, the commissioned study emphasized that factors other than economic competition and animus were key to understanding and explaining the origins of the 1919 riot and the level of inequality experienced by black residents. Johnson and his colleagues argued that negative stereotypes


and imagery of blacks created and maintained racial tension between racial groups. The beliefs by a substantial portion of European-Americans towards Afro-Americans were decidedly negative. Primary beliefs about Afro-American mentality, morality, criminality and physical attractiveness adhered to longstanding racial stereotypes extending back to the antebellum period and these beliefs had "[become] rooted--deep in the public mind". (Chicago Commission on Race Relations 1922, 630).

The conclusion of the Chicago Commission study, in effect, brought into question some of the assumptions of the ethnic cycle of group relations as posited by Robert Park. Johnson and his colleagues found in Chicago's AfroAmerican residents a group that faced substantial obstacles in achieving social, political, and economic mobility akin to European residents. Their conclusions made apparent an intellectual rift within the Chicago School between those who saw blacks as another ethnic group and little else and those who viewed race relations as uniquely problematic differentiating it from (white) ethnic relations (Person, 72-75). Eventually, as Afro-Americans continued to migrate into metropolitan Chicago, the latter perspective gained influence among key scholars within the Chicago School.

Chief among this group of scholars was E. Franklin Frazier, who eamed a doctorate in sociology during his two-year stay at the University. Frazier was in agreement with and/or was influenced by many of the arguments propounded by Robert Park and other scholars within the Chicago School. In his acclaimed


work, The Nggro Family in the United State (1966), Frazier utilizes early in his book the ecological approach as set forth by Robert Park and Ernest Burgess to explain and describe how historical urban change has impacted family formation patterns among black migrants. Furthermore, Frazier also invokes and applies the methodology of so-called natural history-an approach constructed by Chicago sociologists W.I. Thomas and Florien Znaniecki-at later points in the book. Finally, in another earlier work entitled Race and Culture in the Modem Worid (1957), the overall discussion by Frazier on the migration patterns and interaction between European, Asian, and African ethnic groups takes place within the organizational framework of the race relations cycle as put forward by Robert Park (Platt 1991).

However, despite his adherence to major tenets of Chicago School

sociology, Frazier throughout his academic career disagreed with the underlying assumption found within the race relations cycle that Afro-Americans should be viewed as simply another ethnic group in terms of their experiences in urban America. Frazier, in contrast to Park, remained unconvinced that cultural assimilation, which was the final stage of the cycle, was attainable for AfroAmericans as it was for European immigrants (Platt, 168). Based on arguably his most controversial work, The Black Bourgeoisie (1957), it is evident that Frazier generally saw Afro-Americans as an exception to the general sociological argument of immigrant upward mobility inherent in the race relations cycle. While The Black Bourgeoisi focused heavily on the shortcomings of the small


black middle and upper classes, overall it is clear from this work that AfroAmericans were viewed by Frazier as a group that faced unique social and psychological circumstances distinct from those of European immigrants. And that these circumstances worked to impede their progress towards full cultural assimilation into American society.

An earlier Chicago School text reached similar conclusions to that of Frazier regarding the unique challenges limiting black social and economic progress. Written by St. Clair Drake and Horace R. Cayton, The Blac Metropgfis: A Study of Nggro Ufe in a Northern C (1945), provided what was arguably the single most comprehensive work on the Afro-American experience in Chicago since The Negro in Chicago (1922) by Johnson and his associates. Initially intended as a study of juvenile delinquency on the south side of Chicago, Black Metropgli metamorphosed into an analysis of the social, political, and economic structure of the black community in Chicago and its relationship with the city.

The influence of the ecological approach associated with the Chicago

School is evident in the work by Drake and Cayton. In their discussion of AfroAmericans in mid-century Chicago, the authors emphasize the importance of detailing the demographic and technological trends that over time led Chicago to become at one point the second largest city in America. This analysis, they point out, is critical in order to understand the origins and future standing of Chicago's black community. Thus, Drake and Cayton, in keeping with the analytical


approach of the Chicago School, closely link the ecological environment with the social and economic opportunity structure of a particular ethnic/racial group.

Black Metropgli is in significant ways a tribute to the analytical and

intellectual work of Robert Park who St. Clair Drake and Horace Cayton credit as a mentor during their doctoral studies at the University of Chicago. However, the authors in contrast to Park, placed heavy emphasis on viewing AfroAmericans in Chicago as "a city within a city." (Drake and Cayton, 12). Specifically, Black Metropgli posits that while black and white migrants to Chicago share some experiences embedded in the migrant experience, differences in skin color have preserved racial segregation in Chicago and, consequently, have worked to limit the cultural and social assimilation of AfroAmericans into the urban mainstream (9-10). Similar to the later arguments of E. Franklin Frazier, Drake and Cayton held that the race relations model of immigrant assimilation as applied to Afro-Americans remained highly problematic because it does not sufficiently consider the historical and contemporary impact of race and racial discrimination on group relations (583, 757). Drake viewed the race relations cycle proposed by Park as ""long-run sociological optimism." (Drake 1987,167).

The issues written and debate among Chicago School sociologist influenced the writings of other observers with a specific interest in the intersection of housing and racial segregation. The Nggro Ghetto (1948) written by Robert C. Weaver stands as a primary example. Weaver was a former


member of the Chicago Committee on Race Relations during the mayoralty of Edward Kelly and would also become the first Afro-American Secretary of Housing and Urban Development during the Kennedy administration. The Negro Ghetto stands as an important work in the field of housing and race relations because it provides an in-depth analysis of the role that private interests and organizations played in maintaining residential segregation along racial lines in the north between WWI and WWII.

In his discussion, Weaver makes a distinction between so-called Negro ghettoes prior to WWI and those that existed in the late 1940's. The former is characterized as zones that held only impoverished migrants driven to ghetto areas by the confluence of economic disadvantages and the desire to reside within a familiar southern migrant culture (7). This stood in contrast to the postwar ghetto, which housed a variety of residents with different social and economic class backgrounds. Residents remained in these areas because of newly institutionalized barriers to the geographic mobility of black residents in northern cities such as Chicago.

Theoretical Basis and Proaggs-W Model

In discussing the historical role that political institutions have played in

contemporary segregation levels in Toronto and Chicago, it is necessary to utilize a theoretical approach that allows for consideration of not only formal institutions but the surrounding social and demographic environment as well. This dissertation starts from the basic premise that government bureaucracies can


and have played an important role in shaping the social, political, and economic personality of North American cities. This includes changes in the spatial distribution of racial minority groups in urban areas. Thus, this project takes what is termed a-new insfflz&onalist approach in discussing these changes.

A new institutionalist approach sees political institutions as autonomous actors in their own right (see Rockman 1994; Stone 1994). Without denying the impact that individual behavior can have on institutional actions, under a new institutionalist framework, political institutions are seen as more than simply reactive elements of a larger social and economic milieu (see March and Olsen 1984). They are elements that can and do influence the behavior of individuals as well as social, economic, and political trends (March and Olsen 1984). A new institutionalist approach considers the possibility that causality between societal change and political institutions runs both ways instead of one.

Just as importantly, new institutionalist frameworks are open to the possibility that non-institutional factors can constrain or widen policy choices available to political institutions (Weaver and Rockman 1993, 10, 30-31). Variables such as the intensity of social and ethnic cleavages or existing legal convention can affect the character of political institutions from their inception even as these institutions, in turn, influence the social and demographic character of their surroundings (Krauss and Pierre 1993; Vogel 1993). Consequently, while a new institutionalist approach holds that political organizations can be the agents of social and political change, it also recognizes


that cultural and historical factors should be considered in order to gain a full understanding of institutional behavior.

Within the new institutionalist literature, a distinction can be made between formal and informal rules within a given organization. The former refers to constitutions, laws, contracts, and/or written regulations that govern an organization and a set rules of behavior for the individuals within it. Informal rules refer to ""relationships, attitudes, and behaviors that are not fully specified in the formal scheme." (Searing 1991, 1241). Norms and roles are the key factors that guide these rules (1241).

Informal rules can be endogenous or exogenous to institutions.

Endogenous informal rules can be those types of behavior that are formed among members of parliament in response to the limitations and constraints imposed by existing parliamentary constitutional edicts and written procedure (Searing 1252-3). The extent to which an institution is independent from exogenous forces, whether formal or informal, is largely contingent on the type of institution being discussed, the policies that it is charged with implementing, and the historical context in which the institution exists. Longstanding and relatively stable institutions, such as the U.S. Senate or the British Parliament, have a structure of formal and informal rules that have congealed over the life of each respective organization. As a result all members, irrespective of seniority, are cognizant of these rules and the opportunities and limitations they place on


individual behavior. The endogenous formal and informal rule structure of these types of institutions is relatively closed from exogenous forces.

Unlike the U.S. Congress, public housing institutions like the Chicago Housing Authority and the Metropolitan Toronto Housing Authority, especially during the early post-WWII period, were not black boxes closed off from societal scrutiny or oversight. They were intimately tied to the firestorm of group politics, where opponents and foes of public housing, elected and non-elected, politician and voter, closely followed their internal behavior and decision-making structure. Thus, it was difficult, particularly in the United States, for these institutions to create a set of endogenous rules and procedures that differentiated them or made them independent from exogenous forces, including demographic trends and racial and ethnic norms and roles.

Interview Methodol

This project contains interviews that were conducted in the summer and fall of 2000 in Toronto and in two-week increments in the spring and fall of 2001 in Chicago. The subject population was gained through purposive sampling that focused on community and political elites who had specific knowledge of and direct participation in the implementation and oversight of public housing policy in each city and/or were black officials serving in local political institutions.

All interviews were conducted in-person and were recorded. Interview sessions that were in-depth and most important to the subject matter of the dissertation were transcribed from tapes. No subjects interviewed in-person


voiced opposition to being recorded and were briefed on interview and recording protocols as set out by the Institutional Review Board of the University of Florida. Two subjects, both in Toronto, were interviewed by e-mail. A list of questions was sent to them and each responded with written e-mails. A total of 10 interviews deemed complete and useful to the subject of the dissertation was used in the discussion of race, housing, and political incorporation in Chapter 5.

Within this purposive sample specific individuals were contacted based on information gained through journal and newspaper searches of individuals and institutions in each city with experience in the two main criteria previously mentioned. After initial contacts with the relevant subjects I utilized a reputational technique whereby following each interview I requested information from each interviewee on other individuals who would be open to an in-person interview.


1. This study defines Toronto and Chicago according to the census definition used by Statistics Canada and the U.S. Census Bureau, respectively, for the City of Toronto and Chicago City. The City of Toronto until 1995 was commonly referred to as Metropolitan Toronto. This included the Toronto central business district CdowntownJ and the former municipalities and boroughs of York, Scarborough, North York, Etobicoke, and East York. Currently, all five surrounding areas and the downtown core have been amalgamated by provincial legislation to form the present City of Toronto. The City of Toronto is a distinct geographical and census area from the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The latter two terms refer to larger geographical agglomerations within southeastern Ontario, which surrounds the City of Toronto.
Chicago City excludes the surrounding Cook County area that lies outside the census boundaries of the city proper.


A Note on the LegaU of American Slave

Few other historical experiences influenced the norms and roles that came to define the relationship between blacks and whites in the urban Midwest during the early 20tt' Century as did American slavery. The poor southern black migrants that began to stream into American Midwest cities in the early 1900's were direct descendants of American slaves. And the hostile response by many white residents and public to this migrant group was based on this recognition. The institution of plantation slavery stands as a major distinguishing feature between Canada and the United States.

Plantation slavery sowed a myriad of spoken and unspoken social scriptures, mores, roles, and norms about people of African descent that influenced the reactions of whites-established and foreign born-as black migrants entered urban America in the early 1900's (Franklin 1947). Popular literature, at times buttressed by comments from academics and public figures, encouraged the view that blacks intellectual and moral inferiority was a matter of fact (Massey and Denton, 29-30; Norton et al 1990, 568-570). Claims of black inferiority were used to justify the passage of turn of the Century laws that



socially and politically disenfranchised American blacks (Cross 1987, 140-44; Kolchin 1993, 235-6). These stereotypes and the norms and roles legitimizing black inferiority were accepted by American public and private institutions and millions of citizens. Any attempt by blacks to breach these norms, including attempts to enter predominantly white neighborhoods and job niches conventionally seen as reserved for whites invited significant, often violent, reactions.

Discrimination, to be sure, affected the lives of Canada's small AfroCanadian population as well. And many of the negative images of black urban migrants in the early 20th Century were similar those found in American society. However, there was no plantation slavery in Canada. And this fact was due more to geography than culture. Canada's more northern location made for a much shorter growing season for crops such as wheat and corn. Much of the country's soil was not conducive to growing tobacco, cotton, or sugar cane, the three types of produce that helped to make plantation slavery the most lucrative commercial activity in the British and Spanish empires (de BiIj and Muller 2000,187; Kolchin, 24).

With no plantation slavery, 20th Century images and stereotypes of blacks in Canada were not as institutionalized or as omnipresent. That is, racial segregation and direct discrimination occurred in some Canadian cities and was absent in others. Blacks, for example, were not allowed to attend church with whites in some neighborhoods of metropolitan Toronto while this was accepted


practice in other areas of the city (Winks 1997, 325-6). In effect, the lack of slavery as a social institution in Canada spared the nation from investing as heavily in a national belief system that stereotyped and feared people of color and that viewed it as right and natural to resist the entrance of blacks into community groups, schools, job niches, and residential areas. This distinction between the United States and Canada was relative not absolute, but it is one factor that helps to explain why racial interaction in Chicago was often tense and violent while discriminatory treatment of Afro-Canadians took place within a relatively peaceful environment. Slavery continued to have social and psychological impacts on American race relations long after it ceased to exist as a government sanctioned institution.

Euroagan Immigrants in Pre-WWII Toronto

As was the case with American officials, Canadian authorities in the late 19t" Century sought to attract foreign labor to support their nation-building efforts. A large manual labor pool was needed in the Canadian west to settle the land and to build the transcontinental railway that would eventually link cities and towns (Wilson 1993, 664). As a result of these efforts, the level of immigration into Canada increased significantly during the early 1900's and continued into the 1930's. First-generation immigrants accounted for a higher percentage of the Canadian population between 1911 and 1941 than in any other period in the 2V' Century (Statistics Canada 1992, 3).


At the inception of Canadian confederation in 1867, political leaders

envisioned a nation characterized by a new nationality. French-Canadian leader George-Etienne Cartier supported the creation of what he considered an ethnically and religiously heterogeneous society through the use of federal immigration policies (Wilson 1993, 651). This goal was an acceptable and practical one to other confederate leaders at a period in history when Canada's nation-building efforts could be satisfied by immigrant populations originating from northern and western Europe. These immigrants shared cultural, linguistic, and historical ties with already established residents and were accepted and/or co-opted quickly by the Anglo-Celtic and Francophone background of English and French Canadian society (Lupul 1983, 103).

Canadian authorities embarked on aggressive recruitment efforts to

attract European as well as white American settlers to the Canadian west. A key figure in formulating recruitment policies was Clifford Sifton who as Minister of the Interior (1896-1905) led the agency charged with administering federal immigration policy. Sifton sought to populate vacant land in Canada's west with farmers from Europe and the United States. Under Sifton, nine recruitment agencies were established in the American Midwest in 1897 with a total of twenty-one in operation by 1914 (Hawkins 1991, 6). Each agency, through the use of newspaper campaigns, offered various land purchase and settlement agreements to prospective migrants. In addition, the Ministry worked in tandem


with the Canadian Pacific Railway corporation which had its own settler recruitment program to attract American labor (Hawkins, 6).

Despite these efforts to attract Anglo North American and European immigrants, it became apparent that this select prospective labor pool was numerically insufficient to achieve the goal of nation building. Migrants from outside the traditional source countries were needed. Cartier's pronouncements supporting group diversity within Canada quickly became more problematic as a matter of policy during this period. For the first time, Canadian leaders had to confront the possibility of accepting non-British and non-French settlers into Canada. These new residents would be culturally, linguistically, and ethnically distinct from previous generations of immigrants. This recognition did not prompt significant changes in Canadian immigration policy, rather it simply encouraged political leaders to make more explicit what was always implicit in immigration laws and practices.

From their inception Canada's immigration laws were based on a hierarchy that followed racial and ethnic lines. Migrants from the British Isles were ensconced atop the hierarchy and were generally seen by political leaders and immigration bureaucrats not as an immigrant class but as natural citizens of Canada. Ministry of the Interior policies encouraged British migration through programs such as the Dominion-Provincial Land Settlement Scheme and the 3000 Families Scheme which provided monetary assistance and training to British families who settled on rural land in order to begin farming (Hawkins, 26-7).


Their standing as desirable people for residence in Canada was a matter of course. In a series of newspaper articles published in 1897, future Canadian Prime Minister William L. Mackenzie King noted:

The Irish, Scots, English, Americans, and Newfoundlanders are so nearly
akin in thought, customs, and manners to the Canadians themselvesthat in speaking of a foreign population they have generally been disregarded altogether. For with the exception of maintaining a few
national societies, their foreign connection is in no way distinctively
marked in civic life.
(Finkel, Alvin et al. 1993, 4).

As seen in Table 2.1, while European immigrants were generally preferred over non-European immigrants by Canadian officials,, there existed a hierarchy of preferences with respect to European nations as well. Immediately below those of British origins were residents from northern and western Europe. Then came the ""less-preferred" stock of immigrants who originated from central and southern Europe. In the view of Sifton and other influential Anglophone officials Portuguese, Greek, and Italian immigrants were grouped in the "non-preferred" category. They were seen as immigrant sources of last resort due to their lack of Anglo-Saxon culture and tradition (Palmer 1994), 302). Finally, while nonEuropeans were often grouped as non-preferred, until the 1960s, prospective immigrants of color faced the highest barriers as a group for entrance into Canada. Thus, while southeastern Europeans faced significant difficulties themselves, entrance into Canada for people of color was often simply not possible except in limited and specific circumstances (Alexander and Glaze 1996; Hawkins 1991).


As a result of selective immigration policies and a marked preference

towards certain regions within Europe, Canada's ethnic makeup, notwithstanding a growing number of southeastern European residents, remained dominated by those of British origins. Although approximately 3 million people emigrated to Canada between 1896 and 1914 (Kelley and Telibock 1998, 14-5), the percentage of the populace of British descent declined by less than 2% from 1901 to 1921, as made evident in Table 2.2. Furthermore, the racial demographic makeup of the country remained essentially unchanged throughout the early 20th Century. Visible minorities as a whole accounted for less than 4% of the population in 1901 and in 1921. During this period only residents under the general category of "'Asiatic races" showed a significant increase in their actual number, those of African descent increased minimally in number, while the Native Canadian population actually declined.

Despite the efforts of the federal government and the Ministry of the

Interior under Sifton, a significant portion of immigrants to Canada prior to WWII chose not to settle in the rural West. Similar to the American immigrant experience, Canadian immigration was largely an urban phenomenon. Almost 50% of immigrants to Canada settled initially in cities (Kelly and Tebilcock 1998, 112). As a result, the populations of Montreal and Toronto increased by 50% and 81%, respectively from 1901 to 1910 (112).

In 1911, immigrants accounted for 38.3% of Toronto's total population, as seen in Table 2.3. This figure would remain stable throughout the period prior to


WWII. In addition to accounting for a sizable portion of all city residents, Toronto's immigrant class was also notable for its overwhelmingly British character. New residents from the British Isles accounted for 28.7% of all city residents in 1911. No other group within the foreign-born population of Toronto approached 5% of all city residents. American and Russian immigrants were the most sizable immigrant sub-groups following the British that year at 3.1% and

2.7% of the total population respectively. Despite some increases in the number of immigrants from south-central Europe and other regions, for close to a generation after 1911 migrants of British background made up the overwhelming majority of new residents coming into the Toronto area.

Afro-Canadians in Urban Canada

A sought after authority on Canadian immigration issues in the early 2V, Century declared in 1909 that Canada, unlike the United States, had no "negro problem" (Woodsworth 1972 158). This comment by author J.S. Woodsworth came during a period when the Afro-Canadian population numbered less than 18,000 and actually declined during the period from 1901 to 1911 (see Table

2.2). Thus, few towns-large or small-in Canada held a sizable black population. The likelihood of large-scale racial violence was relatively low compared to American cities simply because there were no blacks or other visible minorities in close proximity to European-Canadians in many areas of Canada.

The largest overall visible minority population in the early 1900's was located in Vancouver, British Columbia. As seen in Table 2.4, although


Vancouver had a population less than one-third the size of Toronto, it was home to the largest Chinese, Hindu, and Japanese communities in Canada. While Toronto's visible minority population was less substantial than that of Vancouver, in overall comparison to other major Canadian cities during this period it was sizable. Toronto held the third largest Chinese community in the country following Vancouver and Montreal as well as the second largest Afro-Canadian community next to Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Despite the conglomeration of Afro-Canadians in some cities, visible

minorities were only a small fraction of all residents in urban Canada. The 1,099 Chinese residents of single-origin in Toronto, the city's largest visible minority group, represented less than 1% of the overall population. The only other group in 1911 that officially registered more than 100 individuals in Toronto was Blacks with 472 enumerated persons.

While an accurate account of the size of Toronto's Black community in the early 20th Century is difficult, early estimates from within the community counted 2,500 black residents as of 1925 and between 2,000-4,000 residents in 1939 (Henry 1981). Toronto's Black community was significantly smaller in number than Blacks in Chicago during this time while at the same time being more culturally and geographically diverse. The large majority of Black migrants into the American Midwest arrived from and was native to the U.S. southeast. Blacks in Toronto, in contrast, were composed of four main ethnic and cultural subgroups. The Afro-Canadian community included Toronto-born residents,


American-born migrants, migrants from Nova Scotia, Canada's easternmost province, and West Indians. West Indian immigrants initially moved to the Toronto area during and after WWI with many working as industrial laborers (4). Afro-American migrants arrived as early as the turn of the Century and found work in the railway industry and as entertainers.

These group distinctions worked to discourage the formation of strong, unified social and political organizations within the Black community, with the possible exception of religious institutions. Specific strategies, for example, on how to create viable political organizations often divided Native Black residents from West Indians and Afro-American migrants (Henry, 18; Alexander and Glaze 1996, 188). Furthermore, the small size of the community in comparison to the total population made it more difficult to influence city policy and institutions.

While Black political empowerment showed little signs of success prior to WWII, railway porters on Canadian railways enjoyed relative distinction within the black working class. Canadian railways began hiring black porters in the early 1900's. While work as a porter was conventionally seen as a lowly profession, the benefits were favorable compared to other careers that were open to Black males at this time. In 1954, Black porters in Canada led an ultimately successful fight for unionization and for the right to become conductors. These successes came about through the leadership of AfroAmerican A. Philip Randolph, who as founder and president of the Brotherhood


of Sleeping Car Porte fought and negotiated with management and previously all-white unions for equal access and treatment on a variety of issues (Alexander and Glaze, 135-6; Hill 1981).

Legally, Canada's basic constitutional document-the 1867 British North America Act (BNA)-offered visible minorities little legal support on questions related to social equality and racial discrimination for two primary reasons. First, the BNA Act mainly addressed trade and commerce issues pertaining to federal and provincial relations and was largely silent on equality concerns (Alexander and Glaze, 110; Jackson and Jackson 1990, 212-13). Second, the BNA Act along with Canadian common law gave jurisdiction over several key areas to the provinces. In effect, this made federal political and legal authorities tangential to the struggle against racial discrimination in the early 20ti"Century. Provinces were given authority over property and civil rights, the ""administration of justice", and education (Archer et al 1995, 35; Alexander and Glaze, 142).

To the extent that federal courts were involved, they typically allowed

provincial institutions and local establishments to discriminate against individuals in cases that fell within one of these provincial jurisdiction areas (Glaze and Alexander, 142). Racial segregation by theatres, restaurants, and taverns in the early 1900's, for example, was deemed legally justified by federal courts on the grounds that these practices were acceptable exercises of the private rights of owners (Greene 1989, 17-23). In all commercial transactions, the laws of commerce were generally given priority over human rights. In the celebrated


1940 case of Christie vs. York Co[poration, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld the commerce rationale in ruling against a Black man who sued for being refused service in a Montreal tavern. In its decision the Supreme Court also added that racial discrimination was not contrary to good morals or public order (Jhappan 1995). Thus, while Canada did not have Jim Crow laws similar to those in the United States, the allowance of discrimination in private transactions placed people of color in Toronto and throughout Canada in a precarious position with fewer legal rights and lower socio-economic standing.

The precarious nature of legal and political rights for Black Canadians influenced their residential choices as well. Toronto could be seen as a microcosm of the rest the province of Ontario in that there was no predictable pattern or logic to when or how private and public establishments and homeowners would limit the freedoms of people of color. In some areas of the city as well as the province there was a strict color line, with Blacks being barred from eating in the same restaurant or living on the same block as Whites. In other geographical areas Blacks could live next to Whites and frequent the same social institutions (Winks 1997, 325-6). On the eve of WWII, a significant portion of the Black population was concentrated in a southwest quadrant of the city's central business district simply referred to as the district (Taylor 1994, 62). The district contained many first-generation immigrants and was home to some of the city's poorest neighborhoods. However, Afro-Canadians could be found in


all areas of Toronto (Winks, 59). The wall of spatial separation along racial lines that already existed at mid-century in Chicago had not developed in Toronto.

In contrast to the few visible minority residents in early 20 th Century

Toronto, the city was dominated numerically and culturally by British residents. Just as the British made up the majority of immigrants to Toronto (see Table

2.3), the majority of the city's established residents-over 85% in 1911-originated from the British Isles, with almost one-half of these residents from England. As the WWII period approached, those of British background slowly declined as a percentage of the population as residents of Polish, French, British, Jewish, and Italian descent grew in number from 1911 to 1941, as seen in Table 2.5. However, despite this trend, almost 8 of every 10 Toronto residents as late as 1941 could still trace their origins back to the British Isles. Visible minorities rarely exceeded more than 1 percent of the population prior to WWII

The small non-European population in pre-WWII Toronto was a direct result of policies that actively discouraged the migration of Asian and African residents into Canada. The Ministry of the Interior under Prime Minister, Wilfred Laurier, was given wide latitude in formulating and implementing immigration policy. Elected officials agreed with the general policy of favoring European applicants. Thus, Ministry officials operated under minimal judicial and parliamentary scrutiny (Kelley and Tebilcock 1998). However, unlike the situation in the United States, Canadian federal authorities never formally barred


visible minorities from entering Canada. More surreptitious means were used to discourage migrants from minority groups.

An effective strategy used by the Ministry to discourage Asian immigration was the use of a national head tax. Originally implemented under the Chinese Immigration Act of 1885 the head tax required all prospective Chinese immigrants to Canada to pay a $50 tariff upon entering the country (Nipp 1985, 151). The tax was increased to $100 in 1900 and to $500 in 1904. In addition to institutional limits on Asian immigrants, East Indian migrants were subject to a so-oiled confinuousJoumey requirement, which effectively made it mandatory for them to move on after staying in Canada for a limited period of time. Applications from Afro-Americans to enter Western Canada were routinely ignored and neglected by Ministry officials in favor of European applicants (Hawkins 1991, 7). In 1906 and 1910 the Immigration Act was amended by parliament and granted even more power to the governing cabinet to exclude any class of immigrant if it was deemed in the best interests of the nation (Kelley and Tebilcock, 15).

As a consequence of these practices, in the years prior to WWII, Canada and its large cities showed no sign of becoming a multicultur-al or multiracial nation. A combination of restrictive immigration laws, selective advertising, and a decided preference for northwestern European immigrants all worked to maintain a cultural and racial hierarchy dominated in particular by British descendants. This was the demographic landscape that existed as local,


provincial, and federal institutions became involved in creating and implementing public housing programs in the postwar era.

Euroggan Immigrants in Pre-WWII Chicag

Immigration trends in America were similar to those in Canada. Between 1820 and 1919, over 33.5 million people immigrated to the United States with the majority of these immigrants, 3 out of 4, settling in cities (Judd and Swanstrom 1998, 30). During 1900 and 1919, 14.5 million immigrants came to American shores representing one of the largest periods of immigration in U.S. history.

A key point of contrast between American and Canadian immigration

trends is found in the demographic makeup of the general immigrant population. From 1861 to 1900, immigrants from northern and western Europe were the largest source of new immigrants, accounting for 68% of the total population, as seen in Table 2.6. Northwestern Europeans were the majority group as well among immigrants to Canada. However, the demographic shift away from northwestern Europe as an immigrant source occurred earlier in the United States in comparison to Canada and the degree of this shift was noticeably greater. The period from 1901 to 1920 saw northwestern Europe decline to 41% as a provider of new residents to the American mainland while immigrants from southeastern Europe became the prime region representing 44% of all new residents. North America (excluding the U.S.), Asia, and other regions also showed noticeable increases as sources of new U.S. residents. By contrast, as


late as 1921 the Canadian immigrant population continued to be dominated by northwestern Europeans in general, British immigrants particularly. Europeans accounted for 3/4 of all immigrants with those from the British Isles representing over 52% of the immigrant population (Census of Canada 1925, 392).

Table 2.7 makes evident the regional diversity of new American residents in the late 19t and early 20th Centuries. While the Canadian immigrant population continued to be dominated by British descendants throughout the early 20th Century, no single nation-state was responsible for over 50% of all new migrants into the U.S. The largest source of EurDpean migrants from 18801889 was Germany at 27.5% with the United Kingdom and Ireland a significant but distant second and third with 15% and 12.8% of all new migrants, respectively.

A further point of contrast prior to WWII between American and Canada, was that immigrants to the United States from the United Kingdom and Ireland showed significant decreases in their proportion of the immigrant population over time. From 1910-1919, Ireland accounted for only 2.6% of all immigrants while the United Kingdom stood at only 5.8%. Conversely, immigrant sources in southeastern Europe increased significantly. Italian immigrants, which stood at only 5.1% of the total in the period 1880-1889 became the largest single group of new American migrants by 1910-1919 accounting for 19.4% of all immigrants. Austria-Hungarians increased in proportion four-fold while Russian immigrants


represented the largest percentage increase of any migrant group during these two time periods and stood at 17.4% by 1910-1919.

As the immigrant population increased in the U.S. the population of the city of Chicago grew as well. In 1890 Chicago was one of only three cities with over 1 million people. The city's population doubled every decade from 1850 to 1890 and climbed to over 2 million in 1910 (Palen 1997, 73). Similar to New York and Philadelphia foreign-born residents formed a large portion of Chicago's population making up 35.7% in 1910 (Judd and Swanstrom, 32).

At the turn of the Century, Chicago continued to experience population growth among all ethnic and racial groups. First and second-generation European residents made up an increasing portion of the total Euro-American and overall population of Chicago. As seen in Table 2.8, foreign-stock whites accounted for 48.5% of all Chicago residents as early as 1870. This portion of the white population peaked in 1890 when it represented 77.7% of the city's 3.3 million residents.

Diversity among European immigrants in the U.S. was mirrored at the local level in the nation's largest cities including Chicago. Again, the demographic makeup of early 20th Century Chicago contrasts sharply with that of Toronto during the same period. Unlike Toronto, no single European ethnic group numerically dominated above all others in Chicago. While those with original descendants from England represented 58% of all residents in Toronto in 1931, British descendants in Chicago (excluding the Irish) did not account for


more than 10% of the Euro-American population at any point prior to the 2nd World War, as seen in Table 2.9. Furthermore, no single European group represented over 30% of the total population from 1890 to 1930.

As a group, the Germans and the Irish made up the largest white ethnic conglomerate in 1890, representing 45.6% of all Euro-American residents. However, as of 1930 their combined numbers had decreased significantly to 23%. An increasing portion of Chicago's Euro-American residents was of southeastern descent. This particular ethnic demographic accounted for only

9.7% of all European residents in 1890. However, some of the fastest growing ethnic groups in Chicago within this general category. As a result, by 1930, over

1 out of every 5 white residents in 1930 could trace their origins back to southeastern Europe.

As the immigrant population from outside of Western Europe began to climb in the mid-to-late 19th Century nativist interests sought to have limits placed on the number of migrants entering the U.S. Congressman Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts introduced a bill that banned non-English speakers from American shores (Tindall 1988, 828). While not ostensibly aimed at any particular ethnic group, the bill would effectively exclude all non-English speaking European migrants. Similar bills were introduced at the national level on at least two more occasions and each attempt was defeated by veto by three American presidents. The need for labor to build railroads acted as a shield for a time against more federal restrictive immigration laws.


During the 1880's the demand for railway labor declined and nativist

efforts to curtail immigration gained greater import. In 1882, President Chester A. Arthur supported and signed a 10-year suspension on immigrants from China (Mndall, 829). The ban was renewed in 1892 and made permanent in 1904. The 1882 ban on Chinese immigrants was a precursor for more comprehensive and restrictive federal laws passed in the early 20"' Century such as the Eme[genU Immigration of 1921. The Act was a result of job competition fears on the part of workers and their spokesmen as well as popular stereotypes about southern and eastern Europeans (Tindall 1988, 1029). Stereotypes and negative imagery about new immigrants groups were contained in the popular and politically influential book The Passing of the Great Race (1916) by Madison Grant. Grant viewed Slavic, Latin, and southeastern Europeans as threats to America's supposed Nordic heritage, people, and institutions and advocated suspending immigration from these regions.

The Act of 1921 significantly curtailed the number of immigrants entering the U.S. in the pre-WWII period, thus ending one of the most significant eras of large-scale immigration in American history, which began in the late 19 th Century. In addition to completely excluding all migrants from Southeast Asia, the Act initially limited new arrivals to 3% of the foreign-born portion of any group based on the 1910 census. The 3% quota was later reduced in 1924 to 2% based on the 1890 Census. A further amendment in 1929 placed a national limit of 150,000 on immigration to the U.S. based on the national origins of all


U.S. citizens. This effectively reserved close to 85% of all available slots for northeastern Europeans (Tindall, 1029).

Although the Act excluded Southeast Asian immigrants, it did not exclude immigrants from the Western Hemisphere. As a result the relative number of Hispanic Catholics entering the U.S increased throughout 1920's. In the mid1920's immigrants from Mexico, Cuba, and Puerto R ico became the fastest growing ethnic minority group in the country (1029).

Despite passage of the Eme[genU Immigration Act the ethnic character of Chicago and other large and growing American cities were unalterably changed as a result of decades of large-scale immigration. Chicago in 1924 was already an ethnically polyglot metropolis with every European ethnicity represented in some section of the city. The hegemonic status of British descendants found in the social, cultural, and bureaucratic institutions of Toronto was simply not found in Chicago. Chicago's sizable first and second-generation immigrant communities still retained many of the cultural traits found in their home countries.

Religious affiliation in Chicago, for example, reflected the diverse nature of the populace. Irish and German residents, Chicago's largest ethnic groups, were often divided along religious lines. Tensions existed between Irish Protestants and Catholics while the German population was divided among Catholics, Lutherans, Jews, and Protestants. In addition the Polish community included those of Catholic and Jewish faiths (Kleppner 1985, 18).


By comparison, religious affiliations in Toronto prior to WWII, while

exhibiting some variance, were dominated by Protestant-based faiths. As seen in Table 2.10, from 1911 to 1921, almost 8 in 10 Toronto residents identified with a Protestant faith while the second largest affiliation-Roman Catholics-registered with less than 13% of the population. By 1941, there was a noticeable decline in the proportion of Protestant-based religions and a significant increase in other faiths. Yet, Protestant affiliated residents still accounted for two-thirds of all residents, reflecting in large part the demographic dominance of Anglophones in the city. Thus, while Toronto remained ethnically, religiously, and racially homogenous during the eady 20t Century, Chicago's overall character was increasingly diverse and complex. Even prior to the entrance of southern black migrants into the Midwest, Chicago's ethnic and cultural character, whether actual or perceived, were already influential in shaping Chicago's competitive political, social, and economic life (Kleppner 1985, 3-31).

Afro-American Miarants in Chicagg

Racial demographic trends in Chicago in the early 1900's stood in stark contrast with those of Toronto. While the racial minority population of Toronto and other Canadian cities showed little sign of present or future increases, the number and proportion of racial minorities in America's largest cities reached record levels as a result of the 1924 Act and war in the European theatre. By 1924, Chicago's black residents numbered over 110,000, the third largest conglomeration in America trailing only New York and Philadelphia. As seen in


Table 2.11, between 1910 and 1930, excepting the city of Cleveland, Chicago experienced the largest proportionate increase in black residents of any city in America.

Although Black residents were present in Chicago from its inception as a city, Blacks remained a small portion of the population until the large-scale migration of southern blacks began in earnest in the eady 1900's. Pushed by racial discrimination and the mechanization of traditional southern industries and pulled by northern and Midwest demand for laborers, over 1 million people of African descent moved from rural settings to urban areas between 1914 and 1929 (Alexander and Glaze 1996, 131).

An unlikely coalition of northern Afro-American media interests and EuroAmerican labor recruiters encouraged the continued exodus of Blacks out of the American south. The Chicago Defender, the largest Black-owned newspaper in America during the WWI era, regularly published editorials exhorting southern Blacks to migrate to the north arguing they would find more economic opportunity and less overt racial discrimination (Judd & Swanstrom, 140). The demand for workers in the northern U.S. increased dramatically due to the onset of WWI in Europe. Labor recruiters traveled south hoping to place southern blacks in factory and plant positions previously reserved for Europeans (Palen 1997,245).

As Afro-Americans entered the Midwest in historically unprecedented

numbers, they soon became conspicuous in the Chicago area, not only because


of their skin color but also because of their poor rural background. The majority of early Century Black migrants to Chicago migrated from the southern countryside; only 10% of Afro-Americans lived in cities of 100,000 or more in 1910 (Judd and Swanstrom, 139). Most were used to living and working under a sharecropping economy where they bought only from the planters-owned stores in some form of credit instead of cash. The urbanized industrial economy of Chicago made social and economic adjustment difficult for southern Blacks (141).

The role of race and group stereotypes is difficult to overestimate in terms of their impact on the opportunity structure of Afro-Americans in Chicago. Prior to the great migration of southern Blacks, group identity and group tension was already high among Chicago's European residents Afto-Americans moved from the South. At the beginning of the 20th Century immigrants from southeastern Europe were often considered distinct races by established Euro-American urban residents. Poles, Serbs, Hungarians, and Catholic immigrants were often characterized in newspapers and by commentators as illiterate, dirty, and lacking "'Anti-Teutonic conceptions of law [and] order," (Higharn 1955, 54-5; Tindall 1988, 826). Chicago's diverse European community further encouraged a brand of politics where playing on ethnic and religious self-consciousness was paramount in gaining support for public office (Kieppner 1985, 19-21).

As the most recent of many migrant waves to urban America, AfroAmericans struggled with the same barriers to socio-economic mobility that faced


European groups. However, skin color added further burdens that made the Black experience in Chicago distinct from that of white migrants with long term consequences for each group. For example, in contrast to Afro-American enclaves, European immigrant enclaves in Chicago were rarely homogeneous. While Italian residents accounted for a plur-ality of the population in Uttle Italy' and Polish residents made up the largest single number of residents in 'Poletown', in each case neither group approached one-half of the total population in each enclave. Throughout the eady 1900's, white ghettoes contained a variety of European nationalities whereas in 1933 over 82% of the population in Afro-American enclaves were Black (Massey and Denton 1993, 32).

A second major contrast was that, typically, only a minority of a given

European group in Chicago resided in ghettoes while the overwhelming majority of Afro-Americans lived in Black ghettoes. Research conducted during the early 1900's by Chicago School researchers found that only 3% of the citys Irish residents lived in the Irish ghetto. In contrast, over 93% of Chicago's Black population resided Within the Black ghetto-an area south of the central business district only 3 miles long and approximately one-quarter mile wide (Massey and Denton, 33; Philpott 1967, 141-2).

With over 100,000 people concentrated into this narrow south side area, some residents invariably sought to escape the crowded conditions by venturing into areas adjacent to or within predominantly White neighborhoods. Group tension between European migrants became secondary to conflict between racial


groups when Blacks came into contact with Whites in the workplace and particularly in residential areas. When a small number of Black residents moved into Hyde Park on the south side in 1900, for example, concerned area residents likened the movement to an "'invasion". Affluent Whites formed the Improvement Protecdve Club of Hyde Park to ensure that "the districts which are now white ... remain white. There will be no compromise" (Spear 1967, 22).

Underlying tensions between Euro-Americans and Afro-Americans erupted in 1919 as a Black child crossed the unwritten but ever-present color line at a city beach and died from injuries by white patrons. The following six days saw violent racial reprisals engulf the city's south side. Black and White gangs attacked the other in residential areas and at the workplace. Before the violence was contained, 23 Blacks were killed and 342 were injured, and 15 Whites were Willed and 178 injured (Chicago Commission on Race Relations 1922). A single cause was difficult to specify when authorities searched for an explanation. The violence was both cause and effect of group stereotypes and group competition over jobs, housing, and political power. While a causal explanation was complex, what became clear was that group tension between Blacks and Whites increased markedly as a consequence (Drake and Cayton 1945, 77-97; Spear, 217-28).

Despite the view held by many Euro-American residents that AfroAmericans were threatening their' neighborhoods, Blacks never accounted for more than 10% of Chicago's total population until 1950. Looking again at Table


2.11, 2% of the total population was Afro-American 1910 and in 1930 Blacks accounted for only 6.9%. However, the significance that Afro-American migrants had on White residents and political leaders had more to do with their rate of increase than in their actual numbers, which were modest. Using Table 2.9 as a guide, it is clear that even as Chicago's population continued to grow rapidly, several European groups actually began to decline as a percentage of the population as early as 1900. Nordic residents, for example, who accounted for 8.6% of all residents in 1900 declined to 5.3% in 1930. Over the same period, the Germans and Irish as a conglomerate declined from 38.5% of the population to 16.9%. Southeastern Europeans were one of the few European groups who increased their percentage of the total population, going from 15.1% to 22.2%. But even this increase began to show signs of decline considering that in 1920 southeastern Europeans accounted for 28% of all residents.

Although Afro-Americans were a much smaller community than migrants from southeast Europe, racially conscious Whites feared that Blacks would become more numerous throughout Chicago. This concern while fuelled by hatred and stereotypes was nevertheless an accurate interpretation of demographic trends. The Black community continued to grow significantly in total number and in proportion to the rest of the populace. Table 2.12 shows that even prior to the first significant wave of the great migration, the Black community stood at 30,000 in 1900, more than 10 times the number of AfroAmericans who lived in Chicago in 1870. By 1930, the community numbered


over 230,000 people and approached 7% of the city's population, a significant proportionate increase considering that Afro-Americans accounted for only 1.7% of all residents at the turn of the century.

As the Black population grew in size, its isolation from White residents

increased as well. From Table 2.13, the average Black resident in 1890 lived in a neighborhood where only 8.1% of other residents were of the same race with that figure increasing slightly to 10.4% ten years later. Within a generation after 1900 the increase in the level of isolation experienced by Afro-Americans was remarkable. By 1930, the average Black resident lived in an area where over 7 out of 10 residents were of African descent. This represented more than a sixfold increase from 1900 for a population that accounted for less than 8% of Chicago's total population.

In the generation prior to the 2rd World War and government involvement in public housing the demographic and racial milieu of Chicago and Toronto stood in sharp contrast to each other. The latter was largely European and Anglo in ethnicity with the small racial minority population stagnant yet spatially dispersed throughout the metropolis. The latter was a polyglot of ethnic and racial groups with racial minorities, particularly Afro-Americans, increasing significantly under an omnipresent and unyielding wall of racial segregation.

As the era of public housing construction in North America began, planners and public institutions encountered sharply different urban


environments in each city that in turn would impact on the choices these actors

would make regarding low-income housing policy.

Table 2.1 Bureaucratic Desigin, 20i'lC. Canadian Immigrants
"Preferred Stock. "Less-Preferred" "Non-Preferred"
Nordic Austrian Portuquese
Swedish Hungarian Greek
Danish Polish Italian
Finnish Romanian East Indian
German Lithuanian Negro/Afican
Swiss Bulgarian Chinese
Dutch Yugoslavian Jewish
Belgian _________French___________ _______ _Nate: Policy-makers often used these euphemisms until the late 1960's. Source: V. Seymour Wilson 1993, 66, 652.

Table 2.2 Proportionate Origins of Canadian Population 1921, 1911, and 1901
(actual numbers)._____1921 1911 1901
British Races 55.40 54.08 57.03
European Races 42.07 41.35 39.21
Asiatic Races .75 (65,731) .60 (43,017) .44 (23,731)
Indian 1.26 (110,814) 1.46 (105,492) 12.38 (127,941
Negro .21 (18,291) .23 (16,877) .32 (17,437)
Source: Census of Canada 1921.


Table 2.3 Birthplace of Toronto's Foreign
Barn Po ulation % 1911-1931.

RGreat Brtn 28.7 2.7 2.3
U.S. 1 3.1 2.9 12.3
Russia __2.7 2.1 1.5
Italy 0.8 0.7 0.8
Gemn 0.3 0.1 0.2
China __0.3 0.4 0.4
Latin Amn.C __0.1 0.2 0.2
Sth. Asia d __0.1 0.1 0.1
Poland --- 1.4 3.3
Other _2.2 2.2 3.6
Total F.B.% 38.3 37.8 37.7
Total Popn. 376,64 521,89 631,20
_ 0 3 7
c-West Indies only in 1911 and 1921.
South America and West Indies included in
d-Indludes India, Pakistan, and South Asia.
Source: Census of Canada 1911-1931.

Table 2.4. Origins of the People, b Principal Cities, 1911

TOTAL 470,480 376,538 136,035 100,401 87,062 81,969 78,710 46,619 43,704
POPULATION ___ _CHINESE 1,197 1,099 585 3,559 168 162 68 220 213
HINDU 9 6 11 490 -- -- 3
INDIAN 42 52 30 119 17 92 3 .40 369
JAPANESE 512 1 2,036 5 I -- 53
NEGRO 293 472 165 149 25 304 8 832 72
UNSPECtFIEDa 2,742 5,172 8,818 7,532 835 3,768 ,117 536 4,955
Note: a-this category contained an unknown number of visible minorities including African descendants.
Source: Census of Canada 1911, Table 14.


Table 2.5 Ethnic Origins of Toronto Population, 1911-1941 (%).

British Isles 86.5 85.3 80.9 78.4
English 49.3 55.7 58.6 55.4
Irish 32.2 25.2 21.8 22.4
Scottish 18.1 18.5 18.8 21.1
Others 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.1
Jewish 4.9 6.6 7.2 7.3
Italian 1.2 1.6 2.1 2.1
French 1.3 1.6 1.7 2.3
German 2.6 0.9 1.5 1.3
Ukrainian -- 0.2 0.7 1.6
Polish 0.2 0.5 1.3 1.7
Hungarian 0.1 0.2 0.3
Dutch 0.4 0.8 0.8 1.0
Chinese 0.3 0.4 0.4 0.3
Japanese 0.0 0.4 0.4
African 0.1 0.2 ....
Native Can .. .. .. 0.1
Othera 2.4 1.9 3.2 3.6
TOTAL 376,0 521, 631,207 667,457
09 893
a-Includes Portuguese, Greek, Indo-Pakistani, Balkan, Hispanic/Latino, Philippino, Baltic, central European, Japanese, Korean, Arab, Scandinavian, Maltese, Armenian, Russian, and Vietmanese. Source: Census of Canada, 1911-1941.

Table 2.6 Region of Origin for Immigrants to U.S. (%)
1861- N.W S.E
1900 68 22 1 2 1
1920 41 44 6 4 5


Table 2.7 Decennial Immicgration to the United States, 1880-1919
1880-1889 1890-1899 1900-1909 1910-1919
Total in millions 5.2m 3.7m 8.2m 6.3m

Percentage of total from:

Ireland 12.8 11.0 4.2 2.6
Germany 27.5 15.7 4.0 2.7
United Kingdom 15.0 8.9 5.7 5.8
Scandinavia 12.7 10.5 5.9 3.8
Canada 9.4 0.1 1.5 11.2
Russia 3.5 12.2 18.3 17.4
Austria-Hungary 6.0 14.5 24.4 18.2
Italy 5.1 16.3 23.5 19.4
Source: N. Carpenter. 1927. "Immigrants and Their Children" U.S. Bureau of the Census
Monograph, no. 7. Washington D.C.:Government Printing Office. pp. 324-5.

Table 2.8 Euro-American Population of Chicago, 1870-1940 in 000s TOTAL OVERALL WHITE WHITE
Native Stock I Foreign Stock2
1870 298 150 (50) 144(48.3)
1880 503 291 (57.8) 204 (40.5)
1890 1,099 230 (20.9) 855 (77.7)
1900 1,698 353 (20.7) 1,315 (77.4)
1910 2,185 447 (20.4) 1,693 (77.5)
1920 2,701 645 (23.9) 1,946 (72.0)
1930 3,376 968 (28.6) 2,174 (64.4)
1940 3,394 1,036 (30.5) 2,082 (61.3)
Note: I -Native-born of native-born parents.
2-Foreign-borm and native-born of foreign-born parents.
Source: Paul Kleppner. 1985. Chicago Divided: The Making of a Black Mayor. DeKalb, IIl: Northern
Illinois University p. 17

Table 2.9 ,
Descent of Euro-American Population of Chicago-Foreign & Native-Born (%) German and British Norway and South/East
Irish Sweden Europe
1890 45.6 9.9 8.6 9.7
1900 38.5 9.5 8.6 15.1
1910 32.3 7.1 7.5 22.6
1920 23.0 5.3 6.1 28.0
1930 16.9 5.3 5.7 22.2
Source: Paul Kleppner. 1985. Chicago Divided: The Making of a Black Mayor. Dekalb, IIl: Northern
Illinois University Pres
Table 2.10 Religious Affliation-Toronto, 1911-1941 (%)
Affiliation 1911 1921 1931 1941
Protestant 78.8 79.7 74.8 66.4
Cath ic 12.3 12.4 14.3 14.6
Jewish 4.8 6.6 7.2 7.3
Othr 4.1 1.3 3.7 11.7
Source: Census of Canada, 1911-1941.


Table 2.11 U.S. Urban Black Population and Percentage Growth, 1910-1930 City 1910 1920 1930 Percent Percent Of
Increase Total Population
1910-1930 1910 1930
New York 91,709 152,467 327,706 257.3 1.9 4.7
Chicago 44,103 109,458 233,903 429.3 2.0 6.9
Philadelphia 84,459 134,229 219,599 160.0 5.5 11.3
St. Louis 43,960 69,854 93,580 112.9 6.4 11.4
Cleveland 8,448 34,451 71,889 751.0 1.5 8.0
Source: Dennis R. Judd and Todd Swanstrom. City Politics: Private Power and Public Policy. New York: Addison Wesley Longman. 1998

Table 2.12. Black Population in Chicago, 1870-1940.
Total Number % of Populabion
1870 3,000
1880 6,000
1890 14,000 1.2
1900 30,000 1.7
1910 44,000 2.0
1920 109,000 4.0
1930 233,000 6.9
1940 282.000* 8.3*
*estimated non-white population Sources: Paul Kleppner. 1985. Chicago Divided: The Making of a Black Myor. Dekalb, Ill: Northern Illinois University Press. p. 17 Chicago Urban League. 1957. "Population In The City Of Chicago By Color". Urban Renewal and the Negro in Chicao. August.

Table 2.13 Black Isolation Indices in Wards, Chicago, 1890-1930
1890 1900 1910 1920 1930
8.1 10.4 15.1 38.1 70.4
Source: Stanley Lieberson. 1980. A Piece of the Pie: Blacks and White Immigants since 1880. Berkeley: University of California Press. pp. 266, 288.


As the United States and Canada emerged from the Great Depression, both countries embarked on various programs to build and administer lowincome housing with federal and state/provincial funds. Both countries were experiencing a significant shift from overwhelmingly rural nation-states at the beginning of the Century to two heavily urbanized nations as shown in Table 3.1. Each country saw their urban populations continue to increase dramatically and officials recognized the need for new housing construction for the exploding population. Toronto and Chicago were among the largest receivers of public housing funds following WWII. The racial milieu in each city was quite distinct and public institutions and leaders acted according to the boundaries set by this racial and ethnic status. In order to fully understand the distinct paths that public housing strategies would take in Toronto and Chicago, it is important to look not only at racial factors but the legal underpinnings of each country as well.

Lecial Factors

In addition to r-acial demographics, another factor that influenced housing policy in Toronto was the constitutional structure covering land and property rights established by the British North America (BNA) Act of 1867. The BNA Act,



together with Canadian common law, have given Canadian provinces broad powers over municipalities within their borders. Consequently, Canadian provinces have historically been able to initiate and suspend municipal level policies falling under provincial jurisdiction, including the use of land for public housing (Trevilhick 1976).

Under the BNA Act, the provinces were conferred exclusive powers over the use of land. Under section 92, the provincial legislature was granted jurisdiction over:

The Management and Sale of the Public Lands belonging to the
ProvinceMunicipal Institutions in the Province, and
Property and Civil Kights in the Province
(Jackson and Jackson 1990, 32).

Provincial authorities with the cooperation of the federal government have shown less reluctance compared to state authorities in the U.S. to use their constitutional discretion in dealing with issues pertaining to land use. Thus, the debate over strategies for low-income housing in Toronto following WWII took place within a constitutional structure that effectively privileged provincial authority and discretion over that of local authorities.

The formal legal standing of cities in the U.S. is similar that of Canadian cities. In neither country are cities accorded federal constitutional status. Canadian cities have had to follow the prerogatives of provincial governments, which are often supported by a federal government that while having preemptive power over some areas of provincial decision-making has chosen to approve


provincial actions. American cities operate under the general legal concept known as Dillon 7 Rule, which states that cities and municipalities are creatures of the state and as such are ""mere tenants at will of the [state] legislature" (Judd and Swanstrom, 45). While Judge Dillon's 1868 ruling has been questioned and become less influential in the late 20th Century, it provided a legal basis for important decisions by the courts that affected the autonomy of America's growing cities in the early 1900s (45-7).

While Dfflon ; Rule served to justify state legislative prerogatives over

urban areas, state and federal officials also recognized that local autonomy for cities in some decision-making areas was an increasingly popular and influential governing principle among municipalities. Local autonomy was closely tied to the American ideals of the free market and rugged individualism. A ivatfsm, according to historian Sam Bass Warner, stressed individual efforts and aspirations over collective or public purposes "'the local politics of American cities have depended for their actors, and for a good deal of their subject matter, on the changing focus of men's private economic activities" (Judd and Swanstrom, 1-3).

As a consequence, large cities like Chicago, New York, and Detroit, particularly as it affected post-WWII government housing policy, had more decision-making authority in choosing when and where to construct public and redeveloped housing. American cities, often with the approval of state and federal authorities, could control the application of funds for housing construction


by taking advantage of what could be termed the culture ofplivalism that was wedded to the nation's ideological commitment to private enterprise.

In the postwar era, Canadian authorities were also committed to the general ideal of the private marketplace. The relevant distinction between American and Canadian ideals then is one of degree not one of kind. A mistrust of overarching government power was one of the long-term impacts of the American Revolution. The Canadian nation-state was created not through violent revolution but through a relatively peaceful series of decisions that began in 1867 and ended with the country's complete political independence from Great Britain through the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms of 1982. The lack of revolution in Canada and, consequentJy, a lack of strong and consistent ideological distrust of government intervention, worked against the creation of a culture of privatism.

While cultural factors may offer a partial explanation of the distinct paths taken by Canadian and American authorities over housing, it is important to note that, ""although-a cultural artifact, national values about property are actually defined by the institutional structures that translate them into practice" (Garber and Imbroscio 1995, 601). Institutional structures such as constitutional borders, as outlined previously, as well as demographic factors including the timing of urban migration and racial demographics all had a significant impact on public housing policy in both countries.


Government Rationales for 20t 'Centu[y Housing Provision in Canada

Although a culture of privatism is most popularly associated with American policy strategies, Canadian officials, contrary to popular perception, were as ideologically wedded to using the marketplace when it came to providing lowincome housing as their American counterparts. Canada was one of the last Western nations to embark on a national program of low-income housing construction. Canada had no bureaucracy similar to the Roosevelt administration's Home Owners Loan CoMration, which was created to help American homeowners keep pace with mortgage payments and slow the pace of mortgage defaults brought on by the Depression economy (Harris 2000, 460). And while the United States and Western Europe already had a core of federally funded housing projects by the end of WWII, Canada's first project began as late as 1949 with the rate of project construction peaking in the 1960s (469).

The ideological reluctance of government officials to build and administer low-income housing was apparent in federal, provincial, and municipal bureaucracies. In a 1949 memor-andum, the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Administration (CMHC), the federal agency charged with funding and administering public and private housing policy following WWII stated that:

Direct participation in housing development by the Federal Government is
limited by our constitutional authority ... Both constitutionally and
practically, low rental housing policy must be initiated either by the provinces or by municipalities empowered to do so by the provinces
(Dennis and Fish 1972, 132).


Provinces and municipalities were often reluctant to accept the

administrative and financial responsibilities of building public housing by themselves. As a result, the administration of public housing programs throughout the 20th Century has shifted back and forth among all three levels of government and a variety of agencies have at various points assumed primary responsibility for these programs. As seen in Table 3.2, Toronto's relatively large stock of government housing was built and controlled by several bureaucracies dating back to homes constructed by the Toronto Housing Company in 1913. Table 3.2
Public Agencies Resonsible for Building/Administering Housing Projects-Toronto
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation 1946-1970s Federal Agency City of Toronto-early 1940's Municipal
Dept. of Veterans Affairs-1940"s Federal
Metro Housing Company-1950's Munidpal
Metropolitan Toronto Housing Authonity-1970s Munidpal Ontario Housing Corporat'on-1960s Provincial
Toronto Housing Company-1913-1977 Municipal
Wartime Housing Corporation-WWII Federal

Public agencies such as the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and the Wartime Housing Corporation initiated federal efforts in building and funding public housing prior to the 1950s. The WHC undertook direct construction of housing in 1941 when it provided temporary shelter for war workers and for returning veterans. Approximately 19,000 modest WHC units were built between 1941 and 1945 with another 27,000 homes constructed for veterans from 1945 to 1949 (Dennis and Fish 1972, 127-9). Federal funding of public housing took place primarily through a series of housing acts that sought


to provide private builders with funding to construct low-income housing. The ostensible goal of these acts, however, was not to build a significant stock of low-income shelters, but to stimulate the construction industry and private housing markets that were impacted by the Great Depression. Each of the National Housing acts from 1935 to 1945 saw the stimulation of the general housing industry as the most important objective (MacFariane 1969).

Federal government housing provision was also difficult to achieve in Canada throughout the 1940's because of the reluctance of private housing providers to construct or invest in low-income housing (Sayegh 1987). Banking institutions were reluctant as well to fund construction due to lack of confidence in the depression era economy. Legislatures in several provinces, including Ontario, failed to enact enabling legislation for the federal National Housing of 1938 due to the lack of private sector interest and federal oversight, provincial bureaucratic conflict, and the outbreak of World War II (MacFariane 1969; Krissdottir and Simon 1977, 130).

The secondary importance of publicly funded low-income housing construction is made evident in Table 3.3. From the end of WWII to the beginning of the 1960's, Canada's public housing stock accounted for less than 1% of the nation's total housing supply. In stark contrast, federal housing efforts financed at least one-third to one-half of all private homes built or purchased nationwide from 1946 to 1961.


The federal government's first large-scale attempt to provide housing for Canadians was embodied in the Dominion Housinci of 1935. Modeled along the same lines as theNational Housing in the United States, the DHA was intended to stimulate housing construction and reduce depression-era unemployment (MacFarlane 1969). Loans were made available to banking institutions by the federal government for the express purpose of attracting homebuilders who would invest the funds in new projects. The great majority of homes built under the 1935 Act, however, were geared towards middle and upper income homebuyers rather than prospective low-income tenants (Dennis and Fish 1972, 127).

In 1938, the federal Parliament in Ottawa gave ascent to passage of the National Housing The 1938 Act built on its predecessor of 1935 by calling for the creation and/or maintenance of local housing authorities which would then be provided low-interest loans by the Ministry of Finance for construction of low income housing. However, lack of interest and initiative by provincial governments and private industry resulted in few low-income projects being built. These factors, along with wartime responsibilities, forced the federal government to embark on housing construction directly through the recently created Wartime Housing Corporation (Dennis and Fish, 127). Ideological reluctance on the part of government leaders to supplying low-income housing gave way to the practical realities of the war effort and the growing need for shelter on the part of war workers and military personnel.


As Canada emerged from WWII, federal authorities increased their

participation in housing provision when through the Department of Munitions and Supplies temporary homes were constructed across the country for returning veterans (Dennis and Fish, 127). These units were intended as temporary shelters while the nation waited for the construction industry to embark on a postwar building campaign. As the 1940's came to an end, various federal officials voiced concern for the level of government involvement in what to them should ideally be a market driven industry (129).

Federal concerns over the perceived lack of provincial and municipal

involvement in public housing policy led to the creation of the Canadian Housing and Mortgage Company (CMHC) in 1946 and passage of several amendments in 1949 to previous Housing Acts. Together, these policies represented attempts by the federal government to scale back its direct involvement in constructing and maintaining existing and future stocks of publicly funded housing (MacFarlane 1969). Federal authorities intended to make it clear to provincial governments and municipal officials that more participation would be expected from them in every way with respect to low income housing policy.

The CMHC was to act as an independent public agency representing the federal government and charged with discussing and negotiating with local and provincial housing officials how and where housing projects were to be sited, constructed, and maintained. In 1949, the board members of the CMHC made


evident their views and concerns regarding public housing policy over the previous several years:

The Provinces have escaped very lightly over the last 3 or 4 years, and
[the CMHC is] afraid the very activities of the Dominion for veterans has
created the belief in the public mind that the Dominion is indeed the only
authority who can provide public housing (Dennis and Fish, 132).

The CMHC was to operate under three clear principles:

(a) The role of the federal government would be primarily financial and
(b) There would be no direct federal construction or operation; and
(c) Subsidized housing would now be a joint federal-provincial
undertaking with the provinces holding determinative power regarding site selection, construction and operational decisions (Dennis and Fish,

The short and long-term impact of these decisions and amendments was to increase the legal and political influence that provincial governments had over subsidized housing vis-a'-vis the federal and municipal governments. Prior to the 1949 amendments, municipal authorities had more influence over the policymaking process because subsidized housing policy was, in effect, a federalmunicipal undertaking. Most provincial governments were not yet challenged by federal authorities to assume more responsibility nor did they seek out such responsibility.

Provincial Involvement in Subsidized Housing: Ontari

Following the creation of the CMHC and amendments to the housing

statutes, several provinces were resistant to assuming primary responsibility for subsidized housing policy. Ontario was the exception to this general trend. Following WWII, the province housed the largest stock of subsidized units in


Canada and was relatively aggressive in seeking funds for adding to its public housing portfolio. These efforts, as seen in Table 3.4, made Ontario, by far, the largest current holder of public housing in Canada with 55% of all units nationwide. The second largest holder was Quebec province, which at 20% of all units was home to less than one-half of the units found in Ontario. None of the other seven provinces accounted for more than 2% of all units in Canada.

Despite creation of the CMHC and passage of the 1949 NHA amendments, the overall reticence of provincial government resulted in only 3,000 units being built in Canada under the new federal-provincial partnership by 1955 (Dennis and Fish, 134). While Ontario held a plurality of these units, the provincial government did not begin to aggressively assert the legal and political prerogatives granted it by the British North America Act and federal authorities until the late 1950s and 1960s. As seen in Table 3.5, only 5% of public housing units in Ontario date back prior to 1963. Construction increased significantly in the 1960's with 45% of all units being built between 1964 and 1971.

Similar to subsidized housing policy in the U.S. during the 1960s, all three levels of Canadian government emphasized constructing subsidized housing geared towards low-income populations. While the majority of units in Ontario built after 1969 (57%) were intended for senior citizens, three-quarters of units constructed prior to 1970 were geared towards married and single-parent families (Smith, 907).


Entering the 1960s, Ontario once again led the nation in taking

advantage of federal prerogatives in funding subsidized housing. Under the guidelines of the 1964 National Housing Act Ontario, in conjunction with its municipal governments was responsible for 73.5% of all units authorized in the mid to late 1960's, as seen in Table 3.6.

While federal cabinet-level ministries no longer directly constructed or

funded low-income housing, the joint relationship between federal and provincial authorities created in the 1949 NHA continued to be utilized and built upon. Governments in Canada and the U.S. began to experiment with ways to maintain and improve the economic and housing quality of major urban areas through redevelopment and renewal strategies. In Canada, the term urban redevelopment was first mentioned in Section 3 of the National Housing Act of 1954; urban renewal was introduced in the 1964 amendments to the 1954 Act.

The 1954 NHA passed by the federal Parliament and utilized by Ontario's provincial and local governments significantly expanded the role of the CMHC. Categorical grants were made available to provinces and cities for acquiring and clearing blighted areas for low to moderate housing construction (Sayegh 1987, 123-131). Under the 1964 amendments, urban redevelopment was now termed urban renewal, which essentially continued slum clearance policies and allowed sub-federal authorities to expand clearance efforts throughout metropolitan areas (Rose 1980).


In response to federal policy developments, Ontario created the first

provincial housing corporation, the Ontario Housing CoWration in 1964. This signaled the end of direct federal-municipal cooperation in housing policy in Ontario and the beginning of a period that saw Ontario become the most assertive and involved provincial government with respect to providing and administering public housing. The OHC was charged with organizing and administering Ontario's relatively large and disparate stock of subsidized housing units as well as overseeing plans for urban renewal, housing rehabilitation and loan acquisition (Smith, 908).

Under OHC administration, municipalities within Ontario, including

Toronto, were no longer in direct cooperation with federal funding authorities. They were now placed in the position of, in effect, reacting to directives agreed upon by federal and provincial agencies. The OHC, with the approval of the federal CMHC, made it clear to Ontario cities that decisions ranging from slum clearance to subsidized housing site selection were considered the proper domains of federal and provincial authorities. In the period leading up to the founding of the OHC, the Minister responsible for provincial housing echoed these sentiments.

The Government of Ontario [does] not wish to see an ad hoc situation
develop with some municipalities constructing their own rental housing on
a direct feder-al-municipal basis and others requiring provincial
participation ... If advantage [is] to be taken of the new provisions of the
National Housing Act, this [will] likely be on a direct federal-provincial
basis. (Ontario Legislative Assembly 1962, 579)


While the OHC was a provincial level agency, as seen in Figure 3.1, the Corporation interacted closely with the federal Canadian Home Mortgage Corporation during implementation of postwar urban redevelopment policy. The CMHC, along with officials from the Ontario Ministry of Housing, were responsible for the creation of the OHC. Each agency expected the OHC to inform and report regularly to them in fulfilling its stated mandate. Immediately below the OHC in the public housing hierarchy were a variety of local housing authorities that directly managed public housing units throughout the province. The LHA's acted as agents of the OHC and were bound by policies passed by the Corporation's board of directors.

The OHC came to see its primary goal as the establishment of as many low-income housing units as feasibly possible (Smith, 907-8). This aggressive approach to building subsidized housing made the Corporation stand out from virtually all other provincial agent ies in Canada during the 1960s. It also 'created tension between the OHC and officials within the CMHC and provincial agencies who were concerned that the Corporation was sacrificing procedural convention in order to achieve its organizational mandate (Dennis and Fish, 148). Despite these tensions, however, the OHC was largely successful in placing many units on the ground throughout Ontario due largely to the influence that flowed from overseeing Canada's largest stock of subsidized housing.

The OHC represented the successful implementation of one of the key goals federal authorities had sought since the end of WWII; a goal that it


institutionalized in the 1949 National Housing Act, namely, substantive and continuous provincial participation and oversight of public housing programs and projects. An involved and aggressive OHC, in effect, meant that federal authorities could continue to act solely as a financial partner in public housing and urban redevelopment and divest itself of any direct participation of construction and site selection.

Federal Level
FC.M.H. C.



O.H. 4= 4

Figure 3.1 Formal Organizational Hierarchy of Ontario's Public Housing Infrastructure

The Role of Cities in Subsidized Housing: Toronto

Urban governments in Canada had a role in implementing housing and urban redevelopment policy in the post-WWII era, but it was a secondary one. While provincial agencies like the Ontario Housing Corporation formally initiated project planning only following a request from a municipality, it was provincial


housing agencies, often acting independently from city governments, that were the prime movers behind site location and construction. The experience of the Toronto metropolitan area with postwar subsidized housing is both typical and unique in comparison to other Canadian and American urban conglomerates.

Metropolitan Toronto's experience was typical in that the provincial agency it formally dealt with-the OHC-was, by far, the largest and most influential housing agency in Canada. This effectively guaranteed that power and influence in the public housing decision-making stood decidedly with the provincial agency with Toronto's metropolitan government placed in a reactive and secondary role. Following introduction of amendments to the most recent Federal Hgg9ngAM which expanded urban slum clearance programs, the OHC added more units to already existing projects and cleared land for new projects.

Even prior to the 1964 legislation, the OHC moved to acquire and clear land within Toronto's boundaries, sometimes despite local objections. In 1957, the Corporation allowed and funded construction of Lawrence Heig a lowincome project that was to be located in a low-density area of Toronto's northern suburbs over protests from local group interests (Lemon 1996, 272). One of the more ambitious projects on the part of the OHC was the acquisition and clearance of over 4000 acres of farmland in suburban North York for subsidized and low-income public housing (265).

Toronto's experience with public housing and urban renewal was unique in two respects. First, to the extent that federal and provincial agencies engaged


with the city of Toronto, participation was typically limited to the metropolitan city government after 1953. In 1953 the provincial legislature, exercising its constitutionally granted license to initiate and control urban planning within its territory, created a metropolitan system of government for Toronto-the first in North America. The municipality of Metropolitan Toronto, as it was formally known, would essentially remain unchanged until the mid 1990s'when, again, at the behest of the Ontario government metropolitan and municipal government responsibilities were amalgamated to form the new City of Toronto.

The 1953 provincial act formally united thirteen former municipalities that surrounded the old city of Toronto, which now formed the central business district of the new conglomerate. Spatially, eight inner suburbs immediately surrounded downtown Toronto with three larger areas comprising the outer rings of the new metropolis. Ontario's decision to form a metropolitan government was largely a response to local officials who voiced concerns about financial difficulties in providing essential educational, transportation, and sewer services (Nader 1976). Metropolitan governance, consequently, meant that discussions between the province and Toronto on a host of services and progr-ams, including public housing and urban renewal, took place with metropolitan level bureaucrats and agencies. It was simply more convenient for agencies such as the OHC and CMHC to deal with one governing body-metropolitan Toronto-than to deal with several distinct suburban entities. Municipal governments could still formally initiate requests for slum clearance and housing projects to higher level