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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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African Americans ( jstor )
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City councils ( jstor )
City politics ( jstor )
Housing ( jstor )
Immigration ( jstor )
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Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 2002.
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Includes bibliographical references (leaves 221-234).
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Printout.
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Vita.
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by Audley George Reid, Jr.

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DISTINCT PATHS: RACE AND PUBLIC HOUSING IN POSTWAR TORONTO AND CHICAGO















By

AUDLEY GEORGE REID JR





A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE
UNIVERISITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS
FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2002













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













ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS


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














TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page

DEDICATION

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

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

CHAPTER

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

2 IMMIGRANTS AND URBAN DEMOGRAPHICS: INTERNAL AND
EXTERNAL MIGRANT IN CHICAGO AND TORONTO .............. 44

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

3 A DECENT HOME FOR EVERYONE: 20THCENTURY GOVERNMENT
INVOLVEMENT IN HOUSING PROVISION ............................ 76

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



iv








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

4 LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION: RACIAL POLITICS AND
PUBLIC HOUSING IN CHICAGO AND TORONTO ................. 114

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


5 CONTRASTS AND IRONIES: SEGREGATION AND THE
POLITICAL STANDING OF PEOPLE OF COLOR ..................... 157

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

6 STEMMING THE TIDE: POLICY STRATEGIES AGAINST
RESIDENTIAL SEGREGATION .................................................... 211

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

APPENDIX








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

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

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











































vi













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

DISTINCT PATHS:
RACE AND PUBLIC HOUSING IN POSTWAR TORONTO AND CHICAGO By

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



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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.

















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CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION


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





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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,





3

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





4

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





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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





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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





7

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





8

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





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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





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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





I I

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





12

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





13

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





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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





15


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.





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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





17


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





18

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





19

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





20

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





21


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).





22

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





23

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





24

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





25

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





26


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





27


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





28

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





29

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





30


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





31

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.





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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





33

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





34

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





35


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





36

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





37

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





38

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





39

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





40


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





41

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





42


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





43

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.

Notes

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.













CHAPTER 2
IMMIGRATION AND URBAN DEMOGRAPHICS: INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL MIGRANTS IN CHICAGO AND TORONTO


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



44





45

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





46

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).





47


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





48

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).





49

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).






50

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





51


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





52

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,





53

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





54

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





55


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





56

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





57

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,





58


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





59

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





60


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





61

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.





62

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





63

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).





64

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





65

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





66

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





67

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





68

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





69

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





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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





71

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.






72


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
1931.
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.






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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. (%)
YEAR NORTH
EUROPE A.M. ASIA OTHER
1861- N.W S.E
1900 68 22 1 2 1
1901
1920 41 44 6 4 5






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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
POPULATION
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.






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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.













CHAPTER 3
A DECENT HOME FOR EVERYONE:
20TH CENTURY GOVERNMENT INVOLVEMENT IN HOUSING PROVISION

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,


76





77

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





78

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





79

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.





80

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).





81

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





82

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.





83


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.





84

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





85


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
technical;
(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,
132).

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





86

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).





87

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).





88

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)





89

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





90


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.

ONTARio PROVINCIAL GOVT.

4
PROVINCIAL HOUSING MINISTRY -41

4
O.H. 4= 4
I
LOCAL HOUSING AUTHORITIES




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





91


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





92


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




Full Text
147
MAP 1
r~ryword 7600
3*r on 04CO
J
- l
^ 5ryn Mor iiOO
NEGRO POPULATION BY
4 La^ence 1-4600 WARDS
1900
rimq Park (4000
r.~ z;u
iJetmo"' i3?CC
1 PARKS AND CEMETERIES
. ruilerton 24Q0
V-* \
s s
Under .5*0 Negro
.5 1% Negro
1 2% Negro

2 3% Negro
m
3 10% Negro

Over 10% Negro
Figure 4.1 Chicago Black Population by Ward Percentages. 1900
Source: Allan H. Spear. Black Chicago: The Making of a Negro Ghetto 1890-1920.
Chicago: University of Chicago.


65
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 early 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 Euro-
American 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


206
Figure 5.7
Single Parent Families in Public Housing Areas-
Toronto
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
Housing Areas
Toronto-Bar 1
17.5%
Public Housing
Area Average
29.1%
Source: Statistics Canada. 1996. Profile of Census Tracts in Toronto. Ottawa: Census Operations
Divisions.
Looking at labor force information for public housing areas from Figures
5.8, 5.9, and 5.10, residents from these neighborhoods are less likely to be
employed in the formal economy or actively looking for work. Male and female
labor force participation rates in Toronto averaged 73.6% and 61%, respectively,
while the rates for public housing areas averaged only 66.7% and 49.7% for the
same measures. Finally, male unemployment averaged 15.9% in these
neighborhoods and only 8.5% for the city as a whole.
What is evident from these within-city comparisons is that neighborhoods
with public housing projects that are mostly or largely minority in population are
experiencing similar forms of social isolation. Thus, the contemporary socio
economic distinctions that may be drawn between Toronto and Chicago on the


82
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 (MacFarlane 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 Act
of 1938 due to the lack of private sector interest and federal oversight, provincial
bureaucratic conflict, and the outbreak of World War II (MacFarlane 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.


47
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


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
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


194
say that no you are wrong or yes you are right and here is what we are
going to do about it. I want [to collect racial statistics also for hiring.
We've had some problems with some of our politicians who don't want us
to be doing that.
(Interview, March 15 2000).
The lack of success that Afro-Canadian policy and community elites have
experienced in convincing Euro-Canadian elites to collect racial statistics and to
implement programs that hire and promote people of color reflects the low level
of political incorporation of Toronto's black community. Some Afro-Canadians
express admiration for the relatively high level of political influence shown by
Afro-Americans. An official for the Jamaican-Canadian Association feels that
Afro-American political success stems from "a consciousness" that Afro-
Canadians do not yet have. "My feeling is that they are more conscious as to
who they are, what they want, and how they are going to go about if'
(Interview, 17 March 2000).
Based on the comments of black political and community elites in Chicago
and Toronto it is apparent that a strong sense of frustration exists where elites in
both cities do not feel that political incorporation truly exists. In Toronto, elite
views and conventional measures of political incorporation are in agreement. In
a majority non-white city, visible minorities account for less than 10% of city
council members. There is only 1 black representative serving on the council
although blacks, by some accounts, approach 10% of the city's population.
Furthermore, visible minorities remain underrepresented in the Toronto police


148
MAP 2
ANNEXED
NOV. 3. 1910
aJl
1
r
=
\
¡
L

\
I
\ -*
1 2S. -
\
S-
I i
i
-
\
l
\ 1
Devon <64001
NEGRO POPULATION BY
'44901 WARDS
1910
Irving Port (4000)
a* I moot 13200' o PARKS AND CEMETfWK
FvUerroo (2400)
\
77! North (1600'
hi
j* \CHicogo (800
r
1
-1
|i 1
1
*|
- r a
1
V
mJ L
n(0)
7 8 ;i200i
Under .3% Negre
.5 1 % Negro
1 2% Negro

i-3* Ngro

3 10% Negro
Over 10% Negro
LAKE MICHIGAN
Jl
ANNEXED
APRIL 4. T9H
¡Raza
i-1
1

r
i
yS
1
L
i
'd
: i4-
rV
/, V
y
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I 1
Figure 4.2 Chicago Black Population by Ward Percentages, 1910.
Source: Allan H. Spear. Black Chicago: The Making of a Negro Ghetto, 1890-
1920.Chicago: University of Chicago Press.


128
Planning Officials, in discussing the impact of redevelopment on affected
communities, noted that it has "not been clearthat the Chicago City
government has either the desire for or faith in planning that the Chicago citizens
have. There is no stated plan by the city government looking towards a
greater Chicago" (Chicago Urban League 1958).
Afro-American Elites and the Politics of Public Housing
I have tried to fight for civil rights where it is most effective, within the caucuses
of my own party.
Alderman William Dawson in Arnold R. Hirsch, Making The Second Ghetto, p.130.
What it comes down to is this: It [racial integration] won't happen in my lifetime.
This condition will be with us for a very long time, no matter what I doNegroes
won't be living just anywhere, and whites are going to move in here. You
couldn't pay a white family enough to move into this ward. I know.
Afro-American Alderman circa 1950's in James Q. Wilson, Negro Politics, p. 206
The black community in Chicago was, with a few exceptions, left in the
role of bystander in the ongoing controversies over public housing. Black
political elites and residents understood that the interests responsible for public
housing site selection and the segregated personality of the private housing
market were powerful and historically entrenched. Furthermore, even with the
problems associated with segregated public housing projects, they offered the
only low-income shelter available to blacks. Thus, while low-income Afro-
Americans took advantage of Chicago's large stock of public housing, many
resented the informal quotas that prevented them from moving into available
projects. And they resented Chicago's segregated housing market that limited
their migration out of crowded slums into predominantly working and middle-
class wards (Judd and Swanstrom, 142-3).


126
steered families into separate projects (Chicago Daily News, 1966). Prior to
1954, she continued, housing officials were under instructions that no black
families were to be placed in Trumbull Park, Lathrop, Lawndale, or Bridgeport
projects, notwithstanding the CHA's official policy of non-discrimination and
regardless of the black proportion of a particular ward. Despite disagreements
regarding these policies within the CHA, it was clear, based on statements by
Webb and other former employees, that progressive forces within the agency
fought a losing battle against a hostile city council and community opposition
(Moore 1964).
By the late 1960's, Chicago's segregated public housing infrastructure
mirrored that of the private housing market. The spatial dissimilarity between
blacks and whites residents in Chicago exceeded 90, meaning over 90% of black
residents would have to move to another neighborhood in order to achieve
integrated living patterns throughout Chicago (Massey and Denton 1993, 63-5).
The majority of private dwelling construction took place in white residential
areas, particularly in the northwest and southwest portions of the city, as seen in
Figure 4.5. Non-white neighborhoods, represented by the shaded areas, were in
greatest need of new housing due to significant increases in population fuelled
primarily by migration. In 1956, these areas absorbed 30,000 new residents, yet
only 794 non-government homes were constructed. In sharp contrast, 10,255
new housing units were built in majority white areas although the residential
population continued to steadily decrease due to out-migration (Chicago Urban


227
Hill, Daniel G. 1981. The Freedom Seekers: Blacks In Early Canada. Agincourt:
Book Society of Canada.
Hirsch, Arnold R. 1998. Making The Second Ghetto: Race & Housing in Chicago
1940-1960. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Hou, Feng and T.R. Balakrishnan. 1996. "The Integration of Visible Minorities in
Contemporary Canadian Society." Canadian Journal of Sociology. 21(3): 307-326.
Housing Act of 1949. 1949. Public Law 81-171. 81st Congress.
Hulchanski, J.D. 1995. Housing Issues Facing Immigrants and Refugees in
Greater Toronto: Initial Findings. Toronto: Centre for Urban and Community
Studies, University of Toronto.
Iacovetta, Franca, Paula Draper, and Robert Ventresca. 1998. A Nation of
Immigrants: Women. Workers, and Communities in Canadian History: 1840s-
1960s. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Jackson, Robert J. and Doreen Jackson. 1990. Politics In Canada: Culture.
Institutions. Behavior and Public Policy. Scarborough, On: Prentice-Hall Canada.
James, Carl. 1995. Seeing Ourselves: Exploring Race. Ethnicity, and Culture.
Toronto: Thompson Educational Publishing Inc.
Jhappan, Radha. 1989. "The Charter and the Courts." In Canadian Politics in the
1990s. eds. Michael S. Whittington and Glen Williams. Toronto: Nelson Canada.
Johns, Mary C. 2000. "Transforming CHA." Residents' Journal. Chicago: Chicago
Housing Authority-Resident Publications Department. June 4(5).
Judd, Dennis R. 1979. The Politics of American Cities: Private Power and Public
Policy. Boston: Little, Brown, and Company
Judd, Dennis R. and Todd Swanstrom. 1998. City Politics: Private Powser and
Public Policy. New York: Addison-Wesley Educational Publishers Inc.
Kandlik, Ed. 1969. "CHA Guilty of Pushing Segregation." The Chicago Daily News.
February 10. 17.
Karim, H. Karim. 1993. "Competing Discourses on Ethnocultural Terminology."
Canadian Journal of Communication. 18: 199-217.


17
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


I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to
acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope
and quality, as a thesis for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
arns W. Button, Chairman
Professor of Political Science
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to
acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope
and quality, as a thesis for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
( (L -
Renee J.johnson
Assistant Professor of Political Science
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to
acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope
and quality, as a thesis for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Michael D. Martinez \
Associate Professor of Political Science
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to
acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope
and quality, as a thesis for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
/ y -*LX
Bert E. Swanson
Professor of Political Science
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to
acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope
and quality, as a thesis for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Anthony J. La^feca
Professor of Sociology


CHAPTER 5
CONTRASTS AND IRONIES:
SEGREGATION AND THE MODERN-DAY STANDING OF PEOPLE OF COLOR
It is as segregated as it was 30 years ago. I used to think that there was a time that
maybe not in my lifetime but in my daughter's lifetime I would see the possibility of this
problem being solvedand now I know that that's not going to happen.
Senior official-Chicago Leadership Council for Metropolitan Open Communities. Interview
September 2000.
There is no 'typical client'. Race is not a major factor in the issue of housing. There are
no large concentrations of one ethnic group in a project solely because of racial
discrimination
Senior officiallarge non-profit housing organization. Interview March 3 2000.
The analysis of the relationship between public housing policy and
residential segregation is less one of cause and effect where the former causes
the latter. The relationship is better described as a complex interaction between
public policy and pre-existing popular stereotypes and prejudices, and how they
have interacted to affect the lives not only of minority public housing residents
but all racial minorities, whether in the public or private residential market. Over
90% of black residents in Toronto and Chicago live in private residential homes,
apartments, and condominiums, like most other urban ethnic groups. Subsidized
housing policy by itself was not the sole cause nor was it the main cause of
residential segregation between black and white residents.
What makes public housing relevant to a discussion on urban residential
segregation is the role it plays in contributing to racial stereotypes and tensions,
which, in turn, encourages the maintenance of residential segregation in
157


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195
force with Euro-Canadians accounting for the great majority of uniformed
officers.
Black elites and activists within the black community were unsuccessful in
combating efforts by the incoming Harris government in 1995 to end
employment equity (affirmative action) programs. The cultural and geographic
diversity of the black community in Toronto has at times frustrated efforts to
form a united front against legislation deemed harmful to community interests
and to support policies that are deemed helpful.
In Toronto's ward-based, mayoral system of government, the relatively
small and dispersed black population has been unable to follow the same
strategy for descriptive representation followed by Afro-Americans in U.S. urban
areas. The relatively integrated living patterns of black residents from all socio
economic backgrounds limits efforts to create a coalition of votes along racial
lines needed to elect more blacks to political office. Along with institutional and
spatial roadblocks to descriptive representation, the relatively recent entrance of
most visible minorities into the city is another limitation. The level of racial
consciousness that struck the official from the JCA about Black Americans reflects
a racial identity that was formed largely by a long history of social, educational,
economic, and residential separation from the majority population. This identity
and history was and is often used by black political candidates in Chicago and
other racially segregated American cities to attract voter support and gain
entrance to elected and appointed municipal office. Strategic appeals to race


95
provincial government in dealing primarily with metropolitan level agencies in site
selection and construction of subsidized housing. He also worked with the
province to acquire rural suburban land for commercial and apartment
development, usually with overwhelming voting majorities from metropolitan
council members (Lemon, 267; Smallwood 1963, 13).
Gardiner's reluctance to follow the American urban renewal example of
building and rebuilding in only select districts stemmed in part from reform-
minded members on the city council as well as community organizations. The
displacement of entire families in the name of urban renewal in several large
American cities was becoming increasingly evident to Canadian officials as they
looked to the South. As a result, Gardiner and other council members did not
oppose provincial authorities when decisions to build low-income housing in
suburban areas were made. In addition, the negatives associated with American
renewal experiments weakened the provincial and city council's appetite for
large-scale commercial, residential, and roadway redevelopment and spurred
efforts to find alternatives to existing U.S. renewal strategies (272). This
concern was evident when Chairman Gardiner, in a 1956 address to Metro
council, stated "It is the experience of every large city in America that a
succession of new expressways is not the answer to efficient and economical
movement of traffic. Each successive one is filled the day it is
opened...Additional rapid [train and subway] transit is the only answer" (269).


5
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.
Whv 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 early 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


197
and segregated housing projects: prospective and established black candidates,
machine and non-machine, have used this population as a base for electoral
power and voter support for generations. Without this concentration of Afro-
Americans, which for generations was the largest socio-economic sector within
the black community, black political representation in racially segregated Chicago
would not be as high or as visible as it is today. The lack of the political-
structural and demographic factors necessary to achieve high minority
representation in political office is a key feature distinguishing Toronto from
Chicago.
Bevond Electoral Politics: Segregation and the Quality of Life of Black Residents
Beyond electoral fortunes, in what ways have the distinct levels of
residential segregation of black public housing residents in these two cities
affected their respective quality of life? Has political representation for black
Chicagoans been translated into substantive policy representation such that the
socio-economic quality of life of those living in public housing compares favorably
to the standing of residents living in Toronto, where political representation is
much lower?
There are several ways to measure the quality of life of urban residents.
The concept of social isolation, as used by sociologist William Julius Wilson
(1987), captures the disadvantaged circumstances that many low-income
residents live and provides a general guide to operationalizing their quality of life.
Social isolation refers to a situation where there is a "lack of contact or of


217
had a relatively large and growing black population due to the entrance of
southern black migrants beginning in the early 1900's. Blacks were seen as
threats to the residential, employment, political, and cultural life of white ethnics
and were treated as such. The high level of ethnic group consciousness that
existed prior to the Great Migration soon turned into racial group consciousness.
By contrast, pre-WWII Toronto's ethnic demography was overwhelmingly
British in origin and culture; the black population was miniscule and showed little
signs of increasing. Furthermore, large-scale black migration would not begin
until the late 1960's following changes in Canada's whites-only immigration laws.
Thus, the level of racial consciousness was relatively low in Toronto; British
residents had hegemonic status in the city and visible minorities were
numerically insignificant.
The racial demography of Chicago as well as the racial fears of Euro-
Americans was not lost on city officials. The political process in early postwar
Chicago often operated based on the fears and perceptions of white business
elites and residents. Public housing policy became part of a larger strategy by
political elites aimed at limiting the socio-economic and residential mobility of
blacks. This thicket of racial animosity and politics was largely absent from
housing policy decisions in Toronto because of its distinct racial demography.
Today, differing rates of segregation have effected the political and socio
economic standing of blacks in each city. The success that Afro-American
candidates have had in accessing electoral office and government institutions in


3
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.
Whv 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


169
of political representation. The index ranges from 0 to 99 with 0 representing a
minority group accounting for 99% of a city's population but with no
representation on the city council. A ratio exceeding 1 occurs when the
percentage of a group on the city council is greater than their percentage of the
population.
A reform index is used to measure the level of political reform based on
three general characteristics found in most urban reformed government systems:
At-large elections
Nonpartisan elections
City manager government
The index ranges from 0 to 3 with each indicator assigned a score of 1
(Mladenka, 170). A 0 score represents a city with a traditional unreformed
system of government, a score of 3 represents a strong reformed government.
A score exceeding 1.5 is interpreted as a reformed government, a score lower
than 1.5 stands for an unreformed government. The level of segregation is
based on the Index of Dissimilarity.
As seen in Table 5.2, there are significant distinctions between the two
cities that influence the political representation of blacks and provide support for
the three stated hypotheses. The black population in Chicago is significantly
larger than in Toronto. While official census data in Canada estimated Toronto's
black population to be approximately 6% in 1996, government figures on race
for over a generation have underestimated the visible minority population by a
substantial margin (Boxhill 1990; Henry, 27-30). As of 2000, Toronto's minority


53
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 Afro-
American A. Philip Randolph, who as founder and president of the Brotherhood


18
deference to the state, acceptance of social elitism and oligarchy, and an
emphasis on Peace, Order, and Good Government as the rallying cry for nation
building 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,
Lipset 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 Mvth 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


11
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, a Toronto 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 Per
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 non-
European 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


37
black middle and upper classes, overall it is clear from this work that Afro-
Americans 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 Black
Metropolis: A Study of Neoro Life in a Northern City (1945), provided what was
arguably the single most comprehensive work on the Afro-American experience
in Chicago since The Neoro in Chicago (1922) by Johnson and his associates.
Initially intended as a study of juvenile delinquency on the south side of Chicago,
Black Metropolis 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 Afro-
Americans 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


13
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


187
from Africa, the Caribbean, and Asia became more visible throughout the
Toronto area.
However, there were differences between certain groups in terms of their
choice of residence. Black West Indian immigrants, for example, were more
likely to reside in apartment complexes than in single-family homes compared to
some other non-European groups (Ray 1997). These differences persisted
throughout the succeeding decades resulting in a disproportionate number of
residents in some of Toronto's largest public complexes being of African descent.
Douglas Murdie of York University in Toronto estimated that in 1986,
approximately 27.4% of all tenants in the city's family housing portfolio were
black. While this percentage of black tenants is much lower than the 90%-plus
that make up subsidized family housing in Chicago, it was a significant
overrepresentation if one accepted official census figures which estimated the
black population of what was then metropolitan Toronto at less than 5% at the
time. In the 1990's, refugees from sub-Saharan Africa and low-income
immigrants from the West Indies make up a significant portion of residents in
some housing complexes within Toronto (Hulchanski 1995).
Some Afro-Canadian advocacy groups in Toronto have charged that
housing officials discriminate against black applicants by intentionally placing
them in certain complexes (Duffy 1991; Murdie, 435). These charges are
difficult to substantiate because municipal and provincial housing authorities do
not collect racial statistics on housing residents. Some officials deny that racial


57
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-called continuous journey 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 multicultural 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,


179
2001). The perceived lack of political incorporation of the black community is
reflected in comments by some black political and social elites.
Conversations regarding the Daley administration's plan to tear down high
rise public housing and replacing them with low-rise units and moving current
CHA residents into new units, stand as prime examples. A black alderwoman
representing a ward with a large number of public housing residents is critical of
the Daley machine's lack of substantive consultation with housing residents in its
efforts to remove and rebuild high rise housing units (Interview, 22 July 2000).
Similar concerns about the CHA plan were voiced by representatives of a Cabrini-
Green tenant's organization who strongly felt that relocation efforts would tear
down familial and community ties that had been created among CHA residents
(Interview, March 6 2001).
A scholar on fair housing at the University of Illinois-Chicago questioned
the level of commitment by the£HA towards the long-term social and economic
interests of residents who are relocated. "Our first analysis of residents who are
having to relocate is that they have a lot of things to deal with before they are
ready to relocate. You can't expect them to just go out and succeed in [the
upper income area of] Broadview. They don't have the support networks out
there-they don't have a car. [The CHA] is doing dispersal butnot doing
counseling at the beginning and the follow up after" (Interview, 13 March 2001).
On the specific issue.of residential segregation, some black political elites
question the utility and relevance of efforts to reduce segregation. A member of


184
population originates from four principal West Indian countries; Jamaica,
Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, and Barbados. Finally, there is a small but
increasing number of people of color from French-speaking Haiti and the
Hispanic Caribbean islands of the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Cuba
(Henry 1994; Hulchanski 1995).
This level of diversity, comments a high-level official from Jamaican-
Canadian Association, Toronto's largest Afro-Canadian community organization,
stunts the growth of an effective and unified political front that represents the
local black community. "[Because we are so diverse] what that does is that you
find we are fragmented. You take the Chinese as a contrast, it doesn't matter
where they are from. They tend to stick together, they say we are supporting
this candidate, [or] this time we are supporting this party. So, the powers that
be pay more attention to them, because they know their votes are more in-bloc.
Ours are all over the map" (Interview, 17 March 2000).
Intra-community tension between people of color has historically been a
contributing factor as well (Henry 1994, 179-80). Disagreements between
cultural groups were present during discussions with the former New Democratic
Party provincial government concerning construction of a black heritage
community centre. West Indian, native-born, and sub-Saharan African
representatives each sought to ensure that their particular group was
represented within the events to be offered in the cultural centre (Lewinburg
1998).


178
death of Harold Washington. Both groups, for example, lost key posts in local
government due to decisions by respective incoming administrations. However,
despite these similarities, the situation for blacks in each city was sharply
distinct. As the Daley regime reasserted control over city politics, blacks
remained a significant part of the city's municipal workforce and continued to
outpace the number of whites hired in highly visible areas such as the police
force. Blacks continued to be a force in Chicago politics by virtue of their large
numbers and generations of political participation in the local electoral arena.
Daley's appointment of Afro-Americans as police superintendent and Chicago
Housing Authority CEO, and his continued courting of black voters in local
elections, reflect the importance of black voters in the eyes of an administration
that received only a minority of votes case by black Chicagoans (Johns 2000, 4;
Main 2000, 10A; Pinderhughes 1997).
Elite Views on Minority Political Incorporation in Chicago
Despite the presence of blacks within key city agencies, on the city
council, and in the police department, the current Daly administration has had
only limited success in increasing its support among black voters. Only a
minority of black voters has supported Daley in his election and re-election
campaigns. This low level of support is fuelled by perceptions that the current
administration does not strongly support issues important to black social and
economic advancement, as noted by Pinderhughes (1997) and others (Bauder


163
Tabb, is insufficient to ensure that minorities are effective and influential in
forwarding an agenda beneficial to minority residents.
Figure 5.1 Causal Model of Urban Minority Political Incorporation
Preceding Variables: Outcome:
Institutional-
The distinction between minority representation and political incorporation
is illuminated through the terms "descriptive representation" and "substantive
representation", as used by Carol Swain (1996). The former refers to the
"correspondence of the demographic characteristics of representatives [in this
case- race] with those of their constituents". The latter refers to "the
correspondence between representatives' goals and those of their constituents"
(5). Minority representation on city councils and local school boards coincides
with descriptive representation as defined here. While the representative(s) and
black residents share a common phenotype, there is no necessary link between
being of the same race and agreeing on what is in the best interests of black


CHAPTER 2
IMMIGRATION AND URBAN DEMOGRAPHICS: INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL
MIGRANTS IN CHICAGO AND TORONTO
A Note on the Legacy of American Slavery
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 20th 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
44


43
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.
Notes
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 ('downtown') 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.


130
selection policies. The concentration of housing projects in predominantly black
areas, argued Mann, was accomplishing nothing except for "building bigger and
better slums" (Moore 1961). While conceding that public housing gave shelter to
many low-income residents, he argued that the CHA should not build projects in
such a way that increased the already segregated living conditions of low-income
residents. Fellow commissioners criticized Mann's comments, but Mann in
response, despite his earlier comments implying that projects should be built in
less dense predominantly white neighborhoods, stated that he was not in favor
of building projects where they were not wanted.
Chicago's most powerful black political official, Congressman William
Dawson, who at the height of his influence controlled the electoral map of 5 of
the city's 50 wards, was silent on the issue of racial segregation and public
housing. Dawson adhered to the rules of Chicago machine politics and avoided
, speaking out on controversial or inoral issues, and focused his attention on an
issue-free band of political debate in order to shore up the electoral success and
cohesion of the Democratic machine monopoly (Hirsch, 129-130). The influx of
residents into south side wards also worked to shore up Dawson's political
influence. More migrants led to a larger reservoir of possible vote support, thus
helping Dawson and the Democratic Party. Congressman Dawson's reluctance to
speak out forcefully against segregated public housing and segregation in
Chicago more generally, led to tension between Dawson and a former political
ally, Robert Taylor, the Chair of the CHA under Mayor Kelly. Taylor actively


170
population represents over 50% of all residents with the black population
estimated accounting for 10% of the total population*.
Table 5.2 Size and Political Representation Level of the Black Population in
Chicago and Toronto, 2001
Chicago
Toronto
Black Population -%
38.5
10*
Index of Dissimilarity
.778
.491
City Council Districts
50
44
Black Political
Representation-% (#)
40% (20)
2.2% (1)
Political Reform Index
0
1
Representation Index
1.03
0.22
Unofficial projected estimate based on Frances Henry. 1994. The Carribean Diaspora in Toronto: Learning
to Uve with Racism Toronto: University of Toronto Press, pgs 27-31.
Sources: U.S. Census Bureau.1994. Countv and City Data Book. Edward L. Glaeser and Jacob L. Vigdor.
2001. "Racial Segregabon in the 2000 Census: Promising News'. The Brookings Institutions-Survey Series.
April.
DeWayne Wickham. 2001. "Chicago's Council Tussle Shows Race Does Matter'. USA Todav.com. June 26.
Harold Bauder. 2001. "Visible Minorities and Urban Analysis". Canadian Journal of Urban Research. 10.
Even with non-governmental adjusted figures, the total number of blacks
in Toronto is significantly smaller than Chicago's Afro-American population, 10%
and 38%, respectively. As posited by the first hypothesis, Chicago's black
population has significantly more political representation. Afro-Americans held 20
out of 50 seats on the Chicago city council in 2001, representing 40% of the
total. By contrast, a person of African descent occupied only 1 out of 44 seats in
the City of Toronto city council.
The second hypothesis is also supported. As is evident by the
representation level and the representation index, Chicago's high level of black


202
Figure 5.1
Median Family Income in Public Housing Areas-
Chicago
City Median-Bar 1
$30,707
Public Housing
Area Average
$11,046
Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census. 1990. Census of Population and Housina-Chicaao Illinois.
Washington D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.
Other indicators of social isolation in neighborhoods with family public
housing units show much the same unequal relationship between these areas
and the city norm. Figures 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, and 5.5 illustrate these differences in
terms of the rate of single parentage, unemployment, overall labor force
participation, and female labor force participation.
High unemployment, 39.7%, and low labor force participation rates,
40.5% overall and 36.5% for women, make it clear that residents in these areas
have significantly fewer ties to the formal economy than most other residents of
Chicago. Also made evident is the strong link between economic
impoverishment and female-headed households, what some scholars have
termed the 'feminization of poverty' (Flanagan 1999, 283). Single-parent
households, the overwhelming majority of which are female-headed, increased
significantly in many large urban areas since the 1960's, including Chicago


129
Within the black community, there was some evidence that the level of
support for public housing was dependent on class background. During the
initial migration of southern blacks into Chicago during the early 20th Century,
established middle-income blacks in certain areas remained suspicious of the
morals and behavior of the low-income newcomers (Lemann 1991). They
viewed the influx of southern migrants into the growing south side ghetto of
Bronzeville as a breeding ground for lower class behavior.
Dense south side neighborhoods held a racially homogenous, but socially
and economically diverse, black population. With the population base expanding
by 30,000 people each year during the 1950's (Wilson 1960, 102), class-based
differences between residents towards public housing was unavoidable. Some
upper-class blacks who owned their own homes were concerned about declining
property values in the face of significant migration by lower-income individuals.
Lower income migrants, however, continued to seek better built housing
(Meyerson and Banfield 1955; Wilson 1960). Thus, along with the community's
inability to overcome the strength of white homeowner associations and real
estate interests in maintaining public and private housing segregation, internal
conflict within the black community frustrated efforts to present a unified voice
on the issue of subsidized housing.
Afro-American political elites reflected the ambivalence of their
constituents. Theophilus M. Mann, one of the few Afro-Americans on the CHA's
executive committee during the 1960's, publicly criticized CHA site and tenant


92
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 programs, 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


26
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 20th
century research report on ethnic group residential patterns in Montreal by
University of Chicago sociologist Charles 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


62
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
((Tindall, 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 20th Century such as the
Emergency Immigration Act 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 19th
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


This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the
Department of Political Science in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and to
the Graduate School and was accepted as partial fulfillment of the requirements
for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
May 2002
Dean, Graduate School


16
A significantly different set of assumptions and conclusions guide
Canadian scholars utilizing the Dominance/Dependence perspective, arguably the
most influential and controversial approach within the literature on Canadian-
American relations. The Dominance/Dependence school holds that Canada is in
an economically dependent position vis--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


106
The CHA was able to act independently of the city council during this
period largely because of the support of Mayor Edward J. Kelly. The CHA was
often the target of criticism by several Aldermen who objected to the placement
of low-income housing projects within their wards. Attempts by CHA critics on
the city council to bring the Authority under the direct control of the council or
Mayor's office were rebuffed by the Kelly administration. In 1946 Kelly declared
that the CHA was a "responsible, efficient, public agency whose commissioners
and staff...are giving the highest type of devoted service" (Hirsch, 219).
The second period in the relationship between the CHA and the city
council began essentially in 1947 with the end of the Kelly administration. Mired
in charges of corruption and inept leadership, the Chicago machine replaced
Edward Kelly by businessman-politician Martin Kennelly. The CHA no longer had
the support of the Mayor's office in its struggle with Authority critics. City council
critics had long sought the power to control where subsidized projects would be
build within city limits. Soon after Kelly's removal, several Aldermen moved
against the Authority and sought permission from the Illinois state legislature to
grant the city council the power to approve all public housing sites financed by
city and state funds (Hirsch, 223). State level critics of public housing granted
the request under the 1947 Relocation Act, effectively giving the Chicago city
council a powerful political tool that would inevitably draw council members and
CHA committee members into continuous conflict for years to come.


7
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


BIBLIOGRAPHY
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Aldridge, Meryl and Nicholas Hewitt. 1995. Controlling Broadcasting: Access
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Alexander, Ken and Avis Glaze. 1996. Towards Freedom: The African-
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Anderson, Alan B. and James S. Frideres. 1992. Ethnicity In Canada: Theoretical
Perspectives. Toronto: Butterworths.
Archer, Keith, Roger Gibbons, Rainer Knopff, and Leslie A. Pal. 1995. Parameters
of Power: Canada's Political Institutions. Toronto: Nelson Canada.
Balakrishnan, T.R. 1976. "Ethnic Residential Segregation in the Metropolitan
Areas of Canada." Canadian Journal of Sociology 1: 481-498.
Balakrishnan, T.R. and Zheng Wu. 1992. "Home Ownership Patterns and
Ethnicity in Selected Canadian Cities." Journal of Sociology. 17(4).
Bauder, Harold. 2001. "Visible Minorities and Urban Analysis." Canadian Journal
of Urban Research. 10.
Becker, Gary S. 1971. The Economics of Discrimination. Chicago: University of
Chicago Press.
Body-Gendrot, Sophie. 1995. "Models of Immigrant Integration in France and the
United States: Signs of Convergence?" The Bubbling Cauldron: Race. Ethnicity,
and the Urban Crisis. Michael Peter Smith and Joe R. Feagin eds. Minneapolis
MN: University of Minnesota Press. 244-262.
Bourne, Larry S. and J.D. Berridge. 1973. "Apartment Location and Developer
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221


112
forty mid-to-large size cities throughout America during the 1950's (Judd 1979,
269). A variety of residential and community associations buttressed the efforts
of NAREB by advocating against project construction in particular wards and
attempting to control the CHA's tenant selection policies (Hirsch 1998).
The strength of the informal, exogenous rules and actors that influenced
the CHA was directly tied to the demographic and ethnic personality of Chicago,
and no other antecedent factor dominated the informal political and policy
environment of postwar Chicago as did race. More than any other single variable
race, and more specifically, racial diversity distinguished the external policy
making environment of Chicago and Toronto and brings understanding to the
stark spatial differences in subsidized housing in both cities. Issues revolving
around race in Chicago gave rise to informal rules and stipulations such as
aldermanic prenotification and so-called Larson Bills as well as formal provisions
like the neighborhood composition rule, issues that will be discussed in the next
chapter.
Table 3.1. Proportion of Population Living in Urban Areas,
1901-1
961
CANADA
UNITED STATES
1901
24.6
35.9
1921
36.6
47.1
1941
43.0
52.7
1961
64.1
65.2
Source: Richard Harris. 2000. More American Than The United States: Housing in Urban Canada in the
Twentieth Century. Journal of Urban History. 26(4) p.462.
Table 3.3
% of Total Housing Financed through National Housing Acts, 1946-1961- 33%-50%
Public Housing as % of Private Market, 1946-1970 3/5 of 1%
Sources: Ontario Association of Housing Authorities. 1964. Good Housing For Canadians, p. 40.Kamal S.
Sayegh. 1972. Canadian Housing: A Reader. Waterloo: University of Waterloo. P.65.


39
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 post
war 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 Proposed 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


166
polarized cities. Thus, polarized election contests grants access to minority
candidates to local offices.
A spatially dispersed minority population in an unreformed city presents a
considerable barrier to minority representation. Few if any wards are likely to
have a majority-minority population and minority residents would find it difficult
to pool their votes in order to elect minority candidates. Descriptive
representation is discouraged under these circumstances, particularly when the
minority community accounts for a small portion of the overall population.
Reformed and moderately segregated urban systems are found in western cities
such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Portland. These cities also have
relatively small percentages of black residents. Each of these characteristics, as
Mladenka correctly concluded, helps to explain why blacks held little
representation and political influence in western cities (180-81).
Table 5.1 Effect of Segregation and Government Structure on Minority Representation
Reformed Government*
Unreformed Government*
Segregated
Lower Minority
Representation
Higher Minority
Representation
Non-segregated
Moderate/Higher Minority
Representation
Lower Minority
Representation
Reformed Government: at large election system, city manager, non-partisan elections.
Unreformed Government: ward based election system, mayor, partisan elections.
The level of segregation has less of an impact on minority representation
in reformed political structures. Minority representation is likely to be lower in
comparison to unreformed urban governments regardless of the level of


231
Ogbu, John U. 1978. Minority Education and Caste: The American System in
Cross-Cultural Perspective. New York: Academic Press.
Ontario Legislative Assembly. 1962. Debates. February 13.
Orfield, Gary and Carole Ashkinaze. 1991. The Closing Door: Conservative Policy
and Black Opportunity. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Park, Robert E. 1950. Race and Culture Glencoe, III.: Free Press.
Park, Robert E. and Ernest W. Burgess. 1921. Introduction to the Science of
Sociology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Park, Robert E., Ernest W. Burgess, and Roderick D. McKenzie (eds.) 1925. Jhe
Citv. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Pinderhughes, Dianne M. 1997. "An Examination of Chicago Politics for Evidence
of Political Incorporation and Representation." Racial Politics in American Cities.
Rufus Browning, Dale Rogers Marshall, Alan H. Tabb. Eds. New York: Longman
Publishers. 117-135.
Platt, Anthony M. 1991. E. Franklin Frazier Reconsidered. New Brunswick:
Rutgers University Press.
Porter, John. 1965. The Vertical Mosaic: An Analysis of Social Class and Power in
Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Persons, Stow. 1987. Ethnic Studies at Chicago 1905-45. Urbana: University of
Illinois Press.
Philpott, Thomas L. 1967. The Slum and the Ghetto: Neighborhood Deterioration
and Middle-Class Reform. 1890-1920. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Qadeer, Mohammad A. 1997. "Pluralistic Planning for Multicultural Cities: The
Canadian Practice." Journal of American Planning Association. 63(4): 481-494.
Ray, Brian. 1999. "Plural Geographies in Canadian Cities: Interpreting Immigrant
Residential Spaces in Montreal and Toronto." Canadian Journal of Regional
Science. 22, 2. Summer
Ray, Brian. 1997. "Immigrant Settlement and Housing in Metropolitan Toronto."
The Canadian Geographer. 38: 263-265.


Ill
Antecedent Factors Internal/External Influences Outcomes
-DEMOGRAPHIC
TRENDS
-ETHNIC MAKEUP
>
CHICAGO HOUSING AUTHORITY
SEGREGATED
PUBLIC
HOUSING
FORMAL RULES/ACTORS
-Public Works Administration
-U.S. Housing Administration
-Federal Housing Act 1949
-Relocation Act 1947
-Public Housing Act 1937
-Chicago City Council-post 1947
-Neighborhood Composition Rule
INFORMAL RULES/ACTORS-EXOGENOUS
-National Association of Real Estate Boards
-National Association of Home Builders
-Metro. Housing and Planning Council of Chicago
-Chicago Urban League
-"Larson Bills"
-Minority Quotas
-Aldermanic Pre-notification
-Chicago Real Estate Board
-Neighborhood Associations
Figure 3.4 Institutional and External Environment of Chicago Housing Authority,
1935-1970
The most effective external actors that influenced the CHA were
organizations that were generally opposed to subsidized low-income housing.
While the institutional behavior of Toronto housing agencies were most
influenced by advocates of subsidized housing, in Chicago the most effective
informal, exogenous actors were organizations that were generally opposed to
public housing. Despite the efforts of pro-public housing organizations such as
the Chicago Urban League and the AFL-CIO, the majority of construction and site
selection decisions throughout the postwar era were heavily influenced by
actively hostile groups including the National Association of Real Estate Boards
(NAREB) and the National Association of Home Builders. NAREB successfully
helped to defeat construction projects in Chicago neighborhoods through the use
of ward level referenda-a strategy that was successfully implemented in over


68
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 Protective 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
killed 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 Afro-
Americans were threatening 'their' neighborhoods, Blacks never accounted for
more than 10% of Chicago's total population until 1950. Looking again at Table


143
Hong Kong Chinese, for example, one of the single largest immigrant
groups to Toronto, are heavily concentrated in Toronto's northeast subdivision of
Scarborough (Map 3) and extends into Markham, Ontario the city immediately
north of the northern city limits. A similar spatial concentration is also evident
among Mainland Chinese migrants (Map 5). Chinese migrants are heavily
concentrated within the downtown core in two distinct areas. The two
downtown enclaves are respectively known as Central and East Chinatown (Lo
and Wang 1997). While many downtown ethnic enclaves in North American
cities have disappeared, Central and East Chinatown continue to be viable
economic and cultural areas even as the Chinese community continues to expand
in outer suburban regions.
Other less intense concentrations are evident in Figure 4.10. Two South
Asian groups, for example, Sri Lankans and East Indians, are concentrated
mostly in suburban locations (Maps 4 & 6). The former tend to settle in
relatively large numbers in the east-central portion of Scarborough while the
latter group is concentrated in northwestern Toronto in suburban Etobicoke.
With respect to immigrants from the Caribbean, most of whom are of
African descent (Map 9), a wide area of settlement is evident. The largest
number of Caribbean/West Indian immigrants resides in Scarborough and in the
north-central region of North York (Ray 1997). Compared to other visible
minority immigrant groups, the Afro-Caribbean population is surprisingly


167
segregation. As long as a given minority population accounts for less than a
majority of ail voting-age residents, an at-large electoral system allows the racial
majority to overwhelm the votes of smaller groups and elect particular
candidates. The likelihood of this outcome increases significantly in reformed
cities when racial tension is high (Lineberry and Fowler 1967).
A proper explanation then of the causes behind minority political
representation in urban North America must take into account each city's level of
racial segregation. This involves analyzing a city's historical experience with
group tension including the impact of demographic trends and the behavior of
public and private institutions in the housing market is key. Figure 5.2 illustrates
this analytical interaction where the study of an urban area's contemporary
political structure and minority population is linked with a historical analysis of
the racial segregation level in the city. While minority representation and,
ultimately political incorporation, can be a result of many variables, racial
segregation interacts with political structure and population size to exert great
influence on the limits of minority power in metropolitan areas.
Minority Political Representation in Chicago and Toronto
With both cities having distinct historical experiences with racial
segregation, Chicago and Toronto provide an opportunity to test some of the
hypotheses regarding the intersection of racial segregation, government
structure, and political incorporation. The work of Vedlitz and Johnson (1982),
and Mladenka (1989) provide three main hypotheses that can be used:


83
The federal government's first large-scale attempt to provide housing for
Canadians was embodied in the Dominion Housing Act of 1935. Modeled along
the same lines as the National Housing Act 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 Act. 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.


24
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


223
Chicago Daily News. 1966. CHA Bias in Rentals Charged bv Ex-Aide. December,
20.
Chicago Urban League. 1956. Chicago Residential Construction. 1956. Research
Department Chicago Urban League.
Chicago Urban League. 1957. Urban Renewal and The Negro in Chicago.
Research Department Chicago Urban League. August.
Chicago Urban League. 1957. Table 5-White Population of the Chicago Standard
Metropolitan Area bv Major Divisions Chicago Urban League Research
Department. August.
Chicago Urban League. 1958. Urban Renewal and The Negro In Chicaoo-Chicago
Residential Construction. Research Department-Chicago Urban League. May
City of Toronto. 1998. Profile Toronto. No. 2. Urban Planning and Development
Services. May
City of Toronto. 2000. City Status. Urban Development Services. June.
Collins, Richard. 1990. Culture. Communication, and National Identity: The Case
of Canadian Television. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Cross, Theodore. 1987. The Black Power Imperative: Racial Ineoualitv and the
Politics of Nonviolence. New York: Faulkner Books.
Croucher, Sheila L. 1997. "Constructing the Image of Ethnic Harmony in Toronto,
Canada: The Politics of Problem Definition and Nondefinition." Urban Affairs
Review. 32(3): 319-347.
Daily Defender. 1956. "This is why Trumbull Park is still the Sorest Spot."
February 16.
de Bilj, H.J. and Peter O. Muller. 2000. Geography: Realms Regions and
Concepts 2000. New York: John Wiley and Sons Inc.
Dennis, Michael and Susan Fish. 1972. Programs In Search of a Policy: Low
Income Housing in Canada. Toronto: A.M. Hakkert.
Drake, St. Clair. 1987. Black Folk Here and There: Africans in History and
Anthropology. Los Angeles: University of California Press.


DISTINCT PATHS:
RACE AND PUBLIC HOUSING IN POSTWAR TORONTO AND CHICAGO
By
AUDLEY GEORGE REID JR
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE
UNIVERISITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS
FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
2002

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

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
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

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page
DEDICATION
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS m
ABSTRACT vii
CHAPTER
1 INTRODUCTION 1
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 Methodology 42
Notes 43
2 IMMIGRANTS AND URBAN DEMOGRAPHICS: INTERNAL AND
EXTERNAL MIGRANT IN CHICAGO AND TORONTO 44
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
3 A DECENT HOME FOR EVERYONE: 20 CENTURY GOVERNMENT
INVOLVEMENT IN HOUSING PROVISION 76
Legal Factors 76
IV

Government Rationales for 20th Century Housing Provision
In Canada 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
4 LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION: RACIAL POLITICS AND
PUBLIC HOUSING IN CHICAGO AND TORONTO 114
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 Urban Canada 139
5 CONTRASTS AND IRONIES: SEGREGATION AND THE
POLITICAL STANDING OF PEOPLE OF COLOR 157
Segregation, Political Incorporation, and
Urban Black North America 158
Minority Political Representation in Chicago and
Toronto 167
Has Minority Political Incorporation Been Achieved?
Substantive Representation in Toronto and Chicago.. 172
Elite Views on Minority Political Incorporation
in Chicago 178
Elite Views on Minority Political Incorporation in
Toronto 183
The New Politics of Public Housing in Toronto 186
Beyond Electoral Politics: Segregation and the Quality
of Life Of Black Residents 197
6 STEMMING THE TIDE: POLICY STRATEGIES AGAINST
RESIDENTIAL SEGREGATION 211
7 CONCLUDING REMARKS 216
APPENDIX
V

INTERVIEW QUESTIONNAIRES 219
BIBLIOGRAPHY 221
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 235
VI

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
DISTINCT PATHS:
RACE AND PUBLIC HOUSING IN POSTWAR TORONTO AND CHICAGO
By
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
V

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.
viii

CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
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 incorporation that these
groups have achieved in Western industrialized societies. Within North America
the formation and continuance of racial segregation, particularly among Afro-
American 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 frustrated
i

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,

3
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.
Whv 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

4
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 II. 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

5
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.
Whv 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 early 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

6
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

7
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

8
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

9
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 cultural revolution.
The second factor that helps to explain the historical paucity of race-
related 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 20th 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

10
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

11
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, a Toronto 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 Per
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 non-
European 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

12
"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 ChiniesHindoesand the Japs"
(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 (Fieras 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

13
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

14
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.
Like 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

15
monetary policy, and how they impact on the political, economic, and/or cultural
standing of Canada vis--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.

16
A significantly different set of assumptions and conclusions guide
Canadian scholars utilizing the Dominance/Dependence perspective, arguably the
most influential and controversial approach within the literature on Canadian-
American relations. The Dominance/Dependence school holds that Canada is in
an economically dependent position vis--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

17
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

18
deference to the state, acceptance of social elitism and oligarchy, and an
emphasis on Peace, Order, and Good Government as the rallying cry for nation
building 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,
Lipset 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 Mvth 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

19
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 melting pot is forwarded in America's most diverse areas while
that of the cultural mosaic 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

20
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
Harles 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 Fieras 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

21
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 anddiversity 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-neighbors." (24).

22
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

23
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 Canada. 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 Afro-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
20th 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

24
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

25
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;
Fieras 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 countries 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

26
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 20th
century research report on ethnic group residential patterns in Montreal by
University of Chicago sociologist Charles 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

27
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

28
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

29
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

30
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 constraints
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 homeownership 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

31
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 20th 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 20th
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.

32
Even in comparison to recent southeastern European immigrants, Afro-
American residents in Chicago lived with very high levels of dilapidated and
crowded housing conditions. Chicago Housing Problems IV: The Problem of the
Negro (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 IV 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 low-
income 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

33
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-20th 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

34
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 Negro 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 protg 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

35
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 long
standing racial stereotypes extending back to the antebellum period and these
beliefs had "[become] rooteddeep 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 Afro-
American 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 earned 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

36
work, The Negro Family in the United States (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 Modern World
(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 Afro-
Americans 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 Bourgeoisie focused heavily on the shortcomings of the small

37
black middle and upper classes, overall it is clear from this work that Afro-
Americans 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 Black
Metropolis: A Study of Neoro Life in a Northern City (1945), provided what was
arguably the single most comprehensive work on the Afro-American experience
in Chicago since The Neoro in Chicago (1922) by Johnson and his associates.
Initially intended as a study of juvenile delinquency on the south side of Chicago,
Black Metropolis 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 Afro-
Americans 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

38
approach of the Chicago School, closely link the ecological environment with the
social and economic opportunity structure of a particular ethnic/racial group.
Black Metropolis 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 Afro-
Americans in Chicago as "a city within a city." (Drake and Cayton, 12).
Specifically, Black Metropolis 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 Afro-
Americans 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 Nearo Ghetto (1948) written
by Robert C. Weaver stands as a primary example. Weaver was a former

39
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 post
war 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 Proposed 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

40
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 institutionalist 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

41
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

42
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 Methodology
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

43
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.
Notes
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 ('downtown') 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.

CHAPTER 2
IMMIGRATION AND URBAN DEMOGRAPHICS: INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL
MIGRANTS IN CHICAGO AND TORONTO
A Note on the Legacy of American Slavery
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 20th 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
44

45
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 Afro-
Canadian 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 Bilj 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

46
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.
European Immigrants in Pre-WWII Toronto
As was the case with American officials, Canadian authorities in the late
19th 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 20th Century (Statistics Canada 1992, 3).

47
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

48
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).

49
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 themselves
that in speaking of a foreign population they have generally been dis
regarded 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 non-
Europeans 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).

50
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

51
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 20th
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

52
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 sub
groups. The Afro-Canadian community included Toronto-born residents,

53
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 Afro-
American A. Philip Randolph, who as founder and president of the Brotherhood

54
of Sleeping Car Porters 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 20th 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

55
1940 case of Christie vs. York Corporation, 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

56
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 20th 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

57
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-called continuous journey 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 multicultural 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,

58
provincial, and federal institutions became involved in creating and implementing
public housing programs in the postwar era.
European Immigrants in Pre-WWII Chicago
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

59
late as 1921 the Canadian immigrant population continued to be dominated by
northwestern Europeans in general, British immigrants particularly. Europeans
accounted for 3A 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 19th 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 European migrants from 1880-
1889 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

60
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

61
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.

62
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
((Tindall, 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 20th Century such as the
Emergency Immigration Act 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 19th
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

63
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 mid-
1920's immigrants from Mexico, Cuba, and Puerto Rico became the fastest
growing ethnic minority group in the country (1029).
Despite passage of the Emergency 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).

64
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 early 20th 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 Migrants in Chicago
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

65
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 early 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 Euro-
American 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

66
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 Afro-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," (Higham 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 (Kleppner 1985, 19-21).
As the most recent of many migrant waves to urban America, Afro-
Americans struggled with the same barriers to socio-economic mobility that faced

67
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 plurality of the population in 'Little 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 early 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 city's 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

68
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 Protective 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
killed 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 Afro-
Americans were threatening 'their' neighborhoods, Blacks never accounted for
more than 10% of Chicago's total population until 1950. Looking again at Table

69
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 Afro-
Americans who lived in Chicago in 1870. By 1930, the community numbered

70
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 six
fold increase from 1900 for a population that accounted for less than 8% of
Chicago's total population.
In the generation prior to the 2nd 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

71
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 Designations, 20th C. Canadian Immigrants
"Preferred Stock"
"Less-Preferred"
"Non-Preferred"
Nordic
Austrian
Portuguese
Swedish
Hungarian
Greek
Danish
Polish
Italian
Finnish
Romanian
East Indian
German
Lithuanian
Negro/African
Swiss
Bulgarian
Chinese
Dutch
Yugoslavian
Jewish
Belgian
French
Note: Policy-makers often used these euphemisms until the late 1960's.
Source: V. Seymour Wilson 1993, 664, 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)
2.38 (127,941)
Negro
.21 (18,291)
.23 (16,877)
.32 (17,437)
Source: Census of Canada 1921.

72
Table 2.3 Birthplace of Toronto's Foreign
Born Population % 1911-1931.
19
11
19
21
19
31
Great Brtn
28.7
27.7
25.3
U.S.
3.1
2.9
2.3
Russia
2.7
2.1
1.5
Italy
0.8
0.7
0.8
Germany
0.3
0.1
0.2
China
0.3
0.4
0.4
Latin Am.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
1931.
d-Indudes India, Pakistan, and South Asia.
Source: Census of Canada 1911-1931.
Table 2.4. Origins of the People, by Principal Cities, 1911
ORIGINS
MONT
REAL
TORO
ONTO
\\ INN
IPE(.
VAN
C OI M R
on
AW A
HAM
11.TON
QUE
111 (
H A LI
KAN
CAL
(.Ain
TOTAL
POPULATION
470.480
376,538
136.035
100,401
87.062
81.969
78,710
46,619
43,704
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
5
12
1
2,036
5

1

53
NEGRO
293
472
165
149
25
304
8
832
72
UNSPECIFIEDa
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.

73
Table 2.5 Ethnic Origins of Toronto Population,
1911-1941 (%).
l)| I
1921
1931
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
09
521,
893
631,207
667,457
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. (%)
YEAR NORTH
EUROPE A.M. ASIA OTHER
1861-
1900
N.W
68
S.E
22
1
2
1
1901-
1920
41
44
6
4
5

74
Table 2.7 Decennial Immigration to the United States. 1880-1919
1880-1889
1890-1899
WWW,
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.:Govemment Printing Office, pp. 324-5.
Table 2.8 Euro-American Popula
tion of Chicago, 1870-
1940 in 000s (%)
TOTAL OVERALL
POPULATION
WHITE
WHITE
Native Stock 1
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: 1-Native-born of native-born parents.
2-Foreign-borm and native-born of foreign-bom parents.
Source: Paul Kleppner. 1985. Chicago Divided: The Making of a Black Mayor. DeKalb, Ill: 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, Ill: Northern
Illinois University Pres
Affiliation
1911
1921
1931
1941
Protestant
78.8
79.7
74.8
66.4
Catholic
12.3
12.4
14.3
14.6
Jewish
4.8
6.6
7.2
7.3
Other
4.1
1.3
3.7
11.7
Source: Census of Canada, 1911-1941.

75
Table 2.11 U.S. Urban Black Population and Percentage Growth, 1910-1930
City
1910
1920
1930
Percent
Increase
1910-1930
Percent
Total
1910
Of
Population
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 Population
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
Mayor. Dekalb, III: Northern Illinois University Press, p. 17
Chicago Urban League. 1957. "Population In The City Of Chicago
By Color". Urban Renewal and the Negro in Chicago. 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 Immigrants since 1880.
Berkeley: University of California Press, pp. 266. 288.

CHAPTER 3
A DECENT HOME FOR EVERYONE:
20th CENTURY GOVERNMENT INVOLVEMENT IN HOUSING PROVISION
As the United States and Canada emerged from the Great Depression,
both countries embarked on various programs to build and administer low-
income 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.
Legal Factors
In addition to racial 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,
76

77
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
Province
Municipal Institutions in the Province, and
Property and Civil Rights 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

78
provincial actions. American cities operate under the general legal concept
known as Dillon's 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 Dillon's 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. Privatism,
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

79
by taking advantage of what could be termed the culture of privatism 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, consequently, 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, "althougha 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.

80
Government Rationales for 20th Century 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 low-
income 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 Corporation, 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 memorandum, 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).

81
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 Responsible for Buildina/Administerina Housing Proiects-Toronto
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation 1946-1970's Federal Agency
City of Toronto-early 1940's Municipal
Dept, of Veterans Affairs-1940's Federal
Metro Housing Company-1950's Municipal
Metropolitan Toronto Housing Authority-1970's Municipal
Ontario Housing Corporation-1960's 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

82
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 (MacFarlane 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 Act
of 1938 due to the lack of private sector interest and federal oversight, provincial
bureaucratic conflict, and the outbreak of World War II (MacFarlane 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.

83
The federal government's first large-scale attempt to provide housing for
Canadians was embodied in the Dominion Housing Act of 1935. Modeled along
the same lines as the National Housing Act 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 Act. 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.

84
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

85
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
technical;
(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,
132).
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--vis the federal and municipal governments. Prior to the
1949 amendments, municipal authorities had more influence over the policy
making process because subsidized housing policy was, in effect, a federal-
municipal 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: Ontario
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

86
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, ail 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).

87
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 Housina 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).

88
In response to federal policy developments, Ontario created the first
provincial housing corporation, the Ontario Housing Corporation, 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 federal-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)

89
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 agencies 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

90
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.
ONTARIO PROVINCIAL GOVT.
I
PROVINCIAL HOUSING MINISTRY
I
O.H.C.
LOCAL HOUSING AUTHORITIES
II I I I I
Federal Level
C.M.H.C.
4L
Figure 3.1 Formal Organizational Hierarchy of Ontarios 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

91
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 Housing Act, 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 Heights, a low-
income 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

92
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 programs, 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

93
governments but they rarely controlled where or when a given project would be
built.
Inner Suburbs-Weston. Mimico, New Toronto-central business district, Leaside, Forest Hill, East
York, Swansea, Long Beach
Outer Suburbs-Etobicoke. North York, Scarborough
Figure 3.2 Metropolitan Toronto-1953
The postwar experiment with government housing in the Toronto area
was unique as well in that the original city was a pioneer in local efforts to
construct subsidized housing prior to provincial involvement following WWII.
Local Toronto politicians and interest groups, for example, initiated the 1056-unit
Regent Park complex, Canada's first federally sponsored public housing project,
in the mid-1940's. Legislation for Regent Park North was introduced in 1948 by
the City of Toronto and supported by progressive Mayor Robert Saunders as well
as a coalition of social advocacy groups (Harris 2000). The Housing Authority of
Toronto provided a significant portion of the funds for construction several years
before reluctant federal authorities finally agreed to assist in its completion
(Sayegh 1972, 42).

94
Metropolitan Toronto's willingness to build subsidized housing was not
only a result of provincial prerogatives and an aggressive OHC but also a
confluence of specific political circumstances. The right-of-center Progressive-
Conservative Party formed Ontario's provincial government in 1943 following a
closely contested election in which a social democratic party, the Cooperative
Commonwealth Federation, came close to defeating the Tories (Lemon 1996,
264). The CCF advocated a relatively ambitious urban and social planning
agenda during the election. The Progressive Conservatives adopted several
measures supported by the CCF, including the provision of subsidized housing, in
an attempt to gain the support of CCF voters and elected officials.
The role of individual personalities was also a major factor behind the
creation of Toronto's large subsidized housing stock. Metropolitan Council
Chairman Federick Gardiner directed urban and social planning in the Toronto
area during the postwar construction of public housing in the 1950's. No other
single official, elected or appointed, rivaled Gardiner in terms of his influence
over Metropolitan Council members or Toronto's social, economic, and political
policy direction (Smallwood 1963). Gardiner's interest in urban renewal and
public housing policy was animated by two goals; one, to move as quickly as
possible from policy formation to policy implementation and, two, to avoid the
mistakes made by large American cities with urban renewal experiments.
Gardiner was rather impatient with urban planning (Lemon 1996, 265).
As Chairman of metropolitan Toronto he agreed with the approach taken by the

95
provincial government in dealing primarily with metropolitan level agencies in site
selection and construction of subsidized housing. He also worked with the
province to acquire rural suburban land for commercial and apartment
development, usually with overwhelming voting majorities from metropolitan
council members (Lemon, 267; Smallwood 1963, 13).
Gardiner's reluctance to follow the American urban renewal example of
building and rebuilding in only select districts stemmed in part from reform-
minded members on the city council as well as community organizations. The
displacement of entire families in the name of urban renewal in several large
American cities was becoming increasingly evident to Canadian officials as they
looked to the South. As a result, Gardiner and other council members did not
oppose provincial authorities when decisions to build low-income housing in
suburban areas were made. In addition, the negatives associated with American
renewal experiments weakened the provincial and city council's appetite for
large-scale commercial, residential, and roadway redevelopment and spurred
efforts to find alternatives to existing U.S. renewal strategies (272). This
concern was evident when Chairman Gardiner, in a 1956 address to Metro
council, stated "It is the experience of every large city in America that a
succession of new expressways is not the answer to efficient and economical
movement of traffic. Each successive one is filled the day it is
opened...Additional rapid [train and subway] transit is the only answer" (269).

96
American Government Involvement in Housing Provision
Postwar subsidized housing provision and urban redevelopment in the
United States impacted far more urban real estate than similar programs in
Canada. Between 1949 and 1965 American local redevelopment authorities
expropriated over 27,000 acres of land from low-income homeowners and
absentee landlords (Lemon 1996, 280), an area larger than the city of Toronto.
Publicly funded renewal programs in Canada cleared little more than 700 acres
up to 1964, with Toronto accounting for 111 acres of that total (282). The scale
of postwar redevelopment efforts in the United States, contrary to popular
assumption, was a direct result of various grant and funding programs offered to
local governments and private actors by federal government authorities. In
contrast to Canadian cities, which had to provide one-half of the funds for urban
renewal, the U.S. federal government financed two-thirds of residential and
industrial demolition efforts in central cities (279-280). Thus, notwithstanding
the professed commitment to the private marketplace found throughout
American society, significant portions of urban renewal and public housing
programs were created and kept alive primarily due to federal government
largesse.
At the outset of federal government involvement in subsidized housing in
North America, American and Canadian officials followed similar paths in terms of
the rationales and strategies used to justify their respective involvement. Both
countries attempted to stimulate their depression level economies by passing

97
legislation to encourage private construction of housing for middle to moderate-
income citizens. As outlined in Table 3.7, the Dominion Housing Act in Canada
and the initiatives of the Public Works Administration in America were clearly
intended to encourage job growth and confidence in the construction industry.
Table 3.7 Federal Involvement in Subsidized Housing Policy, 1934-1960s.
General Period
Canada
United States
DEPRESSION ERA
Dominion Housing Act
Public Works Administration
1935
1934
-reduce unemployment
-reduce unemployment
-stimulate construction
-stimulate construction
WORLD WAR II ERA
Wartime Housing
Federal Housing Act
Corporation
authorizations 1937
-war worker housing
-war worker housing
-sale to private sector
-sale to private sector
postwar
postwar
POST WWII
National Housing Act 1944
Federal Housing Act 1949
-fed/prov. partnership to build,
-federal commitment to decent
supervise public housing
Housing Amendments
1949, 1964
-commitment to urban renewal
housing
-groundwork for urban renewal
Sources: Dennis R. Judd and Todd Swanstrom. 1998. City Politics: Private Power and Public
Policy. New York: Addison-Wesley Longman Inc. pp. 178-183. Paul Kleppner. 1985. Chicago
Divided: The Making of a Black Mayor. DeKalb, III: Northern Illinois University Press, p. 42. Ivan
MacFarlane. 1969. Housing Policy: 3 Levels of Government Action. Masters Thesis. Carleton
University. J. John Palen. 1997. The Urban World. New York: McGraw-Hill. pp. 321-322. Ontario
Welfare Council. 1973. A Study of Housing Policies in Ontario.Toronto. p.2.
Although prospective low to moderate-income homeowners stood to
benefit, this was of secondary importance to the overall effort. Secretary of
Interior and Public Works, Harold Ickes, was the official charged by President
Roosevelt to oversee the PWA housing initiative. As stated by Ickes, PWA
programs were intended "to deal with the unemployment situation by giving
employment to workers, [and] to demonstrate to private builders the
practicability of large scale community planning" (Judd 1979, 260). Thus,

98
irrespective of whatever cultural or ideological differences that may have existed
between Canada and the United States during this period, officials in both
countries were wedded to the ideal of private industry construction of housing
and were willing to use public funds to encourage and shore up ailing providers.
As in Canada, the onset of World War II spurred U.S. federal agencies into
direct funding and construction of thousands of housing units for war workers
(Judd and Swanstrom 1998, 181). Federal efforts were critical to this effort due
to the general reluctance of private providers to invest heavily in housing
construction that would yield relatively low profit margins. In addition, efforts
were made in both countries to divest federal authorities of war worker housing
and place them under the ownership and administration of private market actors
(Judd and Swantrom, 181).
The Federal Housing Act of 1937 deepened federal government
involvement in subsidized housing provision by creating the United States
Housing Authority which constructed approximately 114,000 low-rent public
housing units by the end of WWII. Most of the units and their occupants were
distinct from those that would later be found in America's largest cities during
the 1960s. Most of the USHA units were low-rise, usually less than five stories
high. Furthermore, the majority of the occupants were low to moderate-income
workers instead of the very poor and those on public assistance (Palen 1997,
323).

99
A federal commitment to urban renewal, that is the clearing, razing,
rebuilding, and redevelopment of targeted residential and commercial sites,
began in earnest in both countries during the 1940's. Amendments to the 1944
National Housing Act laid the groundwork for renewal programs in Canada, while
in the United States, urban renewal programs originated in the Federal Housing
Act ofl949. The 1949 FHA still stands as one of the most influential and
controversial pieces of legislation passed by the Congress with regards to the
public sector's role in providing shelter.
The 1949 FHA was influential and controversial for two reasons. First, it
institutionalized political authority and a legal basis for public acquisition and
redevelopment of urban property and homes, a powerful tool that would be used
by government housing authorities in concert with private building interests to
relocate thousands of urban residents. Second, as stated in the preamble, it
represented a national commitment by the federal government towards providing
a "decent home and suitable living environment for every American family"
(Housing Act of 1949, preamble). Several powerful interests in Congress and in
the building industry opposed this stated commitment.
The Public Housing Act of 1937 formed the basis on which the 1949 Act
was passed. The prospect of world war and the importance of national unity
helped to gain passage of the 1937 PHA. There was also the understanding that
all public housing constructed under the PHA would be built and administered by
local agencies and that construction would be handled by private realtors and

100
contractors. Finally, supporters emphasized to skeptics that all government-
owned units would be sold on the private market at the end of the war (Judd
1979, 259; Judd and Swanstrom, 1998, 180-81). With these assurances, the
1937 Act passed with bipartisan support in the House and Senate, with votes of
275-86 and 64-16, respectively (Metropolitan Housing and Planning Council of
Chicago 1960). With WWII over, critics of public housing saw no compelling
reason to grant congressional funding for the continuance of the 1937 Act, let
alone the expansion of federal, state, or local government involvement in low-
income housing provision.
As evident in Table 3.8, an array of interests groups lined up to praise and
critique the pending 1949 housing legislation. Opponents were united in their
ideological opposition to government owned and operated housing. These
organizations included the U.S. Savings and Loan League, which represented
3700 associations including the majority of the nation's savings and loan
institutions, and the National Association of Home Builders representing
numerous industry, trade, and financial associations. The National Association of
Real Estate Boards was the most vocal critic of the public housing provisions of
the FHA, as it had been during debate on the PHA in 1937. The 1949 debate saw
NAREB vice president Hubert U. Nelson characterize supporters of public housing
as "communists" and "subversives" (Judd and Swanstrom, 182). In the eight
years following passage of the PHA, the position of the organization had not
changed and could still be summed up by the statement of its president in 1937:

101
Housing should remain a matter of private enterprise and private ownership. It
is contrary to the genius of the American people and the ideals they have
established that government become the landlord to its citizens. There is a
sound logic in the continuance of the practice under which those who have the
initiative and the will to save acquire better living facilities and yield their former
quarters at modest rents to the group below (Keith, 1973, 29).
Table 3.8 Organized Interest Group Universe, 1949 Federal Housing Act
OPPONENTS
SUPPORTERS
National Association of Real Estate Boards
National Public Housina Conference
U.S. Savinas and Loan Leaaue
American Federation of Labor-Conaress of
International Oraanizations
National Association of Home Builders
National Association of Housina Officials
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
U.S. Conference of Mayors
Mortaaae Bankers Association of America
National Leaaue of Cities
Producers Council
American MuniciDal Association
National Economic Council
National Association for the Advancement
of Colored People
National Association of Retail Lumber Dealers
Source: Dennis R. Judd and Todd Swanstrom. 1998. City Politics: Private Power and Public
Policy. New York: Addison Wesley Longman, Inc. pp 181-183.
Support for the 1949 Act came from a diverse group of academic, labor,
and activist organizations which had their own specific reasons for supporting the
provisions of the 1949 Act. Local housing administrators and research scholars
formed the National Public Housing Conference and the National Association of
Housing Officials. Organized labor was a powerful ally and viewed the FHA as a
new and important source of employment for working people. The supporters
were ultimately successful as Congress passed the FHA by a bipartisan majority.
However, the public housing subsection, which was voted on separately, prior to

102
the overall bill, passed by only five votes (Judd and Swanstrom 1998,183). This
margin would be indicative of the controversies that lay ahead for low-income
housing in large cities such as Chicago.
While public housing was the most controversial issue in the 1949 debate,
it accounted for a small portion of the overall bill, and was never intended to be
the main policy focus for government agencies charged with implementing the
FHA. From its inception subsidized low-income housing received little support
from influential public officials and the mass media. Furthermore, despite the
controversies in 1937 and 1949, the program was low on the list of funding and
legislative priorities among congressional leaders (Wolman 1971, 57-60).
The 1949 Act passed, despite powerful opposition to more funds for
subsidized housing, because there was broad support for urban renewal and
redevelopment programs. Conservative congressional critics of the FHA and
organizations such as NAREB and the NAHB opposed public funding of low-
income housing along ideological lines and because they did not want the federal
government competing with market actors as a provider of housing. However,
government funds for urban redevelopment was viewed favorably as a way to
add value to land in so-called slum areas, thus, making these areas more
attractive for commercial investment and private developers (Palen 1997, 323-4).
Particularly in the first 14 years after the 1949 Act, local development
agencies and private developers spent significantly more time and funds to clear
land in low-income areas for commercial development than in creating higher

103
quality homes and apartments for those displaced by renewal programs.
Affected families were to be relocated in 810,000 units of public housing
authorized under the FHA. However, as late as 1969 this number had yet to be
achieved (Wolman 1971, 36-7). From 1949 to 1964 urban renewal programs
demolished over 230,000 low-income dwellings. Less than one-fourth of these
units were replaced by participating agencies (Judd and Swanstrom, 190). As
urban renewal came to an end in the early 1970s, it was clear that the primary
beneficiaries of the experiment were not low-income city residents, but instead,
commercial real estate interests and the local political elites who controlled and
dispersed federal funds.
Subsidized Housing in Chicago
Chicago was not the only city in America to request federal and state
funds for housing and redevelopment programs. It was, however, one of the
most aggressive seekers of funding and, consequently, became one of the
largest holders of housing projects in the country. Under the 1949 Federal
Housing Act, 40,000 units of public housing were to be constructed in Chicago
(Kleppner 1985, 42). The city's experience with government subsidized housing
actually pre-dated federal involvement through the FHA and extended back to
the New Deal era.
The institution primarily responsible for developing Chicago's public
housing portfolio was the Chicago Housing Authority. Created in 1937, the initial
mandate of the CHA was to provide good quality temporary housing for low-

104
income residents. From 1937 to 1949, one year prior to the passage of the FHA,
the CHA along with state and federal housing authorities helped to finance and
administer the construction of 19 housing projects. Eleven of the nineteen
projects were developed in concert with federal authorities while the eight
remaining were built exclusively with city and state housing grants (CHA 1951).
Three of the earliest Chicago projects-Jane Addams Homes, Trumbull Park
Homes, and Lathrop Homes-were constructed as a result of negotiations
between the CHA and federal Public Works Administration officials.
City officials sought housing construction funds due to increasing fears
that the large and growing population would make already crowded conditions
even worse. From the turn of the century to 1950, growth occurred in majority
and minority populations, as seen in Table 3.9. Euro-American residents almost
doubled in size from 1.6 million to 3.1 million and Afro-Americans, along with the
growing Hispanic and Asian population, saw more than a ten-fold increase from
31,000 to over 500,000. New housing and apartment construction for residents
of all economic backgrounds became a top policy priority for Chicago at mid
century.
Decision-making authority over Chicago's public housing infrastructure, as
seen in Figure 3.2, was held by several institutions at all levels of government.
However, prior to WWII, the majority of the public housing stock was developed
and administered by two bureaucracies; the federal Public Works Administration
(later succeeded by the United States Housing Authority) and the Chicago

105
Housing Authority. As was the case in Canada, during WWII up to the early
postwar period, public housing policy and construction was led by federal
authorities working directly with local officials with the ascent of state and
provincial officials who remained reluctant to fund and administer subsidized
housing programs.
State Federal
Figure 3.2 Organizational Hierarchy of Public Housing, City of Chicago, 1937-
1947.
Three distinct periods characterized the level of decision-making authority
granted to the Chicago Housing Authority. The first period extended from the
CHA's inception in 1937 up to 1947 when the Authority acted independently from
the Chicago city council. It was not legally bound to follow suggestions by the
city council on where to build public housing units and how to select tenants
(Hirsch 1998, 213). The working relationship between the CHA and federal
housing authorities was relatively direct with both organizations constructing and
administering the city's subsidized housing stock.

106
The CHA was able to act independently of the city council during this
period largely because of the support of Mayor Edward J. Kelly. The CHA was
often the target of criticism by several Aldermen who objected to the placement
of low-income housing projects within their wards. Attempts by CHA critics on
the city council to bring the Authority under the direct control of the council or
Mayor's office were rebuffed by the Kelly administration. In 1946 Kelly declared
that the CHA was a "responsible, efficient, public agency whose commissioners
and staff...are giving the highest type of devoted service" (Hirsch, 219).
The second period in the relationship between the CHA and the city
council began essentially in 1947 with the end of the Kelly administration. Mired
in charges of corruption and inept leadership, the Chicago machine replaced
Edward Kelly by businessman-politician Martin Kennelly. The CHA no longer had
the support of the Mayor's office in its struggle with Authority critics. City council
critics had long sought the power to control where subsidized projects would be
build within city limits. Soon after Kelly's removal, several Aldermen moved
against the Authority and sought permission from the Illinois state legislature to
grant the city council the power to approve all public housing sites financed by
city and state funds (Hirsch, 223). State level critics of public housing granted
the request under the 1947 Relocation Act, effectively giving the Chicago city
council a powerful political tool that would inevitably draw council members and
CHA committee members into continuous conflict for years to come.

107
The final period took place just prior to the passage of the Federal
Housing Act of 1949. Although statewide officials in Springfield were often
hostile to the Democratic political machine in Chicago, a number of state level
officials shared a strong dislike for subsidized housing construction and funding
with several Chicago Machine Democrats. In 1948 at the urging of local CHA
critics, both groups successfully extended the reach of the 1947 Relocation Act
by giving the Chicago city council the right of final approval over housing
projects funded by federal government agencies as well (223). The act was
implemented by council members who were fully aware of the impending
passage of the FHA, which would significantly increase the number of federally
funded units slated for construction in the Chicago area. It was clear to CHA
committee members and other supporters of public housing that this move was
intended to further weaken the decision-making authority of the CHA in the wake
of a federal commitment to subsidized housing while strengthening the influence
wielded by an increasingly hostile Mayor and city council.
Institutional Characteristics and Constraints
The eventual success of CHA critics in erasing the institutional independence it
held for years previous to 1947 is indicative of the low priority given to subsidized
housing policy by government officials and private builders during the postwar era in
North America. In addition, in several large cities including Chicago, an effective
coalition of elected officials and citizen's groups joined to discourage further
construction of projects in their particular areas. Thus, in Chicago and in Toronto as

108
well, local housing bureaucracies were porous institutions lacking in the autonomy
accorded to more powerful or popular bureaucracies. As a result, urban housing
agencies throughout North America were often penetrated by a host of external
interests hostile to their mandates.
Housing agencies in Toronto, as previously outlined, followed the
prerogatives of higher level bureaucracies. The low policy priority given to
subsidized housing, along with opposition from influential public and private
actors, limited the growth of effective, politically powerful local housing agencies
throughout Canada. As evidenced in Figure 3.1 and Figure 3.3, from an
institutional perspective, bureaucracies such as the Housing Authority of Toronto
and the Metropolitan Toronto Housing Authority (MTHA), lay at the bottom of
the policy-making hierarchy for public housing. The formal role of Toronto
housing agencies, mandated to it by Federal housing legislation dating back to
the 1935 Dominion Housing Act as well as by the influential Ontario Housing
Corporation, gave them minimal official authority over subsidized housing.
While the formal rules, that is the written regulations, laws, contracts, and
codes (Searing 1991) that governed Toronto housing agencies, are critical to
explaining institutional actions, for a complete and substantive understanding of
these organizations the informal policy environment surrounding them must be
examined. A variety of business and social advocacy groups engaged all three
levels of government on the issue of public housing. The relatively controversial
nature of the subject gained the attention of business and advocacy groups.

109
Antecedent Factors
Internal/External Influences Outcome
-ETHNIC
MAKEUP
-DEMOGRAPHIC TRENDS
Company
- Housing Authority of Toronto
-Metropolitan Toronto Housing
INTEGRATED
PUBLIC
HOUSING
Formal Rules/Actors
In exogenous
-Citizen's Housing and
Planning Association
-Canadian Commonwealth
Federation affiliated groups
-Business, real estate interests
-Canadian Housing and Mortgage
Company prerogatives
-Ontario Housing Corporation
Prerogatives
-Dominion Housing Act 1935
-National Housing Act 1938,
1944, 1949, 1954
-NHA Amendment 1964
-electoral system and officials
Figure 3.3 Institutional and External Environment
of Toronto Housing Agencies, 1935-1970
Furthermore, because subsidized housing construction was given such low
priority by federal and provincial officials in comparison to private housing
efforts, local housing agency decisions were not given the same deference by
public officials nor was their autonomy from external interference as zealously
guarded. As a result, exogenous actors not formally part of the policy-making
environment could and did shape the behavior of housing bureaucracies.
In contrast to Chicago, however, the most effective informal actors in the
debate over public housing and urban redevelopment in Toronto were those that
were generally favorable to subsidized housing. The Citizen's Housing and
Planning Association, for example, successfully convinced then-Toronto Mayor
Robert Saunders to begin and continue construction of Regent Park North-
Canada's first postwar public housing project (Sayegh 1972). In addition, a core

110
of ideologically progressive groups made up primarily of labor unions and social
activists lobbied the provincial government to embark on an ambitious
progressive funding and policy agenda, including subsidized low-income housing.
Many of these organizations were affiliated with the Cooperative
Commonwealth Federation (CCF) party. The CCF came close to defeating the
Progressive Conservatives in the 1943 provincial election and successfully lobbied
the government to enact part of its progressive policy agenda (Lemon 1993,
264; Sayegh 1972). Despite opposition to public housing projects in some areas,
local critics were not as organized or as effective as advocates, particularly at a
time when social progressives occupied the Mayor's office, the Chairmanship of
metropolitan Toronto, and key posts within the provincial government.
The environment that surrounded the Chicago Housing Authority differed
significantly from that in Toronto and led to distinct policy strategies in public
housing construction and urban renewal. As in Toronto, a variety of formal and
informal actors/rules were involved in the decision making process of the CHA.
Federal authorities, as seen in Figure 3.4, through the Public Works
Administration, the United States Housing Administration, and the Federal
Housing Act of 1949, held the strongest formal influence over the CHA in the
early postwar period. However, antecedent factors and the character of
informal, exogenous actors were two areas of distinction that would lead to
different outcomes in housing policy in Chicago and Toronto.

Ill
Antecedent Factors Internal/External Influences Outcomes
-DEMOGRAPHIC
TRENDS
-ETHNIC MAKEUP
>
CHICAGO HOUSING AUTHORITY
SEGREGATED
PUBLIC
HOUSING
FORMAL RULES/ACTORS
-Public Works Administration
-U.S. Housing Administration
-Federal Housing Act 1949
-Relocation Act 1947
-Public Housing Act 1937
-Chicago City Council-post 1947
-Neighborhood Composition Rule
INFORMAL RULES/ACTORS-EXOGENOUS
-National Association of Real Estate Boards
-National Association of Home Builders
-Metro. Housing and Planning Council of Chicago
-Chicago Urban League
-"Larson Bills"
-Minority Quotas
-Aldermanic Pre-notification
-Chicago Real Estate Board
-Neighborhood Associations
Figure 3.4 Institutional and External Environment of Chicago Housing Authority,
1935-1970
The most effective external actors that influenced the CHA were
organizations that were generally opposed to subsidized low-income housing.
While the institutional behavior of Toronto housing agencies were most
influenced by advocates of subsidized housing, in Chicago the most effective
informal, exogenous actors were organizations that were generally opposed to
public housing. Despite the efforts of pro-public housing organizations such as
the Chicago Urban League and the AFL-CIO, the majority of construction and site
selection decisions throughout the postwar era were heavily influenced by
actively hostile groups including the National Association of Real Estate Boards
(NAREB) and the National Association of Home Builders. NAREB successfully
helped to defeat construction projects in Chicago neighborhoods through the use
of ward level referenda-a strategy that was successfully implemented in over

112
forty mid-to-large size cities throughout America during the 1950's (Judd 1979,
269). A variety of residential and community associations buttressed the efforts
of NAREB by advocating against project construction in particular wards and
attempting to control the CHA's tenant selection policies (Hirsch 1998).
The strength of the informal, exogenous rules and actors that influenced
the CHA was directly tied to the demographic and ethnic personality of Chicago,
and no other antecedent factor dominated the informal political and policy
environment of postwar Chicago as did race. More than any other single variable
race, and more specifically, racial diversity distinguished the external policy
making environment of Chicago and Toronto and brings understanding to the
stark spatial differences in subsidized housing in both cities. Issues revolving
around race in Chicago gave rise to informal rules and stipulations such as
aldermanic prenotification and so-called Larson Bills as well as formal provisions
like the neighborhood composition rule, issues that will be discussed in the next
chapter.
Table 3.1. Proportion of Population Living in Urban Areas,
1901-1
961
CANADA
UNITED STATES
1901
24.6
35.9
1921
36.6
47.1
1941
43.0
52.7
1961
64.1
65.2
Source: Richard Harris. 2000. More American Than The United States: Housing in Urban Canada in the
Twentieth Century. Journal of Urban History. 26(4) p.462.
Table 3.3
% of Total Housing Financed through National Housing Acts, 1946-1961- 33%-50%
Public Housing as % of Private Market, 1946-1970 3/5 of 1%
Sources: Ontario Association of Housing Authorities. 1964. Good Housing For Canadians, p. 40.Kamal S.
Sayegh. 1972. Canadian Housing: A Reader. Waterloo: University of Waterloo. P.65.

113
Table 3.4 Location of Public Housing
Units by Province-%, 1995
ONTARIO
55
QUEBEC
20
ALBERTA
9
MANITOBA
7
Other Provinces
8
CANADA TOTAL
100
Nancy Smith. 1995. "Challenges of Public Housing
in the 1990s: The Case of Ontario, Canada".
Housing Policy Debate. 6(4). 905-932.
Table 3.5 Period of Construction of Ontario Public Housing Units, Percentage
1940s-1963 1964-1971 1972-1984
5% 45% 50%
Source: Nancy Smith. 1995. "Challenges of Public Housing in the 1990s: The Case of Ontario,
Canada". Ontario Housing Corporation. 6(4). 905-932. Pg. 908.
Table 3.6 Number of Subsidized Units Authorized under 1964 NHA, 1964-1970,
ONTARIO
ALL OF CANADA
38,240
51,975
73.5%
100%
Source: Michael Dennis and Susan Fish. 1972. Proarams In Search of a Policv: Low Income Housina
in Canada. Toronto: A.M. Hakkert.
Table 3.8 Population of City of Chicago by Regional Background, 1900-1950
YEAR
EUROPEAN
NON-EUROPEAN
1900
1,668,000
31,000
1910
2,139,000
46,000
1920
2,589,000
113,000
1940
3,115,000
239,000
1950
3,112,000
509,000
Source: Chicago Urban League. 1957. Urban Renewal and The Negro in Chicago. Table 4,
Table 5. Chicago: Research Department-Chicago Urban League.

CHAPTER 4
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION:
GROUP POLITICS AND PUBLIC HOUSING IN CHICAGO AND TORONTO
Down South, they don't care how close we get just so we don't get too big. Up North,
they don't care how big we get just so we don't get too close.
Comedian Dick Gregory, in newspaper (unknown). 1967. Papers of Lea Demarest Taylor,
Newberry Library
Every colored man who moves into Hyde Park is making war on the white man.
Article in Hyde Park Property Owners Journal in Allan H. Spear. Black Chicago: The
Making of a Negro Ghetto 1890-1920.
In 1947, in response to a request by members of the city council, the
Illinois State legislature passed the Relocation Act of 1947, effectively granting
the Chicago council power of final approval over locally and state funded sites
selected by the Chicago Housing Authority. Shortly before the FHA of 1949, the
state legislature unanimously granted the city council veto power over all sites,
whether locally, state, or federally funded, selected by the CHA (Hirsch 1998,
223). The decision was a major victory for alderman and state officials that were
opposed to publicly funded housing, and for local interests that were hostile to
efforts that might bring black residents into predominantly white neighborhoods.
Race was already the most influential factor in Chicago politics at the time
the CHA came under the control of the city council. Since its inception the CHA
114

115
operated officially according to the neighborhood composition rule. The
directive, which was introduced in the early 1930's by Public Works
Administration housing director Harold Ickes, prohibited the placement of
housing projects that would alter the racial characteristics of the surrounding
area. That such a law would be forwarded by Ickes and supported by future
CHA Director Elizabeth Woods-both liberal Democrats, is a testament to the
influence of racial factors at play in Chicago and the CHA's sensitivity to them.
At mid-century, the ethnic makeup of Chicago and Toronto was largely
European, yet the demographic trends in each city were distinct. As seen in
Tables 4.1 and 4.2, over 8 in 10 residents in Toronto and Chicago were of
European descent. However, the overwhelming majority of Toronto's European
component was British, whereas this group accounted for less than 1 in 10
residents of Chicago. Chicago's European population was a melange of cultures.
The largest group, Southeastern Europeans, made up, at most, a plurality of all
residents. In addition, Chicago was home to a large minority population that
represented the fastest growing segment of all residents. The increasing
number of black and Hispanic residents, as much as their overall proportion of
the population, fuelled group tension and stereotypes among residents and
policy officials.
The Chicago race riot of 1919 was the most publicized case of racial
tension prior to WWII. But it was only one in a succession of violent
confrontations that took place throughout the Midwest since the turn of the

116
century. The 1919 riot was in keeping with a tense period of time in Chicago
when from 1917 to 1921 a racially-motivated bombing or arson occurred every
20 days (Hirsch, 41).
Demographic population changes, driven by the thousands of southern
Afro-Americans that settled in the city's south side, was a major factor behind
heightened racial tension. Figure 4.1 shows that newly arriving blacks were
concentrated within the near south side adjacent to the central business district
in 1900. From 22nd Avenue to 31st Avenue blacks represented over 10% of all
residents. A relatively wide area south of 31st Avenue extending from Cicero on
the West to Stony Island on the East held the second largest contingent of black
residents. Outside of these south side neighborhoods, particularly in the far
south side and areas north of the Loop, Chicago's wards were overwhelmingly
populated by European residents.
Ten years later, looking at Figure 4.2, the Afro-American population
increased in numbers in south side neighborhoods and began to expand steadily
into areas that were previously all European. Even with this increase, Afro-
Americans were a small part of the overall population. In 1910, no census tracts
were as much as 75% black. Of greater significance was the limitation placed on
where blacks could reside as made evident by their concentration within south
side areas. By 1920, over 35% of Afro-Americans were living in tracts that were
at least 75% black (Kleppner 1985, 37), a significant change from 1910.
Another example of the resistance of whites to the residential dispersal of blacks

117
is evidenced in Figure 4.3, where virtually all majority-black census tracts were
found on the south side. In northern tracts, there was little to no change;
census tracts that were overwhelmingly European in 1910 remained so in 1920.
As black migrants moved in to south side neighborhoods, some European
residents formed community organizations aimed at reversing or curtailing the
entry of Afro-Americans into previously all-white areas. Organizations such as
the Hyde Park Improvement Association advocated boycotts of businesses that
sold goods to incoming black migrants and supported the use of covenants
between homeowners promising not to sell or rent housing to Afro-Americans.
The agreements supported by private interests groups such as the Chicago Real
Estate Board became the formal route through which black homeownership was
limited. By 1930, three-fourths of all residential property in Chicago was bound
by restrictive covenants and the proportion surpassed 90% in white areas
adjacent to south side ghettoes (Kleppner, 38).
The hostility on the part of many whites to black residents was apparent
to federal and local housing officials as they sought to introduce subsidized
housing into Chicago. This recognition led to a formal agreement between these
officials at the inception of the Chicago Housing Authority that no project would
be constructed in a neighborhood that would change the racial makeup of that
particular area. The so-called neighborhood composition rule, in effect,
institutionalized already existing racial tension into public policy. The informal
racial color line that existed in Chicago at the beginning of the 20th Century

118
changed inexorably to a formal color line through passage of restrictive
. covenants. The formal acceptance of the neighborhood composition rule by
officials supportive of public housing stands as a testament to the strength of
Chicago's segregated racial milieu, a milieu influential enough to mold the
behavior and policies of federal housing and CHA officials regardless of individual
ideological belief systems.
Informal Rules. Actors, and the CHA
The neighborhood composition rule was a formal limitation on the
institutional behavior of the CHA. Most of the rules and actors that limited the
decision-making independence of the CHA, however, were found in the external
informal environment that surrounded the agency. It was this environment that
created the composition rule and it was this environment that led to the eventual
control of CHA sites and tenant selection policies by the city council. Private
business and real estate interests were important influences. These interests
encouraged and profited from funds intended for public housing and urban
redevelopment. Real estate companies took advantage of fears regarding
encroachment by black residents into majority white areas by utilizing block
busting tactics. Agents repeatedly warned white homeowners of an impending
invasion of blacks into white residential areas, which fuelled widespread selling of
homes in these areas by residents (Massey 1993, 37-8; Yinger 1995, 122-24).
Real estate companies gained financially from this tactic and, just as importantly,

119
it further encouraged negative stereotypes and racial animus towards Afro-
Americans.
A coalition of anti-public housing aldermen and neighborhood associations
successfully pressured the CHA and the Mayor's office into circumventing and at
times ignoring its own tenant and site selection policies. Informal tenant quotas
in the earliest wartime and CHA projects existed from the inception of the CHA
into the 1950's. They existed under a tacit understanding and agreement
between city council members, the Mayor's office, and successive CHA directors
(Hirsch, 84). The earliest housing projects in Chicago were intended to house
war workers as well as ordinary citizens. Mayor Edward Kelly was in public
agreement with the Chicago Urban League and other civil rights groups in
supporting racial integration in wartime projects located within racially mixed
neighborhoods. This was in keeping with the neighborhood composition rule of
the CHA and the Public Works Administration. Kelly, however, fearing a backlash
from white tenants and the surrounding area, made it clear to trusted senior
officials that the proportion of black tenants in these projects would be limited to
10% of all residents regardless of the proportion of blacks in a particular mixed
area (Bowly 1978, 49-50).
Most of the earliest CHA projects were built in predominantly white areas.
As illustrated in Figure 4.4, these included the Lathrop Homes-the furthest north
of the early projects, Trumbull Park-located on the far south side, Bridgeport,
and Lawndale housing projects. The CHA also operated twelve projects

120
throughout the metropolitan area built primarily to house war workers. Despite
the official exclusion of black tenants, some efforts were made to move small
numbers of black families into some of these projects, under the direction of
executive secretary Elizabeth Woods. During her tenure, Woods continually
attached a list of carefully selected "acceptable" black families to forms used by
CHA commissioners. These lists were never placed on the agenda of the
commissioners during meetings as, according to Woods, they would "not like to
have it discussed in open session" (Hirsch, 231).
The efforts of progressive housing officials remained largely ineffective, as
seen in Table 4.2. All four housing projects originally intended for European
tenants remained predominantly white as late as 1967. A small number of black
families resided in the Lathrop and Trumbull homes by way of an unofficial
quota. Lawndale Gardens, which was 94% white, had yet to accept any black
residents by the mid-1960s.
Table 4.2 Racial Makeup of Selected CHA Projects, 1967
Majority White Projects
# of White Families
% of White Families
# of Black Families*
LATHROP
888
96%
32
TRUMBULL
420
93%
25
BRIDGEPORT
139
99%
2
LAWNDALE
117
94%
0
Figures from 1965
Sources: Chicago Housing Authority. 1967. CHA Annual Statistical Report. Arnold R. Hirsch. 1998. Making
the Second Ghetto: Race & Housing in Chicago 1940-1960. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

121
At the end of WWII, there were eighty-two community newspapers, a
significant portion of them catering to particular ethnic communities, and
approximately 200 neighborhood improvement associations (Kleppner 1985, 44).
These organizations were instrumental in discouraging the movement of Afro-
Americans into Trumbull Park homes. Built in 1938, Trumbull Park was one of
the first three projects, along with Julia Lathrop and Jane Addams homes,
completed with funding from the Public Works Administration. In 1953, a light
skinned Afro-American female mistaken as white by the housing administrator
moved into Trumbull Park after being interviewed. Within 24 hours, the error by
the local administrator drew a crowd of 2000 protestors at Trumbull Park
demanding the eviction of the new tenant and any other plans to introduce new
black tenants (Bowly 1978). Then Mayor Martin Kennelly sent in police officers
in an attempt to disperse the crowd and protect tenants. Sporadic violence
continued for over one year with numerous arrests and injuries to tenants and
passersby taking place. A study of the Trumbull Park disturbances ordered by
Kennelly recommended that educational programs be provided for tenants prior
to any attempt to introduce black families into Trumbull Park (Bowly 1978).
A report in the Chicago Daily News focused on the instrumental role of
two community organizations in encouraging protests against the CHA's
integration efforts. The South Deering Improvement Association and the
National Citizens Protective Association reportedly transported and organized
many of the protestors into Trumbull Park during the year long controversy.

122
There was also evidence of bomb making material supplied by South Deering
members being distributed to local some residents (Bowly, 82; Hirsch, 89). The
continuous and at times violent protests played a key role in discouraging black
families from moving into the project and made officials within the CHA wary of
expanding modest efforts at racial integration in white majority areas.
The only one of the three PWA funded projects intended as a racially
mixed development was Jane Addams homes, which at 1,027 units was also the
largest. In anticipation of the new project, University of Chicago sociologist
Horace Cayton, in a study of the selected site stated that 21% of all families in
the area were black, thus he argued, the tenants selected should reflect the
overall population. Cayton made this argument as chair of the Citizens Housing
Committee in a letter dated Jan 20, 1938 to the CHA committee. He impressed
on the members that careful study found "ample reason why black families
should account for 21% of all those selected for residence" (Cayton 1938).
Other groups with an active interest in public housing integration sought
to encourage the CHA to continue with its intended plans for Jane Addams. A.L.
Foster, executive secretary of the Chicago Urban League, wrote to the CHA and
argued that because of reported biases against black applicants in the tenant
selection process, the committee should actively ensure that steps are taken to
overcome this image. Foster was concerned that local project managers would
continue the pattern found among managers of other CHA projects in which

123
"every method possible to discourage Negroes from applying" was used (Foster
1937).
Aligned against public housing with these homeowner groups was a cadre
of influential Euro-American aldermen in whose wards many such associations
flourished. They participated in the official duties of the Chicago city council,
which as of 1949 included the right to review and reject sites selected for
housing construction by the CHA. Anti-housing aldermen also influenced CHA
behavior through informal ways that were not part of official CHA or city council
meetings. Throughout the 1950's, an accommodation was reached between the
CHA and the city council in which, prior to CHA selected sites being brought
before the full council, the CHA contacted the individual aldermen in whose ward
a project was scheduled to be built (Hirsch, 241; Kleppner, 45). In effect, this
gave individual aldermen an informal veto over any scheduled projects. This
tacit agreement was fully supported by the new CHA director, Alvin Rose. Rose
declared in a 1958 speech his view of the new and proper role of the CHA: "too
much has been made over this interracial business... We are not going to use
public housing as a wedge; our role must be one of friend to the community"
(Hirsch, 242). This effectively meant that no project would be constructed in
neighborhoods where aldermanic opposition existed nor would there be any
further attempts to integrate all black and all white projects.
In addition to informally notifying individual aldermen, CHA decision
making independence was further weakened by so-called Larson Bills strategies.

124
State Senator Arthur E. Larson, a Chicago real estate dealer, was a consistent
opponent of public housing (Heinecke 1953). In 1951, Larson introduced a bill
that allowed the use of referenda on public housing construction in any ward
where a referendum petition obtained the support of at least 5% of all voters
(Metropolitan Housing and Planning Council 1951). While Larson's attempts
were not always successful, they empowered community organizations, real
estate interests, and officials to organize publicly against CHA decisions by
threatened use of referenda against any plans for project construction in their
wards (Hirsch, 240).
The end result of these informal rules forwarded by local officials and
organizations was a public housing strategy highly skewed along racial lines.
Sites selected in predominantly Euro-American neighborhoods were routinely
rejected by city council and planning committees while those selected in
predominantly Afro-American neighborhoods were routinely accepted. That
tenants in each project would continue to reflect the racial makeup of the
surrounding area continued to be a matter of course.
The influence and effectiveness of informal rules such as prenotification
and outside organizations, particularly white homeowners associations, is evident
in Table 4.3. In 1955, the first year of the appointment of Alvin Rose as CHA
Executive Director by Mayor Richard Daley, the CHA submitted 28 sites for
housing construction to the city council. All but four of the sites were in
predominantly black areas. The four sites located in white areas would

125
eventually be rejected by Chicago's city council while only 2 of the 24 proposed
sites in black areas would be rejected. Over ten years later, the same pattern
continued. Of 60 proposed sites, two-thirds were planned for black areas and
none were rejected while 90% of sites in white areas were eventually rejected or
withdrawn.
Table 4.3 Final Site Selection Decisions of CHA Projects by Race
YEAR
SITES
SUBMITTED
TO CITY
COUNCIL
BLACK AREAS
(# REJECTED/
WITHDRAWN)
WHITE AREAS
(#.REJECTED/
WITHDRAWN)
1955
28
24
4
(2)
(4)
1956
11
7
4
(2)
(4)
1958
11
9
2
(2)
(2)
1965
18
9
9
(0)
(9)
i 1966
60
40
20
(0)
(18)
Source: Chandler, Christopher. 1968. "CHA Cites Role of City Council In Housing Sites." The
Chicago Sun-Times. March 28, 1968. A7
The informal agreements and understanding that existed between high
level CHA officials, aldermen, and influential interest groups became more public
as former housing officials began to speak out during the late 1960's. What
these statements also made evident was that the CHA was the site for intense
ideological battles between senior officials during Chicago's experiment with
public housing and urban redevelopment. Former supervisor of tenant selection
for the CHA, Tamara D. Tabb, in a sworn statement stated that the CHA
maintained separate waiting lists for black and white families and deliberately

126
steered families into separate projects (Chicago Daily News, 1966). Prior to
1954, she continued, housing officials were under instructions that no black
families were to be placed in Trumbull Park, Lathrop, Lawndale, or Bridgeport
projects, notwithstanding the CHA's official policy of non-discrimination and
regardless of the black proportion of a particular ward. Despite disagreements
regarding these policies within the CHA, it was clear, based on statements by
Webb and other former employees, that progressive forces within the agency
fought a losing battle against a hostile city council and community opposition
(Moore 1964).
By the late 1960's, Chicago's segregated public housing infrastructure
mirrored that of the private housing market. The spatial dissimilarity between
blacks and whites residents in Chicago exceeded 90, meaning over 90% of black
residents would have to move to another neighborhood in order to achieve
integrated living patterns throughout Chicago (Massey and Denton 1993, 63-5).
The majority of private dwelling construction took place in white residential
areas, particularly in the northwest and southwest portions of the city, as seen in
Figure 4.5. Non-white neighborhoods, represented by the shaded areas, were in
greatest need of new housing due to significant increases in population fuelled
primarily by migration. In 1956, these areas absorbed 30,000 new residents, yet
only 794 non-government homes were constructed. In sharp contrast, 10,255
new housing units were built in majority white areas although the residential
population continued to steadily decrease due to out-migration (Chicago Urban

127
League 1956). Within the public housing market, of the 54 CHA family housing
projects, 50 were located in majority black areas. These projects were 99%
black; the remaining four projects located in majority white areas were at least
93% white (Kandlik 1969).
Along with racially skewed public housing programs, urban renewal
strategies for Chicago also had a disruptive effect on black residents. While real
estate interests built few housing units for the south side's exploding population,
they encouraged the razing of existing homes and properties within majority
black areas for development purposes. The significant overlap between urban
redevelopment programs and black residential areas is evident in Figure 4.6.
Nationwide, through 1961, 66% of all residents displaced by redevelopment
were Afro-Americans (Judd and Swanstrom 1998, 190). Chicago's experience
was similar; business and political elites viewed dilapidated areas in inner city
and south side areas as blights on future investment and property utilization.
In the eight-year period between 1948 and 1956, urban redevelopment
projects displaced 86,000 individuals in Chicago, 67% of whom were Afro-
Americans. During this period, 11% of the total black population in 1950 was
forced to move (Chicago Urban League 1958). Urban redevelopment and public
housing programs in intent and in effect worked to institutionalize the
segregated living patterns experienced by black residents and in public and
private housing markets. Only a fraction of residential properties razed were
replaced. Dennis O'Harrow, executive director of the American Society of

128
Planning Officials, in discussing the impact of redevelopment on affected
communities, noted that it has "not been clearthat the Chicago City
government has either the desire for or faith in planning that the Chicago citizens
have. There is no stated plan by the city government looking towards a
greater Chicago" (Chicago Urban League 1958).
Afro-American Elites and the Politics of Public Housing
I have tried to fight for civil rights where it is most effective, within the caucuses
of my own party.
Alderman William Dawson in Arnold R. Hirsch, Making The Second Ghetto, p.130.
What it comes down to is this: It [racial integration] won't happen in my lifetime.
This condition will be with us for a very long time, no matter what I doNegroes
won't be living just anywhere, and whites are going to move in here. You
couldn't pay a white family enough to move into this ward. I know.
Afro-American Alderman circa 1950's in James Q. Wilson, Negro Politics, p. 206
The black community in Chicago was, with a few exceptions, left in the
role of bystander in the ongoing controversies over public housing. Black
political elites and residents understood that the interests responsible for public
housing site selection and the segregated personality of the private housing
market were powerful and historically entrenched. Furthermore, even with the
problems associated with segregated public housing projects, they offered the
only low-income shelter available to blacks. Thus, while low-income Afro-
Americans took advantage of Chicago's large stock of public housing, many
resented the informal quotas that prevented them from moving into available
projects. And they resented Chicago's segregated housing market that limited
their migration out of crowded slums into predominantly working and middle-
class wards (Judd and Swanstrom, 142-3).

129
Within the black community, there was some evidence that the level of
support for public housing was dependent on class background. During the
initial migration of southern blacks into Chicago during the early 20th Century,
established middle-income blacks in certain areas remained suspicious of the
morals and behavior of the low-income newcomers (Lemann 1991). They
viewed the influx of southern migrants into the growing south side ghetto of
Bronzeville as a breeding ground for lower class behavior.
Dense south side neighborhoods held a racially homogenous, but socially
and economically diverse, black population. With the population base expanding
by 30,000 people each year during the 1950's (Wilson 1960, 102), class-based
differences between residents towards public housing was unavoidable. Some
upper-class blacks who owned their own homes were concerned about declining
property values in the face of significant migration by lower-income individuals.
Lower income migrants, however, continued to seek better built housing
(Meyerson and Banfield 1955; Wilson 1960). Thus, along with the community's
inability to overcome the strength of white homeowner associations and real
estate interests in maintaining public and private housing segregation, internal
conflict within the black community frustrated efforts to present a unified voice
on the issue of subsidized housing.
Afro-American political elites reflected the ambivalence of their
constituents. Theophilus M. Mann, one of the few Afro-Americans on the CHA's
executive committee during the 1960's, publicly criticized CHA site and tenant

130
selection policies. The concentration of housing projects in predominantly black
areas, argued Mann, was accomplishing nothing except for "building bigger and
better slums" (Moore 1961). While conceding that public housing gave shelter to
many low-income residents, he argued that the CHA should not build projects in
such a way that increased the already segregated living conditions of low-income
residents. Fellow commissioners criticized Mann's comments, but Mann in
response, despite his earlier comments implying that projects should be built in
less dense predominantly white neighborhoods, stated that he was not in favor
of building projects where they were not wanted.
Chicago's most powerful black political official, Congressman William
Dawson, who at the height of his influence controlled the electoral map of 5 of
the city's 50 wards, was silent on the issue of racial segregation and public
housing. Dawson adhered to the rules of Chicago machine politics and avoided
, speaking out on controversial or inoral issues, and focused his attention on an
issue-free band of political debate in order to shore up the electoral success and
cohesion of the Democratic machine monopoly (Hirsch, 129-130). The influx of
residents into south side wards also worked to shore up Dawson's political
influence. More migrants led to a larger reservoir of possible vote support, thus
helping Dawson and the Democratic Party. Congressman Dawson's reluctance to
speak out forcefully against segregated public housing and segregation in
Chicago more generally, led to tension between Dawson and a former political
ally, Robert Taylor, the Chair of the CHA under Mayor Kelly. Taylor actively

131
supported efforts to legislate fair housing ordinances and encouraged working
and middle income blacks to challenge restrictive covenants and residential
segregation. The rift between the two influential public officials only added to
the lack of a unified and consistent voice from the black community on the issue
of public housing.
By 1965, the non-white population of Chicago accounted for one-quarter
of the population (Kleppner, 34) and the city was one of the most racially
segregated urban areas in the United States (Massey and Denton 1993, 64).
Racial group tensions that existed prior to federal involvement in subsidized
housing had become institutionalized in the implementation of public housing
policy at mid-century. Elected politicians, neighborhood organizations, and real
estate interests informally controlled the rules and actions of the CHA and ended
the independent decision-making status once granted to it. The actions of the
CHA during this period are key factors in explaining the extraordinarily high social
and economic segregation currently experienced by low-income Afro-Americans
in Chicago.
Consensus over Conflict: Constructing Public Housing in Toronto
Plans, plans, we've got millions of plans. Let's get the goddamn shovels into the ground.
Metro Toronto Chairman Norman Gardiner circa 1950s in James T. Lemon, Liberal
Dreams and Natures Limits, p. 206.
The racial controversies that gripped Chicago during the postwar era were
largely absent in Toronto. Toronto, like Chicago, embarked on major efforts to
attract public housing and urban renewal funding that resulted in significant
changes to the landscape of the central business district and outlying areas.

132
However, these efforts took place in a political and ethnic environment
dominated by British residents. Whatever challenges advocates of subsidized
housing and local level housing bureaucracies had to confront, rapid and large-
scale racial population change had yet to take place. Thus, discussions
regarding public housing site selection did not have to navigate through the
thicket of racial animosity and underlying group violence.
By the time black and Asian residents appeared in large numbers in
Toronto, beginning in 1968 and continuing throughout the next two decades, the
majority of the city's largest public housing projects had already been completed.
During the 1960's, Toronto underwent a transformation from a city dominated by
low-density, owner occupied, single family homes to one of high-rise, rented
apartments. The dispersed location of apartment buildings in Toronto is
illustrated in Figure 4.7. Every year since 1960, over 50% of all housing built in
Toronto has been apartment complexes (Bourne and Berridge 1973). From 1961
to 1971, apartment complexes increased from 21% to 38% of all dwellings
(Nader 1976, 222). Major developments were concentrated in the downtown
core as well as in suburban surroundings. The municipal subdivisions of North
York, located in the northwest corner of the city, and Etobicoke, located in the
city's north-central quadrant, held significant portions of the overall apartment
infrastructure.
The location of public housing projects in Toronto mirrored the dispersed
pattern of private apartments. Figure 4.8 outlines the general locations of most

133
of the public housing developments (approximately 110) operated under the
Metropolitan Toronto Housing Authority. Clustered within the downtown core
are several large developments, including Moss Park (68), Regent Park South,
(76), and Regent Park North (69) the largest and oldest single development with
1368 units (Murdie 1994, 442). But significant clusters of developments can also
be found in suburban Scarborough and in North York along Jane Street.
By 1972 the Ontario Housing Corporation, with support from the
Metropolitan Toronto Housing Authority, had constructed 12,000 units of public
housing in each of the six subdivisions controlled by the Metropolitan Council.
Suburban North York and Scarborough, located in the far northwest and far
northeast of Toronto, respectively, held the largest number of projects, while the
downtown core accounted for the third largest number of developments (Dennis
and Fish 1972). The location pattern of housing for low-income residents stood
in stark contrast to that found in Chicago and other large American cities.
In addition to lacking the racial diversity and, consequently, the racial
animosity, that dominated Chicago housing policy decision-making, Toronto was
distinct in terms of the institutional relationship that existed between the
Metropolitan Toronto Housing Agency, the Metropolitan City Council, and the
Ontario Housing Corporation. In Chicago, site selection decisions, in effect,
came to be controlled by powerful individual aldermen and ward neighborhood
associations. In Toronto, provincial and metropolitan interests controlled site
selection. Provincial and metropolitan officials formally placed individual and

134
ward interests in Toronto in an advisory capacity and placed themselves as the
final arbiters (Dennis and Fish 1972; Lemon 1996).
Tension between the provincial level OHC and the metropolitan level
MTHA would develop over specific issues regarding the administration of
Toronto's expanding stock of public housing. But both bureaucracies shared a
general belief that granting municipal level interests more control over the urban
policy agenda would result in inefficient policy-making at the expense of the
larger metropolitan interest. In meetings with metropolitan officials, an OHC
board member, speaking on behalf of his colleagues, outlined the basic
institutional approach the Corporation would take: "Construction of any particular
housing project should be based on economicconsiderations primarily... The
needs of an individual (and) selection of particular tenants should be secondary"
(Dennis and Fish 1972, 135). In 1958, the Metropolitan City Council mirrored
this stance during discussion over two new housing developments. The Council
made it clear that "the provision of low cost housing in the Metropolitan area is a
responsibility of the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto and is not the
responsibility of any single area municipality (italics added)" (Metropolitan
Toronto Council 1958, 28).
In working to provide public housing, the Council created a committee to
help with determining the proper location for housing developments. The
committee reflected the operating ideology of the Council and the MTHA and was
dominated by metropolitan level officials. Called the Metropolitan Toronto

135
Advisory Committee, the body was composed of the Metropolitan Commissioners
of Housing and Planning, the Director of Research for the Metropolitan School
Board, the Statistician for the Metropolitan Toronto Separate School Board, and
several officials from the OHC (MacFarlane 1969, 62). The role of individual
municipalities was limited to inquiring whether the proposed project met local
zoning requirements, which could be altered by the metropolitan government if it
so chose. Overseeing this process was the OHC who had legal authority over the
activities of all local housing agencies.
Two main factors were responsible for the construction of low-income
developments in suburban locations, the availability of land and the influence of
private developers and urban reformers. Ecologically, Toronto adhered to the
conventional model of urban development in that land within the central
business district was dense with population and use intensive. As a result, land
prices in the downtown core were higher than in comparison to outer
geographical zones where land use was less intense and density levels were
lower (Palen 1997, 94-7; Sayegh 1972, 214-8). Housing officials ostensibly
chose to avoid the higher costs associated with developing within the CBD,
choosing instead to focus on outlying areas. In 1972, as an example, suburban
Scarborough was one of the few outlying areas that still had vacant land readily
available for new development. In addition, it was a predominantly working
class suburb with relatively inexpensive land. As a result, this subdivision held

136
the largest number of high-rise developments in the Toronto area (Dennis and
Fish, 191).
As in Chicago, private developers had some influence in urban
redevelopment strategies in Toronto. However, the extent and character of
development supported by private interests were distinct in the two cities. First,
private developers in Toronto focused most of their activities within and around
the central business district, whereas in Chicago, a significant portion of
development activity took place in south side, low-income neighborhoods.
Metropolitan officials along with business interests, particularly banks and railway
companies, wanted more development in Toronto's downtown core due partly to
a perceived lag in CBD investment in comparison to American cities.
Development efforts were led by three major banks-The Toronto-Dominion Bank,
The Royal Bank of Canada, and The Bank of Montreal. Their efforts resulted in
several high-rise commercial buildings being located in downtown Toronto,
including Toronto-Dominion Towers, one of the tallest buildings in North America
(Lemon 1996).
In addition, Canadian Pacific Railways, Canadian National Railways, and
developer Cadillac-Fairview planned a massive political and financial district
termed Metro Centre. However, citizen concerns regarding the scale of the
proposal and its impact on residential neighborhoods convinced advocates to
reduce the proposal. The Canadian National (CN) Tower was one result of the
revamped and more modest proposal. Outer zones and areas adjacent to the

137
CBD were of secondary importance in the development plans of private interests.
Their downtown efforts were significant, the amount of downtown land reserved
for office space doubled between 1962 to 1973 (Lemon, 274).
Urban reformers and housing activists, emboldened by the postwar
competitiveness of the progressive Cooperative Commonwealth Federation (CCF)
in provincial politics, were influential in reigning in the scale of urban
redevelopment in Toronto. Urban reformers, while supporting subsidized
housing redevelopment, sought to avoid the construction of high-rise projects in
high density areas which was seen by many reform groups as a major flaw in
American housing policy. Reform groups also advocated lowering the scale of
redevelopment efforts in order to ensure that all residential units that were torn
down would be replaced (Lemon 1996).
The Metropolitan Council was in agreement with a more modest
redevelopment strategy as early as the 1950's. In discussions over
redevelopment plans for the Moss Park and Alexandria Park housing projects in
1958, the Welfare and Housing Committee recommended to the full council that
"rehabilitation rather than clearance should take placethis would include a
limited clearance of small pockets of obsolete housing" (Metropolitan Toronto
Council 1958, 2). The Committee report concluded that this approach "would
provide a useful gauge for comparing costs and results of limited clearance and
rehabilitation as against total clearance in blighted areas" (4). The influence of
reformers, lower federal funding levels, and the emphasis on CBD commercial

138
development ensured that urban redevelopment in Toronto would take place on
a modest scale.
By 1970, Toronto held the largest stock of public housing in Canada;
Chicago was home to the third largest in the United States. Projects in Toronto
were situated in the downtown core and in each of the five surrounding suburbs.
In Chicago, low-income projects were situated disproportionately in south side
and western neighborhoods. And racial segregation was institutionalized within
each project, blacks and whites lived in separate projects or were housed in
separate locations within a development.
The racial and ethnic makeup of each city prior to WWI affected public
officials and institutions in different ways. Chicago's balkanized neighborhoods
led to a politics fuelled by ethnic and racial ties and used effectively by the
political machine. Government housing policy was captured by this political
culture and racial segregation became institutionalized into the public housing
infrastructure. The level of ethnic and racial balkanization in early Century
Toronto was low because no other ethnic group could challenge British residents
in number, political power, or economic influence, and visible minorities were a
small and numerically stagnant part of the population.
While discrimination was a reality in Canada, Canadian soil was not
conducive to cotton or plantation agriculture and consequently there was no
plantation slavery. The migration of southern blacks to the American Midwest
and northeast was a direct result of the decline of the plantation slave economy

139
and as a result, cities such as Detroit, Chicago, and New York would be changed
unalterably. No large wave of poor, black, agricultural migrants would enter
Toronto prior to WWII as they did Chicago. Considering the discrimination that
confronted the small black population that existed in Canada during the 1800's,
racial stereotypes would likely have been revived during attempts to develop
low-income housing had a sizable and growing Afro-Canadian population existed
during the decades prior to and following WWII. Significant racial change would
not occur in Toronto until after the majority of low-income housing projects were
already built.
Postwar Immigration and Demographic Change in Urban Canada
In 1941, 92% of Toronto CMA residents were European in background,
with migrs from the British Isles making up 80% of the total population. By
1981, the European component stood at 76% and those of British background
accounted for less than one-half of all residents (Breton et al 1990, 17-18).
Today, the city of Toronto, like Los Angeles, Miami, and New York City, is
majority-minority with residents of Caribbean, sub-Saharan African, East Asian
and South Asian background accounting for most of the visible minority
population. This diversity is primarily a result of changes in Canadian
immigration policy following WWII. Until the 1960's, preferred access was given
explicitly to white British subjects. A system of preferred and non-preferred
created along racial lines minimized the number of people of color allowed to
enter Canada (Hiebert 1994).

140
As a member of the British Commonwealth, Canada was under increasing
pressure domestically and by fellow Commonwealth nations to end its
discriminatory immigration policy against non-white applicants (Alexander and
Glaze 1996, 216; Henry 1994; 27-8). In response, officials passed the 1962
Immigration Act allowing independent or non-sponsored West Indian immigrants
to enter Canada for the first time. Continued pressure from West Indian, Asian,
and progressive interest groups resulted in all preferences based on racial and
ethnic criteria being overturned in 1967 in favor of qualifications that emphasized
education, training, skills, and refugee status (Frideres 1992, 48). In addition to
the need for Western nations to demonstrate humanitarian concern for growing
non-Western refugees and to substantively oppose racial discrimination, changes
in Canadian immigration laws also helped to satisfy the growing shortage of
labor in certain entry-labor fields (Alexander and Glaze 1996, 177-9).
Canadian immigration patterns following the 1967 amendments changed
markedly. These immigration patterns have had a direct impact on the urban
centres in Canada. In 1991, 60% of all immigrants intended to settle in 3 cities-
Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver (Hiebert 1994, 257). Since the 1970's,
Toronto has been the primary reception area for international migrants; in 1991,
Toronto was the intended destination of 27% of all newcomers to Canada (Ray,
261). Among cities in North America, only Miami equals Toronto in its
percentage of foreign-born residents (Mercer & Goldberg 1986, 160).

141
Before 1961, the top ten places of birth for immigrants in Toronto were all
in Europe, save for the United States, which was the ninth largest source. As
evidenced in Table 4.4, of the top ten source countries between 1991-1996 only
one European country-Poland-was in the top ten. The three largest recipients
are all located in Asia. The main sources for black immigrants were all West
Indian countries; Jamaica, which was ranked sixth overall, Guyana, the eighth
largest source, and Trinidad and Tobago, the eleventh largest source. Since
1970, through continued immigration and natural increase, visible minorities
have been the fastest growing segments of Toronto's population.
Visible minority immigrants would follow the same pattern followed by
southern blacks in Chicago and settle initially in areas that offered the most
affordable housing and the least resistance to their arrival. In Chicago, minority
migrants settled in the south side area called Bronzeville and, after WWII, many
entered the projects provided by the CHA. In Toronto, the least expensive land
was in suburban locations including most of the city's public housing projects.
The pattern of minority immigrant settlement over the past generation in
Toronto is characterized by a spatially dispersed, suburban pattern that stands in
contrast to that found historically or currently in Chicago. This is illustrated in
Figure 4.9a.
Each of the six former municipalities of the city of Toronto has a sizable
population of first generation immigrants. The heaviest areas of immigration are
in the CBD in the south-central portion of Figure 4.9, the subdivision of

142
Scarbourgh in the outer northeast, and the North York subdivision to the West of
the downtown core. In three of the six subdivisions, North York, Scarborough,
and York first generation immigrants account for over 50% percent of the
population (City of Toronto 1998).
Table 4.4 Largest Sources of Immigrants to Toronto, 1991-1996.
SRI LANKA 32,175
CHINA 26,260
PHILLIPINES 25,780
HONG KONG 25,355
INDIA 17,215
JAMAICA 12,500
POLAND 11,485
GUYANA 10,145
VIET NAM 10,045
IRAN 8,930
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO 7,500
PAKISTAN 6,750
Source: City of Toronto. 1998. ProfileToronto. No. 2
Urban Planning and Development Services. May
There is, however, some variability in the spatial location of specific non-
European groups. The term visible minority is an umbrella term that combines
(for analytical convenience) a variety of distinct ethnic, cultural, and racial groups
and often fails to identify existing social, economic, and political distinctions
(James 1995; Singh 1988). Looking within the visible minority immigrant
population, it is evident that spatial variability does exist, as seen in Figure 4.10.

143
Hong Kong Chinese, for example, one of the single largest immigrant
groups to Toronto, are heavily concentrated in Toronto's northeast subdivision of
Scarborough (Map 3) and extends into Markham, Ontario the city immediately
north of the northern city limits. A similar spatial concentration is also evident
among Mainland Chinese migrants (Map 5). Chinese migrants are heavily
concentrated within the downtown core in two distinct areas. The two
downtown enclaves are respectively known as Central and East Chinatown (Lo
and Wang 1997). While many downtown ethnic enclaves in North American
cities have disappeared, Central and East Chinatown continue to be viable
economic and cultural areas even as the Chinese community continues to expand
in outer suburban regions.
Other less intense concentrations are evident in Figure 4.10. Two South
Asian groups, for example, Sri Lankans and East Indians, are concentrated
mostly in suburban locations (Maps 4 & 6). The former tend to settle in
relatively large numbers in the east-central portion of Scarborough while the
latter group is concentrated in northwestern Toronto in suburban Etobicoke.
With respect to immigrants from the Caribbean, most of whom are of
African descent (Map 9), a wide area of settlement is evident. The largest
number of Caribbean/West Indian immigrants resides in Scarborough and in the
north-central region of North York (Ray 1997). Compared to other visible
minority immigrant groups, the Afro-Caribbean population is surprisingly

144
dispersed. Even in comparison to some recent European immigrants, Afro-
Caribbean residents are more evenly dispersed.
The extent of spatial integration of black immigrants, which is unusual by
North American standards, was made evident in a 1998 city report on immigrant
groups. The report utilized the Index of Dissimilarity to quantify the level of
segregation experienced by visible minority immigrants. The Index is the most
common measure of residential segregation and asks the basic question: What
portion of a given population would have to move to another neighborhood in
order for integration to be achieved? (City of Toronto, 7; Massey and Denton,
20-22) The measure ranges from 0, which represents complete spatial evenness
or integration, to 100, which represents complete segregation where every
member of a particular group would have to move to achieve integration.
A general rule of thumb for interpreting the Dissimilarity Index is that a
score from 0 to 30 is a low level of segregation, 30 to 60 is moderate, and 60 to
100 is high (Massey and Denton, 20). From Table 4.5, two general conclusions
can be made. First, it is evident that non-European immigrants experience a
moderate to high level of segregation from the rest of Toronto's population.
Second, West Indian immigrants experience unusually moderate levels of spatial
segregation compared to other groups. The Index for West Indians is
significantly lower than that for Polish immigrants (45 to 61), something unique
relative to Afro-Americans in Chicago and in several large American cities.

145
Table 4.5 Index of Dissimilarity for Immigrants in Toronto
Hong Kong
70
Viet Nam
66
Poland
61
Sri Lanka
61
China
55
India
54
Jamaica, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago
45
Philippines
44
Source: City of Toronto. 1998. City Toronto Urban Planning and Development
Services. May. Pg 7.
The integrated nature of West Indian residents in Toronto should not be
used to conclude that racial discrimination against people of color does not exist.
Racial discrimination clearly does exist in Toronto, including discrimination in the
housing market, as several studies have pointed out (Cannon 1995; Henry 1994;
Henry et al. 1995). A key factor contributing to the dispersed pattern of Afro-
Canadian residents is the dispersed location of Toronto's housing projects. There
are concentrations of Afro-Canadians in large apartment complexes in the central
business district and in North York and Scarborough.
The reliability of any study of the racial and ethnic background of
residents in Canadian public housing projects is limited due to the lack of official
government data on subjects related to race (Henry et al 1995; Croucher 1997).
In one of the few in-depth quantitative studies of public housing in Canada, York
University geographer, Robert Murdie, estimated that blacks accounted for 27%
of all tenants in Metropolitan Toronto Housing Authority projects in 1986 (Murdie
1994). Murdie suggests that the concentration of blacks in public housing may
be attributed to what he terms "constrained choice"; a combination of individual

146
cultural choice, private housing cost constraints, and some form of institutional
discrimination.
While the reasons behind the overrepresentation of blacks in public
housing is open to debate, the fact that blacks do reside in housing projects in
numbers disproportionate to their portion of the population is now beyond
dispute. The housing policies created and implemented during the WWII period
are directly relevant to this issue. The relative integration of Afro-Canadian
residents, despite being overrepresented in low-income housing, is in part a
function of the dispersed location of low-income housing projects. Just as
Chicago's segregated housing projects reflect housing policies support at mid-
century, Toronto's dispersed projects reflect decisions made by local and
provincial institutions during the 1940's and 1960's. The distinct spatial realities
facing low-income people of color in Chicago and Toronto have significant
implications for the larger socio-economic and political standing of blacks in both
cities.
Table 4.1 Ethnic
3ackqround of Toronto Residents,
1951-Percentages
British Isles
72.7
Jewish
5.3
Italian
2.5
French
2.9
German
1.7
Ukrainian
2.6
Polish
2.4
Hungarian
Japanese
Africa
n
Native
Other 8.8
Chinese --
Dutch 1.1
Source: Census of Canada 1951.
Table 4.2 Ethnic Background of Chicago Residents, 1950-Percentages,
European Ethnic Subgroups-Largest to Smallest
WHITE-85 | NON-WHITE-14
Southeast, German & Irish, British, Norway-Sweden
Non-White includes blacks and Hispanics
Sources: Chicago Urban League. 1957. Research Department. Paul Kleppner. 1985. Chicago
Divided: The Making of a Black Mavor.DeKalb. Illinois: Northern Illinois University.

147
MAP 1
r~ryword 7600
3*r on 04CO
J
- l
^ 5ryn Mor iiOO
NEGRO POPULATION BY
4 La^ence 1-4600 WARDS
1900
rimq Park (4000
r.~ z;u
iJetmo"' i3?CC
1 PARKS AND CEMETERIES
. ruilerton 24Q0
V-* \
s s
Under .5*0 Negro
.5 1% Negro
1 2% Negro

2 3% Negro
m
3 10% Negro

Over 10% Negro
Figure 4.1 Chicago Black Population by Ward Percentages. 1900
Source: Allan H. Spear. Black Chicago: The Making of a Negro Ghetto 1890-1920.
Chicago: University of Chicago.

148
MAP 2
ANNEXED
NOV. 3. 1910
aJl
1
r
=
\
¡
L

\
I
\ -*
1 2S. -
\
S-
I i
i
-
\
l
\ 1
Devon <64001
NEGRO POPULATION BY
'44901 WARDS
1910
Irving Port (4000)
a* I moot 13200' o PARKS AND CEMETfWK
FvUerroo (2400)
\
77! North (1600'
hi
j* \CHicogo (800
r
1
-1
|i 1
1
*|
- r a
1
V
mJ L
n(0)
7 8 ;i200i
Under .3% Negre
.5 1 % Negro
1 2% Negro

i-3* Ngro

3 10% Negro
Over 10% Negro
LAKE MICHIGAN
Jl
ANNEXED
APRIL 4. T9H
¡Raza
i-1
1

r
i
yS
1
L
i
'd
: i4-
rV
/, V
y
1 !
I 1
Figure 4.2 Chicago Black Population by Ward Percentages, 1910.
Source: Allan H. Spear. Black Chicago: The Making of a Negro Ghetto, 1890-
1920.Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

149
Figure 4.3 Black Proportion of Chicago Population by Census Tract, 1910-1920.
Source: Allan H. Spear. Black Chicago: The Making of a Negro Ghetto: 1890-1920. Chicago:
University of Chicago Press.

150
Figure 4.4 CHA Operated Housing Projects, 1946
Source: Chicago Housing Authority. 1947. Facts About Public Housing in Chicago. June.

151
RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION, 1956
SINGLE FAMILY UNITS
I Howord
Bryn Mowr
Figure 4.5 Private Residential Construction and Majority Black Areas
Source: Chicago Urban League. 1956. Urban Renewal & the Negro In Chicago-Chicago
Residential Construction. Chicago Urban League Research Department.

152
KEY
Figure 4.6. Urban Renewal Zones and Black Residential Areas
Source: Chicago Urban League. 1958. Urban Renewal and The Neero In Chicaeo-Chicago
Residential Construction. Research Department-Chicago Urban League.

153
Figure 4.7. Distribution of Apartments in Toronto. 1976.
Source: Metropolitan Toronto Planning Board.
J

154
Figure 4.8 Metropolitan Toronto Housing Authority Developments
Source: Murdie, R. 1994. Blacks in Near-ghettoes? Black Visible Minority Population in
Metropolitan Toronto Housing Authority Public Housing Units. Housing Studies 9: 441

155

Settlement Pattern of Recent Immigrants by Place of Birth (1991-1996) < MAPS HONG KONG -25,355 MAP A: SRI LANKA 32,1 75
156
Figure 4.10 Toronto Settlement Pattern of Largest Immigrant Groups 1991-1996
Source: City of Toronto. 1998. City Toronto Maps 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10. Urban Planning and Development
Services. May.
Uibon Planning ond Dsvalopment Sn

CHAPTER 5
CONTRASTS AND IRONIES:
SEGREGATION AND THE MODERN-DAY STANDING OF PEOPLE OF COLOR
It is as segregated as it was 30 years ago. I used to think that there was a time that
maybe not in my lifetime but in my daughter's lifetime I would see the possibility of this
problem being solvedand now I know that that's not going to happen.
Senior official-Chicago Leadership Council for Metropolitan Open Communities. Interview
September 2000.
There is no 'typical client'. Race is not a major factor in the issue of housing. There are
no large concentrations of one ethnic group in a project solely because of racial
discrimination
Senior officiallarge non-profit housing organization. Interview March 3 2000.
The analysis of the relationship between public housing policy and
residential segregation is less one of cause and effect where the former causes
the latter. The relationship is better described as a complex interaction between
public policy and pre-existing popular stereotypes and prejudices, and how they
have interacted to affect the lives not only of minority public housing residents
but all racial minorities, whether in the public or private residential market. Over
90% of black residents in Toronto and Chicago live in private residential homes,
apartments, and condominiums, like most other urban ethnic groups. Subsidized
housing policy by itself was not the sole cause nor was it the main cause of
residential segregation between black and white residents.
What makes public housing relevant to a discussion on urban residential
segregation is the role it plays in contributing to racial stereotypes and tensions,
which, in turn, encourages the maintenance of residential segregation in
157

158
American life. Public housing projects and its residents are laden with political
symbolism. Discussions on crime, family values, illegitimacy, taxation, and the
work ethic, for example, often intersect with long held and popular racial
stereotypes. As argued convincingly by Edsall and Edsall, "Race has crystallized
and provided a focus for values conflicts, for cultural conflicts, and for interest
conflicts.... Race has provided a mechanism to simultaneously divide voters over
values, and to isolate one disproportionately poor segment of the population
from the rest of the electorate" (Edsall and Edsall 1991, 5).
Stereotypes and assumptions about deviant culture, values, and morality
are directed most strongly towards that segment of the minority poor that
resides in government housing projects. Comments questioning the morality and
civility of blacks were voiced often during discussions and violent confrontations
over housing space in Chicago during the WWII era. These beliefs were
indicative of stereotypes found in cities throughout the United States (Daily
Defender 1956). The controversies generated by public housing site and tenant
selection were reflections of larger racial controversies extending into the social,
economic and political realms of each city (Wilson 1996, 111-148).
Segregation. Political Incorporation.
And Urban Black North America
The phenomenon of residential group segregation results from the
interplay of various demographic, cultural, economic, and political processes. As
sociologist John Yinger states, residential segregation:

159
Is one outcome of a complex system in which prejudice, segregation,
discrimination, and racial or ethnic economic disparities are simultaneously
determined-racial and ethnic prejudice and discrimination are both
causes and consequences of residential segregation (Yinger 1995,122).
In addition to an established literature on the social and economic effects
of residential segregation (Becker 1971; Lieberson 1980; Ogbu 1978; Massey
and Denton 1993; Yinger 1995), the relationship between segregation and
political influence has also been a subject of study. V.O. Key provided one of the
classic treatments of this subject in Southern Politics in State and Nation (1949).
Key posited that in southern congressional districts with high proportions of
blacks, a polarization effect takes place where Congressmen are pressured by
reactionary white constituents to oppose minority-supported issues. Thus, in
southern districts where blacks are particularly concentrated, a negative
correlation exists between the proportion of the black population and
congressional support for civil rights issues.
A later variant of Key's argument, termed the curvilinear hypothesis,
posited that majority white districts do not show concern about the presence of
Afro-Americans as long as blacks make up a small portion of the total population.
However, the polarization effect takes place as the black population reaches 20%
and representation of minority interests begins to decline until Afro-Americans
comprise a majority of the voting population (Cameron et al 1996, 796-7). Still
other research argues that a threshold effect occurs where the level of support
for minority interests jumps significantly when minority district residents reach a
certain percentage of the population (796). While the particular direction of the

160
relationship is open to argument, it is clear that demographic factors, particularly
group size and spatial concentration, have a significant impact on the behavior of
voters and political officials.
As black, Asian and Hispanic populations continue to increase in urban
North America, so do their portion of the voting age population (Todd and
Swanstrom 1998, 390). The term political incorporation as used by Browning,
Marshall, and Tabb (1997) refers to the general range of possibilities for minority
group interests in achieving continuous, effective policy influence over urban
electoral institutions. In some cities minorities hold little or no seats on the city
council, for example, while in others they are represented in proportion to their
numbers in the population. However, achieving proportional representation in
the mayor's office or the city council is just one portion of the political
incorporation equation. A key factor in achieving full incorporation for racial
minorities is to be full partners in a governing coalition that supports policies that
positively affect the social and economic interests of minority residents
(Browning et al 1990).
Indicators of policies that forward minority interests include the
establishment of police-community agencies responsible for investigating police
behavior, the development of minority business procurement offices, the
appointment of minorities to municipal boards and commissions, and increased
employment of minorities in municipal government. In achieving political
incorporation, Browning, Marshall, and Tabb argue that group size is a

161
"fundamental resource" (14). A large black or Hispanic population is generally
correlated with the achievement of policy influence particularly when the minority
population engages a sustained campaign of demand articulation and coalition
building with like-minded interests.
Along with the demographic factor of population size, institutional factors
play an important role in achieving political incorporation for minorities. The
electoral structure of a city, whether it is an at-large or ward based system, for
example, or whether it is a reformed or unreformed government, can encourage
or discourage Afro-American and Hispanic political representation. In a study of
over 170 central city school boards, Robinson and England (1981) found that in
cities where blacks were underrepresented on local school boards in proportion
to their share of the population, at-large electoral systems were utilized in school
board elections. In a study focusing on the relationship between electoral
systems and minority representation on local city councils, Robinson and Dye
(1978) found further support for the conclusion reached by Robinson and
England (1981) and other researchers. Ward-based systems are positively
related with high levels of minority representation while at-large systems tend to
lower the level of minority representation in local political institutions (Karnig and
Welch 1982; Taebel 1978).
Cities with at-large election procedures tend to be municipalities with a
reformed governmental structure. Originating in the Progressive era during the
early 1900's, the municipal reform movement was a reaction against the social

162
ills of urban life and the inefficiencies and corruption popularly associated with
machine style governments (Judd and Swanstrom 1998, 80-83). The three
major characteristics of reform government are; replacing ward based elections
with at-large elections, having non-partisan elections instead of party label
contests, and the appointment of a professional city manager(s) to guard against
wasteful spending and inefficient administration (98-101).
In contrast to reformed governments, unreformed systems are associated
with ward-based campaigns, partisan elections, and the traditional hierarchy
where the mayoral office makes most of the political and economic decisions.
While other factors such as family income, city age, and level of education, have
been shown to affect the strength of the relationship between reform
government and minority political representation (Engstrom and McDonald 1981;
MacManus 1978), the general correlation between the two variables has been
clear and consistent (Judd and Swanstrom, 104). While blacks and Hispanics still
face challenges in achieving political influence in American cities, unreformed
governmental systems offer the best hope for political incorporation of racial
minorities in the United States.
Much of the research on the structural path to minority political
incorporation follows a causal model similar to Figure 5.1. Electing and
appointing racial minorities to local offices is one step in the path to political
incorporation. Representation per se, as stated by Browning, Marshall, and

163
Tabb, is insufficient to ensure that minorities are effective and influential in
forwarding an agenda beneficial to minority residents.
Figure 5.1 Causal Model of Urban Minority Political Incorporation
Preceding Variables: Outcome:
Institutional-
The distinction between minority representation and political incorporation
is illuminated through the terms "descriptive representation" and "substantive
representation", as used by Carol Swain (1996). The former refers to the
"correspondence of the demographic characteristics of representatives [in this
case- race] with those of their constituents". The latter refers to "the
correspondence between representatives' goals and those of their constituents"
(5). Minority representation on city councils and local school boards coincides
with descriptive representation as defined here. While the representative(s) and
black residents share a common phenotype, there is no necessary link between
being of the same race and agreeing on what is in the best interests of black

164
residents (5). Nor is there any guarantee that the representative will act in the
best interests of the black community.
When minority interests and the policy interests of a public official
coincides then substantive representation is said to exist. The concept of
political incorporation refers to when these interests are reflected in government
policy. Consequently, Browning, Marshall, and Tabb, like Swain, view
proportionate minority representation as neither necessary nor sufficient to
achieve political incorporation or substantive representation (Browning, Marshall,
and Tabb 1997, 8-9; Swain, 5-7).
Despite the caveats attached to descriptive representation, however, the
presence of minorities within elected and appointive bodies does have
importance. There is evidence that blacks living in cities with visible minority
political representation tend to be more trusting, efficacious, and more attentive
to political affairs (Judd and Swanstrom, 401). Even if most of the benefits are
symbolic, black, Hispanic, and Asian council and school board members stand as
examples of the gains that racial minorities have made in American political life.
The political science literature on the achievement of political
representation and minority incorporation has focused mostly on the relationship
between political structure and group size as independent variables, as outlined
in Figure 5.1. An explicit focus on the role that racial segregation can play in
encouraging and discouraging minority political advancement has historically
been lacking. The level of racial segregation in a given city is a key factor in

165
constructing a causal explanation of urban minority political representation. In a
study of black and Hispanic employment in 1200 cities, Kenneth Mladenka (1989)
noted that Ward based systems in southern cities enhanced black representation
on city councils and key municipal employment categories (177-79). This was in
keeping with the general hypothesis from previous research that ward electoral
systems were conducive to minority representation. However, in western cities,
Mladenka found that ward systems actually limited the level and effectiveness of
minority influence.
This surprising finding was previously noted by Vedlitz and Johnson
(1982) who found that ward systems have a significant impact on the election of
blacks to councils in segregated cities. Their findings, along with Mladenka's
later study, lend strong support to the position that the level of racial segregation
in a city is a key contextual variable that can affect the general hypothesis that
ward-based systems enhance minority political representation and influence,
while at-large systems discourage minority political strength.
The key interaction among preceding variables that affect minority
representation takes place between racial segregation and political structure,
as illustrated in Table 5.1. Unreformed city governments offer racial minorities
the best opportunity to maximize their numbers in local institutions. Highly
segregated unreformed cities are likely to have wards where the majority of
eligible voters are racial minorities. Segregated cities are also likely to be racially

166
polarized cities. Thus, polarized election contests grants access to minority
candidates to local offices.
A spatially dispersed minority population in an unreformed city presents a
considerable barrier to minority representation. Few if any wards are likely to
have a majority-minority population and minority residents would find it difficult
to pool their votes in order to elect minority candidates. Descriptive
representation is discouraged under these circumstances, particularly when the
minority community accounts for a small portion of the overall population.
Reformed and moderately segregated urban systems are found in western cities
such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Portland. These cities also have
relatively small percentages of black residents. Each of these characteristics, as
Mladenka correctly concluded, helps to explain why blacks held little
representation and political influence in western cities (180-81).
Table 5.1 Effect of Segregation and Government Structure on Minority Representation
Reformed Government*
Unreformed Government*
Segregated
Lower Minority
Representation
Higher Minority
Representation
Non-segregated
Moderate/Higher Minority
Representation
Lower Minority
Representation
Reformed Government: at large election system, city manager, non-partisan elections.
Unreformed Government: ward based election system, mayor, partisan elections.
The level of segregation has less of an impact on minority representation
in reformed political structures. Minority representation is likely to be lower in
comparison to unreformed urban governments regardless of the level of

167
segregation. As long as a given minority population accounts for less than a
majority of ail voting-age residents, an at-large electoral system allows the racial
majority to overwhelm the votes of smaller groups and elect particular
candidates. The likelihood of this outcome increases significantly in reformed
cities when racial tension is high (Lineberry and Fowler 1967).
A proper explanation then of the causes behind minority political
representation in urban North America must take into account each city's level of
racial segregation. This involves analyzing a city's historical experience with
group tension including the impact of demographic trends and the behavior of
public and private institutions in the housing market is key. Figure 5.2 illustrates
this analytical interaction where the study of an urban area's contemporary
political structure and minority population is linked with a historical analysis of
the racial segregation level in the city. While minority representation and,
ultimately political incorporation, can be a result of many variables, racial
segregation interacts with political structure and population size to exert great
influence on the limits of minority power in metropolitan areas.
Minority Political Representation in Chicago and Toronto
With both cities having distinct historical experiences with racial
segregation, Chicago and Toronto provide an opportunity to test some of the
hypotheses regarding the intersection of racial segregation, government
structure, and political incorporation. The work of Vedlitz and Johnson (1982),
and Mladenka (1989) provide three main hypotheses that can be used:

168
The larger the black population, the higher the level of political representation
for blacks.
The higher the level of segregation, the higher the level of political
representation for blacks.
The higher the level of political reform, the lower the level of political
representation for blacks.
Figure 5.2 Role of Segregation in Causal Path to Minority Representation
Demographic
Trends/Racial
Makeup
Public/Private
Housing Policy
Level of Racial
The level of political representation is operationalized by looking at the
number and proportion of blacks serving on the Toronto and Chicago city
councils and then comparing these numbers with the percentage of blacks in the
general population. The percentage of blacks on the city council will be divided
by the percentage of blacks in the general population to create a representation
index (Mladenka 1989, 168). The larger the index number, the higher the level

169
of political representation. The index ranges from 0 to 99 with 0 representing a
minority group accounting for 99% of a city's population but with no
representation on the city council. A ratio exceeding 1 occurs when the
percentage of a group on the city council is greater than their percentage of the
population.
A reform index is used to measure the level of political reform based on
three general characteristics found in most urban reformed government systems:
At-large elections
Nonpartisan elections
City manager government
The index ranges from 0 to 3 with each indicator assigned a score of 1
(Mladenka, 170). A 0 score represents a city with a traditional unreformed
system of government, a score of 3 represents a strong reformed government.
A score exceeding 1.5 is interpreted as a reformed government, a score lower
than 1.5 stands for an unreformed government. The level of segregation is
based on the Index of Dissimilarity.
As seen in Table 5.2, there are significant distinctions between the two
cities that influence the political representation of blacks and provide support for
the three stated hypotheses. The black population in Chicago is significantly
larger than in Toronto. While official census data in Canada estimated Toronto's
black population to be approximately 6% in 1996, government figures on race
for over a generation have underestimated the visible minority population by a
substantial margin (Boxhill 1990; Henry, 27-30). As of 2000, Toronto's minority

170
population represents over 50% of all residents with the black population
estimated accounting for 10% of the total population*.
Table 5.2 Size and Political Representation Level of the Black Population in
Chicago and Toronto, 2001
Chicago
Toronto
Black Population -%
38.5
10*
Index of Dissimilarity
.778
.491
City Council Districts
50
44
Black Political
Representation-% (#)
40% (20)
2.2% (1)
Political Reform Index
0
1
Representation Index
1.03
0.22
Unofficial projected estimate based on Frances Henry. 1994. The Carribean Diaspora in Toronto: Learning
to Uve with Racism Toronto: University of Toronto Press, pgs 27-31.
Sources: U.S. Census Bureau.1994. Countv and City Data Book. Edward L. Glaeser and Jacob L. Vigdor.
2001. "Racial Segregabon in the 2000 Census: Promising News'. The Brookings Institutions-Survey Series.
April.
DeWayne Wickham. 2001. "Chicago's Council Tussle Shows Race Does Matter'. USA Todav.com. June 26.
Harold Bauder. 2001. "Visible Minorities and Urban Analysis". Canadian Journal of Urban Research. 10.
Even with non-governmental adjusted figures, the total number of blacks
in Toronto is significantly smaller than Chicago's Afro-American population, 10%
and 38%, respectively. As posited by the first hypothesis, Chicago's black
population has significantly more political representation. Afro-Americans held 20
out of 50 seats on the Chicago city council in 2001, representing 40% of the
total. By contrast, a person of African descent occupied only 1 out of 44 seats in
the City of Toronto city council.
The second hypothesis is also supported. As is evident by the
representation level and the representation index, Chicago's high level of black

171
political representation is positively correlated with a high level of racial
segregation. Over 7 in 10 of Chicago's black residents would have to move to
another neighborhood in order to achieve integrated living patterns that are
proportionate to Chicago's overall percentage of black and white residents.
Conversely, Toronto's black population experiences a significantly lower level of
racial segregation relative to the white population. Less than one-half of the
city's black residents would have to move to achieve integrated living patterns.
Chicago's black population has a representation level that exceeds its
percentage of the population with a score of 1.03 on the representation index.
The index for blacks in Toronto, by contrast, registered only 0.22. Black
residents in Toronto are significantly underrepresented in the city's most
influential public body even in comparison to their relatively modest portion of
the total population.
The third hypothesis finds general support as well. Both cities are
unreformed urban systems with relatively low scores on the reform index.
However, Toronto registers a 1 score because it has a non-partisan electoral
system. The city's higher level of political reform is correlated with a lower level
of black political incorporation while Chicago's unreformed city government is
linked to a high level of black political incorporation.
The overall relationship between segregation and black political
representation in Toronto and Chicago lends support to the general argument
put forward by Mladenka (1989) and others (see Table 5.3). Chicago represents

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and supports the argument that a highly segregated, unreformed urban system,
in effect, offers racial minorities more opportunity for descriptive representation.
Toronto exemplifies an unreformed urban system with a relatively integrated
black population. Consequently, the black population's lack of high geographic
concentration prevents them from numerically dominating enough political
districts to achieve a high level of descriptive representation.
Table 5.3 Placement of Chicago and Toronto in Segregation/ Minority Representation
Relationship
Reformed Government*
Unreformed Government*
Segregated
L.M.R
H.M.R
CHICAGO
Non-segregated
M/H.M.R
L.M.R
TORONTO
*Reformed Government: at large election system, city manager, non-partisan elections.
*Unreformed Government: ward based election system, mayor, partisan elections.
Has Minority Political Incorporation Been Achieved?
Substantive Representation in Toronto and Chicago
With recent political abuses, the mayor has now actually appointed 15 of 16 aldermen,
we don't have anyone on city council thinking for themselves anymore. If you have a
man that doesn't care about fair housing and segregation, then I certainly don't see him
making [an effort] to appoint people who have that on their political screen.
Chicago Fair Housing official, September 3 2001.
My perception is that there was more influencein the political system in the old
(Metropolitan) city of Toronto-. In the new system there are about45 councilors
about 3 are black. And there is at least one of them who wouldn't say that they are
black and if you think about it you'll know who I'm talking about.
Senior Toronto-area Board of Education official March 15 2000.
The impact of racial segregation on the political representation of blacks in
Toronto and Chicago is clear. The differential rate of segregation is a key factor
contributing to Toronto's low level of black political representation and the high
level of representation found in Chicago. How these distinct circumstances have

173
affected the substantive representation of black residents is less clear. Using the
four indicators of political incorporation used by Browning et al would show that
Chicago has been relatively responsive to the concerns of blacks compared to
Toronto. Evidence of city regimes that are responsive to people of color
includes:
the employment of blacks in city government posts;
the existence of a police/community relations board;
the appointment of blacks to municipal boards and commissions; and
the existence of a minority business development agency(ies) (Browning,
Marshall, and Tabb 1997).
All 4 indicators were strongly present in Chicago municipal government
during the administration of Mayor Harold Washington from 1983 to 1987.
According to Pinderhughes's analysis (Pinderhughes 1997), the percentage of
blacks in key government posts as employees and high-level officials increased
noticeably. In the post-Washington era, however, blacks have found it difficult
to build a winning electoral coalition. Under the current Daley administration,
Afro-Americans appear to hold less influence and power over the content and
implementation of local government policy and programs (Pinderhughes 1997).
Nevertheless, blacks continue to be a significant presence throughout
Chicago's public institution. As seen in Table 5.4, although the percentage of
black officers in the Chicago Police Department is smaller than the percentage of
blacks in the total population, Afro-Americans represent a higher percentage of

174
police personnel in comparison to other major cities. One in every four Chicago
police officers are of African descent compared to only 14% and 15% of New
York and Los Angeles officers, respectively. Furthermore, since 1996 the number
of black officers hired in Chicago has risen by 4% while the number of whites
has declined 3%. Thus, even after the passing of mayoral leadership under
Harold Washington, progress continues to be made in terms of the hiring and
promotion of blacks within Chicago's municipal institutions (Chicago-Sun Times
2001, 10A-11A; Pinderhughes 1997).
Table 5.4 Police Personnel by Race and % Change in Hiring-1996-2000
Chicago
New York
Los Angeles
Afro-American
3,543 (+4)
7,366 (+7)
1,336 (+4.5)
Hispanic
1,762 (+33)
5,456 (+17)
3,043 (+13.5)
Euro-American
8,145 (-3)
26,192 (+4)
4,659 (-.004)
Source: Chicago Sun-Times. 2001."Balancing the Police Force". Grading Chicago Cods. March 13A
Utilizing municipal employment data to gauge black political incorporation
in Toronto is significantly more problematic because of the lack of reliable and
accessible information on local government hiring practices. Canadian
authorities, even as Canadian cities become more ethnically and racially diverse,
have shown a general reluctance to collect and conveniently disseminate race-
based statistics (Croucher 1997, 335-9, 343). The few quantitative analyses
available indicate that black employment levels in Toronto government approach
parity with official estimates of the black population. Municipal data from 1993
garnered by sociologist Frances Henry (1994), for example, indicate that visible
minorities as a whole "are fairly well represented at the entry or lower levels of

175
employment, [however] they are inadequately represented at middle and senior
management levels" (119).
The absence of specific data on Afro-Canadian municipal employment is
instructive. It is, in part, a reflection of the lack of consistent political influence
on the part of the black community in Toronto. Social activists within and
outside of the black community have long pressed for the collection and
dissemination of social and economic data on specific minority populations, as
well as the implementation of affirmative action/employment equity programs for
public and private sector corporations (Abella 1984; Henry and Ginzburg 1984).
While most government institutions in Ontario have been resistant to these calls,
an exception to this standard occurred when the social democrat New
Democratic Party narrowly won Ontario's 1990 provincial election. The most
politically progressive of the provinces major parties, the NDP supported calls for
employment equity hiring programs for visible minorities and for the collection of
minority municipal employment data (Foster 1996, 93).
The period of NDP governance in Ontario, from 1990 to 1995, was one of
relatively high levels of political incorporation for the black community at the
provincial level and within the Greater Toronto region where over 60% of all
black provincial residents reside. Black NDP staff members were appointed to
chair or co-chair several provincial boards, agencies, and commissions. The
Ontario Anti-Racism Working Group (OARWG), an advisory group charged with
disseminating information to the provincial government on issues of concern to

176
visible minorities, was developed within the Ministry of Citizenship-an agency
itself led by a person of color (Lewinberg 1998, 204).
In addition to high-level appointments, the NDP government also created
the Jobs Ontario Program, a youth training and day care initiative, which
aggressively sought out minority teenagers to take part in the program. The
government also attempted to generate black business development through the
construction of a Black Business Resource Centre and the Caribbean African
Canadian Credit Union. Finally, the provincial administration required that
provincial and local institutions submit annual reports on their hiring and
promotion practices as they pertained to racial minorities. The program was
administered through the office of the Commissioner of Employment Equity led
by Afro-Canadian lawyer Julian Westmoreland-Traore (Foster, 92; Lewinberg,
208-11).
As a result of all these efforts, Toronto's black community, despite their
relatively small population compared to that of Chicago's, scored well on each of
the four indicators of political incorporation during the NDP administration.
There were publicized efforts to hire and promote visible minorities within
municipal bureaucracies; oversight of and commissions studying police-minority
relations were instituted; Afro-Canadians were appointed to municipal agencies
and boards; and government sanctioned black business development institutions
were constructed.

177
This level of political incorporation, however, was tenuous and short-lived.
Historically, Afro-Canadians and visible minorities in general within Canadian and
Toronto politics have exercised little direct and effective influence. While visible
minorities gained more representation and influence during five years of NDP
governance, the five year period of progressive policy initiatives was simply not
enough time for new groups and actors to become an institutionalized presence
in provincial and local politics and bureaucracies.
The tenuous nature of minority political incorporation became clear after
the NDP was defeated in 1995 by the Progressive Conservative Party whose
ideological and programmatic views differed sharply from those of the NDP.
Progressive Conservative Party leader Mike Harris campaigned on an anti-social
democrat platform strongly opposed to what it viewed as government
intervention in the marketplace; preferential treatment quotas in hiring and
promotion; and the diminution of the merit principal in the public and private
sector (Foster 92-3). Upon winning the provincial election, the Harris
government's first legislative act, as promised during the election, was to close
the employment equity commission and rescind the monitoring and employment
equity programs initiated under the NDP (Foster, 98-9; Lewinberg, 219). In
addition, the Jobs Ontario employment program and funding for minority
business initiatives were discontinued.
There are some similarities between the post-1995 political standing of
Ontario's black residents and that of Afro-Americans in Chicago following the

178
death of Harold Washington. Both groups, for example, lost key posts in local
government due to decisions by respective incoming administrations. However,
despite these similarities, the situation for blacks in each city was sharply
distinct. As the Daley regime reasserted control over city politics, blacks
remained a significant part of the city's municipal workforce and continued to
outpace the number of whites hired in highly visible areas such as the police
force. Blacks continued to be a force in Chicago politics by virtue of their large
numbers and generations of political participation in the local electoral arena.
Daley's appointment of Afro-Americans as police superintendent and Chicago
Housing Authority CEO, and his continued courting of black voters in local
elections, reflect the importance of black voters in the eyes of an administration
that received only a minority of votes case by black Chicagoans (Johns 2000, 4;
Main 2000, 10A; Pinderhughes 1997).
Elite Views on Minority Political Incorporation in Chicago
Despite the presence of blacks within key city agencies, on the city
council, and in the police department, the current Daly administration has had
only limited success in increasing its support among black voters. Only a
minority of black voters has supported Daley in his election and re-election
campaigns. This low level of support is fuelled by perceptions that the current
administration does not strongly support issues important to black social and
economic advancement, as noted by Pinderhughes (1997) and others (Bauder

179
2001). The perceived lack of political incorporation of the black community is
reflected in comments by some black political and social elites.
Conversations regarding the Daley administration's plan to tear down high
rise public housing and replacing them with low-rise units and moving current
CHA residents into new units, stand as prime examples. A black alderwoman
representing a ward with a large number of public housing residents is critical of
the Daley machine's lack of substantive consultation with housing residents in its
efforts to remove and rebuild high rise housing units (Interview, 22 July 2000).
Similar concerns about the CHA plan were voiced by representatives of a Cabrini-
Green tenant's organization who strongly felt that relocation efforts would tear
down familial and community ties that had been created among CHA residents
(Interview, March 6 2001).
A scholar on fair housing at the University of Illinois-Chicago questioned
the level of commitment by the£HA towards the long-term social and economic
interests of residents who are relocated. "Our first analysis of residents who are
having to relocate is that they have a lot of things to deal with before they are
ready to relocate. You can't expect them to just go out and succeed in [the
upper income area of] Broadview. They don't have the support networks out
there-they don't have a car. [The CHA] is doing dispersal butnot doing
counseling at the beginning and the follow up after" (Interview, 13 March 2001).
On the specific issue.of residential segregation, some black political elites
question the utility and relevance of efforts to reduce segregation. A member of

180
the city council argues that segregation is a reality, thus, black political elites
instead should focus their energies in bringing tangible economic and social
benefits to the black community, and find ways to elect a city administration that
is friendlier to so-called black interests (Interview, 22 July 2000). Proponents of
desegregation and fair housing initiatives, however, disagree with the
characterization of segregation as having little relevance to the immediate day-
to-day lives of black residents. An Afro-American official in the Chicago-based
Leadership Council for Metropolitan Open Communities noted, "[Segregation]
has a direct impact on not only the lack of integration in our schools but in the
quality of those schools. We will have to be prepared to live with the damage
that it has done for generations to come" (Interview, 3 September 2000).
For proponents of desegregation and fair housing efforts, the lack of black
political influence is closely tied to the continued existence and strength of
residential segregation. "The joke about black folk going in and out of
Bridgeport [the boyhood home of Richard Daley Jr.]" states the Leadership
Council for Metropolitan Open Communities official, "was that you can go into
work and you can go into shop but you better be out by sundown. That was the
reality. While [Daley] no longer lives there I don't think he is thinking along the
lines of open housing, fair housing, [or] equal access to housing. He is the only
mayor in this city that has never supported us, never come to our annual
luncheonhas never gotten on that soapbox--. I don't think city government

181
gives a damn about the segregation that exists or the need to open closed
communities" (Interview, 3 September 2000).
This general feeling is echoed by a Euro-American official working in the
Chicago Panel of School Policy, a non-profit organization researching academic
and demographic trends in the Chicago public school system. A lack of political
will, she states, is not limited to the Daley administration but is reflective of a
general lack of will among many whites and a sizable portion of Chicago's black
community. To create the political will to aggressively break down the walls of
residential segregation would be quite difficult, "There is just so much
misunderstanding [between black and white communities]they are not hearing
each other" (Interview 6, March 2001).
There is some indication that residential segregation has created an
interest among some political elites to oppose strong efforts to fight against it.
This is similar to arguments forwarded by political scientist James Q. Wilson over
a generation ago (1955,198-206). The high level of spatial segregation, argued
Wilson, results in the election of black political elites beholden to the crowded,
segregated, and largely poor residential wards for their political survival. The
low priority given to the issue of residential segregation among Euro-American
council members is mirrored, according to the LCMOC official, by many of the
council's black elected officials. "Many of them know that [without spatial
segregation] many of them wouldn't be in office. Segregation has a direct

182
impact on the quality of leadership. I don't think that they care" (Interview, 3
September 2000).
Thus, despite their sizable numbers in elected and appointed positions,
there is a strong sense of frustration among some members of Chicago's black
political and community elites in two areas. First, their inability to successfully
and consistently challenge Daley administration policies on issues considered
important to so-called black interests, and second, their failure in the last two
mayoral elections to elect an Afro-American candidate to continue the brand of
reform politics championed by former Mayor Harold Washington. It appears that
descriptive representation for Afro-Americans is high within Chicago's municipal
and county bureaucracy. However, based on comments from leaders within the
community, substantive representation is still lacking when it comes to
safeguarding and improving black interests.
The existence of segregated black neighborhoods throughout 20* Century
Chicago has allowed Afro-Americans to elect their own candidates and place
pressure on white elites to appoint blacks to visible city and county posts. But
segregated living patterns have yet to grant blacks in Chicago open, full, and
consistent access to governing coalitions that control city government. While the
current administration has improved in its level of support from black residents,
the coalition of voters that elected Mayor Daley consisted primarily of whites, a
majority of Hispanics, and a majority of the small but growing Asian population.

183
Elite Views on Minority Political Incorporation in Toronto
If you look at the Toronto City Council there are more people of color represented in the
city council that there were 10 years ago. But the percentages of city councilors who are
visible minorities certainly doesn't come close to the slice that they represent of the
demographics
in Toronto.
Officer, Canadian Race Relations Foundation (Interview,April 3 2000).
The lack of diversity on Toronto's political landscape sharply contrasts
with that of Chicago. Despite being a majority-minority city, visible minorities in
Toronto have yet to achieve the level of minority representation and political
incorporation shown by Afro-Americans in Chicago. While accounting for over
one-half of the city's population, black, South Asian, and East Asian individuals
total 4 members of the 44 individuals sitting on the Toronto City Council. Insofar
as descriptive representation is a measure of political strength and influence,
visible minorities have only minor influence in the political affairs of Canada's
largest and most diverse city.
It is also clear that political and community figures knowledgeable about
the black community are aware of its low level of political incorporation. The
relatively small size of the community is a contributing factor to the lack of black
representation on elected and appointive bodies. Another key factor cited by
community leaders is the cultural and geographic diversity of Toronto's black
population. In addition to native-born Afro-Canadians, whose history in Canada
traces back to the 1900's, there are a significant and growing number of blacks
from Africa and the Caribbean islands. The West Indian population itself is very
diverse with residents representing every island in the Caribbean. The

184
population originates from four principal West Indian countries; Jamaica,
Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, and Barbados. Finally, there is a small but
increasing number of people of color from French-speaking Haiti and the
Hispanic Caribbean islands of the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Cuba
(Henry 1994; Hulchanski 1995).
This level of diversity, comments a high-level official from Jamaican-
Canadian Association, Toronto's largest Afro-Canadian community organization,
stunts the growth of an effective and unified political front that represents the
local black community. "[Because we are so diverse] what that does is that you
find we are fragmented. You take the Chinese as a contrast, it doesn't matter
where they are from. They tend to stick together, they say we are supporting
this candidate, [or] this time we are supporting this party. So, the powers that
be pay more attention to them, because they know their votes are more in-bloc.
Ours are all over the map" (Interview, 17 March 2000).
Intra-community tension between people of color has historically been a
contributing factor as well (Henry 1994, 179-80). Disagreements between
cultural groups were present during discussions with the former New Democratic
Party provincial government concerning construction of a black heritage
community centre. West Indian, native-born, and sub-Saharan African
representatives each sought to ensure that their particular group was
represented within the events to be offered in the cultural centre (Lewinburg
1998).

185
While so-called island infighting continues to be a concern, efforts to
break through contentious relationships within the black community have many
adherents and supporters among Caribbean community leaders. One of the few
visible minority representatives in Ontario's provincial parliament states, "I've
never played island politics. When I see someone I never think this is a
Grenadian or St. Lucian. I have friends and supporters who come from many
islands. I don't see island politics having anything to do with Canadian politics.
It's ridiculous. In the long run it is not helpful" (Interview, 9 March 2000). A
high-ranking representative in one of the largest school boards in metropolitan
Toronto states:
I would say there are some of us who have worked hard to prevent that
from happening or worked to minimize it. For example, the Jamaican
Canadian Association had a fundraiser, they called meI went. And there
were a number of people there who were not from Jamaica and we all
believed that we have to support the communities. We know that the
black community is no more homogeneous than the white community is.
We recognize that we would hurt ourselves to magnify our differences as
opposed to looking at the issues and things we hold in common
(Interview, 15 March 2000).
Group infighting is not the sole cause behind the low level of black
representation, nor might it be the main cause. Political apathy is a major hurdle
according to some black leaders. The Toronto-based Minister of
Provincial Parliament (MPP) asks rhetorically, "We have the power but do we
somehow organize ourselves to use it?". She continues:
I think we need to get out there to vote. You have to be part of the
process. [Too many blacks think]I'm going back home [to the West
Indies], I don't have the time, I'm too busy with my life, or there is

186
racism, or they're all the same. All of those are excuses. Let's find out
who is running out there and what they say about these specific issues. I
think we could be quite a political force" (Interview, 9 March 2000).
The JCA official while arguing that infighting is a contributing factor
agrees that political apathy cannot be ignored as another cause. "My personal
experience is that I've come across people who were very involved in the political
system back home, specifically, in Jamaica. They were very active, they
canvassed, they worked, and when they come here [Canada] they just take a
back seat. Some of the really skeptical ones will make statements like, T don't
want to get involved in white man's politics' and things like that" (Interview, 17
March 2000).
The New Politics of Public Housing in Toronto
I was always very concerned whenever I walked into a community and all I saw were
black faces coming out. I always asked a question: How is it that a building had a
disproportionate number of people of color?
Former official, Metropolitan Toronto Housing Authority (interview, 9 March 2000)
Public housing as an issue in the history of Toronto lacks the group
controversy and divisiveness that helped to shape the modern character of
Chicago. However, some of the same issues that defined and continue to define
Chicago politics have now appeared on the horizon in Canada's largest city. The
politics of public housing in Toronto began to take shape during the 1970's as
the racial and cultural makeup of urban subsidized housing residents mirrored
changes in the composition of new residents into the city. Until changes to
Canada's federal immigration laws in the late 1960's, the great majority of
tenants in urban subsidized housing were of European background. Immigrants

187
from Africa, the Caribbean, and Asia became more visible throughout the
Toronto area.
However, there were differences between certain groups in terms of their
choice of residence. Black West Indian immigrants, for example, were more
likely to reside in apartment complexes than in single-family homes compared to
some other non-European groups (Ray 1997). These differences persisted
throughout the succeeding decades resulting in a disproportionate number of
residents in some of Toronto's largest public complexes being of African descent.
Douglas Murdie of York University in Toronto estimated that in 1986,
approximately 27.4% of all tenants in the city's family housing portfolio were
black. While this percentage of black tenants is much lower than the 90%-plus
that make up subsidized family housing in Chicago, it was a significant
overrepresentation if one accepted official census figures which estimated the
black population of what was then metropolitan Toronto at less than 5% at the
time. In the 1990's, refugees from sub-Saharan Africa and low-income
immigrants from the West Indies make up a significant portion of residents in
some housing complexes within Toronto (Hulchanski 1995).
Some Afro-Canadian advocacy groups in Toronto have charged that
housing officials discriminate against black applicants by intentionally placing
them in certain complexes (Duffy 1991; Murdie, 435). These charges are
difficult to substantiate because municipal and provincial housing authorities do
not collect racial statistics on housing residents. Some officials deny that racial

188
discrimination is the cause of minority concentrations in public housing and argue
that cultural and familiarity among residents and immigration trends are the
most important factors.
A manager of Social Housing Connections, a coalition of public and non
profit housing providers that works with the city's housing agency to match low-
income applicants with available units, states that:
Newer immigrants from the same region feel more comfortable residing
with each other. There is a familiarity that exists when people come from
the same culture. At times, waves of newcomers from specific regions are
accepted and so a disproportionate number of people from a region may
reside in a region because of sheer numbers (Interview, March 3 2000).
Former Mayor of Toronto John Sewell, currently an advocate for
affordable housing development, voices a similar view:
I think racial selection is not consciously done by staff, but I think that it
ends up occurring because, a) the lower you are on the social scale the
less you think you can exercise choice, so individuals with similar
characteristics tend to congregate because of social positioning. [And] b)
people feel more comfortable among people with similar racial
characteristics and will often self-select (Interview, April 13 2000).
Further doubt is cast on the intentional discrimination argument by the
comments of a high-ranking Afro-Canadian MTHA official who states, "People
select to live in a neighborhood where there are other people like themselves.
Older residents [for example], want to be somewhere where there aren't a lot of
children aroundso these are reasons why you would take some people and
place them together" (Interview 9, March 2000). She concludes, "I could not in
the six years that I was thereI could not say that there is a role for racism in

189
this. Or accuse or say that there was any orchestration on the part of staff to
take all black people and say this is your building".
These comments by housing officials and policy elites, black and whites,
support the case that racial segregation within Toronto's public housing high-
rises, insofar as it exists, can be traced to several non-racial factors, as opposed
to the paramount role that race continues to play in residential placement in
Chicago. However, low-income blacks in both cities, and black residents in
general, share the same vulnerability to racial and class-based stereotypes.
Mistrust and tension between black residents and policing institutions, long a
source of controversy in Chicago, is an increasing source of concern in Toronto.
These tensions came to the forefront of Toronto life in the summer of 1992 when
rioting erupted in the downtown area. The disturbance, which saw youths from
various backgrounds breaking store windows and throwing rocks, started as a
peaceful demonstration against the initial acquittal of the police officers accused
of beating Los Angeles motorist Rodney King (Croucher 1993, 327). The
disturbance was also driven by continued frustration with what black activists
saw as the lack of official condemnation and action against several instances of
police shootings of black men (Four-Level Government/African Canadian
Community Working Group 1992).
The comments of a leading official of the Jamaican-Canadian Association
reflects a level of mistrust that is increasingly evident between some Afro-
Canadians and the Toronto police department:

190
I as a community leaderI do not trust the police. And I have good
reason not to trust them. I think that they have just taken our community
for granted. And they have this ill-conceived perception that every black
male, especially if they are young, that is walking down the street or
driving a car is a crook. And with that sort of mentality it's hard to build
bridges (Interview, 17 March 2000).
While other minority leaders may not be as pessimistic as the JCA official,
they are in general agreement that there is a need for better and more
consistent communications with city police representatives. "[I]n general the
relationship with the police isnot the best" states a Director for the Jane-Finch
Community Centre-a social advocacy group located in an area of Toronto that
has one of the largest concentrations of public housing in Canada. She
continues:
[W]e have had a representative of the police, a community relations
worker,working in our advisory area. So he is aware of some of the
issues. He is a person who is now in our board of directors. But when
you have the police patrol that don't have that contact, they are not
aware of all the issues. Many of them are coming with preconceived
ideasif you are black or Cambodian or Spanish. The problem is that
[they assume that] you are getting into some kind of trouble (Interview,
April 3 2000).
From these comments, it is clear that low-income blacks in Toronto,
particularly those in subsidized housing, face some of the same stereotypes and
issues evident in Chicago regarding influential municipal institutions. However,
there is an interesting contrast between the two cities on the issue of collecting
racial statistics. In general, although racial controversy has helped to define and
fuel Chicago's social, educational, and political issues, there is little controversy
or reluctance to discuss or collect information on the racial background of city

191
workers and residents irrespective of socio-economic standing. Racially sensitive
topics have been the subject of in-depth journalistic reports in Chicago
newspapers for years. Recently, issues such as the future impact of the city's
fast growing Hispanic population; the spatial mapping of the growing AIDS rate
in minority neighborhoods; and the grading of the Chicago Police Department in
it's minority hiring, promotion, and community relations activities were feature
stories in Chicago-area newspapers (Chicago Sun-Times 2001).
In contrast, gaining access to data on the racial background of city
workers and subsidized housing residents is noticeably more difficult in Toronto.
There is a greater reluctance to discuss and collect data along racial lines among
influential policy elites. The policy and community elites surveyed represented
both sides of a debate over collecting and disseminating race-based data that
will continue to surface in social policy discussions as Toronto becomes ever
more racially diverse.
According to one official who works for the Toronto Social (public) Housing
Company, no formal data is collected or kept on the racial or ethnic background
of public housing tenants (Interview, May 2 2000). Social Housing Connections,
the non-profit agency that works with the Housing Corporation to match
applicants with available units, also follows this policy. A manager for Housing
Connections argues that there is no real need for racial information on
prospective tenants. "We do have information on the age of applicants and their
gender and income. We do not have information on race because it is

192
controversial. There is no real good reason for us to keep such records"
(Interview, March 3 2000).
Former Mayor John Sewell provides some insight into why local and provincial
policy elites are generally reluctant to collect and disseminate this type of
information:
I guess the question is what one thinks of social engineering. If we collect
data on the basis of race, what do we do with it? If we could do
something good (whatever that means) with racial information, then it
might be useful. If the data can be used to point up injustice, then it
should be collected. The fear is that it will create rather than resolve
injustice (Interview, April 13 2000).
While the fear of creating greater "injustice" may be a legitimate, albeit
vague, rationale behind the reluctance to provide information on race, another
explanation that is equally as legitimate has to do with the image that public
elites in Toronto (and Canada generally) continually associate themselves with.
As outlined adeptly by Croucher (1993), Henry et al (1995), and Wilson (1993),
the image of Toronto is one of a city of tolerance and multiculturalism. Toronto
politicians have successfully advertised the city as one that has managed to
escape the ravages of rapid racial and cultural change that have left other North
American cities fraught with racial tension and socio-economic inequities.
To begin counting and grouping residents by race would be to give
legitimacy to a characteristic that public officials have long maintained is an
irrelevant one. Even after the 1992 riot where concerns about police brutality
and official indifference were dramatically voiced, a widely publicized
conservative columnist asked, "Why have black activists trotted out this tired

193
rhetoric about systemic racism in Canada? Canadians know themselves, and
they know Canadian society is not racist" (Croucher 1993, 330). Even as the
Toronto television and print media continues to be dominated by Anglophones in
a majority-minority city, influential policy elites stubbornly insist that
discrimination-whether conscious or institutional-is of trivial significance. Thus,
in the eyes of some Canadian elites, there is no need for studying or collecting
detailed information on race to the same extent that they gather other kinds of
data.
A different perspective in support of collecting racial data is offered by
some Afro-Canadian elites. Referring specifically to the Agency's decision not to
collect racial data, the former officials with the MTHA states that, "I have no
problem with asking the question of who lives in Metro Toronto public housing. I
think we need to ask those questions. It is instructive, it tells us about the
economic situation about people of color" (Interview, 9 March 2000).
The reluctance of public institutions to collect racial data, as pointed out
by a second high-ranking Afro-Canadian official, extends into educational
institutions. While Toronto area school boards collect a variety of data on student
performance, performance measures are not disaggregated into racial or ethnic
groupings. When asked why this situation exists, the official expresses some
frustration at the response of some of his board member colleagues.
I can't presume to [explain their argument] because they never
articulated the reason why. They claimed that it wasn't necessary. Well I
believe that it is necessary. It is necessary in order to establish for black
parents who claim that their kids are not doing as well. We need either to

194
say that no you are wrong or yes you are right and here is what we are
going to do about it. I want [to collect racial statistics also for hiring.
We've had some problems with some of our politicians who don't want us
to be doing that.
(Interview, March 15 2000).
The lack of success that Afro-Canadian policy and community elites have
experienced in convincing Euro-Canadian elites to collect racial statistics and to
implement programs that hire and promote people of color reflects the low level
of political incorporation of Toronto's black community. Some Afro-Canadians
express admiration for the relatively high level of political influence shown by
Afro-Americans. An official for the Jamaican-Canadian Association feels that
Afro-American political success stems from "a consciousness" that Afro-
Canadians do not yet have. "My feeling is that they are more conscious as to
who they are, what they want, and how they are going to go about if'
(Interview, 17 March 2000).
Based on the comments of black political and community elites in Chicago
and Toronto it is apparent that a strong sense of frustration exists where elites in
both cities do not feel that political incorporation truly exists. In Toronto, elite
views and conventional measures of political incorporation are in agreement. In
a majority non-white city, visible minorities account for less than 10% of city
council members. There is only 1 black representative serving on the council
although blacks, by some accounts, approach 10% of the city's population.
Furthermore, visible minorities remain underrepresented in the Toronto police

195
force with Euro-Canadians accounting for the great majority of uniformed
officers.
Black elites and activists within the black community were unsuccessful in
combating efforts by the incoming Harris government in 1995 to end
employment equity (affirmative action) programs. The cultural and geographic
diversity of the black community in Toronto has at times frustrated efforts to
form a united front against legislation deemed harmful to community interests
and to support policies that are deemed helpful.
In Toronto's ward-based, mayoral system of government, the relatively
small and dispersed black population has been unable to follow the same
strategy for descriptive representation followed by Afro-Americans in U.S. urban
areas. The relatively integrated living patterns of black residents from all socio
economic backgrounds limits efforts to create a coalition of votes along racial
lines needed to elect more blacks to political office. Along with institutional and
spatial roadblocks to descriptive representation, the relatively recent entrance of
most visible minorities into the city is another limitation. The level of racial
consciousness that struck the official from the JCA about Black Americans reflects
a racial identity that was formed largely by a long history of social, educational,
economic, and residential separation from the majority population. This identity
and history was and is often used by black political candidates in Chicago and
other racially segregated American cities to attract voter support and gain
entrance to elected and appointed municipal office. Strategic appeals to race

196
may become more successful if institutionalized discrimination and segregation
become the public norm in Toronto as it was for much of Chicago's history.
In contrast to Toronto, black public officials and employees and are highly
visible in many of Chicago's political institutions. For a time, Afro-Americans
even occupied the single highest office in the city, the mayor's office. Within the
city council and policing institutions, Chicago presents a stark contrast to Toronto
in terms of the descriptive representation of blacks in municipal government.
Thus, it is somewhat puzzling to hear black elites speak of frustration and the
lack of political incorporation that they feel exists for blacks in America's 3rd
largest city.
The focus of these concerns, however, is not directed at descriptive
representation but towards true political incorporation. While blacks are well
represented in municipal positions, elites feel that Afro-American interests are
not being heard or given serious consideration within the governing Daley
administration. Afro-American concerns then are focused on the substance of
government policies. It is clear that proportionate representation, which is often
the immediate goal of descriptive representation, has not been sufficient to grant
black residents effective political influence over the direction of urban policy in
Chicago, at least in the eyes of this group of elites.
In sum, residential segregation through the use of public policy has had a
significant impact on the lives of all residents in Chicago. The political fortunes
of black residents have been intimately tied with the city's overwhelmingly black

197
and segregated housing projects: prospective and established black candidates,
machine and non-machine, have used this population as a base for electoral
power and voter support for generations. Without this concentration of Afro-
Americans, which for generations was the largest socio-economic sector within
the black community, black political representation in racially segregated Chicago
would not be as high or as visible as it is today. The lack of the political-
structural and demographic factors necessary to achieve high minority
representation in political office is a key feature distinguishing Toronto from
Chicago.
Bevond Electoral Politics: Segregation and the Quality of Life of Black Residents
Beyond electoral fortunes, in what ways have the distinct levels of
residential segregation of black public housing residents in these two cities
affected their respective quality of life? Has political representation for black
Chicagoans been translated into substantive policy representation such that the
socio-economic quality of life of those living in public housing compares favorably
to the standing of residents living in Toronto, where political representation is
much lower?
There are several ways to measure the quality of life of urban residents.
The concept of social isolation, as used by sociologist William Julius Wilson
(1987), captures the disadvantaged circumstances that many low-income
residents live and provides a general guide to operationalizing their quality of life.
Social isolation refers to a situation where there is a "lack of contact or of

198
sustained interaction with individuals and institutions that represent mainstream
society" (Wilson, pg. 60). These institutions can include formal ones such as
well-run schools, community centers, and hospitals. They can also include
informal institutions such as job networks, economic niches, and social groups.
When children from low-income families, for example, lack sustained
contact with well-run schools; that is, they do not attend these institutions, this
can result in low educational performance or high dropout rates (Kozol 1991).
When low-income adults have little or no contact with high job growth
neighborhoods this results in high unemployment rates within this population
(Kasarda 1993; Wilson 1987). These populations are isolated in the sense that
they are physically, residential^, educationally, and, arguably, culturally distant
or detached from economically and educationally solvent areas of a given
metropolitan area (Judd and Swanstrom 1998, 153).
It is conceivable that because blacks in Chicago have more political
representation and have achieved higher political incorporation in comparison to
blacks in Toronto, the level of social isolation even for the most disadvantaged
should be lower, assuming that these political advantages have been used
effectively to address these problems. However, this possibility is problematic.
First, it is also possible that generations of institutionalized racial segregation,
supported by local, state, and federal government entities, have created a core
of socio-economic and cultural obstacles for low-income blacks that are simply
not immediately amenable to policy prescriptions from local public officials.

199
Related to this, is the possibility that the level of political incorporation achieved
by Afro-Americans in Chicago is still not sufficient to form the multi-racial and
citywide coalitions needed to attend to social and economic blight in low-income
areas. Finally, cities today are impacted by financial and corporate pressures
that go beyond city and even national boundaries that city officials have little
influence over (Judd and Swanstrom 1998, 360-5: Stone 1989). Thus, even with
a strong coalition of similar political interests, the fortunes of low-income
populations in Chicago will remain vulnerable to powerful non-political actors and
interests. Because of these factors, the quality of life of low-income Afro-
Americans in Chicago may well be lower than that of their counterparts in
Toronto.
To test whether or not this statement is accurate, data on the socio
economic characteristics of low-income areas encompassing largely minority
public housing projects can be found for both cities using U.S. Census Bureau
and Statistics Canada documents. While the entire universe of indicators for
social isolation cannot be used for comparative purposes due to differences in
data definition and methodology, there are several indicators used by census
institutions in both countries that can be used as points of comparison. These
include the rate of unemployment, the overall male and female labor force
participation rate, median family income, and the percentage of single parent
families.

200
Social isolation is positively correlated with a neighborhood's
unemployment rate and the percentage of single parent families; the higher each
of these measures is, the greater the level of social isolation being experienced
by residents in that neighborhood. Conversely, labor force participation rates
and median family incomes are negatively associated with social isolation; the
higher these measures are the lower the level of social isolation.
There is little question that neighborhoods with large stocks of public
housing will show comparatively higher levels of social isolation in both Toronto
and Chicago. The question at issue here is; in which of these two cities do low-
income public housing areas reflect the greater level of social isolation in
comparison to the city average or norm?
For the purposes of this comparison, census tracts will be used to
represent neighborhood areas that have family housing projects. Census tracts
encompass a relatively large spatial area compared to block level measurements.
However, block level data is often less accessible due to suppression by the
Census Bureau in order to protect the identity of respondents (Massey and
Denton 1993, 62). Furthermore, census tracts are more amenable to
comparative urban research because they are the most commonly used
representations of 'neighborhoods', and importantly, the definition of a census
tract as used by Statistics Canada is similar to that of the U.S. Census Bureau
(Hajnal 1993).

201
While Toronto and Chicago have dozens of public housing projects of
various sizes and architecture, for purposes of this comparison, only family public
housing projects will be considered. Thus, public housing for seniors as well as
projects owned by non-profit organizations are excluded. Furthermore, the
projects chosen are those that have either a majority black population or where
blacks make up a significant and growing portion of all residents (which is the
case in many projects in Toronto). Information for a total of 30 census tracts
was found-12 in Chicago and 18 in Toronto. The socio-demographic data for
Toronto is based on 1996 Statistics Canada Data, the most recent year for
comprehensive census tract information. Information on Chicago is based on the
1990 U.S. Census for Chicago. Tract by tract information from the 2000 Census
on metropolitan areas was to be released in mid-2002, thus, the 1990 Census
provides the only presently and easily accessible source of in-depth information
on individual census tracts for Chicago.
The 12 Chicago census tracts with family public housing projects included
some of the most historic and notoriously publicized projects in the country
including the Cabrini-Green and Robert Taylor complexes. As seen in Figure 5.1,
the difference in median family income between the city average represented by
Bar 1 and neighborhoods with public housing projects is stark. While the median
family income for Chicago was $30,707, public housing areas averaged just over
$11,000 with several neighborhoods registering $5,000 or less.

202
Figure 5.1
Median Family Income in Public Housing Areas-
Chicago
City Median-Bar 1
$30,707
Public Housing
Area Average
$11,046
Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census. 1990. Census of Population and Housina-Chicaao Illinois.
Washington D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.
Other indicators of social isolation in neighborhoods with family public
housing units show much the same unequal relationship between these areas
and the city norm. Figures 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, and 5.5 illustrate these differences in
terms of the rate of single parentage, unemployment, overall labor force
participation, and female labor force participation.
High unemployment, 39.7%, and low labor force participation rates,
40.5% overall and 36.5% for women, make it clear that residents in these areas
have significantly fewer ties to the formal economy than most other residents of
Chicago. Also made evident is the strong link between economic
impoverishment and female-headed households, what some scholars have
termed the 'feminization of poverty' (Flanagan 1999, 283). Single-parent
households, the overwhelming majority of which are female-headed, increased
significantly in many large urban areas since the 1960's, including Chicago

203
(Flanagan 1999; Wilson 1987). Approximately 31% of all families in Chicago are
single parent families. While this represents a significant increase over the past
generation, the feminization of poverty is even more advanced in poorer
neighborhoods. In the 12 public housing areas, a single parent heads almost 3
out of every 4 families. While these four measures do not exhaust the list of
possible indicators for social isolation, they nevertheless reflect the
disadvantaged circumstances that many residents of Chicago's public family
housing projects live in.
Figure 5.2
Single Parent Families in Public Housing Areas-
Chicago
City-Bar 1
31.8%
Public Housing
Average
72.4%
Housing Areas
Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census. 1990. Census of Population and Housina-Chicaao Illinois.
Washington D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.
Socio-economic disadvantage is also evident in many of Toronto's public
family housing neighborhoods. As seen in Figure 5.6, median family income for
Toronto in 1996 stood at $40,700 while areas with public housing averaged only
$32,281. More evidence of social isolation in Toronto's public housing
neighborhoods is found in comparative figures for male/female labor force

204
participation rates, male unemployment, and single-parent families. Only 17.5%
of all families in Toronto are single-parent families compared to 29.1% of
families in public housing neighborhoods, as shown in Figure 5.7.
Figure 5.3.
70
Unemployment in Public Housing Areas-Chicago
60
(0
50
c
5
£
>.
o
a
E
c
=5
40
30
20
10
City-Bar 1
11.3%
Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census. 1990. Census of Population and Housina-Chicaoo. Illinois
Washington D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.
Figure 5.4
Labor Force Involvement of Public Housing Areas in
Chicago
10 11 12 13
City-Bar 1
63.7%
Public Housing
Areas
40.5%
Housing Areas
Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census. 1990. Census of Population and Housina-Chicaao. Illinois Washington
D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office

205
Figure 5.5
Female Labor Involvement in Public Housing Areas-
Chicago
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Housing Areas
Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census. 1990. Census of Population and Housina-Chicaao. Illinois
Washington D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office
Figure 5.6
Median Family Income in Public Housing Areas-
Toronto
70,000
I 60,000
o
| 50,000
40,000
30,000
c 20,000
5 10,000
S 0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
Housing Areas
City-Bar 1
56.2%
Public Housing
Areas
36.6%
Toronto-Bar 1
$40,700
Public Housing
Area Average
$32,281
Source: Statistics Canada. 1996. Profile of Census Tracts in Toronto. Ottawa: Census Operations
Division.

206
Figure 5.7
Single Parent Families in Public Housing Areas-
Toronto
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
Housing Areas
Toronto-Bar 1
17.5%
Public Housing
Area Average
29.1%
Source: Statistics Canada. 1996. Profile of Census Tracts in Toronto. Ottawa: Census Operations
Divisions.
Looking at labor force information for public housing areas from Figures
5.8, 5.9, and 5.10, residents from these neighborhoods are less likely to be
employed in the formal economy or actively looking for work. Male and female
labor force participation rates in Toronto averaged 73.6% and 61%, respectively,
while the rates for public housing areas averaged only 66.7% and 49.7% for the
same measures. Finally, male unemployment averaged 15.9% in these
neighborhoods and only 8.5% for the city as a whole.
What is evident from these within-city comparisons is that neighborhoods
with public housing projects that are mostly or largely minority in population are
experiencing similar forms of social isolation. Thus, the contemporary socio
economic distinctions that may be drawn between Toronto and Chicago on the

207
impact of segregation on public housing residents are ones of degree rather than
kind. Nevertheless, differences of degree are still of consequence.
Figure 5.8
Male Labor Participation in Public Housing Areas-
Toronto
Housing Areas
Source: Statistics Canada. 1996. Profile of Census Tracts in Toronto. Ottawars
Census Operations Division.
Toronto-Bar 1
73.6%
Public Housing
Area Average
66.7%
Figure 5.9
Female Labor Involvement in Public Housing Areas-
Toronto
Toronto-Bar 1
61%
Public Housing
Area Average
49.7%
Housing Areas
Source: Statistics Canada: 1996. Profile of Census Tracts in Toronto. Ottawa:
Census Operations Division.

208
Figure 5.10.
Male Unemployment in Public Housing Areas-
Toronto
Housing Areas
Source: Statistics Canada. 1996. Profile of Census Tracts in Toronto. Ottawa:
Census Operations Division
Toronto-Bar 1
8.5%
These differences are seen in Table 5.3, which depicts the impact of
differing rates of residential segregation on the social isolation of public housing
neighborhoods and residents. While rates of unemployment and single
parentage, for example, are higher in public housing areas than in the rest of the
city for both Toronto and Chicago, the difference between public housing
neighborhoods and all neighborhoods is significantly higher in Chicago than in
Toronto. Unemployment levels for men in Toronto showed a differential of 7.4%
between the city average and the average in public housing neighborhoods. In
Chicago, a similar measure, the overall unemployment rate, showed a differential
of 28.4%. For the rate of single-parentage for both cities, Toronto had an
11.6% differential between the city and public housing areas while Chicago's
differential stood at a startling 40%.

209
Table 5.3
Toronto Average
Public Housing Average
+/- Differential
% Unemployed-Men
8.5
15.9
7.4%
% in Labor Force-
73.6
66.7
6.9%
Men
% in Labor Force-
61
49.7
11.3%
Women
Median Family Income
$40,700
$32,281
$8,419
% Single Parents
17.5
29.1
11.6%
Chicago Average
Public Housing Average
+/- Differential
Unemployment Rate
11.3
39.7
28.4%
Labor Force
63.7
40.5
23.2%
Participation Rate
% in Labor Force-
56.2
36.6
19.6%
Women
Median Family Income
$30,707
$11,046
$19,661
% Single Parents
31.8
72.4
40%
Similar contrasts in differentials between the two cities are evident for
female labor force participation rates and median family income; in Toronto the
differential for the former measure was 11.6% while Chicago's was 19.6%. For
median family income, Toronto's differential was $8,419, a significant difference.
However, Chicago's was even more so with the differential approaching $20,000;
median family income for the city stood at $30,707 while for public housing
areas it was only $11,046.
Based on these 4 comparable indicators, it appears that social isolation is
far more advanced in the neighborhoods that surround Chicago's majority-black
public housing projects than those that surround Toronto's largely minority stock
of public housing. Stated another way, the quality of life for residents in majority
black housing projects in Chicago is significantly lower in comparison to other
residents of all racial backgrounds living in the rest of the city. This general

210
statement holds for Toronto as well. However, there is a difference of degree
between the two cities, in terms of the level of social isolation, that is partly
explained by the spatial location of public housing areas and buildings.
Subsidized housing placed in economically stagnant or declining neighborhoods,
badly run schools, few accessible medical facilities, buttressed by generations of
government-sanctioned residential segregation have effectively trapped poor
Afro-Americans in public housing neighborhoods.
While Toronto's spatially integrated stock of public housing has resulted in
lower levels of social isolation, the onset of socio-economic indicators at the
levels seen in Chicago is far from impossible in Canada's largest and most
diverse urban area. The distinctions in racial segregation and the relative quality
of life of black public housing residents in Chicago and Toronto is explained more
by the timing of minority migration patterns and specific historical circumstance
than by innate cultural distinctions between Canadians and Americans. Thus,
urban inequities that are encouraged or allowed to persist can become
institutionalized into the fabric of city life just as easily in urban Canada as they
have become in large American cities.

CHAPTER 6
STEMMING THE TIDE:
POLICY STRATEGIES AGAINST RESIDENTIAL SEGREGATION
In combating housing market discrimination, the American experience has
shown that government at all levels can play a proactive and effective role.
While the overall level of residential segregation remains quite high in the United
States, in each decade since the 1960's thousands of Afro-Americans have
succeeded in acquiring apartments and homes in largely non-black areas.
Recent census data has shown that several large cities experienced moderate
declines in residential segregation (Yinger 1998, 111). The ability of some black
families to move into previously closed areas has coincided with the passage of
federal and state laws aimed at discouraging racial discrimination by mortgage,
banking, and community institutions. These laws are key in aiding blacks with
financial means to follow the same patterns of mobility exhibited by every other
group in American society; to move from lower economic class communities into
middle and upper class residential enclaves.
Anti-segregation laws can also increase mobility patterns and the quality
of life for public housing residents and neighborhoods. There are several policy
strategies that should be implemented by Canadian government officials to
discourage the onset of institutionalized social isolation that now exists in many
predominantly minority public housing areas in Chicago. To be sure these laws
211

212
cannot soon overcome the generations of discriminatory activities carried out by
public and private institutions in large American cities. However, they do provide
the basic legal and political authority from which citizens and organizations can
launch challenges against the wall of residential segregation and discrimination.
Passage of a Canadian Fair Housing Act. While provincial and state laws
exist that make it illegal to discriminate against prospective renters and buyers in
the private housing market on the basis of race, Canada lacks an anti
segregation measure that is as comprehensive as the Fair Housing Amendments
passed by the U.S. Congress in 1988. The passage of the FHA of 1988, which
provided more access to the courts by plaintiffs wishing to file a discrimination
lawsuit, and significantly increased the monetary costs of racial discrimination
practiced by rental and housing institutions, was a major success for fair housing
advocates (Yinger, 190-193). Prior to its passage, victims of housing market
discrimination relied on the 1968 Fair Housing Act, which was fraught with
weaknesses in terms of monetary relief and legal enforcement (Massey and
Denton, 195-200).
Rather than relying on outdated, inconsistent, or difficult to enforce laws,
Canadian authorities should enact a comprehensive fair housing law along the
same lines as that which exists in the United States. While the number of claims
of housing discrimination is far fewer in Canada compared to the United States,
Canadian officials should not wait until segregation and discrimination become a
widespread or dramatic problem before they pass a substantive fair housing law.

213
They should be proactive in order to ensure that any claim of discrimination is
dealt with efficiently and effectively.
Passage of a Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. Through the Home Mortgage
Disclosure Act (HMDA), citizens and fair housing groups are able to track the
lending patterns of mortgage institutions and assess the denial rates of
applicants along racial lines. This data validated what fair housing groups had
been noting for years; that discrimination in lending results in significantly higher
denial rates for qualified minority homeowners, especially Afro-Americans
(Munnell, Alicia H., Lynn E. Browne, James McEneaney, Geoffrey M.B. Tootell
1992). This affected minorities at all income levels including those that resided
in or adjacent to public housing neighborhoods.
Canadian mortgage institutions are not required to collect or archive racial
and ethnic data on mortgage applicants. Thus, there is no efficient or
convenient way for scholars, fair housing groups, or interested observers to
gauge lending patterns or denial rates. An HMDA for Canada would allow
observers and policy makers to find out if unequal and unfair treatment exists in
the home-buying process.
Building more Affordable Housing. The existence of affordable homes and
apartments in the private marketplace increases opportunities for socio-economic
mobility and wealth creation for many first time homebuyers and residents of
public housing. Currently, Toronto's housing market remains beyond the reach of
most public housing residents. New home prices in the city are too high for even

214
middle-income residents many of whom decide to purchase homes outside the
city in the more affordable exurbs in the northern and eastern regions of the
Greater Toronto Area (City of Toronto 2000). The private rental market is also
expensive with monthly rental rates for a modest 1-bedroom apartment often
exceeding $1000.00. Added to the high cost of renting is the difficulty in finding
available apartments. Vacancy rates remain extremely low, rarely exceeding
1.0% for a given month over the past several years (City of Toronto 2000).
Without affordable housing, residents effectively become trapped in subsidized
housing or, depending on a province's stance on income limitations, risk eviction
and homelessness because their current income exceeds institutional limits.
Federal Collection of Detailed Racial and Ethnic Data.
The collection of information on racial groups by Statistics Canada has
historically been inconsistent. The methodology used for identifying racial
groups, for example, is different in the 1986 census compared to 1996, this
frustrates attempts to measure and follow possible trends with respect to racial
groups and other indicators. There is a need for a consistent and long-term
approach to counting and identifying racial groups. This would allow for more
valid and reliable studies on some of Canada's fastest growing demographic
groups. Furthermore, census officials should undertake more specific studies
into particular racial groups in relation to jobs, housing, and educational
attainment. Public officials can use this data to assess the standing of minorities

215
in Canada and as a guide for discussions and policy prescriptions for socio
economic concerns.
Allowing Public dissemination of Specific Census Material on Race.
Much of the census material on the Canadian population is guarded from
the public. Data and reports on specific populations can only be accessed
through a request for special tabulation. Furthermore, accessing this data often
comes at a cost of several hundred dollars. This policy by Statistics Canada is in
stark contrast to the U.S. Census Bureau's, where detailed data on race is readily
available from census material in community libraries and on the Bureau's
comprehensive website. If access to specific populations is made difficult and
expensive then, academic and policy research and discussion on timely and
important issues is discouraged. Canadians should have easy access to
information that helps them understand their own country and their fellow
residents.

CHAPTER 7
CONCLUDING REMARKS
This case study of the relationship between segregation and public
housing policy has expanded the analysis of Canadian-American relations in two
ways. First, whereas few comparative analyses of the two countries give
substantial attention to race related issues, this study makes race an explicit
issue of focus. Second, the issue of racial segregation in both cities is dealt with
not simply as a contemporary issue, but as a phenomenon whose origin is found
in specific historical circumstances embedded within the demographic and racial
characters of each city. Again, while the history of segregation and housing
policy has been well documented in Chicago and many other American cities, few
studies exist that provide a historical and contextual analysis of segregation in
Toronto or any other Canadian city.
From this case study, we find that while governmental institutions, in this
case federal and local public housing agencies, influenced where low-income
housing and low-income blacks were located, the actions of these institutions
were impacted by pre-existing ecological factors. The size of the black
population and the introduction of internal and external migrants of color
affected the level of racial consciousness in each city prior to and during
government involvement in low-income housing provision. Pre-WWII Chicago
216

217
had a relatively large and growing black population due to the entrance of
southern black migrants beginning in the early 1900's. Blacks were seen as
threats to the residential, employment, political, and cultural life of white ethnics
and were treated as such. The high level of ethnic group consciousness that
existed prior to the Great Migration soon turned into racial group consciousness.
By contrast, pre-WWII Toronto's ethnic demography was overwhelmingly
British in origin and culture; the black population was miniscule and showed little
signs of increasing. Furthermore, large-scale black migration would not begin
until the late 1960's following changes in Canada's whites-only immigration laws.
Thus, the level of racial consciousness was relatively low in Toronto; British
residents had hegemonic status in the city and visible minorities were
numerically insignificant.
The racial demography of Chicago as well as the racial fears of Euro-
Americans was not lost on city officials. The political process in early postwar
Chicago often operated based on the fears and perceptions of white business
elites and residents. Public housing policy became part of a larger strategy by
political elites aimed at limiting the socio-economic and residential mobility of
blacks. This thicket of racial animosity and politics was largely absent from
housing policy decisions in Toronto because of its distinct racial demography.
Today, differing rates of segregation have effected the political and socio
economic standing of blacks in each city. The success that Afro-American
candidates have had in accessing electoral office and government institutions in

218
Chicago owes much to voter support coming from segregated black
neighborhoods. In Toronto, the relatively small black population ranks low in
representation and political incorporation due largely to being spatially integrated
in electoral areas where they are unable to form a critical electoral mass.
However, despite black political achievements and influence in Chicago,
poor Afro-Americans experience a greater level of social isolation from the
surrounding population than low-income Afro-Canadians in Toronto. It appears
that political power, by itself, cannot soon overcome the long-term consequences
of institutionalized residential segregation. The level of social isolation of poorer
black residents in both cities is linked to the level of residential segregation.
Taking the case of Toronto, the level of residential integration for a given
minority group, in effect, can act as a buffer between high levels of social
isolation and a low quality of life for low income housing residents.
Public policy still has a role to play in combating residential segregation.
As Canadian cities become more racially diverse, anti-segregation policies is one
area where Canadian policymakers should follow their American counterparts in
order to guard against the growth of residential segregation. Cultural differences
between each country do not adequately explain the distinct paths taken with
respect to housing policy and residential segregation, and, thus, cannot be solely
relied on to stem the onset of segregation and its attendant consequences.

219
APPENDIX
INTERVIEW QUESTIONNAIRES
A separate series of questions were created for black political elites and
for officials serving in the public housing bureaucracy prior to engaging in the
**
interview portion of the dissertation. A total of five questions were created for
each group of interviewees. These questions were open-ended in order to
encourage a conversational atmosphere with each subject and to provide me
with a guide for going beyond the five-question minimum based on their
particular responses. The average length of all useful interviews was between
40-45 minutes.
Several interview subjects in each city was not included in the dissertation
discussion. The major reasonsvhy these were not deemed useful for the final
products included:
Interviewee responses were not directly relevant to the discussion of race
and public housing in Chapter 5.
Interview was interrupted and stopped due to interviewee time constraints
or to lack of interest/comfort-level with the questions.
Interviewee was not available at the agreed upon time and/or did not
respond to agreed on questions submitted via mail and e-mail.
Basic questions posed to Public Housing Officials:
1. What, in your opinion, were/are the main reasons behind the decision
to construct housing project in this area?
2. Was the city council generally in support of building this project?

220
3. Was there any concern among housing officials regarding the
background of tenants that would be attracted to public housing?
4. What is your response to the argument made by some that minority
tenants were/are consciously placed in certain projects and excluded
from others?
5. What effect, if any, did spatial segregation have on the individual
tenants in public housing in this city?
Basic questions posed to Black Political Elites:
1. Is racial residential segregation a problem in this city/ Has the black
community been affect by residential segregation?
2. Is the political establishment in this city concerned about segregation?
Why/Why not?
3. How would you describe the general state of race relations in this city?
4. Are Afro-Americans/Canadians politically influential in this city?
5. How can Afro-Americans/Canadians maintain/increase the level of
political power in this city? What stands in the way of achieving
this goal?

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
Audley George Reid Jr. was born in Kingston, Jamaica. He attended grade
school in Toronto, Canada. He holds a B.A. Honours in political science, from
York University in Toronto. His graduate education took place at the University
of Florida, in Gainesville, where he earned a M.A. in political science with a minor
in mass communications. Dr. Reid earned his PhD in political science from the
University of Florida in 2002.
235

I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to
acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope
and quality, as a thesis for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
arns W. Button, Chairman
Professor of Political Science
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to
acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope
and quality, as a thesis for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
( (L -
Renee J.johnson
Assistant Professor of Political Science
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to
acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope
and quality, as a thesis for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Michael D. Martinez \
Associate Professor of Political Science
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to
acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope
and quality, as a thesis for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
/ y -*LX
Bert E. Swanson
Professor of Political Science
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to
acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope
and quality, as a thesis for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Anthony J. La^feca
Professor of Sociology

This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the
Department of Political Science in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and to
the Graduate School and was accepted as partial fulfillment of the requirements
for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
May 2002
Dean, Graduate School



80
Government Rationales for 20th Century 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 low-
income 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 Corporation, 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 memorandum, 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).


102
the overall bill, passed by only five votes (Judd and Swanstrom 1998,183). This
margin would be indicative of the controversies that lay ahead for low-income
housing in large cities such as Chicago.
While public housing was the most controversial issue in the 1949 debate,
it accounted for a small portion of the overall bill, and was never intended to be
the main policy focus for government agencies charged with implementing the
FHA. From its inception subsidized low-income housing received little support
from influential public officials and the mass media. Furthermore, despite the
controversies in 1937 and 1949, the program was low on the list of funding and
legislative priorities among congressional leaders (Wolman 1971, 57-60).
The 1949 Act passed, despite powerful opposition to more funds for
subsidized housing, because there was broad support for urban renewal and
redevelopment programs. Conservative congressional critics of the FHA and
organizations such as NAREB and the NAHB opposed public funding of low-
income housing along ideological lines and because they did not want the federal
government competing with market actors as a provider of housing. However,
government funds for urban redevelopment was viewed favorably as a way to
add value to land in so-called slum areas, thus, making these areas more
attractive for commercial investment and private developers (Palen 1997, 323-4).
Particularly in the first 14 years after the 1949 Act, local development
agencies and private developers spent significantly more time and funds to clear
land in low-income areas for commercial development than in creating higher


TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page
DEDICATION
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS m
ABSTRACT vii
CHAPTER
1 INTRODUCTION 1
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 Methodology 42
Notes 43
2 IMMIGRANTS AND URBAN DEMOGRAPHICS: INTERNAL AND
EXTERNAL MIGRANT IN CHICAGO AND TORONTO 44
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
3 A DECENT HOME FOR EVERYONE: 20 CENTURY GOVERNMENT
INVOLVEMENT IN HOUSING PROVISION 76
Legal Factors 76
IV


200
Social isolation is positively correlated with a neighborhood's
unemployment rate and the percentage of single parent families; the higher each
of these measures is, the greater the level of social isolation being experienced
by residents in that neighborhood. Conversely, labor force participation rates
and median family incomes are negatively associated with social isolation; the
higher these measures are the lower the level of social isolation.
There is little question that neighborhoods with large stocks of public
housing will show comparatively higher levels of social isolation in both Toronto
and Chicago. The question at issue here is; in which of these two cities do low-
income public housing areas reflect the greater level of social isolation in
comparison to the city average or norm?
For the purposes of this comparison, census tracts will be used to
represent neighborhood areas that have family housing projects. Census tracts
encompass a relatively large spatial area compared to block level measurements.
However, block level data is often less accessible due to suppression by the
Census Bureau in order to protect the identity of respondents (Massey and
Denton 1993, 62). Furthermore, census tracts are more amenable to
comparative urban research because they are the most commonly used
representations of 'neighborhoods', and importantly, the definition of a census
tract as used by Statistics Canada is similar to that of the U.S. Census Bureau
(Hajnal 1993).


188
discrimination is the cause of minority concentrations in public housing and argue
that cultural and familiarity among residents and immigration trends are the
most important factors.
A manager of Social Housing Connections, a coalition of public and non
profit housing providers that works with the city's housing agency to match low-
income applicants with available units, states that:
Newer immigrants from the same region feel more comfortable residing
with each other. There is a familiarity that exists when people come from
the same culture. At times, waves of newcomers from specific regions are
accepted and so a disproportionate number of people from a region may
reside in a region because of sheer numbers (Interview, March 3 2000).
Former Mayor of Toronto John Sewell, currently an advocate for
affordable housing development, voices a similar view:
I think racial selection is not consciously done by staff, but I think that it
ends up occurring because, a) the lower you are on the social scale the
less you think you can exercise choice, so individuals with similar
characteristics tend to congregate because of social positioning. [And] b)
people feel more comfortable among people with similar racial
characteristics and will often self-select (Interview, April 13 2000).
Further doubt is cast on the intentional discrimination argument by the
comments of a high-ranking Afro-Canadian MTHA official who states, "People
select to live in a neighborhood where there are other people like themselves.
Older residents [for example], want to be somewhere where there aren't a lot of
children aroundso these are reasons why you would take some people and
place them together" (Interview 9, March 2000). She concludes, "I could not in
the six years that I was thereI could not say that there is a role for racism in


CHAPTER 7
CONCLUDING REMARKS
This case study of the relationship between segregation and public
housing policy has expanded the analysis of Canadian-American relations in two
ways. First, whereas few comparative analyses of the two countries give
substantial attention to race related issues, this study makes race an explicit
issue of focus. Second, the issue of racial segregation in both cities is dealt with
not simply as a contemporary issue, but as a phenomenon whose origin is found
in specific historical circumstances embedded within the demographic and racial
characters of each city. Again, while the history of segregation and housing
policy has been well documented in Chicago and many other American cities, few
studies exist that provide a historical and contextual analysis of segregation in
Toronto or any other Canadian city.
From this case study, we find that while governmental institutions, in this
case federal and local public housing agencies, influenced where low-income
housing and low-income blacks were located, the actions of these institutions
were impacted by pre-existing ecological factors. The size of the black
population and the introduction of internal and external migrants of color
affected the level of racial consciousness in each city prior to and during
government involvement in low-income housing provision. Pre-WWII Chicago
216


31
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 20th 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 20th
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.


230
Metropolitan Housing and Planning Council of Chicago. 1960. Conference on
Housing the Economically and Socially Disadvantaged Groups in the Population.
February 26-27.
Metropolitan Toronto Council. 1958. Welfare and Housing Committee. Report #3.
Meeting Minutes. March 11.
Meyerson, Martin and Edward C. Banfield. 1955. Planning and the Public
Interest. Glencoe, III: The Free Press.
Mladenka, Kenneth R. 1989. "Blacks and Hispanics in Urban Politics." American
Political Science Review. 83. March. 167-191.
Moore, Ruth. 1964. "Former Housing Aide Denounces CHA Policy." The Chicago
Sun-Times. Tuesday, March 3. 14.
Moore, Ruth. 1964. "CHA Building Slums, Negro Member Charges." The Chicago
Sun-Times. August, 24.
Morton, W.L. 1972. The Canadian Identity. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Munnell, Alicia H., Lynn E. Browne, James McEneaney, Geoffrey M.B. Tootell.
1992. "Mortgage Lending in Boston: Interpreting HMDA Data." Working Paper
No. 92-7. Boston: Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. October.
Murdie, R. 1994. "Blacks in Near-ghettoes? Black Visible Minority Population in
Metropolitan Toronto Housing Authority Public Housing Units." Housing Studies
9: 435-457.
Murdie, Robert A, Adrienne S. Chambn, J. David Hulchanski, and Carlos
Teixeira. 1995. "Housing Issue Facing Immigrants and Refugees in Greater
Toronto: Initial Findings from the Jamaican, Polish and Somali Communities."
Habitat II Research Conference Nov 23-25.
Nader, George A. 1976. Cities of Canada Volume 2. Toronto: MacMillan of
Canada.
Nipp, Dora. 1985. "The Chinese in Toronto." Gathering Place: The Peoples and
Neighborhoods of Toronto 1834-1895. Robert F. Harney ed. Toronto:
Multicultural History Society of Ontario.
Norton, Mary Beth, David M, Katzman, Paul D. Escott, Howard P. Chudacoff,
Thomas G. Paterson, and William M. Tuttle, Jr. A People and A Nation: A History
of the United States. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.


136
the largest number of high-rise developments in the Toronto area (Dennis and
Fish, 191).
As in Chicago, private developers had some influence in urban
redevelopment strategies in Toronto. However, the extent and character of
development supported by private interests were distinct in the two cities. First,
private developers in Toronto focused most of their activities within and around
the central business district, whereas in Chicago, a significant portion of
development activity took place in south side, low-income neighborhoods.
Metropolitan officials along with business interests, particularly banks and railway
companies, wanted more development in Toronto's downtown core due partly to
a perceived lag in CBD investment in comparison to American cities.
Development efforts were led by three major banks-The Toronto-Dominion Bank,
The Royal Bank of Canada, and The Bank of Montreal. Their efforts resulted in
several high-rise commercial buildings being located in downtown Toronto,
including Toronto-Dominion Towers, one of the tallest buildings in North America
(Lemon 1996).
In addition, Canadian Pacific Railways, Canadian National Railways, and
developer Cadillac-Fairview planned a massive political and financial district
termed Metro Centre. However, citizen concerns regarding the scale of the
proposal and its impact on residential neighborhoods convinced advocates to
reduce the proposal. The Canadian National (CN) Tower was one result of the
revamped and more modest proposal. Outer zones and areas adjacent to the


60
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


175
employment, [however] they are inadequately represented at middle and senior
management levels" (119).
The absence of specific data on Afro-Canadian municipal employment is
instructive. It is, in part, a reflection of the lack of consistent political influence
on the part of the black community in Toronto. Social activists within and
outside of the black community have long pressed for the collection and
dissemination of social and economic data on specific minority populations, as
well as the implementation of affirmative action/employment equity programs for
public and private sector corporations (Abella 1984; Henry and Ginzburg 1984).
While most government institutions in Ontario have been resistant to these calls,
an exception to this standard occurred when the social democrat New
Democratic Party narrowly won Ontario's 1990 provincial election. The most
politically progressive of the provinces major parties, the NDP supported calls for
employment equity hiring programs for visible minorities and for the collection of
minority municipal employment data (Foster 1996, 93).
The period of NDP governance in Ontario, from 1990 to 1995, was one of
relatively high levels of political incorporation for the black community at the
provincial level and within the Greater Toronto region where over 60% of all
black provincial residents reside. Black NDP staff members were appointed to
chair or co-chair several provincial boards, agencies, and commissions. The
Ontario Anti-Racism Working Group (OARWG), an advisory group charged with
disseminating information to the provincial government on issues of concern to


23
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 Canada. 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 Afro-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
20th 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


214
middle-income residents many of whom decide to purchase homes outside the
city in the more affordable exurbs in the northern and eastern regions of the
Greater Toronto Area (City of Toronto 2000). The private rental market is also
expensive with monthly rental rates for a modest 1-bedroom apartment often
exceeding $1000.00. Added to the high cost of renting is the difficulty in finding
available apartments. Vacancy rates remain extremely low, rarely exceeding
1.0% for a given month over the past several years (City of Toronto 2000).
Without affordable housing, residents effectively become trapped in subsidized
housing or, depending on a province's stance on income limitations, risk eviction
and homelessness because their current income exceeds institutional limits.
Federal Collection of Detailed Racial and Ethnic Data.
The collection of information on racial groups by Statistics Canada has
historically been inconsistent. The methodology used for identifying racial
groups, for example, is different in the 1986 census compared to 1996, this
frustrates attempts to measure and follow possible trends with respect to racial
groups and other indicators. There is a need for a consistent and long-term
approach to counting and identifying racial groups. This would allow for more
valid and reliable studies on some of Canada's fastest growing demographic
groups. Furthermore, census officials should undertake more specific studies
into particular racial groups in relation to jobs, housing, and educational
attainment. Public officials can use this data to assess the standing of minorities


36
work, The Negro Family in the United States (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 Modern World
(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 Afro-
Americans 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 Bourgeoisie focused heavily on the shortcomings of the small


177
This level of political incorporation, however, was tenuous and short-lived.
Historically, Afro-Canadians and visible minorities in general within Canadian and
Toronto politics have exercised little direct and effective influence. While visible
minorities gained more representation and influence during five years of NDP
governance, the five year period of progressive policy initiatives was simply not
enough time for new groups and actors to become an institutionalized presence
in provincial and local politics and bureaucracies.
The tenuous nature of minority political incorporation became clear after
the NDP was defeated in 1995 by the Progressive Conservative Party whose
ideological and programmatic views differed sharply from those of the NDP.
Progressive Conservative Party leader Mike Harris campaigned on an anti-social
democrat platform strongly opposed to what it viewed as government
intervention in the marketplace; preferential treatment quotas in hiring and
promotion; and the diminution of the merit principal in the public and private
sector (Foster 92-3). Upon winning the provincial election, the Harris
government's first legislative act, as promised during the election, was to close
the employment equity commission and rescind the monitoring and employment
equity programs initiated under the NDP (Foster, 98-9; Lewinberg, 219). In
addition, the Jobs Ontario employment program and funding for minority
business initiatives were discontinued.
There are some similarities between the post-1995 political standing of
Ontario's black residents and that of Afro-Americans in Chicago following the


12
"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 ChiniesHindoesand the Japs"
(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 (Fieras 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


15
monetary policy, and how they impact on the political, economic, and/or cultural
standing of Canada vis--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.


96
American Government Involvement in Housing Provision
Postwar subsidized housing provision and urban redevelopment in the
United States impacted far more urban real estate than similar programs in
Canada. Between 1949 and 1965 American local redevelopment authorities
expropriated over 27,000 acres of land from low-income homeowners and
absentee landlords (Lemon 1996, 280), an area larger than the city of Toronto.
Publicly funded renewal programs in Canada cleared little more than 700 acres
up to 1964, with Toronto accounting for 111 acres of that total (282). The scale
of postwar redevelopment efforts in the United States, contrary to popular
assumption, was a direct result of various grant and funding programs offered to
local governments and private actors by federal government authorities. In
contrast to Canadian cities, which had to provide one-half of the funds for urban
renewal, the U.S. federal government financed two-thirds of residential and
industrial demolition efforts in central cities (279-280). Thus, notwithstanding
the professed commitment to the private marketplace found throughout
American society, significant portions of urban renewal and public housing
programs were created and kept alive primarily due to federal government
largesse.
At the outset of federal government involvement in subsidized housing in
North America, American and Canadian officials followed similar paths in terms of
the rationales and strategies used to justify their respective involvement. Both
countries attempted to stimulate their depression level economies by passing


56
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 20th 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


144
dispersed. Even in comparison to some recent European immigrants, Afro-
Caribbean residents are more evenly dispersed.
The extent of spatial integration of black immigrants, which is unusual by
North American standards, was made evident in a 1998 city report on immigrant
groups. The report utilized the Index of Dissimilarity to quantify the level of
segregation experienced by visible minority immigrants. The Index is the most
common measure of residential segregation and asks the basic question: What
portion of a given population would have to move to another neighborhood in
order for integration to be achieved? (City of Toronto, 7; Massey and Denton,
20-22) The measure ranges from 0, which represents complete spatial evenness
or integration, to 100, which represents complete segregation where every
member of a particular group would have to move to achieve integration.
A general rule of thumb for interpreting the Dissimilarity Index is that a
score from 0 to 30 is a low level of segregation, 30 to 60 is moderate, and 60 to
100 is high (Massey and Denton, 20). From Table 4.5, two general conclusions
can be made. First, it is evident that non-European immigrants experience a
moderate to high level of segregation from the rest of Toronto's population.
Second, West Indian immigrants experience unusually moderate levels of spatial
segregation compared to other groups. The Index for West Indians is
significantly lower than that for Polish immigrants (45 to 61), something unique
relative to Afro-Americans in Chicago and in several large American cities.


66
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 Afro-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," (Higham 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 (Kleppner 1985, 19-21).
As the most recent of many migrant waves to urban America, Afro-
Americans struggled with the same barriers to socio-economic mobility that faced


88
In response to federal policy developments, Ontario created the first
provincial housing corporation, the Ontario Housing Corporation, 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 federal-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)


150
Figure 4.4 CHA Operated Housing Projects, 1946
Source: Chicago Housing Authority. 1947. Facts About Public Housing in Chicago. June.


212
cannot soon overcome the generations of discriminatory activities carried out by
public and private institutions in large American cities. However, they do provide
the basic legal and political authority from which citizens and organizations can
launch challenges against the wall of residential segregation and discrimination.
Passage of a Canadian Fair Housing Act. While provincial and state laws
exist that make it illegal to discriminate against prospective renters and buyers in
the private housing market on the basis of race, Canada lacks an anti
segregation measure that is as comprehensive as the Fair Housing Amendments
passed by the U.S. Congress in 1988. The passage of the FHA of 1988, which
provided more access to the courts by plaintiffs wishing to file a discrimination
lawsuit, and significantly increased the monetary costs of racial discrimination
practiced by rental and housing institutions, was a major success for fair housing
advocates (Yinger, 190-193). Prior to its passage, victims of housing market
discrimination relied on the 1968 Fair Housing Act, which was fraught with
weaknesses in terms of monetary relief and legal enforcement (Massey and
Denton, 195-200).
Rather than relying on outdated, inconsistent, or difficult to enforce laws,
Canadian authorities should enact a comprehensive fair housing law along the
same lines as that which exists in the United States. While the number of claims
of housing discrimination is far fewer in Canada compared to the United States,
Canadian officials should not wait until segregation and discrimination become a
widespread or dramatic problem before they pass a substantive fair housing law.


INTERVIEW QUESTIONNAIRES 219
BIBLIOGRAPHY 221
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 235
VI


89
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 agencies 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


100
contractors. Finally, supporters emphasized to skeptics that all government-
owned units would be sold on the private market at the end of the war (Judd
1979, 259; Judd and Swanstrom, 1998, 180-81). With these assurances, the
1937 Act passed with bipartisan support in the House and Senate, with votes of
275-86 and 64-16, respectively (Metropolitan Housing and Planning Council of
Chicago 1960). With WWII over, critics of public housing saw no compelling
reason to grant congressional funding for the continuance of the 1937 Act, let
alone the expansion of federal, state, or local government involvement in low-
income housing provision.
As evident in Table 3.8, an array of interests groups lined up to praise and
critique the pending 1949 housing legislation. Opponents were united in their
ideological opposition to government owned and operated housing. These
organizations included the U.S. Savings and Loan League, which represented
3700 associations including the majority of the nation's savings and loan
institutions, and the National Association of Home Builders representing
numerous industry, trade, and financial associations. The National Association of
Real Estate Boards was the most vocal critic of the public housing provisions of
the FHA, as it had been during debate on the PHA in 1937. The 1949 debate saw
NAREB vice president Hubert U. Nelson characterize supporters of public housing
as "communists" and "subversives" (Judd and Swanstrom, 182). In the eight
years following passage of the PHA, the position of the organization had not
changed and could still be summed up by the statement of its president in 1937:


205
Figure 5.5
Female Labor Involvement in Public Housing Areas-
Chicago
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Housing Areas
Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census. 1990. Census of Population and Housina-Chicaao. Illinois
Washington D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office
Figure 5.6
Median Family Income in Public Housing Areas-
Toronto
70,000
I 60,000
o
| 50,000
40,000
30,000
c 20,000
5 10,000
S 0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
Housing Areas
City-Bar 1
56.2%
Public Housing
Areas
36.6%
Toronto-Bar 1
$40,700
Public Housing
Area Average
$32,281
Source: Statistics Canada. 1996. Profile of Census Tracts in Toronto. Ottawa: Census Operations
Division.


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.
viii


138
development ensured that urban redevelopment in Toronto would take place on
a modest scale.
By 1970, Toronto held the largest stock of public housing in Canada;
Chicago was home to the third largest in the United States. Projects in Toronto
were situated in the downtown core and in each of the five surrounding suburbs.
In Chicago, low-income projects were situated disproportionately in south side
and western neighborhoods. And racial segregation was institutionalized within
each project, blacks and whites lived in separate projects or were housed in
separate locations within a development.
The racial and ethnic makeup of each city prior to WWI affected public
officials and institutions in different ways. Chicago's balkanized neighborhoods
led to a politics fuelled by ethnic and racial ties and used effectively by the
political machine. Government housing policy was captured by this political
culture and racial segregation became institutionalized into the public housing
infrastructure. The level of ethnic and racial balkanization in early Century
Toronto was low because no other ethnic group could challenge British residents
in number, political power, or economic influence, and visible minorities were a
small and numerically stagnant part of the population.
While discrimination was a reality in Canada, Canadian soil was not
conducive to cotton or plantation agriculture and consequently there was no
plantation slavery. The migration of southern blacks to the American Midwest
and northeast was a direct result of the decline of the plantation slave economy


186
racism, or they're all the same. All of those are excuses. Let's find out
who is running out there and what they say about these specific issues. I
think we could be quite a political force" (Interview, 9 March 2000).
The JCA official while arguing that infighting is a contributing factor
agrees that political apathy cannot be ignored as another cause. "My personal
experience is that I've come across people who were very involved in the political
system back home, specifically, in Jamaica. They were very active, they
canvassed, they worked, and when they come here [Canada] they just take a
back seat. Some of the really skeptical ones will make statements like, T don't
want to get involved in white man's politics' and things like that" (Interview, 17
March 2000).
The New Politics of Public Housing in Toronto
I was always very concerned whenever I walked into a community and all I saw were
black faces coming out. I always asked a question: How is it that a building had a
disproportionate number of people of color?
Former official, Metropolitan Toronto Housing Authority (interview, 9 March 2000)
Public housing as an issue in the history of Toronto lacks the group
controversy and divisiveness that helped to shape the modern character of
Chicago. However, some of the same issues that defined and continue to define
Chicago politics have now appeared on the horizon in Canada's largest city. The
politics of public housing in Toronto began to take shape during the 1970's as
the racial and cultural makeup of urban subsidized housing residents mirrored
changes in the composition of new residents into the city. Until changes to
Canada's federal immigration laws in the late 1960's, the great majority of
tenants in urban subsidized housing were of European background. Immigrants


224
Drake, St. Clair and Horace R. Cayton. 1945. Black Metropolis: A Study of Negro
Life in a Northern Citv. New York: Harcourt, Brace, and Company.
Duffy, A. 1991. "Blacks in Near-Ghettoes, Study Savs." The Toronto Star.
October 7.
Edsall, Thomas Byrne and Mary D. Edsall. 1991. Chain Reaction: The Impact of
Race. Rights, and Taxes on American Politics. New York: W.W. Norton and
Company.
Engstom, Richard L. and Michael D. McDonald. 1981. "The Election of Blacks to
City Councils: Clarifying the Impact of Electoral Arrangements on the
Seats/Populaton Relationship." American Political Science Review. 75(2): 344-
354.
Finkel, Alvin, Margaret Conrad, and Veronica Strong-Boag. 1993. History of the
Canadian Peoples: 1867 to the Present. Volume II. Toronto: Copp Clark Pittman
Ltd.
Flanagan, William G. 1999. Urban Sociology: Images and Structure. Boston: Allyn
and Bacon.
Fieras, Augie. 1994. "Media and Minorities in a Post-Multicultural Society:
Overview and Appraisal." In Ethnicity and Culture in Canada: The Research
Landscape, ed. J.W. Berry, and J.A. LaPonce. Toronto: University of Toronto
Press. 267-292.
Fieras, Augie and Juan Leonard Elliot. 1992. The Challenge of Diversity:
Multiculturalism in Canada. Toronto: Nelson Canada.
Fletcher, Frederick J., and Daphne Gottlieb Taras. 1995. 'The Mass Media:
Private Ownership, Public Responsibilities." In Canadian Politics In The 1990s.
eds. Michael S. Whittington, and Glen Williams. Toronto: Nelson Canada.
Finbow, Robert. 1993. "Ideology and Institutions in North America." Canadian
Journal of Political Science. 26(4): 671-697.
Fong, Eric 1997. "A Systematic Approach to Racial Residential Patterns." Social
Science Research 26: 465-486.
Fong, Eric. 1996. "A Comparative Perspective on Racial Residential Segregation:
American and Canadian Experiences." The Sociological Quarterly 37171: 199-226.


CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
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 incorporation that these
groups have achieved in Western industrialized societies. Within North America
the formation and continuance of racial segregation, particularly among Afro-
American 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 frustrated
i


110
of ideologically progressive groups made up primarily of labor unions and social
activists lobbied the provincial government to embark on an ambitious
progressive funding and policy agenda, including subsidized low-income housing.
Many of these organizations were affiliated with the Cooperative
Commonwealth Federation (CCF) party. The CCF came close to defeating the
Progressive Conservatives in the 1943 provincial election and successfully lobbied
the government to enact part of its progressive policy agenda (Lemon 1993,
264; Sayegh 1972). Despite opposition to public housing projects in some areas,
local critics were not as organized or as effective as advocates, particularly at a
time when social progressives occupied the Mayor's office, the Chairmanship of
metropolitan Toronto, and key posts within the provincial government.
The environment that surrounded the Chicago Housing Authority differed
significantly from that in Toronto and led to distinct policy strategies in public
housing construction and urban renewal. As in Toronto, a variety of formal and
informal actors/rules were involved in the decision making process of the CHA.
Federal authorities, as seen in Figure 3.4, through the Public Works
Administration, the United States Housing Administration, and the Federal
Housing Act of 1949, held the strongest formal influence over the CHA in the
early postwar period. However, antecedent factors and the character of
informal, exogenous actors were two areas of distinction that would lead to
different outcomes in housing policy in Chicago and Toronto.


119
it further encouraged negative stereotypes and racial animus towards Afro-
Americans.
A coalition of anti-public housing aldermen and neighborhood associations
successfully pressured the CHA and the Mayor's office into circumventing and at
times ignoring its own tenant and site selection policies. Informal tenant quotas
in the earliest wartime and CHA projects existed from the inception of the CHA
into the 1950's. They existed under a tacit understanding and agreement
between city council members, the Mayor's office, and successive CHA directors
(Hirsch, 84). The earliest housing projects in Chicago were intended to house
war workers as well as ordinary citizens. Mayor Edward Kelly was in public
agreement with the Chicago Urban League and other civil rights groups in
supporting racial integration in wartime projects located within racially mixed
neighborhoods. This was in keeping with the neighborhood composition rule of
the CHA and the Public Works Administration. Kelly, however, fearing a backlash
from white tenants and the surrounding area, made it clear to trusted senior
officials that the proportion of black tenants in these projects would be limited to
10% of all residents regardless of the proportion of blacks in a particular mixed
area (Bowly 1978, 49-50).
Most of the earliest CHA projects were built in predominantly white areas.
As illustrated in Figure 4.4, these included the Lathrop Homes-the furthest north
of the early projects, Trumbull Park-located on the far south side, Bridgeport,
and Lawndale housing projects. The CHA also operated twelve projects


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
Audley George Reid Jr. was born in Kingston, Jamaica. He attended grade
school in Toronto, Canada. He holds a B.A. Honours in political science, from
York University in Toronto. His graduate education took place at the University
of Florida, in Gainesville, where he earned a M.A. in political science with a minor
in mass communications. Dr. Reid earned his PhD in political science from the
University of Florida in 2002.
235


Government Rationales for 20th Century Housing Provision
In Canada 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
4 LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION: RACIAL POLITICS AND
PUBLIC HOUSING IN CHICAGO AND TORONTO 114
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 Urban Canada 139
5 CONTRASTS AND IRONIES: SEGREGATION AND THE
POLITICAL STANDING OF PEOPLE OF COLOR 157
Segregation, Political Incorporation, and
Urban Black North America 158
Minority Political Representation in Chicago and
Toronto 167
Has Minority Political Incorporation Been Achieved?
Substantive Representation in Toronto and Chicago.. 172
Elite Views on Minority Political Incorporation
in Chicago 178
Elite Views on Minority Political Incorporation in
Toronto 183
The New Politics of Public Housing in Toronto 186
Beyond Electoral Politics: Segregation and the Quality
of Life Of Black Residents 197
6 STEMMING THE TIDE: POLICY STRATEGIES AGAINST
RESIDENTIAL SEGREGATION 211
7 CONCLUDING REMARKS 216
APPENDIX
V


204
participation rates, male unemployment, and single-parent families. Only 17.5%
of all families in Toronto are single-parent families compared to 29.1% of
families in public housing neighborhoods, as shown in Figure 5.7.
Figure 5.3.
70
Unemployment in Public Housing Areas-Chicago
60
(0
50
c
5
£
>.
o
a
E
c
=5
40
30
20
10
City-Bar 1
11.3%
Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census. 1990. Census of Population and Housina-Chicaoo. Illinois
Washington D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.
Figure 5.4
Labor Force Involvement of Public Housing Areas in
Chicago
10 11 12 13
City-Bar 1
63.7%
Public Housing
Areas
40.5%
Housing Areas
Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census. 1990. Census of Population and Housina-Chicaao. Illinois Washington
D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office


117
is evidenced in Figure 4.3, where virtually all majority-black census tracts were
found on the south side. In northern tracts, there was little to no change;
census tracts that were overwhelmingly European in 1910 remained so in 1920.
As black migrants moved in to south side neighborhoods, some European
residents formed community organizations aimed at reversing or curtailing the
entry of Afro-Americans into previously all-white areas. Organizations such as
the Hyde Park Improvement Association advocated boycotts of businesses that
sold goods to incoming black migrants and supported the use of covenants
between homeowners promising not to sell or rent housing to Afro-Americans.
The agreements supported by private interests groups such as the Chicago Real
Estate Board became the formal route through which black homeownership was
limited. By 1930, three-fourths of all residential property in Chicago was bound
by restrictive covenants and the proportion surpassed 90% in white areas
adjacent to south side ghettoes (Kleppner, 38).
The hostility on the part of many whites to black residents was apparent
to federal and local housing officials as they sought to introduce subsidized
housing into Chicago. This recognition led to a formal agreement between these
officials at the inception of the Chicago Housing Authority that no project would
be constructed in a neighborhood that would change the racial makeup of that
particular area. The so-called neighborhood composition rule, in effect,
institutionalized already existing racial tension into public policy. The informal
racial color line that existed in Chicago at the beginning of the 20th Century


154
Figure 4.8 Metropolitan Toronto Housing Authority Developments
Source: Murdie, R. 1994. Blacks in Near-ghettoes? Black Visible Minority Population in
Metropolitan Toronto Housing Authority Public Housing Units. Housing Studies 9: 441


73
Table 2.5 Ethnic Origins of Toronto Population,
1911-1941 (%).
l)| I
1921
1931
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
09
521,
893
631,207
667,457
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. (%)
YEAR NORTH
EUROPE A.M. ASIA OTHER
1861-
1900
N.W
68
S.E
22
1
2
1
1901-
1920
41
44
6
4
5


75
Table 2.11 U.S. Urban Black Population and Percentage Growth, 1910-1930
City
1910
1920
1930
Percent
Increase
1910-1930
Percent
Total
1910
Of
Population
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 Population
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
Mayor. Dekalb, III: Northern Illinois University Press, p. 17
Chicago Urban League. 1957. "Population In The City Of Chicago
By Color". Urban Renewal and the Negro in Chicago. 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 Immigrants since 1880.
Berkeley: University of California Press, pp. 266. 288.


134
ward interests in Toronto in an advisory capacity and placed themselves as the
final arbiters (Dennis and Fish 1972; Lemon 1996).
Tension between the provincial level OHC and the metropolitan level
MTHA would develop over specific issues regarding the administration of
Toronto's expanding stock of public housing. But both bureaucracies shared a
general belief that granting municipal level interests more control over the urban
policy agenda would result in inefficient policy-making at the expense of the
larger metropolitan interest. In meetings with metropolitan officials, an OHC
board member, speaking on behalf of his colleagues, outlined the basic
institutional approach the Corporation would take: "Construction of any particular
housing project should be based on economicconsiderations primarily... The
needs of an individual (and) selection of particular tenants should be secondary"
(Dennis and Fish 1972, 135). In 1958, the Metropolitan City Council mirrored
this stance during discussion over two new housing developments. The Council
made it clear that "the provision of low cost housing in the Metropolitan area is a
responsibility of the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto and is not the
responsibility of any single area municipality (italics added)" (Metropolitan
Toronto Council 1958, 28).
In working to provide public housing, the Council created a committee to
help with determining the proper location for housing developments. The
committee reflected the operating ideology of the Council and the MTHA and was
dominated by metropolitan level officials. Called the Metropolitan Toronto


46
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.
European Immigrants in Pre-WWII Toronto
As was the case with American officials, Canadian authorities in the late
19th 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 20th Century (Statistics Canada 1992, 3).


20
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
Harles 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 Fieras 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


176
visible minorities, was developed within the Ministry of Citizenship-an agency
itself led by a person of color (Lewinberg 1998, 204).
In addition to high-level appointments, the NDP government also created
the Jobs Ontario Program, a youth training and day care initiative, which
aggressively sought out minority teenagers to take part in the program. The
government also attempted to generate black business development through the
construction of a Black Business Resource Centre and the Caribbean African
Canadian Credit Union. Finally, the provincial administration required that
provincial and local institutions submit annual reports on their hiring and
promotion practices as they pertained to racial minorities. The program was
administered through the office of the Commissioner of Employment Equity led
by Afro-Canadian lawyer Julian Westmoreland-Traore (Foster, 92; Lewinberg,
208-11).
As a result of all these efforts, Toronto's black community, despite their
relatively small population compared to that of Chicago's, scored well on each of
the four indicators of political incorporation during the NDP administration.
There were publicized efforts to hire and promote visible minorities within
municipal bureaucracies; oversight of and commissions studying police-minority
relations were instituted; Afro-Canadians were appointed to municipal agencies
and boards; and government sanctioned black business development institutions
were constructed.


59
late as 1921 the Canadian immigrant population continued to be dominated by
northwestern Europeans in general, British immigrants particularly. Europeans
accounted for 3A 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 19th 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 European migrants from 1880-
1889 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


229
Leyton-Brown, David. 1981. "Perspectives on Canadian-American Relations: The
Scope of the Literature." The American Review of Canadian Studies. 11(2): 80-
90.
Lieberson, Stanley. 1980. A Piece of the Pie: Black and White Immigrants Since
1880. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Lineberry, Robert L. and Edmund P. Fowler. 1967. "Reformism and Public Policy
in American Cities." American Political Science Review. 67: 701-16.
Upset, S. M. 1990. Continental Divide: The values and institutions of the United
States and Canada. New York: Routledge.
Lo, Lucia and Shuguang Wang. 1997. "Settlement Patterns of Toronto's Chinese
Immigrants: Convergence or Divergence?" Canadian Journal of Regional Science
20 Spring-Summer. 49-72.
Lupul, Manoly R. 1983. "Multiculturalism and Canada's White Ethnics." Canadian
Ethnic Studies. 15.
MacFarlane, Ivan O. 1969. Housing Policy: 3 Levels of Government Action.
Thesis: Carleton University.
MacManus, Susan A. 1978. "City Council Election Procedures and Minority
Representation: Are They Related." Social Science Quarterly. 59: 153-161
Main, Frank. 2001. "How Cops Treat the Public: Needs Improvement." Chicago
Sun-Times. March 4. 10A.
Massey, Douglas S. and Nancy A. Denton. 1993. American Apartheid:
Segregation and the Making of the Underclass. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard
University Press.
March, James G. and Johan P. Olsen. 1984. "The New Institutionalism:
Organizational Factors in Political Life." American Political Science Review. 78:
734-749.
Mercer, John and Michael A. Goldberg. 1986. The Mvth Of The North American
City: Continentalism Challenged. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press.
Metropolitan Housing and Planning Council of Chicago. 1951. Meeting Feb. 14 in
Papers of Lea Demerest Tavlor: Housing 1928-1949. Chicago Historical Society.


98
irrespective of whatever cultural or ideological differences that may have existed
between Canada and the United States during this period, officials in both
countries were wedded to the ideal of private industry construction of housing
and were willing to use public funds to encourage and shore up ailing providers.
As in Canada, the onset of World War II spurred U.S. federal agencies into
direct funding and construction of thousands of housing units for war workers
(Judd and Swanstrom 1998, 181). Federal efforts were critical to this effort due
to the general reluctance of private providers to invest heavily in housing
construction that would yield relatively low profit margins. In addition, efforts
were made in both countries to divest federal authorities of war worker housing
and place them under the ownership and administration of private market actors
(Judd and Swantrom, 181).
The Federal Housing Act of 1937 deepened federal government
involvement in subsidized housing provision by creating the United States
Housing Authority which constructed approximately 114,000 low-rent public
housing units by the end of WWII. Most of the units and their occupants were
distinct from those that would later be found in America's largest cities during
the 1960s. Most of the USHA units were low-rise, usually less than five stories
high. Furthermore, the majority of the occupants were low to moderate-income
workers instead of the very poor and those on public assistance (Palen 1997,
323).


14
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.
Like 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


DISTINCT PATHS:
RACE AND PUBLIC HOUSING IN POSTWAR TORONTO AND CHICAGO
By
AUDLEY GEORGE REID JR
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE
UNIVERISITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS
FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
2002


132
However, these efforts took place in a political and ethnic environment
dominated by British residents. Whatever challenges advocates of subsidized
housing and local level housing bureaucracies had to confront, rapid and large-
scale racial population change had yet to take place. Thus, discussions
regarding public housing site selection did not have to navigate through the
thicket of racial animosity and underlying group violence.
By the time black and Asian residents appeared in large numbers in
Toronto, beginning in 1968 and continuing throughout the next two decades, the
majority of the city's largest public housing projects had already been completed.
During the 1960's, Toronto underwent a transformation from a city dominated by
low-density, owner occupied, single family homes to one of high-rise, rented
apartments. The dispersed location of apartment buildings in Toronto is
illustrated in Figure 4.7. Every year since 1960, over 50% of all housing built in
Toronto has been apartment complexes (Bourne and Berridge 1973). From 1961
to 1971, apartment complexes increased from 21% to 38% of all dwellings
(Nader 1976, 222). Major developments were concentrated in the downtown
core as well as in suburban surroundings. The municipal subdivisions of North
York, located in the northwest corner of the city, and Etobicoke, located in the
city's north-central quadrant, held significant portions of the overall apartment
infrastructure.
The location of public housing projects in Toronto mirrored the dispersed
pattern of private apartments. Figure 4.8 outlines the general locations of most


191
workers and residents irrespective of socio-economic standing. Racially sensitive
topics have been the subject of in-depth journalistic reports in Chicago
newspapers for years. Recently, issues such as the future impact of the city's
fast growing Hispanic population; the spatial mapping of the growing AIDS rate
in minority neighborhoods; and the grading of the Chicago Police Department in
it's minority hiring, promotion, and community relations activities were feature
stories in Chicago-area newspapers (Chicago Sun-Times 2001).
In contrast, gaining access to data on the racial background of city
workers and subsidized housing residents is noticeably more difficult in Toronto.
There is a greater reluctance to discuss and collect data along racial lines among
influential policy elites. The policy and community elites surveyed represented
both sides of a debate over collecting and disseminating race-based data that
will continue to surface in social policy discussions as Toronto becomes ever
more racially diverse.
According to one official who works for the Toronto Social (public) Housing
Company, no formal data is collected or kept on the racial or ethnic background
of public housing tenants (Interview, May 2 2000). Social Housing Connections,
the non-profit agency that works with the Housing Corporation to match
applicants with available units, also follows this policy. A manager for Housing
Connections argues that there is no real need for racial information on
prospective tenants. "We do have information on the age of applicants and their
gender and income. We do not have information on race because it is


8
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


29
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


164
residents (5). Nor is there any guarantee that the representative will act in the
best interests of the black community.
When minority interests and the policy interests of a public official
coincides then substantive representation is said to exist. The concept of
political incorporation refers to when these interests are reflected in government
policy. Consequently, Browning, Marshall, and Tabb, like Swain, view
proportionate minority representation as neither necessary nor sufficient to
achieve political incorporation or substantive representation (Browning, Marshall,
and Tabb 1997, 8-9; Swain, 5-7).
Despite the caveats attached to descriptive representation, however, the
presence of minorities within elected and appointive bodies does have
importance. There is evidence that blacks living in cities with visible minority
political representation tend to be more trusting, efficacious, and more attentive
to political affairs (Judd and Swanstrom, 401). Even if most of the benefits are
symbolic, black, Hispanic, and Asian council and school board members stand as
examples of the gains that racial minorities have made in American political life.
The political science literature on the achievement of political
representation and minority incorporation has focused mostly on the relationship
between political structure and group size as independent variables, as outlined
in Figure 5.1. An explicit focus on the role that racial segregation can play in
encouraging and discouraging minority political advancement has historically
been lacking. The level of racial segregation in a given city is a key factor in


81
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 Responsible for Buildina/Administerina Housing Proiects-Toronto
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation 1946-1970's Federal Agency
City of Toronto-early 1940's Municipal
Dept, of Veterans Affairs-1940's Federal
Metro Housing Company-1950's Municipal
Metropolitan Toronto Housing Authority-1970's Municipal
Ontario Housing Corporation-1960's 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


104
income residents. From 1937 to 1949, one year prior to the passage of the FHA,
the CHA along with state and federal housing authorities helped to finance and
administer the construction of 19 housing projects. Eleven of the nineteen
projects were developed in concert with federal authorities while the eight
remaining were built exclusively with city and state housing grants (CHA 1951).
Three of the earliest Chicago projects-Jane Addams Homes, Trumbull Park
Homes, and Lathrop Homes-were constructed as a result of negotiations
between the CHA and federal Public Works Administration officials.
City officials sought housing construction funds due to increasing fears
that the large and growing population would make already crowded conditions
even worse. From the turn of the century to 1950, growth occurred in majority
and minority populations, as seen in Table 3.9. Euro-American residents almost
doubled in size from 1.6 million to 3.1 million and Afro-Americans, along with the
growing Hispanic and Asian population, saw more than a ten-fold increase from
31,000 to over 500,000. New housing and apartment construction for residents
of all economic backgrounds became a top policy priority for Chicago at mid
century.
Decision-making authority over Chicago's public housing infrastructure, as
seen in Figure 3.2, was held by several institutions at all levels of government.
However, prior to WWII, the majority of the public housing stock was developed
and administered by two bureaucracies; the federal Public Works Administration
(later succeeded by the United States Housing Authority) and the Chicago


172
and supports the argument that a highly segregated, unreformed urban system,
in effect, offers racial minorities more opportunity for descriptive representation.
Toronto exemplifies an unreformed urban system with a relatively integrated
black population. Consequently, the black population's lack of high geographic
concentration prevents them from numerically dominating enough political
districts to achieve a high level of descriptive representation.
Table 5.3 Placement of Chicago and Toronto in Segregation/ Minority Representation
Relationship
Reformed Government*
Unreformed Government*
Segregated
L.M.R
H.M.R
CHICAGO
Non-segregated
M/H.M.R
L.M.R
TORONTO
*Reformed Government: at large election system, city manager, non-partisan elections.
*Unreformed Government: ward based election system, mayor, partisan elections.
Has Minority Political Incorporation Been Achieved?
Substantive Representation in Toronto and Chicago
With recent political abuses, the mayor has now actually appointed 15 of 16 aldermen,
we don't have anyone on city council thinking for themselves anymore. If you have a
man that doesn't care about fair housing and segregation, then I certainly don't see him
making [an effort] to appoint people who have that on their political screen.
Chicago Fair Housing official, September 3 2001.
My perception is that there was more influencein the political system in the old
(Metropolitan) city of Toronto-. In the new system there are about45 councilors
about 3 are black. And there is at least one of them who wouldn't say that they are
black and if you think about it you'll know who I'm talking about.
Senior Toronto-area Board of Education official March 15 2000.
The impact of racial segregation on the political representation of blacks in
Toronto and Chicago is clear. The differential rate of segregation is a key factor
contributing to Toronto's low level of black political representation and the high
level of representation found in Chicago. How these distinct circumstances have


160
relationship is open to argument, it is clear that demographic factors, particularly
group size and spatial concentration, have a significant impact on the behavior of
voters and political officials.
As black, Asian and Hispanic populations continue to increase in urban
North America, so do their portion of the voting age population (Todd and
Swanstrom 1998, 390). The term political incorporation as used by Browning,
Marshall, and Tabb (1997) refers to the general range of possibilities for minority
group interests in achieving continuous, effective policy influence over urban
electoral institutions. In some cities minorities hold little or no seats on the city
council, for example, while in others they are represented in proportion to their
numbers in the population. However, achieving proportional representation in
the mayor's office or the city council is just one portion of the political
incorporation equation. A key factor in achieving full incorporation for racial
minorities is to be full partners in a governing coalition that supports policies that
positively affect the social and economic interests of minority residents
(Browning et al 1990).
Indicators of policies that forward minority interests include the
establishment of police-community agencies responsible for investigating police
behavior, the development of minority business procurement offices, the
appointment of minorities to municipal boards and commissions, and increased
employment of minorities in municipal government. In achieving political
incorporation, Browning, Marshall, and Tabb argue that group size is a


52
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 sub
groups. The Afro-Canadian community included Toronto-born residents,


149
Figure 4.3 Black Proportion of Chicago Population by Census Tract, 1910-1920.
Source: Allan H. Spear. Black Chicago: The Making of a Negro Ghetto: 1890-1920. Chicago:
University of Chicago Press.


55
1940 case of Christie vs. York Corporation, 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


192
controversial. There is no real good reason for us to keep such records"
(Interview, March 3 2000).
Former Mayor John Sewell provides some insight into why local and provincial
policy elites are generally reluctant to collect and disseminate this type of
information:
I guess the question is what one thinks of social engineering. If we collect
data on the basis of race, what do we do with it? If we could do
something good (whatever that means) with racial information, then it
might be useful. If the data can be used to point up injustice, then it
should be collected. The fear is that it will create rather than resolve
injustice (Interview, April 13 2000).
While the fear of creating greater "injustice" may be a legitimate, albeit
vague, rationale behind the reluctance to provide information on race, another
explanation that is equally as legitimate has to do with the image that public
elites in Toronto (and Canada generally) continually associate themselves with.
As outlined adeptly by Croucher (1993), Henry et al (1995), and Wilson (1993),
the image of Toronto is one of a city of tolerance and multiculturalism. Toronto
politicians have successfully advertised the city as one that has managed to
escape the ravages of rapid racial and cultural change that have left other North
American cities fraught with racial tension and socio-economic inequities.
To begin counting and grouping residents by race would be to give
legitimacy to a characteristic that public officials have long maintained is an
irrelevant one. Even after the 1992 riot where concerns about police brutality
and official indifference were dramatically voiced, a widely publicized
conservative columnist asked, "Why have black activists trotted out this tired


135
Advisory Committee, the body was composed of the Metropolitan Commissioners
of Housing and Planning, the Director of Research for the Metropolitan School
Board, the Statistician for the Metropolitan Toronto Separate School Board, and
several officials from the OHC (MacFarlane 1969, 62). The role of individual
municipalities was limited to inquiring whether the proposed project met local
zoning requirements, which could be altered by the metropolitan government if it
so chose. Overseeing this process was the OHC who had legal authority over the
activities of all local housing agencies.
Two main factors were responsible for the construction of low-income
developments in suburban locations, the availability of land and the influence of
private developers and urban reformers. Ecologically, Toronto adhered to the
conventional model of urban development in that land within the central
business district was dense with population and use intensive. As a result, land
prices in the downtown core were higher than in comparison to outer
geographical zones where land use was less intense and density levels were
lower (Palen 1997, 94-7; Sayegh 1972, 214-8). Housing officials ostensibly
chose to avoid the higher costs associated with developing within the CBD,
choosing instead to focus on outlying areas. In 1972, as an example, suburban
Scarborough was one of the few outlying areas that still had vacant land readily
available for new development. In addition, it was a predominantly working
class suburb with relatively inexpensive land. As a result, this subdivision held


51
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 20th
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


69
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 Afro-
Americans who lived in Chicago in 1870. By 1930, the community numbered


145
Table 4.5 Index of Dissimilarity for Immigrants in Toronto
Hong Kong
70
Viet Nam
66
Poland
61
Sri Lanka
61
China
55
India
54
Jamaica, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago
45
Philippines
44
Source: City of Toronto. 1998. City Toronto Urban Planning and Development
Services. May. Pg 7.
The integrated nature of West Indian residents in Toronto should not be
used to conclude that racial discrimination against people of color does not exist.
Racial discrimination clearly does exist in Toronto, including discrimination in the
housing market, as several studies have pointed out (Cannon 1995; Henry 1994;
Henry et al. 1995). A key factor contributing to the dispersed pattern of Afro-
Canadian residents is the dispersed location of Toronto's housing projects. There
are concentrations of Afro-Canadians in large apartment complexes in the central
business district and in North York and Scarborough.
The reliability of any study of the racial and ethnic background of
residents in Canadian public housing projects is limited due to the lack of official
government data on subjects related to race (Henry et al 1995; Croucher 1997).
In one of the few in-depth quantitative studies of public housing in Canada, York
University geographer, Robert Murdie, estimated that blacks accounted for 27%
of all tenants in Metropolitan Toronto Housing Authority projects in 1986 (Murdie
1994). Murdie suggests that the concentration of blacks in public housing may
be attributed to what he terms "constrained choice"; a combination of individual


234
States and Abroad. R. Kent Weaver and Bert A. Rockman eds. Washington D.C.
Brookings Institution. 1-40.
Wilson, James Q. 1960. Negro Politics: The Search for Leadership. Glencoe, III:
The Free Press.
Wilson, V. Seymour. 1993. "The Tapestry Vision of Canadian Multiculturalism."
Canadian Journal of Political Science 26(4): 645-669.
Wilson, Wiliam Julius. 1996. When Work Disappears: The World of the New
Urban Poor. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
1987. The Truly Disadvantaged: The Inner Citv. the Underclass, and Public
Policy. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
----1980. The Declining Significance of Race: Blacks and Changing American
Institutions.
Winks, Robin. 1997. The Blacks In Canada: A History. Montreal: McGill-Queens
University Press.
1971. The Blacks In Canada: A History. Montreal: McGill-Queens University
Press.
Yinger, John. 1995. Closed Doors. Opportunities Lost: The Continuing Costs of
Housing Segregation. New York: Russell Sage Foundation


215
in Canada and as a guide for discussions and policy prescriptions for socio
economic concerns.
Allowing Public dissemination of Specific Census Material on Race.
Much of the census material on the Canadian population is guarded from
the public. Data and reports on specific populations can only be accessed
through a request for special tabulation. Furthermore, accessing this data often
comes at a cost of several hundred dollars. This policy by Statistics Canada is in
stark contrast to the U.S. Census Bureau's, where detailed data on race is readily
available from census material in community libraries and on the Bureau's
comprehensive website. If access to specific populations is made difficult and
expensive then, academic and policy research and discussion on timely and
important issues is discouraged. Canadians should have easy access to
information that helps them understand their own country and their fellow
residents.


79
by taking advantage of what could be termed the culture of privatism 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, consequently, 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, "althougha 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.


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
DISTINCT PATHS:
RACE AND PUBLIC HOUSING IN POSTWAR TORONTO AND CHICAGO
By
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
V


140
As a member of the British Commonwealth, Canada was under increasing
pressure domestically and by fellow Commonwealth nations to end its
discriminatory immigration policy against non-white applicants (Alexander and
Glaze 1996, 216; Henry 1994; 27-8). In response, officials passed the 1962
Immigration Act allowing independent or non-sponsored West Indian immigrants
to enter Canada for the first time. Continued pressure from West Indian, Asian,
and progressive interest groups resulted in all preferences based on racial and
ethnic criteria being overturned in 1967 in favor of qualifications that emphasized
education, training, skills, and refugee status (Frideres 1992, 48). In addition to
the need for Western nations to demonstrate humanitarian concern for growing
non-Western refugees and to substantively oppose racial discrimination, changes
in Canadian immigration laws also helped to satisfy the growing shortage of
labor in certain entry-labor fields (Alexander and Glaze 1996, 177-9).
Canadian immigration patterns following the 1967 amendments changed
markedly. These immigration patterns have had a direct impact on the urban
centres in Canada. In 1991, 60% of all immigrants intended to settle in 3 cities-
Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver (Hiebert 1994, 257). Since the 1970's,
Toronto has been the primary reception area for international migrants; in 1991,
Toronto was the intended destination of 27% of all newcomers to Canada (Ray,
261). Among cities in North America, only Miami equals Toronto in its
percentage of foreign-born residents (Mercer & Goldberg 1986, 160).


133
of the public housing developments (approximately 110) operated under the
Metropolitan Toronto Housing Authority. Clustered within the downtown core
are several large developments, including Moss Park (68), Regent Park South,
(76), and Regent Park North (69) the largest and oldest single development with
1368 units (Murdie 1994, 442). But significant clusters of developments can also
be found in suburban Scarborough and in North York along Jane Street.
By 1972 the Ontario Housing Corporation, with support from the
Metropolitan Toronto Housing Authority, had constructed 12,000 units of public
housing in each of the six subdivisions controlled by the Metropolitan Council.
Suburban North York and Scarborough, located in the far northwest and far
northeast of Toronto, respectively, held the largest number of projects, while the
downtown core accounted for the third largest number of developments (Dennis
and Fish 1972). The location pattern of housing for low-income residents stood
in stark contrast to that found in Chicago and other large American cities.
In addition to lacking the racial diversity and, consequently, the racial
animosity, that dominated Chicago housing policy decision-making, Toronto was
distinct in terms of the institutional relationship that existed between the
Metropolitan Toronto Housing Agency, the Metropolitan City Council, and the
Ontario Housing Corporation. In Chicago, site selection decisions, in effect,
came to be controlled by powerful individual aldermen and ward neighborhood
associations. In Toronto, provincial and metropolitan interests controlled site
selection. Provincial and metropolitan officials formally placed individual and


171
political representation is positively correlated with a high level of racial
segregation. Over 7 in 10 of Chicago's black residents would have to move to
another neighborhood in order to achieve integrated living patterns that are
proportionate to Chicago's overall percentage of black and white residents.
Conversely, Toronto's black population experiences a significantly lower level of
racial segregation relative to the white population. Less than one-half of the
city's black residents would have to move to achieve integrated living patterns.
Chicago's black population has a representation level that exceeds its
percentage of the population with a score of 1.03 on the representation index.
The index for blacks in Toronto, by contrast, registered only 0.22. Black
residents in Toronto are significantly underrepresented in the city's most
influential public body even in comparison to their relatively modest portion of
the total population.
The third hypothesis finds general support as well. Both cities are
unreformed urban systems with relatively low scores on the reform index.
However, Toronto registers a 1 score because it has a non-partisan electoral
system. The city's higher level of political reform is correlated with a lower level
of black political incorporation while Chicago's unreformed city government is
linked to a high level of black political incorporation.
The overall relationship between segregation and black political
representation in Toronto and Chicago lends support to the general argument
put forward by Mladenka (1989) and others (see Table 5.3). Chicago represents


103
quality homes and apartments for those displaced by renewal programs.
Affected families were to be relocated in 810,000 units of public housing
authorized under the FHA. However, as late as 1969 this number had yet to be
achieved (Wolman 1971, 36-7). From 1949 to 1964 urban renewal programs
demolished over 230,000 low-income dwellings. Less than one-fourth of these
units were replaced by participating agencies (Judd and Swanstrom, 190). As
urban renewal came to an end in the early 1970s, it was clear that the primary
beneficiaries of the experiment were not low-income city residents, but instead,
commercial real estate interests and the local political elites who controlled and
dispersed federal funds.
Subsidized Housing in Chicago
Chicago was not the only city in America to request federal and state
funds for housing and redevelopment programs. It was, however, one of the
most aggressive seekers of funding and, consequently, became one of the
largest holders of housing projects in the country. Under the 1949 Federal
Housing Act, 40,000 units of public housing were to be constructed in Chicago
(Kleppner 1985, 42). The city's experience with government subsidized housing
actually pre-dated federal involvement through the FHA and extended back to
the New Deal era.
The institution primarily responsible for developing Chicago's public
housing portfolio was the Chicago Housing Authority. Created in 1937, the initial
mandate of the CHA was to provide good quality temporary housing for low-


189
this. Or accuse or say that there was any orchestration on the part of staff to
take all black people and say this is your building".
These comments by housing officials and policy elites, black and whites,
support the case that racial segregation within Toronto's public housing high-
rises, insofar as it exists, can be traced to several non-racial factors, as opposed
to the paramount role that race continues to play in residential placement in
Chicago. However, low-income blacks in both cities, and black residents in
general, share the same vulnerability to racial and class-based stereotypes.
Mistrust and tension between black residents and policing institutions, long a
source of controversy in Chicago, is an increasing source of concern in Toronto.
These tensions came to the forefront of Toronto life in the summer of 1992 when
rioting erupted in the downtown area. The disturbance, which saw youths from
various backgrounds breaking store windows and throwing rocks, started as a
peaceful demonstration against the initial acquittal of the police officers accused
of beating Los Angeles motorist Rodney King (Croucher 1993, 327). The
disturbance was also driven by continued frustration with what black activists
saw as the lack of official condemnation and action against several instances of
police shootings of black men (Four-Level Government/African Canadian
Community Working Group 1992).
The comments of a leading official of the Jamaican-Canadian Association
reflects a level of mistrust that is increasingly evident between some Afro-
Canadians and the Toronto police department:


109
Antecedent Factors
Internal/External Influences Outcome
-ETHNIC
MAKEUP
-DEMOGRAPHIC TRENDS
Company
- Housing Authority of Toronto
-Metropolitan Toronto Housing
INTEGRATED
PUBLIC
HOUSING
Formal Rules/Actors
In exogenous
-Citizen's Housing and
Planning Association
-Canadian Commonwealth
Federation affiliated groups
-Business, real estate interests
-Canadian Housing and Mortgage
Company prerogatives
-Ontario Housing Corporation
Prerogatives
-Dominion Housing Act 1935
-National Housing Act 1938,
1944, 1949, 1954
-NHA Amendment 1964
-electoral system and officials
Figure 3.3 Institutional and External Environment
of Toronto Housing Agencies, 1935-1970
Furthermore, because subsidized housing construction was given such low
priority by federal and provincial officials in comparison to private housing
efforts, local housing agency decisions were not given the same deference by
public officials nor was their autonomy from external interference as zealously
guarded. As a result, exogenous actors not formally part of the policy-making
environment could and did shape the behavior of housing bureaucracies.
In contrast to Chicago, however, the most effective informal actors in the
debate over public housing and urban redevelopment in Toronto were those that
were generally favorable to subsidized housing. The Citizen's Housing and
Planning Association, for example, successfully convinced then-Toronto Mayor
Robert Saunders to begin and continue construction of Regent Park North-
Canada's first postwar public housing project (Sayegh 1972). In addition, a core


199
Related to this, is the possibility that the level of political incorporation achieved
by Afro-Americans in Chicago is still not sufficient to form the multi-racial and
citywide coalitions needed to attend to social and economic blight in low-income
areas. Finally, cities today are impacted by financial and corporate pressures
that go beyond city and even national boundaries that city officials have little
influence over (Judd and Swanstrom 1998, 360-5: Stone 1989). Thus, even with
a strong coalition of similar political interests, the fortunes of low-income
populations in Chicago will remain vulnerable to powerful non-political actors and
interests. Because of these factors, the quality of life of low-income Afro-
Americans in Chicago may well be lower than that of their counterparts in
Toronto.
To test whether or not this statement is accurate, data on the socio
economic characteristics of low-income areas encompassing largely minority
public housing projects can be found for both cities using U.S. Census Bureau
and Statistics Canada documents. While the entire universe of indicators for
social isolation cannot be used for comparative purposes due to differences in
data definition and methodology, there are several indicators used by census
institutions in both countries that can be used as points of comparison. These
include the rate of unemployment, the overall male and female labor force
participation rate, median family income, and the percentage of single parent
families.


198
sustained interaction with individuals and institutions that represent mainstream
society" (Wilson, pg. 60). These institutions can include formal ones such as
well-run schools, community centers, and hospitals. They can also include
informal institutions such as job networks, economic niches, and social groups.
When children from low-income families, for example, lack sustained
contact with well-run schools; that is, they do not attend these institutions, this
can result in low educational performance or high dropout rates (Kozol 1991).
When low-income adults have little or no contact with high job growth
neighborhoods this results in high unemployment rates within this population
(Kasarda 1993; Wilson 1987). These populations are isolated in the sense that
they are physically, residential^, educationally, and, arguably, culturally distant
or detached from economically and educationally solvent areas of a given
metropolitan area (Judd and Swanstrom 1998, 153).
It is conceivable that because blacks in Chicago have more political
representation and have achieved higher political incorporation in comparison to
blacks in Toronto, the level of social isolation even for the most disadvantaged
should be lower, assuming that these political advantages have been used
effectively to address these problems. However, this possibility is problematic.
First, it is also possible that generations of institutionalized racial segregation,
supported by local, state, and federal government entities, have created a core
of socio-economic and cultural obstacles for low-income blacks that are simply
not immediately amenable to policy prescriptions from local public officials.


35
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 long
standing racial stereotypes extending back to the antebellum period and these
beliefs had "[become] rooteddeep 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 Afro-
American 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 earned 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


152
KEY
Figure 4.6. Urban Renewal Zones and Black Residential Areas
Source: Chicago Urban League. 1958. Urban Renewal and The Neero In Chicaeo-Chicago
Residential Construction. Research Department-Chicago Urban League.


139
and as a result, cities such as Detroit, Chicago, and New York would be changed
unalterably. No large wave of poor, black, agricultural migrants would enter
Toronto prior to WWII as they did Chicago. Considering the discrimination that
confronted the small black population that existed in Canada during the 1800's,
racial stereotypes would likely have been revived during attempts to develop
low-income housing had a sizable and growing Afro-Canadian population existed
during the decades prior to and following WWII. Significant racial change would
not occur in Toronto until after the majority of low-income housing projects were
already built.
Postwar Immigration and Demographic Change in Urban Canada
In 1941, 92% of Toronto CMA residents were European in background,
with migrs from the British Isles making up 80% of the total population. By
1981, the European component stood at 76% and those of British background
accounted for less than one-half of all residents (Breton et al 1990, 17-18).
Today, the city of Toronto, like Los Angeles, Miami, and New York City, is
majority-minority with residents of Caribbean, sub-Saharan African, East Asian
and South Asian background accounting for most of the visible minority
population. This diversity is primarily a result of changes in Canadian
immigration policy following WWII. Until the 1960's, preferred access was given
explicitly to white British subjects. A system of preferred and non-preferred
created along racial lines minimized the number of people of color allowed to
enter Canada (Hiebert 1994).


72
Table 2.3 Birthplace of Toronto's Foreign
Born Population % 1911-1931.
19
11
19
21
19
31
Great Brtn
28.7
27.7
25.3
U.S.
3.1
2.9
2.3
Russia
2.7
2.1
1.5
Italy
0.8
0.7
0.8
Germany
0.3
0.1
0.2
China
0.3
0.4
0.4
Latin Am.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
1931.
d-Indudes India, Pakistan, and South Asia.
Source: Census of Canada 1911-1931.
Table 2.4. Origins of the People, by Principal Cities, 1911
ORIGINS
MONT
REAL
TORO
ONTO
\\ INN
IPE(.
VAN
C OI M R
on
AW A
HAM
11.TON
QUE
111 (
H A LI
KAN
CAL
(.Ain
TOTAL
POPULATION
470.480
376,538
136.035
100,401
87.062
81.969
78,710
46,619
43,704
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
5
12
1
2,036
5

1

53
NEGRO
293
472
165
149
25
304
8
832
72
UNSPECIFIEDa
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.


113
Table 3.4 Location of Public Housing
Units by Province-%, 1995
ONTARIO
55
QUEBEC
20
ALBERTA
9
MANITOBA
7
Other Provinces
8
CANADA TOTAL
100
Nancy Smith. 1995. "Challenges of Public Housing
in the 1990s: The Case of Ontario, Canada".
Housing Policy Debate. 6(4). 905-932.
Table 3.5 Period of Construction of Ontario Public Housing Units, Percentage
1940s-1963 1964-1971 1972-1984
5% 45% 50%
Source: Nancy Smith. 1995. "Challenges of Public Housing in the 1990s: The Case of Ontario,
Canada". Ontario Housing Corporation. 6(4). 905-932. Pg. 908.
Table 3.6 Number of Subsidized Units Authorized under 1964 NHA, 1964-1970,
ONTARIO
ALL OF CANADA
38,240
51,975
73.5%
100%
Source: Michael Dennis and Susan Fish. 1972. Proarams In Search of a Policv: Low Income Housina
in Canada. Toronto: A.M. Hakkert.
Table 3.8 Population of City of Chicago by Regional Background, 1900-1950
YEAR
EUROPEAN
NON-EUROPEAN
1900
1,668,000
31,000
1910
2,139,000
46,000
1920
2,589,000
113,000
1940
3,115,000
239,000
1950
3,112,000
509,000
Source: Chicago Urban League. 1957. Urban Renewal and The Negro in Chicago. Table 4,
Table 5. Chicago: Research Department-Chicago Urban League.


116
century. The 1919 riot was in keeping with a tense period of time in Chicago
when from 1917 to 1921 a racially-motivated bombing or arson occurred every
20 days (Hirsch, 41).
Demographic population changes, driven by the thousands of southern
Afro-Americans that settled in the city's south side, was a major factor behind
heightened racial tension. Figure 4.1 shows that newly arriving blacks were
concentrated within the near south side adjacent to the central business district
in 1900. From 22nd Avenue to 31st Avenue blacks represented over 10% of all
residents. A relatively wide area south of 31st Avenue extending from Cicero on
the West to Stony Island on the East held the second largest contingent of black
residents. Outside of these south side neighborhoods, particularly in the far
south side and areas north of the Loop, Chicago's wards were overwhelmingly
populated by European residents.
Ten years later, looking at Figure 4.2, the Afro-American population
increased in numbers in south side neighborhoods and began to expand steadily
into areas that were previously all European. Even with this increase, Afro-
Americans were a small part of the overall population. In 1910, no census tracts
were as much as 75% black. Of greater significance was the limitation placed on
where blacks could reside as made evident by their concentration within south
side areas. By 1920, over 35% of Afro-Americans were living in tracts that were
at least 75% black (Kleppner 1985, 37), a significant change from 1910.
Another example of the resistance of whites to the residential dispersal of blacks


142
Scarbourgh in the outer northeast, and the North York subdivision to the West of
the downtown core. In three of the six subdivisions, North York, Scarborough,
and York first generation immigrants account for over 50% percent of the
population (City of Toronto 1998).
Table 4.4 Largest Sources of Immigrants to Toronto, 1991-1996.
SRI LANKA 32,175
CHINA 26,260
PHILLIPINES 25,780
HONG KONG 25,355
INDIA 17,215
JAMAICA 12,500
POLAND 11,485
GUYANA 10,145
VIET NAM 10,045
IRAN 8,930
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO 7,500
PAKISTAN 6,750
Source: City of Toronto. 1998. ProfileToronto. No. 2
Urban Planning and Development Services. May
There is, however, some variability in the spatial location of specific non-
European groups. The term visible minority is an umbrella term that combines
(for analytical convenience) a variety of distinct ethnic, cultural, and racial groups
and often fails to identify existing social, economic, and political distinctions
(James 1995; Singh 1988). Looking within the visible minority immigrant
population, it is evident that spatial variability does exist, as seen in Figure 4.10.


115
operated officially according to the neighborhood composition rule. The
directive, which was introduced in the early 1930's by Public Works
Administration housing director Harold Ickes, prohibited the placement of
housing projects that would alter the racial characteristics of the surrounding
area. That such a law would be forwarded by Ickes and supported by future
CHA Director Elizabeth Woods-both liberal Democrats, is a testament to the
influence of racial factors at play in Chicago and the CHA's sensitivity to them.
At mid-century, the ethnic makeup of Chicago and Toronto was largely
European, yet the demographic trends in each city were distinct. As seen in
Tables 4.1 and 4.2, over 8 in 10 residents in Toronto and Chicago were of
European descent. However, the overwhelming majority of Toronto's European
component was British, whereas this group accounted for less than 1 in 10
residents of Chicago. Chicago's European population was a melange of cultures.
The largest group, Southeastern Europeans, made up, at most, a plurality of all
residents. In addition, Chicago was home to a large minority population that
represented the fastest growing segment of all residents. The increasing
number of black and Hispanic residents, as much as their overall proportion of
the population, fuelled group tension and stereotypes among residents and
policy officials.
The Chicago race riot of 1919 was the most publicized case of racial
tension prior to WWII. But it was only one in a succession of violent
confrontations that took place throughout the Midwest since the turn of the


124
State Senator Arthur E. Larson, a Chicago real estate dealer, was a consistent
opponent of public housing (Heinecke 1953). In 1951, Larson introduced a bill
that allowed the use of referenda on public housing construction in any ward
where a referendum petition obtained the support of at least 5% of all voters
(Metropolitan Housing and Planning Council 1951). While Larson's attempts
were not always successful, they empowered community organizations, real
estate interests, and officials to organize publicly against CHA decisions by
threatened use of referenda against any plans for project construction in their
wards (Hirsch, 240).
The end result of these informal rules forwarded by local officials and
organizations was a public housing strategy highly skewed along racial lines.
Sites selected in predominantly Euro-American neighborhoods were routinely
rejected by city council and planning committees while those selected in
predominantly Afro-American neighborhoods were routinely accepted. That
tenants in each project would continue to reflect the racial makeup of the
surrounding area continued to be a matter of course.
The influence and effectiveness of informal rules such as prenotification
and outside organizations, particularly white homeowners associations, is evident
in Table 4.3. In 1955, the first year of the appointment of Alvin Rose as CHA
Executive Director by Mayor Richard Daley, the CHA submitted 28 sites for
housing construction to the city council. All but four of the sites were in
predominantly black areas. The four sites located in white areas would


185
While so-called island infighting continues to be a concern, efforts to
break through contentious relationships within the black community have many
adherents and supporters among Caribbean community leaders. One of the few
visible minority representatives in Ontario's provincial parliament states, "I've
never played island politics. When I see someone I never think this is a
Grenadian or St. Lucian. I have friends and supporters who come from many
islands. I don't see island politics having anything to do with Canadian politics.
It's ridiculous. In the long run it is not helpful" (Interview, 9 March 2000). A
high-ranking representative in one of the largest school boards in metropolitan
Toronto states:
I would say there are some of us who have worked hard to prevent that
from happening or worked to minimize it. For example, the Jamaican
Canadian Association had a fundraiser, they called meI went. And there
were a number of people there who were not from Jamaica and we all
believed that we have to support the communities. We know that the
black community is no more homogeneous than the white community is.
We recognize that we would hurt ourselves to magnify our differences as
opposed to looking at the issues and things we hold in common
(Interview, 15 March 2000).
Group infighting is not the sole cause behind the low level of black
representation, nor might it be the main cause. Political apathy is a major hurdle
according to some black leaders. The Toronto-based Minister of
Provincial Parliament (MPP) asks rhetorically, "We have the power but do we
somehow organize ourselves to use it?". She continues:
I think we need to get out there to vote. You have to be part of the
process. [Too many blacks think]I'm going back home [to the West
Indies], I don't have the time, I'm too busy with my life, or there is


105
Housing Authority. As was the case in Canada, during WWII up to the early
postwar period, public housing policy and construction was led by federal
authorities working directly with local officials with the ascent of state and
provincial officials who remained reluctant to fund and administer subsidized
housing programs.
State Federal
Figure 3.2 Organizational Hierarchy of Public Housing, City of Chicago, 1937-
1947.
Three distinct periods characterized the level of decision-making authority
granted to the Chicago Housing Authority. The first period extended from the
CHA's inception in 1937 up to 1947 when the Authority acted independently from
the Chicago city council. It was not legally bound to follow suggestions by the
city council on where to build public housing units and how to select tenants
(Hirsch 1998, 213). The working relationship between the CHA and federal
housing authorities was relatively direct with both organizations constructing and
administering the city's subsidized housing stock.


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


122
There was also evidence of bomb making material supplied by South Deering
members being distributed to local some residents (Bowly, 82; Hirsch, 89). The
continuous and at times violent protests played a key role in discouraging black
families from moving into the project and made officials within the CHA wary of
expanding modest efforts at racial integration in white majority areas.
The only one of the three PWA funded projects intended as a racially
mixed development was Jane Addams homes, which at 1,027 units was also the
largest. In anticipation of the new project, University of Chicago sociologist
Horace Cayton, in a study of the selected site stated that 21% of all families in
the area were black, thus he argued, the tenants selected should reflect the
overall population. Cayton made this argument as chair of the Citizens Housing
Committee in a letter dated Jan 20, 1938 to the CHA committee. He impressed
on the members that careful study found "ample reason why black families
should account for 21% of all those selected for residence" (Cayton 1938).
Other groups with an active interest in public housing integration sought
to encourage the CHA to continue with its intended plans for Jane Addams. A.L.
Foster, executive secretary of the Chicago Urban League, wrote to the CHA and
argued that because of reported biases against black applicants in the tenant
selection process, the committee should actively ensure that steps are taken to
overcome this image. Foster was concerned that local project managers would
continue the pattern found among managers of other CHA projects in which


28
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


64
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 early 20th 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 Migrants in Chicago
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


108
well, local housing bureaucracies were porous institutions lacking in the autonomy
accorded to more powerful or popular bureaucracies. As a result, urban housing
agencies throughout North America were often penetrated by a host of external
interests hostile to their mandates.
Housing agencies in Toronto, as previously outlined, followed the
prerogatives of higher level bureaucracies. The low policy priority given to
subsidized housing, along with opposition from influential public and private
actors, limited the growth of effective, politically powerful local housing agencies
throughout Canada. As evidenced in Figure 3.1 and Figure 3.3, from an
institutional perspective, bureaucracies such as the Housing Authority of Toronto
and the Metropolitan Toronto Housing Authority (MTHA), lay at the bottom of
the policy-making hierarchy for public housing. The formal role of Toronto
housing agencies, mandated to it by Federal housing legislation dating back to
the 1935 Dominion Housing Act as well as by the influential Ontario Housing
Corporation, gave them minimal official authority over subsidized housing.
While the formal rules, that is the written regulations, laws, contracts, and
codes (Searing 1991) that governed Toronto housing agencies, are critical to
explaining institutional actions, for a complete and substantive understanding of
these organizations the informal policy environment surrounding them must be
examined. A variety of business and social advocacy groups engaged all three
levels of government on the issue of public housing. The relatively controversial
nature of the subject gained the attention of business and advocacy groups.


165
constructing a causal explanation of urban minority political representation. In a
study of black and Hispanic employment in 1200 cities, Kenneth Mladenka (1989)
noted that Ward based systems in southern cities enhanced black representation
on city councils and key municipal employment categories (177-79). This was in
keeping with the general hypothesis from previous research that ward electoral
systems were conducive to minority representation. However, in western cities,
Mladenka found that ward systems actually limited the level and effectiveness of
minority influence.
This surprising finding was previously noted by Vedlitz and Johnson
(1982) who found that ward systems have a significant impact on the election of
blacks to councils in segregated cities. Their findings, along with Mladenka's
later study, lend strong support to the position that the level of racial segregation
in a city is a key contextual variable that can affect the general hypothesis that
ward-based systems enhance minority political representation and influence,
while at-large systems discourage minority political strength.
The key interaction among preceding variables that affect minority
representation takes place between racial segregation and political structure,
as illustrated in Table 5.1. Unreformed city governments offer racial minorities
the best opportunity to maximize their numbers in local institutions. Highly
segregated unreformed cities are likely to have wards where the majority of
eligible voters are racial minorities. Segregated cities are also likely to be racially


30
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 constraints
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 homeownership 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


Settlement Pattern of Recent Immigrants by Place of Birth (1991-1996) < MAPS HONG KONG -25,355 MAP A: SRI LANKA 32,1 75
156
Figure 4.10 Toronto Settlement Pattern of Largest Immigrant Groups 1991-1996
Source: City of Toronto. 1998. City Toronto Maps 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10. Urban Planning and Development
Services. May.
Uibon Planning ond Dsvalopment Sn


210
statement holds for Toronto as well. However, there is a difference of degree
between the two cities, in terms of the level of social isolation, that is partly
explained by the spatial location of public housing areas and buildings.
Subsidized housing placed in economically stagnant or declining neighborhoods,
badly run schools, few accessible medical facilities, buttressed by generations of
government-sanctioned residential segregation have effectively trapped poor
Afro-Americans in public housing neighborhoods.
While Toronto's spatially integrated stock of public housing has resulted in
lower levels of social isolation, the onset of socio-economic indicators at the
levels seen in Chicago is far from impossible in Canada's largest and most
diverse urban area. The distinctions in racial segregation and the relative quality
of life of black public housing residents in Chicago and Toronto is explained more
by the timing of minority migration patterns and specific historical circumstance
than by innate cultural distinctions between Canadians and Americans. Thus,
urban inequities that are encouraged or allowed to persist can become
institutionalized into the fabric of city life just as easily in urban Canada as they
have become in large American cities.


71
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 Designations, 20th C. Canadian Immigrants
"Preferred Stock"
"Less-Preferred"
"Non-Preferred"
Nordic
Austrian
Portuguese
Swedish
Hungarian
Greek
Danish
Polish
Italian
Finnish
Romanian
East Indian
German
Lithuanian
Negro/African
Swiss
Bulgarian
Chinese
Dutch
Yugoslavian
Jewish
Belgian
French
Note: Policy-makers often used these euphemisms until the late 1960's.
Source: V. Seymour Wilson 1993, 664, 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)
2.38 (127,941)
Negro
.21 (18,291)
.23 (16,877)
.32 (17,437)
Source: Census of Canada 1921.


222
Boxhill, W. 1990. "Making The Tough Choices in Using Census Data to Count
Visible Minorities in Canada." Ottawa: Statistics Canada, Employment Equity
Program.
Bowly, Devereaux. 1978. The Poorhouse: Subsidized Housing in Chicago: 1895-
1976. Carbondale, III: Southern Illinois University Press.
Breton, Raymond, Wsevolod W. Isajiw, Warren E. Kalbach, and Jeffrey G. Reitz.
1990. Ethnic Identity and Equality: Varieties of Experience in a Canadian Citv.
Toronto: University of Toronto Press
Browning, Rufus P., Dale Rogers Marshall, and David H. Tabb. 1990. Racial
Politics in American Cities, eds. New York: Longman Publishers.
---1997. Racial Politics in American Cities, eds. New York: Longman Publishers.
Button, James. W. 1989. Blacks and Social Change. Princeton: Princeton
University Press.
Cannon, Margaret. 1995. The Invisible Empire: Racism In Canada.Toronto:
Random House of Canada.
Cayton, Horace. 1938. "Letter from Horace Cayton to Leah Graham." in Papers of
Lea Demarest Tavlor 1928-1949. Chicago Historical Society.
Census of Canada. 1925. Volume II Population. Ottawa: Statistic Canada
Chicago Commission on Race Relations. 1922. The Nearo In Chicago: A Study of
Race Relations and A Race Riot. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Chicago Housing Authority. 1951. Facts About Chicago's Low-Rent Public
Housing.
Chicago Housing Authority. 1967. Annual Statistical Report. 1967.
Chicago Sun-Times. 2001. Gradina Chicago Cods. March 4.
Chicago Sun-Times. 2001."Balancing the Police Force." Gradina Chicago Cods.
March 4, 13A
Chicago Sun-Times. 2001. Hispanic Influx Shaping Chicago. March 11.
AIDS Growth Alarming in Black Communities. March 11, 8A.


141
Before 1961, the top ten places of birth for immigrants in Toronto were all
in Europe, save for the United States, which was the ninth largest source. As
evidenced in Table 4.4, of the top ten source countries between 1991-1996 only
one European country-Poland-was in the top ten. The three largest recipients
are all located in Asia. The main sources for black immigrants were all West
Indian countries; Jamaica, which was ranked sixth overall, Guyana, the eighth
largest source, and Trinidad and Tobago, the eleventh largest source. Since
1970, through continued immigration and natural increase, visible minorities
have been the fastest growing segments of Toronto's population.
Visible minority immigrants would follow the same pattern followed by
southern blacks in Chicago and settle initially in areas that offered the most
affordable housing and the least resistance to their arrival. In Chicago, minority
migrants settled in the south side area called Bronzeville and, after WWII, many
entered the projects provided by the CHA. In Toronto, the least expensive land
was in suburban locations including most of the city's public housing projects.
The pattern of minority immigrant settlement over the past generation in
Toronto is characterized by a spatially dispersed, suburban pattern that stands in
contrast to that found historically or currently in Chicago. This is illustrated in
Figure 4.9a.
Each of the six former municipalities of the city of Toronto has a sizable
population of first generation immigrants. The heaviest areas of immigration are
in the CBD in the south-central portion of Figure 4.9, the subdivision of


61
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.


93
governments but they rarely controlled where or when a given project would be
built.
Inner Suburbs-Weston. Mimico, New Toronto-central business district, Leaside, Forest Hill, East
York, Swansea, Long Beach
Outer Suburbs-Etobicoke. North York, Scarborough
Figure 3.2 Metropolitan Toronto-1953
The postwar experiment with government housing in the Toronto area
was unique as well in that the original city was a pioneer in local efforts to
construct subsidized housing prior to provincial involvement following WWII.
Local Toronto politicians and interest groups, for example, initiated the 1056-unit
Regent Park complex, Canada's first federally sponsored public housing project,
in the mid-1940's. Legislation for Regent Park North was introduced in 1948 by
the City of Toronto and supported by progressive Mayor Robert Saunders as well
as a coalition of social advocacy groups (Harris 2000). The Housing Authority of
Toronto provided a significant portion of the funds for construction several years
before reluctant federal authorities finally agreed to assist in its completion
(Sayegh 1972, 42).


203
(Flanagan 1999; Wilson 1987). Approximately 31% of all families in Chicago are
single parent families. While this represents a significant increase over the past
generation, the feminization of poverty is even more advanced in poorer
neighborhoods. In the 12 public housing areas, a single parent heads almost 3
out of every 4 families. While these four measures do not exhaust the list of
possible indicators for social isolation, they nevertheless reflect the
disadvantaged circumstances that many residents of Chicago's public family
housing projects live in.
Figure 5.2
Single Parent Families in Public Housing Areas-
Chicago
City-Bar 1
31.8%
Public Housing
Average
72.4%
Housing Areas
Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census. 1990. Census of Population and Housina-Chicaao Illinois.
Washington D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.
Socio-economic disadvantage is also evident in many of Toronto's public
family housing neighborhoods. As seen in Figure 5.6, median family income for
Toronto in 1996 stood at $40,700 while areas with public housing averaged only
$32,281. More evidence of social isolation in Toronto's public housing
neighborhoods is found in comparative figures for male/female labor force


CHAPTER 3
A DECENT HOME FOR EVERYONE:
20th CENTURY GOVERNMENT INVOLVEMENT IN HOUSING PROVISION
As the United States and Canada emerged from the Great Depression,
both countries embarked on various programs to build and administer low-
income 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.
Legal Factors
In addition to racial 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,
76


196
may become more successful if institutionalized discrimination and segregation
become the public norm in Toronto as it was for much of Chicago's history.
In contrast to Toronto, black public officials and employees and are highly
visible in many of Chicago's political institutions. For a time, Afro-Americans
even occupied the single highest office in the city, the mayor's office. Within the
city council and policing institutions, Chicago presents a stark contrast to Toronto
in terms of the descriptive representation of blacks in municipal government.
Thus, it is somewhat puzzling to hear black elites speak of frustration and the
lack of political incorporation that they feel exists for blacks in America's 3rd
largest city.
The focus of these concerns, however, is not directed at descriptive
representation but towards true political incorporation. While blacks are well
represented in municipal positions, elites feel that Afro-American interests are
not being heard or given serious consideration within the governing Daley
administration. Afro-American concerns then are focused on the substance of
government policies. It is clear that proportionate representation, which is often
the immediate goal of descriptive representation, has not been sufficient to grant
black residents effective political influence over the direction of urban policy in
Chicago, at least in the eyes of this group of elites.
In sum, residential segregation through the use of public policy has had a
significant impact on the lives of all residents in Chicago. The political fortunes
of black residents have been intimately tied with the city's overwhelmingly black


34
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 Negro 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 protg 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


218
Chicago owes much to voter support coming from segregated black
neighborhoods. In Toronto, the relatively small black population ranks low in
representation and political incorporation due largely to being spatially integrated
in electoral areas where they are unable to form a critical electoral mass.
However, despite black political achievements and influence in Chicago,
poor Afro-Americans experience a greater level of social isolation from the
surrounding population than low-income Afro-Canadians in Toronto. It appears
that political power, by itself, cannot soon overcome the long-term consequences
of institutionalized residential segregation. The level of social isolation of poorer
black residents in both cities is linked to the level of residential segregation.
Taking the case of Toronto, the level of residential integration for a given
minority group, in effect, can act as a buffer between high levels of social
isolation and a low quality of life for low income housing residents.
Public policy still has a role to play in combating residential segregation.
As Canadian cities become more racially diverse, anti-segregation policies is one
area where Canadian policymakers should follow their American counterparts in
order to guard against the growth of residential segregation. Cultural differences
between each country do not adequately explain the distinct paths taken with
respect to housing policy and residential segregation, and, thus, cannot be solely
relied on to stem the onset of segregation and its attendant consequences.


4
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 II. 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


70
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 six
fold increase from 1900 for a population that accounted for less than 8% of
Chicago's total population.
In the generation prior to the 2nd 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


94
Metropolitan Toronto's willingness to build subsidized housing was not
only a result of provincial prerogatives and an aggressive OHC but also a
confluence of specific political circumstances. The right-of-center Progressive-
Conservative Party formed Ontario's provincial government in 1943 following a
closely contested election in which a social democratic party, the Cooperative
Commonwealth Federation, came close to defeating the Tories (Lemon 1996,
264). The CCF advocated a relatively ambitious urban and social planning
agenda during the election. The Progressive Conservatives adopted several
measures supported by the CCF, including the provision of subsidized housing, in
an attempt to gain the support of CCF voters and elected officials.
The role of individual personalities was also a major factor behind the
creation of Toronto's large subsidized housing stock. Metropolitan Council
Chairman Federick Gardiner directed urban and social planning in the Toronto
area during the postwar construction of public housing in the 1950's. No other
single official, elected or appointed, rivaled Gardiner in terms of his influence
over Metropolitan Council members or Toronto's social, economic, and political
policy direction (Smallwood 1963). Gardiner's interest in urban renewal and
public housing policy was animated by two goals; one, to move as quickly as
possible from policy formation to policy implementation and, two, to avoid the
mistakes made by large American cities with urban renewal experiments.
Gardiner was rather impatient with urban planning (Lemon 1996, 265).
As Chairman of metropolitan Toronto he agreed with the approach taken by the


86
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, ail 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).


19
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 melting pot is forwarded in America's most diverse areas while
that of the cultural mosaic 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


168
The larger the black population, the higher the level of political representation
for blacks.
The higher the level of segregation, the higher the level of political
representation for blacks.
The higher the level of political reform, the lower the level of political
representation for blacks.
Figure 5.2 Role of Segregation in Causal Path to Minority Representation
Demographic
Trends/Racial
Makeup
Public/Private
Housing Policy
Level of Racial
The level of political representation is operationalized by looking at the
number and proportion of blacks serving on the Toronto and Chicago city
councils and then comparing these numbers with the percentage of blacks in the
general population. The percentage of blacks on the city council will be divided
by the percentage of blacks in the general population to create a representation
index (Mladenka 1989, 168). The larger the index number, the higher the level


155


50
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


209
Table 5.3
Toronto Average
Public Housing Average
+/- Differential
% Unemployed-Men
8.5
15.9
7.4%
% in Labor Force-
73.6
66.7
6.9%
Men
% in Labor Force-
61
49.7
11.3%
Women
Median Family Income
$40,700
$32,281
$8,419
% Single Parents
17.5
29.1
11.6%
Chicago Average
Public Housing Average
+/- Differential
Unemployment Rate
11.3
39.7
28.4%
Labor Force
63.7
40.5
23.2%
Participation Rate
% in Labor Force-
56.2
36.6
19.6%
Women
Median Family Income
$30,707
$11,046
$19,661
% Single Parents
31.8
72.4
40%
Similar contrasts in differentials between the two cities are evident for
female labor force participation rates and median family income; in Toronto the
differential for the former measure was 11.6% while Chicago's was 19.6%. For
median family income, Toronto's differential was $8,419, a significant difference.
However, Chicago's was even more so with the differential approaching $20,000;
median family income for the city stood at $30,707 while for public housing
areas it was only $11,046.
Based on these 4 comparable indicators, it appears that social isolation is
far more advanced in the neighborhoods that surround Chicago's majority-black
public housing projects than those that surround Toronto's largely minority stock
of public housing. Stated another way, the quality of life for residents in majority
black housing projects in Chicago is significantly lower in comparison to other
residents of all racial backgrounds living in the rest of the city. This general


6
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


153
Figure 4.7. Distribution of Apartments in Toronto. 1976.
Source: Metropolitan Toronto Planning Board.
J


182
impact on the quality of leadership. I don't think that they care" (Interview, 3
September 2000).
Thus, despite their sizable numbers in elected and appointed positions,
there is a strong sense of frustration among some members of Chicago's black
political and community elites in two areas. First, their inability to successfully
and consistently challenge Daley administration policies on issues considered
important to so-called black interests, and second, their failure in the last two
mayoral elections to elect an Afro-American candidate to continue the brand of
reform politics championed by former Mayor Harold Washington. It appears that
descriptive representation for Afro-Americans is high within Chicago's municipal
and county bureaucracy. However, based on comments from leaders within the
community, substantive representation is still lacking when it comes to
safeguarding and improving black interests.
The existence of segregated black neighborhoods throughout 20* Century
Chicago has allowed Afro-Americans to elect their own candidates and place
pressure on white elites to appoint blacks to visible city and county posts. But
segregated living patterns have yet to grant blacks in Chicago open, full, and
consistent access to governing coalitions that control city government. While the
current administration has improved in its level of support from black residents,
the coalition of voters that elected Mayor Daley consisted primarily of whites, a
majority of Hispanics, and a majority of the small but growing Asian population.


162
ills of urban life and the inefficiencies and corruption popularly associated with
machine style governments (Judd and Swanstrom 1998, 80-83). The three
major characteristics of reform government are; replacing ward based elections
with at-large elections, having non-partisan elections instead of party label
contests, and the appointment of a professional city manager(s) to guard against
wasteful spending and inefficient administration (98-101).
In contrast to reformed governments, unreformed systems are associated
with ward-based campaigns, partisan elections, and the traditional hierarchy
where the mayoral office makes most of the political and economic decisions.
While other factors such as family income, city age, and level of education, have
been shown to affect the strength of the relationship between reform
government and minority political representation (Engstrom and McDonald 1981;
MacManus 1978), the general correlation between the two variables has been
clear and consistent (Judd and Swanstrom, 104). While blacks and Hispanics still
face challenges in achieving political influence in American cities, unreformed
governmental systems offer the best hope for political incorporation of racial
minorities in the United States.
Much of the research on the structural path to minority political
incorporation follows a causal model similar to Figure 5.1. Electing and
appointing racial minorities to local offices is one step in the path to political
incorporation. Representation per se, as stated by Browning, Marshall, and


85
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
technical;
(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,
132).
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--vis the federal and municipal governments. Prior to the
1949 amendments, municipal authorities had more influence over the policy
making process because subsidized housing policy was, in effect, a federal-
municipal 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: Ontario
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


127
League 1956). Within the public housing market, of the 54 CHA family housing
projects, 50 were located in majority black areas. These projects were 99%
black; the remaining four projects located in majority white areas were at least
93% white (Kandlik 1969).
Along with racially skewed public housing programs, urban renewal
strategies for Chicago also had a disruptive effect on black residents. While real
estate interests built few housing units for the south side's exploding population,
they encouraged the razing of existing homes and properties within majority
black areas for development purposes. The significant overlap between urban
redevelopment programs and black residential areas is evident in Figure 4.6.
Nationwide, through 1961, 66% of all residents displaced by redevelopment
were Afro-Americans (Judd and Swanstrom 1998, 190). Chicago's experience
was similar; business and political elites viewed dilapidated areas in inner city
and south side areas as blights on future investment and property utilization.
In the eight-year period between 1948 and 1956, urban redevelopment
projects displaced 86,000 individuals in Chicago, 67% of whom were Afro-
Americans. During this period, 11% of the total black population in 1950 was
forced to move (Chicago Urban League 1958). Urban redevelopment and public
housing programs in intent and in effect worked to institutionalize the
segregated living patterns experienced by black residents and in public and
private housing markets. Only a fraction of residential properties razed were
replaced. Dennis O'Harrow, executive director of the American Society of


190
I as a community leaderI do not trust the police. And I have good
reason not to trust them. I think that they have just taken our community
for granted. And they have this ill-conceived perception that every black
male, especially if they are young, that is walking down the street or
driving a car is a crook. And with that sort of mentality it's hard to build
bridges (Interview, 17 March 2000).
While other minority leaders may not be as pessimistic as the JCA official,
they are in general agreement that there is a need for better and more
consistent communications with city police representatives. "[I]n general the
relationship with the police isnot the best" states a Director for the Jane-Finch
Community Centre-a social advocacy group located in an area of Toronto that
has one of the largest concentrations of public housing in Canada. She
continues:
[W]e have had a representative of the police, a community relations
worker,working in our advisory area. So he is aware of some of the
issues. He is a person who is now in our board of directors. But when
you have the police patrol that don't have that contact, they are not
aware of all the issues. Many of them are coming with preconceived
ideasif you are black or Cambodian or Spanish. The problem is that
[they assume that] you are getting into some kind of trouble (Interview,
April 3 2000).
From these comments, it is clear that low-income blacks in Toronto,
particularly those in subsidized housing, face some of the same stereotypes and
issues evident in Chicago regarding influential municipal institutions. However,
there is an interesting contrast between the two cities on the issue of collecting
racial statistics. In general, although racial controversy has helped to define and
fuel Chicago's social, educational, and political issues, there is little controversy
or reluctance to discuss or collect information on the racial background of city


174
police personnel in comparison to other major cities. One in every four Chicago
police officers are of African descent compared to only 14% and 15% of New
York and Los Angeles officers, respectively. Furthermore, since 1996 the number
of black officers hired in Chicago has risen by 4% while the number of whites
has declined 3%. Thus, even after the passing of mayoral leadership under
Harold Washington, progress continues to be made in terms of the hiring and
promotion of blacks within Chicago's municipal institutions (Chicago-Sun Times
2001, 10A-11A; Pinderhughes 1997).
Table 5.4 Police Personnel by Race and % Change in Hiring-1996-2000
Chicago
New York
Los Angeles
Afro-American
3,543 (+4)
7,366 (+7)
1,336 (+4.5)
Hispanic
1,762 (+33)
5,456 (+17)
3,043 (+13.5)
Euro-American
8,145 (-3)
26,192 (+4)
4,659 (-.004)
Source: Chicago Sun-Times. 2001."Balancing the Police Force". Grading Chicago Cods. March 13A
Utilizing municipal employment data to gauge black political incorporation
in Toronto is significantly more problematic because of the lack of reliable and
accessible information on local government hiring practices. Canadian
authorities, even as Canadian cities become more ethnically and racially diverse,
have shown a general reluctance to collect and conveniently disseminate race-
based statistics (Croucher 1997, 335-9, 343). The few quantitative analyses
available indicate that black employment levels in Toronto government approach
parity with official estimates of the black population. Municipal data from 1993
garnered by sociologist Frances Henry (1994), for example, indicate that visible
minorities as a whole "are fairly well represented at the entry or lower levels of


78
provincial actions. American cities operate under the general legal concept
known as Dillon's 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 Dillon's 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. Privatism,
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


220
3. Was there any concern among housing officials regarding the
background of tenants that would be attracted to public housing?
4. What is your response to the argument made by some that minority
tenants were/are consciously placed in certain projects and excluded
from others?
5. What effect, if any, did spatial segregation have on the individual
tenants in public housing in this city?
Basic questions posed to Black Political Elites:
1. Is racial residential segregation a problem in this city/ Has the black
community been affect by residential segregation?
2. Is the political establishment in this city concerned about segregation?
Why/Why not?
3. How would you describe the general state of race relations in this city?
4. Are Afro-Americans/Canadians politically influential in this city?
5. How can Afro-Americans/Canadians maintain/increase the level of
political power in this city? What stands in the way of achieving
this goal?


207
impact of segregation on public housing residents are ones of degree rather than
kind. Nevertheless, differences of degree are still of consequence.
Figure 5.8
Male Labor Participation in Public Housing Areas-
Toronto
Housing Areas
Source: Statistics Canada. 1996. Profile of Census Tracts in Toronto. Ottawars
Census Operations Division.
Toronto-Bar 1
73.6%
Public Housing
Area Average
66.7%
Figure 5.9
Female Labor Involvement in Public Housing Areas-
Toronto
Toronto-Bar 1
61%
Public Housing
Area Average
49.7%
Housing Areas
Source: Statistics Canada: 1996. Profile of Census Tracts in Toronto. Ottawa:
Census Operations Division.


225
Fong, Eric. 1994. "Residential Proximity Among Racial Groups in U.S. and
Canadian Neighborhoods." Urban Affairs Quarterly. 39(2).
Fong, Eric and Rima Wilkes. 1999. "The Spatial Assimilation Model Reexamined:
An Assessment by Canadian Data." International Migration Review 33(3): 594-
620.
Foster, A.L. 1937. "Letter to Lea Taylor" in Papers of Lea Demarest Tavlor 1928-
1949. Chicago Historical Society.
Foster, Cecil, 1996. A Place Called Heaven: The Meaning of Being Black in
Canada. Toronto: Harper Collins Publishers.
Four-Level Government/African Canadian Community Working Group 1992.
Towards a New Beginning: Report and Action Plan. Toronto.
Franklin, John Hope. 1947. From Slavery to Freedom. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
Frazier, E. Franklin. 1966. The Negro Family in the United States. Chicago:
University of Chicago Press.
Frazier, E. Franklin. 1957. Race and Culture Contacts in the Modern World. New
York Alfred A. Knopf.
Frazier, E. Franlkin. 1957. The Black Bourgeoisie. Glencoe, III.: The Free Press.
Frideres, James S. 1992. "Changing Dimensions of Ethnicity in Canada." In
Deconstructing A Nation: Immigration. Multiculturalism & Racism in '90s Canada.
ed. Vic Satzewich. Halifax: Fernwood Publishing. 47-68.
Garber, Judith A. and David L. Imbroscio. 1995. "The Myth of the North
American City Reconsidered: Local Constitutional Regimes in Canada and the
United States." Urban Affairs Review. 31(5): 595-625.
Glaeser, Edward L. and Jacob L. Vigdor. 2001. "Racial Segregation in the 2000
Census: Promising News." The Brookinos Institutions-Survev Series. April.
Goering, J. 1986. Housing Desegregation and Federal Policy. Chapell Hill, NC:
University of North Carolina Press.
Goldberg, M. A., and J. Mercer. 1986. The Myth of the North American citv:
Continentalism challenged. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press.
Greene, Ian. 1989. The Charter of Rights. Toronto: James Lorimer.


208
Figure 5.10.
Male Unemployment in Public Housing Areas-
Toronto
Housing Areas
Source: Statistics Canada. 1996. Profile of Census Tracts in Toronto. Ottawa:
Census Operations Division
Toronto-Bar 1
8.5%
These differences are seen in Table 5.3, which depicts the impact of
differing rates of residential segregation on the social isolation of public housing
neighborhoods and residents. While rates of unemployment and single
parentage, for example, are higher in public housing areas than in the rest of the
city for both Toronto and Chicago, the difference between public housing
neighborhoods and all neighborhoods is significantly higher in Chicago than in
Toronto. Unemployment levels for men in Toronto showed a differential of 7.4%
between the city average and the average in public housing neighborhoods. In
Chicago, a similar measure, the overall unemployment rate, showed a differential
of 28.4%. For the rate of single-parentage for both cities, Toronto had an
11.6% differential between the city and public housing areas while Chicago's
differential stood at a startling 40%.


151
RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION, 1956
SINGLE FAMILY UNITS
I Howord
Bryn Mowr
Figure 4.5 Private Residential Construction and Majority Black Areas
Source: Chicago Urban League. 1956. Urban Renewal & the Negro In Chicago-Chicago
Residential Construction. Chicago Urban League Research Department.


120
throughout the metropolitan area built primarily to house war workers. Despite
the official exclusion of black tenants, some efforts were made to move small
numbers of black families into some of these projects, under the direction of
executive secretary Elizabeth Woods. During her tenure, Woods continually
attached a list of carefully selected "acceptable" black families to forms used by
CHA commissioners. These lists were never placed on the agenda of the
commissioners during meetings as, according to Woods, they would "not like to
have it discussed in open session" (Hirsch, 231).
The efforts of progressive housing officials remained largely ineffective, as
seen in Table 4.2. All four housing projects originally intended for European
tenants remained predominantly white as late as 1967. A small number of black
families resided in the Lathrop and Trumbull homes by way of an unofficial
quota. Lawndale Gardens, which was 94% white, had yet to accept any black
residents by the mid-1960s.
Table 4.2 Racial Makeup of Selected CHA Projects, 1967
Majority White Projects
# of White Families
% of White Families
# of Black Families*
LATHROP
888
96%
32
TRUMBULL
420
93%
25
BRIDGEPORT
139
99%
2
LAWNDALE
117
94%
0
Figures from 1965
Sources: Chicago Housing Authority. 1967. CHA Annual Statistical Report. Arnold R. Hirsch. 1998. Making
the Second Ghetto: Race & Housing in Chicago 1940-1960. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.


33
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-20th 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


9
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 cultural revolution.
The second factor that helps to explain the historical paucity of race-
related 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 20th 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


84
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


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,


27
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


22
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


137
CBD were of secondary importance in the development plans of private interests.
Their downtown efforts were significant, the amount of downtown land reserved
for office space doubled between 1962 to 1973 (Lemon, 274).
Urban reformers and housing activists, emboldened by the postwar
competitiveness of the progressive Cooperative Commonwealth Federation (CCF)
in provincial politics, were influential in reigning in the scale of urban
redevelopment in Toronto. Urban reformers, while supporting subsidized
housing redevelopment, sought to avoid the construction of high-rise projects in
high density areas which was seen by many reform groups as a major flaw in
American housing policy. Reform groups also advocated lowering the scale of
redevelopment efforts in order to ensure that all residential units that were torn
down would be replaced (Lemon 1996).
The Metropolitan Council was in agreement with a more modest
redevelopment strategy as early as the 1950's. In discussions over
redevelopment plans for the Moss Park and Alexandria Park housing projects in
1958, the Welfare and Housing Committee recommended to the full council that
"rehabilitation rather than clearance should take placethis would include a
limited clearance of small pockets of obsolete housing" (Metropolitan Toronto
Council 1958, 2). The Committee report concluded that this approach "would
provide a useful gauge for comparing costs and results of limited clearance and
rehabilitation as against total clearance in blighted areas" (4). The influence of
reformers, lower federal funding levels, and the emphasis on CBD commercial


97
legislation to encourage private construction of housing for middle to moderate-
income citizens. As outlined in Table 3.7, the Dominion Housing Act in Canada
and the initiatives of the Public Works Administration in America were clearly
intended to encourage job growth and confidence in the construction industry.
Table 3.7 Federal Involvement in Subsidized Housing Policy, 1934-1960s.
General Period
Canada
United States
DEPRESSION ERA
Dominion Housing Act
Public Works Administration
1935
1934
-reduce unemployment
-reduce unemployment
-stimulate construction
-stimulate construction
WORLD WAR II ERA
Wartime Housing
Federal Housing Act
Corporation
authorizations 1937
-war worker housing
-war worker housing
-sale to private sector
-sale to private sector
postwar
postwar
POST WWII
National Housing Act 1944
Federal Housing Act 1949
-fed/prov. partnership to build,
-federal commitment to decent
supervise public housing
Housing Amendments
1949, 1964
-commitment to urban renewal
housing
-groundwork for urban renewal
Sources: Dennis R. Judd and Todd Swanstrom. 1998. City Politics: Private Power and Public
Policy. New York: Addison-Wesley Longman Inc. pp. 178-183. Paul Kleppner. 1985. Chicago
Divided: The Making of a Black Mayor. DeKalb, III: Northern Illinois University Press, p. 42. Ivan
MacFarlane. 1969. Housing Policy: 3 Levels of Government Action. Masters Thesis. Carleton
University. J. John Palen. 1997. The Urban World. New York: McGraw-Hill. pp. 321-322. Ontario
Welfare Council. 1973. A Study of Housing Policies in Ontario.Toronto. p.2.
Although prospective low to moderate-income homeowners stood to
benefit, this was of secondary importance to the overall effort. Secretary of
Interior and Public Works, Harold Ickes, was the official charged by President
Roosevelt to oversee the PWA housing initiative. As stated by Ickes, PWA
programs were intended "to deal with the unemployment situation by giving
employment to workers, [and] to demonstrate to private builders the
practicability of large scale community planning" (Judd 1979, 260). Thus,


77
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
Province
Municipal Institutions in the Province, and
Property and Civil Rights 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


54
of Sleeping Car Porters 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 20th 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


158
American life. Public housing projects and its residents are laden with political
symbolism. Discussions on crime, family values, illegitimacy, taxation, and the
work ethic, for example, often intersect with long held and popular racial
stereotypes. As argued convincingly by Edsall and Edsall, "Race has crystallized
and provided a focus for values conflicts, for cultural conflicts, and for interest
conflicts.... Race has provided a mechanism to simultaneously divide voters over
values, and to isolate one disproportionately poor segment of the population
from the rest of the electorate" (Edsall and Edsall 1991, 5).
Stereotypes and assumptions about deviant culture, values, and morality
are directed most strongly towards that segment of the minority poor that
resides in government housing projects. Comments questioning the morality and
civility of blacks were voiced often during discussions and violent confrontations
over housing space in Chicago during the WWII era. These beliefs were
indicative of stereotypes found in cities throughout the United States (Daily
Defender 1956). The controversies generated by public housing site and tenant
selection were reflections of larger racial controversies extending into the social,
economic and political realms of each city (Wilson 1996, 111-148).
Segregation. Political Incorporation.
And Urban Black North America
The phenomenon of residential group segregation results from the
interplay of various demographic, cultural, economic, and political processes. As
sociologist John Yinger states, residential segregation:


CHAPTER 4
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION:
GROUP POLITICS AND PUBLIC HOUSING IN CHICAGO AND TORONTO
Down South, they don't care how close we get just so we don't get too big. Up North,
they don't care how big we get just so we don't get too close.
Comedian Dick Gregory, in newspaper (unknown). 1967. Papers of Lea Demarest Taylor,
Newberry Library
Every colored man who moves into Hyde Park is making war on the white man.
Article in Hyde Park Property Owners Journal in Allan H. Spear. Black Chicago: The
Making of a Negro Ghetto 1890-1920.
In 1947, in response to a request by members of the city council, the
Illinois State legislature passed the Relocation Act of 1947, effectively granting
the Chicago council power of final approval over locally and state funded sites
selected by the Chicago Housing Authority. Shortly before the FHA of 1949, the
state legislature unanimously granted the city council veto power over all sites,
whether locally, state, or federally funded, selected by the CHA (Hirsch 1998,
223). The decision was a major victory for alderman and state officials that were
opposed to publicly funded housing, and for local interests that were hostile to
efforts that might bring black residents into predominantly white neighborhoods.
Race was already the most influential factor in Chicago politics at the time
the CHA came under the control of the city council. Since its inception the CHA
114


41
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


58
provincial, and federal institutions became involved in creating and implementing
public housing programs in the postwar era.
European Immigrants in Pre-WWII Chicago
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


67
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 plurality of the population in 'Little 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 early 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 city's 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


213
They should be proactive in order to ensure that any claim of discrimination is
dealt with efficiently and effectively.
Passage of a Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. Through the Home Mortgage
Disclosure Act (HMDA), citizens and fair housing groups are able to track the
lending patterns of mortgage institutions and assess the denial rates of
applicants along racial lines. This data validated what fair housing groups had
been noting for years; that discrimination in lending results in significantly higher
denial rates for qualified minority homeowners, especially Afro-Americans
(Munnell, Alicia H., Lynn E. Browne, James McEneaney, Geoffrey M.B. Tootell
1992). This affected minorities at all income levels including those that resided
in or adjacent to public housing neighborhoods.
Canadian mortgage institutions are not required to collect or archive racial
and ethnic data on mortgage applicants. Thus, there is no efficient or
convenient way for scholars, fair housing groups, or interested observers to
gauge lending patterns or denial rates. An HMDA for Canada would allow
observers and policy makers to find out if unequal and unfair treatment exists in
the home-buying process.
Building more Affordable Housing. The existence of affordable homes and
apartments in the private marketplace increases opportunities for socio-economic
mobility and wealth creation for many first time homebuyers and residents of
public housing. Currently, Toronto's housing market remains beyond the reach of
most public housing residents. New home prices in the city are too high for even


101
Housing should remain a matter of private enterprise and private ownership. It
is contrary to the genius of the American people and the ideals they have
established that government become the landlord to its citizens. There is a
sound logic in the continuance of the practice under which those who have the
initiative and the will to save acquire better living facilities and yield their former
quarters at modest rents to the group below (Keith, 1973, 29).
Table 3.8 Organized Interest Group Universe, 1949 Federal Housing Act
OPPONENTS
SUPPORTERS
National Association of Real Estate Boards
National Public Housina Conference
U.S. Savinas and Loan Leaaue
American Federation of Labor-Conaress of
International Oraanizations
National Association of Home Builders
National Association of Housina Officials
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
U.S. Conference of Mayors
Mortaaae Bankers Association of America
National Leaaue of Cities
Producers Council
American MuniciDal Association
National Economic Council
National Association for the Advancement
of Colored People
National Association of Retail Lumber Dealers
Source: Dennis R. Judd and Todd Swanstrom. 1998. City Politics: Private Power and Public
Policy. New York: Addison Wesley Longman, Inc. pp 181-183.
Support for the 1949 Act came from a diverse group of academic, labor,
and activist organizations which had their own specific reasons for supporting the
provisions of the 1949 Act. Local housing administrators and research scholars
formed the National Public Housing Conference and the National Association of
Housing Officials. Organized labor was a powerful ally and viewed the FHA as a
new and important source of employment for working people. The supporters
were ultimately successful as Congress passed the FHA by a bipartisan majority.
However, the public housing subsection, which was voted on separately, prior to


146
cultural choice, private housing cost constraints, and some form of institutional
discrimination.
While the reasons behind the overrepresentation of blacks in public
housing is open to debate, the fact that blacks do reside in housing projects in
numbers disproportionate to their portion of the population is now beyond
dispute. The housing policies created and implemented during the WWII period
are directly relevant to this issue. The relative integration of Afro-Canadian
residents, despite being overrepresented in low-income housing, is in part a
function of the dispersed location of low-income housing projects. Just as
Chicago's segregated housing projects reflect housing policies support at mid-
century, Toronto's dispersed projects reflect decisions made by local and
provincial institutions during the 1940's and 1960's. The distinct spatial realities
facing low-income people of color in Chicago and Toronto have significant
implications for the larger socio-economic and political standing of blacks in both
cities.
Table 4.1 Ethnic
3ackqround of Toronto Residents,
1951-Percentages
British Isles
72.7
Jewish
5.3
Italian
2.5
French
2.9
German
1.7
Ukrainian
2.6
Polish
2.4
Hungarian
Japanese
Africa
n
Native
Other 8.8
Chinese --
Dutch 1.1
Source: Census of Canada 1951.
Table 4.2 Ethnic Background of Chicago Residents, 1950-Percentages,
European Ethnic Subgroups-Largest to Smallest
WHITE-85 | NON-WHITE-14
Southeast, German & Irish, British, Norway-Sweden
Non-White includes blacks and Hispanics
Sources: Chicago Urban League. 1957. Research Department. Paul Kleppner. 1985. Chicago
Divided: The Making of a Black Mavor.DeKalb. Illinois: Northern Illinois University.


233
Statistics Canada. 1992. Census Highlights: The Daily Statistics. Ottawa: Minister
responsible for Statistics Canada.
Stone, Clarence. 1989. Regime Politics: Governing Atlanta 1946-1988. Lawrence:
University Press of Kansas.
Stone, Walter J. 1994. "Asymmetries in the Electoral Bases of Representation."
New Perspectives on American Politics. Lawrence C. Dodd and Calvin Jillson eds.
Washington D.C.: Congressional Quarterly Press. 98-117.
Swain, Carol M. 1995. Black Faces. Black Interests: The Representation of
African Americans in Congress. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Taebel, Delbert. 1978. "Minority Representation on City Councils: The Impact of
Structure on Blacks and Hispanics." Social Science Quarterly. 59: 143-152.
Taeuber, K and A. Taeuber. 1965. Negroes in Cities: Residential Segregation and
Neighborhood Change. Chicago: Aldine.
Thomas, Eric. 1992. "Canadian Broadcasting and Multiculturalism: Attempts to
Accomodate Ethnic Minorities." Canadian Journal of Communication 17: 281-299.
Tindall, George Brown. 1988. America: A Narrative History. New York: W.W.
Norton & Company.
Troper, Harold and Morton Weinfeld eds. 1998. Ethnicity. Politics, and Public
Policy: Case Studies in Canadian Diversity. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
U.S. Census Bureau. 1994. Countv and City Data Book.
Vedlitz, Arnold and Charles A. Johnson. 1982. "Community Racial Segregation,
Electoral Structure, and Minority Representation." Social Science Quarterly. 63:
729-736.
Vogel, David. 1993. "Representing Diffuse Interests in Environmental
Policymaking." Do Institutions Matter? Government Capabilities in the United
States and Abroad. R. Kent Weaver and Bert A. Rockman eds. Washington D.C.:
Brookings Institution.
Wickham, DeWayne 2001. "Chicago's Council Tussle Shows Race Does Matter."
USA Todav.com. June 26
Weaver, R. Kent and Bert A. Rockman. 1993. "Assessing the Effects of
Institutions." Do Institutions Matter? Government Capabilities in the United


87
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 Housina 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).


219
APPENDIX
INTERVIEW QUESTIONNAIRES
A separate series of questions were created for black political elites and
for officials serving in the public housing bureaucracy prior to engaging in the
**
interview portion of the dissertation. A total of five questions were created for
each group of interviewees. These questions were open-ended in order to
encourage a conversational atmosphere with each subject and to provide me
with a guide for going beyond the five-question minimum based on their
particular responses. The average length of all useful interviews was between
40-45 minutes.
Several interview subjects in each city was not included in the dissertation
discussion. The major reasonsvhy these were not deemed useful for the final
products included:
Interviewee responses were not directly relevant to the discussion of race
and public housing in Chapter 5.
Interview was interrupted and stopped due to interviewee time constraints
or to lack of interest/comfort-level with the questions.
Interviewee was not available at the agreed upon time and/or did not
respond to agreed on questions submitted via mail and e-mail.
Basic questions posed to Public Housing Officials:
1. What, in your opinion, were/are the main reasons behind the decision
to construct housing project in this area?
2. Was the city council generally in support of building this project?


201
While Toronto and Chicago have dozens of public housing projects of
various sizes and architecture, for purposes of this comparison, only family public
housing projects will be considered. Thus, public housing for seniors as well as
projects owned by non-profit organizations are excluded. Furthermore, the
projects chosen are those that have either a majority black population or where
blacks make up a significant and growing portion of all residents (which is the
case in many projects in Toronto). Information for a total of 30 census tracts
was found-12 in Chicago and 18 in Toronto. The socio-demographic data for
Toronto is based on 1996 Statistics Canada Data, the most recent year for
comprehensive census tract information. Information on Chicago is based on the
1990 U.S. Census for Chicago. Tract by tract information from the 2000 Census
on metropolitan areas was to be released in mid-2002, thus, the 1990 Census
provides the only presently and easily accessible source of in-depth information
on individual census tracts for Chicago.
The 12 Chicago census tracts with family public housing projects included
some of the most historic and notoriously publicized projects in the country
including the Cabrini-Green and Robert Taylor complexes. As seen in Figure 5.1,
the difference in median family income between the city average represented by
Bar 1 and neighborhoods with public housing projects is stark. While the median
family income for Chicago was $30,707, public housing areas averaged just over
$11,000 with several neighborhoods registering $5,000 or less.


193
rhetoric about systemic racism in Canada? Canadians know themselves, and
they know Canadian society is not racist" (Croucher 1993, 330). Even as the
Toronto television and print media continues to be dominated by Anglophones in
a majority-minority city, influential policy elites stubbornly insist that
discrimination-whether conscious or institutional-is of trivial significance. Thus,
in the eyes of some Canadian elites, there is no need for studying or collecting
detailed information on race to the same extent that they gather other kinds of
data.
A different perspective in support of collecting racial data is offered by
some Afro-Canadian elites. Referring specifically to the Agency's decision not to
collect racial data, the former officials with the MTHA states that, "I have no
problem with asking the question of who lives in Metro Toronto public housing. I
think we need to ask those questions. It is instructive, it tells us about the
economic situation about people of color" (Interview, 9 March 2000).
The reluctance of public institutions to collect racial data, as pointed out
by a second high-ranking Afro-Canadian official, extends into educational
institutions. While Toronto area school boards collect a variety of data on student
performance, performance measures are not disaggregated into racial or ethnic
groupings. When asked why this situation exists, the official expresses some
frustration at the response of some of his board member colleagues.
I can't presume to [explain their argument] because they never
articulated the reason why. They claimed that it wasn't necessary. Well I
believe that it is necessary. It is necessary in order to establish for black
parents who claim that their kids are not doing as well. We need either to


180
the city council argues that segregation is a reality, thus, black political elites
instead should focus their energies in bringing tangible economic and social
benefits to the black community, and find ways to elect a city administration that
is friendlier to so-called black interests (Interview, 22 July 2000). Proponents of
desegregation and fair housing initiatives, however, disagree with the
characterization of segregation as having little relevance to the immediate day-
to-day lives of black residents. An Afro-American official in the Chicago-based
Leadership Council for Metropolitan Open Communities noted, "[Segregation]
has a direct impact on not only the lack of integration in our schools but in the
quality of those schools. We will have to be prepared to live with the damage
that it has done for generations to come" (Interview, 3 September 2000).
For proponents of desegregation and fair housing efforts, the lack of black
political influence is closely tied to the continued existence and strength of
residential segregation. "The joke about black folk going in and out of
Bridgeport [the boyhood home of Richard Daley Jr.]" states the Leadership
Council for Metropolitan Open Communities official, "was that you can go into
work and you can go into shop but you better be out by sundown. That was the
reality. While [Daley] no longer lives there I don't think he is thinking along the
lines of open housing, fair housing, [or] equal access to housing. He is the only
mayor in this city that has never supported us, never come to our annual
luncheonhas never gotten on that soapbox--. I don't think city government


181
gives a damn about the segregation that exists or the need to open closed
communities" (Interview, 3 September 2000).
This general feeling is echoed by a Euro-American official working in the
Chicago Panel of School Policy, a non-profit organization researching academic
and demographic trends in the Chicago public school system. A lack of political
will, she states, is not limited to the Daley administration but is reflective of a
general lack of will among many whites and a sizable portion of Chicago's black
community. To create the political will to aggressively break down the walls of
residential segregation would be quite difficult, "There is just so much
misunderstanding [between black and white communities]they are not hearing
each other" (Interview 6, March 2001).
There is some indication that residential segregation has created an
interest among some political elites to oppose strong efforts to fight against it.
This is similar to arguments forwarded by political scientist James Q. Wilson over
a generation ago (1955,198-206). The high level of spatial segregation, argued
Wilson, results in the election of black political elites beholden to the crowded,
segregated, and largely poor residential wards for their political survival. The
low priority given to the issue of residential segregation among Euro-American
council members is mirrored, according to the LCMOC official, by many of the
council's black elected officials. "Many of them know that [without spatial
segregation] many of them wouldn't be in office. Segregation has a direct


25
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;
Fieras 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 countries 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


161
"fundamental resource" (14). A large black or Hispanic population is generally
correlated with the achievement of policy influence particularly when the minority
population engages a sustained campaign of demand articulation and coalition
building with like-minded interests.
Along with the demographic factor of population size, institutional factors
play an important role in achieving political incorporation for minorities. The
electoral structure of a city, whether it is an at-large or ward based system, for
example, or whether it is a reformed or unreformed government, can encourage
or discourage Afro-American and Hispanic political representation. In a study of
over 170 central city school boards, Robinson and England (1981) found that in
cities where blacks were underrepresented on local school boards in proportion
to their share of the population, at-large electoral systems were utilized in school
board elections. In a study focusing on the relationship between electoral
systems and minority representation on local city councils, Robinson and Dye
(1978) found further support for the conclusion reached by Robinson and
England (1981) and other researchers. Ward-based systems are positively
related with high levels of minority representation while at-large systems tend to
lower the level of minority representation in local political institutions (Karnig and
Welch 1982; Taebel 1978).
Cities with at-large election procedures tend to be municipalities with a
reformed governmental structure. Originating in the Progressive era during the
early 1900's, the municipal reform movement was a reaction against the social


125
eventually be rejected by Chicago's city council while only 2 of the 24 proposed
sites in black areas would be rejected. Over ten years later, the same pattern
continued. Of 60 proposed sites, two-thirds were planned for black areas and
none were rejected while 90% of sites in white areas were eventually rejected or
withdrawn.
Table 4.3 Final Site Selection Decisions of CHA Projects by Race
YEAR
SITES
SUBMITTED
TO CITY
COUNCIL
BLACK AREAS
(# REJECTED/
WITHDRAWN)
WHITE AREAS
(#.REJECTED/
WITHDRAWN)
1955
28
24
4
(2)
(4)
1956
11
7
4
(2)
(4)
1958
11
9
2
(2)
(2)
1965
18
9
9
(0)
(9)
i 1966
60
40
20
(0)
(18)
Source: Chandler, Christopher. 1968. "CHA Cites Role of City Council In Housing Sites." The
Chicago Sun-Times. March 28, 1968. A7
The informal agreements and understanding that existed between high
level CHA officials, aldermen, and influential interest groups became more public
as former housing officials began to speak out during the late 1960's. What
these statements also made evident was that the CHA was the site for intense
ideological battles between senior officials during Chicago's experiment with
public housing and urban redevelopment. Former supervisor of tenant selection
for the CHA, Tamara D. Tabb, in a sworn statement stated that the CHA
maintained separate waiting lists for black and white families and deliberately


118
changed inexorably to a formal color line through passage of restrictive
. covenants. The formal acceptance of the neighborhood composition rule by
officials supportive of public housing stands as a testament to the strength of
Chicago's segregated racial milieu, a milieu influential enough to mold the
behavior and policies of federal housing and CHA officials regardless of individual
ideological belief systems.
Informal Rules. Actors, and the CHA
The neighborhood composition rule was a formal limitation on the
institutional behavior of the CHA. Most of the rules and actors that limited the
decision-making independence of the CHA, however, were found in the external
informal environment that surrounded the agency. It was this environment that
created the composition rule and it was this environment that led to the eventual
control of CHA sites and tenant selection policies by the city council. Private
business and real estate interests were important influences. These interests
encouraged and profited from funds intended for public housing and urban
redevelopment. Real estate companies took advantage of fears regarding
encroachment by black residents into majority white areas by utilizing block
busting tactics. Agents repeatedly warned white homeowners of an impending
invasion of blacks into white residential areas, which fuelled widespread selling of
homes in these areas by residents (Massey 1993, 37-8; Yinger 1995, 122-24).
Real estate companies gained financially from this tactic and, just as importantly,


49
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 themselves
that in speaking of a foreign population they have generally been dis
regarded 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 non-
Europeans 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).


32
Even in comparison to recent southeastern European immigrants, Afro-
American residents in Chicago lived with very high levels of dilapidated and
crowded housing conditions. Chicago Housing Problems IV: The Problem of the
Negro (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 IV 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 low-
income 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


10
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


183
Elite Views on Minority Political Incorporation in Toronto
If you look at the Toronto City Council there are more people of color represented in the
city council that there were 10 years ago. But the percentages of city councilors who are
visible minorities certainly doesn't come close to the slice that they represent of the
demographics
in Toronto.
Officer, Canadian Race Relations Foundation (Interview,April 3 2000).
The lack of diversity on Toronto's political landscape sharply contrasts
with that of Chicago. Despite being a majority-minority city, visible minorities in
Toronto have yet to achieve the level of minority representation and political
incorporation shown by Afro-Americans in Chicago. While accounting for over
one-half of the city's population, black, South Asian, and East Asian individuals
total 4 members of the 44 individuals sitting on the Toronto City Council. Insofar
as descriptive representation is a measure of political strength and influence,
visible minorities have only minor influence in the political affairs of Canada's
largest and most diverse city.
It is also clear that political and community figures knowledgeable about
the black community are aware of its low level of political incorporation. The
relatively small size of the community is a contributing factor to the lack of black
representation on elected and appointive bodies. Another key factor cited by
community leaders is the cultural and geographic diversity of Toronto's black
population. In addition to native-born Afro-Canadians, whose history in Canada
traces back to the 1900's, there are a significant and growing number of blacks
from Africa and the Caribbean islands. The West Indian population itself is very
diverse with residents representing every island in the Caribbean. The


63
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 mid-
1920's immigrants from Mexico, Cuba, and Puerto Rico became the fastest
growing ethnic minority group in the country (1029).
Despite passage of the Emergency 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).


91
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 Housing Act, 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 Heights, a low-
income 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


232
Ray, Brian K, Greg Halseth, and Benjamin Johnson. 1997. "The Changing 'Face'
of the Suburbs: Issues of Ethnicity and Residential Change in Suburban
Vancouver." International Journal of Urban and Regional Research March 21 (75-
100).
Richmond, Anthony. 1972. Ethnic Residential Segregation in Metropolitan
Toronto. Toronto: Institute for Behavioral Research.
Robinson, Theodore P. and Thomas R. Dye. 1978. "Reformism and Black
Representation on City Councils." Social Science Quarterly. 59: 133-141.
Robinson, Ted and Robert E. England. 1981. "Black Representation on Central
City School Boards Revisited." Social Science Quarterly. 62: 495-502.
Rockman, Bert A. 1994. "The New Institutionalism and the Old Institutions." New
Perspectives on American Politics. Lawrence C. Dodd and Calvin Jillson eds.
Washington D.C.: Congressional Quarterly Press. 143-161.
Sayegh, Kamal S. 1987. Housing: A Canadian Perspective. Ottawa: Academy
Books.
Sayegh, Kamal S. 1972. Canadian Housing: A Reader. Waterloo: University of
Waterloo.
Searing, Donald D. 1991. "Roles, Rules, and Rationality in the New
Institutionalism." American Political Science Review 85: 1239-1257.
Sillalli, Shiva, Frank Trovato, and Leo Driedger eds. 1990. Canadian Immigration:
Racial and Cultural Variation. Ottawa: Carleton University Press.
Singh, B., Peter Bolaria, and Peter S. Li. 1988. Racial Oppression In Canada.
Toronto: Garmand Press.
Smallwood, Frank. 1963. Metro Toronto: Decade Later. Toronto: Bureau of
Municipal Research.
Soderlund, Walter C., Walter I. Romanow, E. Donald Briggs, and R.H.
Wagenberg. 1984. Media and Elections in Canada. Toronto: McClelland and
Stewart.
Spear, Allan H. 1967. Black Chicago: The Making of a Neoro Ghetto. 1890-1920.
Chicago: University of Chicago.


48
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).


159
Is one outcome of a complex system in which prejudice, segregation,
discrimination, and racial or ethnic economic disparities are simultaneously
determined-racial and ethnic prejudice and discrimination are both
causes and consequences of residential segregation (Yinger 1995,122).
In addition to an established literature on the social and economic effects
of residential segregation (Becker 1971; Lieberson 1980; Ogbu 1978; Massey
and Denton 1993; Yinger 1995), the relationship between segregation and
political influence has also been a subject of study. V.O. Key provided one of the
classic treatments of this subject in Southern Politics in State and Nation (1949).
Key posited that in southern congressional districts with high proportions of
blacks, a polarization effect takes place where Congressmen are pressured by
reactionary white constituents to oppose minority-supported issues. Thus, in
southern districts where blacks are particularly concentrated, a negative
correlation exists between the proportion of the black population and
congressional support for civil rights issues.
A later variant of Key's argument, termed the curvilinear hypothesis,
posited that majority white districts do not show concern about the presence of
Afro-Americans as long as blacks make up a small portion of the total population.
However, the polarization effect takes place as the black population reaches 20%
and representation of minority interests begins to decline until Afro-Americans
comprise a majority of the voting population (Cameron et al 1996, 796-7). Still
other research argues that a threshold effect occurs where the level of support
for minority interests jumps significantly when minority district residents reach a
certain percentage of the population (796). While the particular direction of the


123
"every method possible to discourage Negroes from applying" was used (Foster
1937).
Aligned against public housing with these homeowner groups was a cadre
of influential Euro-American aldermen in whose wards many such associations
flourished. They participated in the official duties of the Chicago city council,
which as of 1949 included the right to review and reject sites selected for
housing construction by the CHA. Anti-housing aldermen also influenced CHA
behavior through informal ways that were not part of official CHA or city council
meetings. Throughout the 1950's, an accommodation was reached between the
CHA and the city council in which, prior to CHA selected sites being brought
before the full council, the CHA contacted the individual aldermen in whose ward
a project was scheduled to be built (Hirsch, 241; Kleppner, 45). In effect, this
gave individual aldermen an informal veto over any scheduled projects. This
tacit agreement was fully supported by the new CHA director, Alvin Rose. Rose
declared in a 1958 speech his view of the new and proper role of the CHA: "too
much has been made over this interracial business... We are not going to use
public housing as a wedge; our role must be one of friend to the community"
(Hirsch, 242). This effectively meant that no project would be constructed in
neighborhoods where aldermanic opposition existed nor would there be any
further attempts to integrate all black and all white projects.
In addition to informally notifying individual aldermen, CHA decision
making independence was further weakened by so-called Larson Bills strategies.


228
Karnig, Albert K. and Susan Welch. 1982. "Electoral Structure and Black
Representation on City Council." Social Science Quarterly. 63: 99-114.
Kelley, Ninette and Michael Tebilcock. 1998. The Making of the Mosaic: A History
of Canadian Immigration Policy. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Key, V.O. Jr. 1949. Southern Politics in State and Nation. New York: Alfred A.
Knopf.
Kolchin, Peter. 1993. American Slavery: 1619-1877. New York: Hill and Wang.
Kozol, Jonathan. 1991. Savage Ineoualites: Children in America's Schools. New
York: Crown Publishers.
Krauss, Ellis S. and Jon Pierre. 1993. Targeting Resources for Industrial
Change." Do Institutions Matter? Government Capabilities in the United States
and Abroad. R. Kent Weaver and Bert A. Rockman eds. Washington D.C.:
Brookings Institution. 151-185.
Krissdottir, Marine and Joan Simon. 1977. Shielding: People and Sheltor.
Toronto: Oxford University Press.
Lemann, Nicholas. 1991. The Promised Land: The Great Black Migration and Hot
It Changed America. New York: Knopf.
Lemon, James T. 1996. Liberal Dreams and Natures Limits: Great Cities of North
America Since 1600. Toronto: Oxford University Press
Levitt, Kari. 1970. Silent Surrender. Toronto: MacMillan. Ch. 7.
Lewinberg, Adam. 1998. "Black Insiders, the Black Polity, and the Ontario NDP
Government, 1990-1995." Ethnicity. Politics, and Public Policy: Case Studies in
Canadian Diversity. Eds. Harold Troper and Morton Weinfield. Toronto: University
of Toronto.
Lewis, Stephen. 1992. Report on Race Relatons. Toronto: Government of
Ontario.
Ley, David. 1999. "Myths And Meanings Of Migration And The Metropolis." The
Canadian Geographer. 43(1): 3-18.
Ley, David and Heather Smith. 2000. "Relations between Deprivation and
Immigrant Groups in Large Canadian Cities." Urban Studies. 37(1): 37-62.


131
supported efforts to legislate fair housing ordinances and encouraged working
and middle income blacks to challenge restrictive covenants and residential
segregation. The rift between the two influential public officials only added to
the lack of a unified and consistent voice from the black community on the issue
of public housing.
By 1965, the non-white population of Chicago accounted for one-quarter
of the population (Kleppner, 34) and the city was one of the most racially
segregated urban areas in the United States (Massey and Denton 1993, 64).
Racial group tensions that existed prior to federal involvement in subsidized
housing had become institutionalized in the implementation of public housing
policy at mid-century. Elected politicians, neighborhood organizations, and real
estate interests informally controlled the rules and actions of the CHA and ended
the independent decision-making status once granted to it. The actions of the
CHA during this period are key factors in explaining the extraordinarily high social
and economic segregation currently experienced by low-income Afro-Americans
in Chicago.
Consensus over Conflict: Constructing Public Housing in Toronto
Plans, plans, we've got millions of plans. Let's get the goddamn shovels into the ground.
Metro Toronto Chairman Norman Gardiner circa 1950s in James T. Lemon, Liberal
Dreams and Natures Limits, p. 206.
The racial controversies that gripped Chicago during the postwar era were
largely absent in Toronto. Toronto, like Chicago, embarked on major efforts to
attract public housing and urban renewal funding that resulted in significant
changes to the landscape of the central business district and outlying areas.


74
Table 2.7 Decennial Immigration to the United States. 1880-1919
1880-1889
1890-1899
WWW,
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.:Govemment Printing Office, pp. 324-5.
Table 2.8 Euro-American Popula
tion of Chicago, 1870-
1940 in 000s (%)
TOTAL OVERALL
POPULATION
WHITE
WHITE
Native Stock 1
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: 1-Native-born of native-born parents.
2-Foreign-borm and native-born of foreign-bom parents.
Source: Paul Kleppner. 1985. Chicago Divided: The Making of a Black Mayor. DeKalb, Ill: 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, Ill: Northern
Illinois University Pres
Affiliation
1911
1921
1931
1941
Protestant
78.8
79.7
74.8
66.4
Catholic
12.3
12.4
14.3
14.6
Jewish
4.8
6.6
7.2
7.3
Other
4.1
1.3
3.7
11.7
Source: Census of Canada, 1911-1941.


45
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 Afro-
Canadian 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 Bilj 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


173
affected the substantive representation of black residents is less clear. Using the
four indicators of political incorporation used by Browning et al would show that
Chicago has been relatively responsive to the concerns of blacks compared to
Toronto. Evidence of city regimes that are responsive to people of color
includes:
the employment of blacks in city government posts;
the existence of a police/community relations board;
the appointment of blacks to municipal boards and commissions; and
the existence of a minority business development agency(ies) (Browning,
Marshall, and Tabb 1997).
All 4 indicators were strongly present in Chicago municipal government
during the administration of Mayor Harold Washington from 1983 to 1987.
According to Pinderhughes's analysis (Pinderhughes 1997), the percentage of
blacks in key government posts as employees and high-level officials increased
noticeably. In the post-Washington era, however, blacks have found it difficult
to build a winning electoral coalition. Under the current Daley administration,
Afro-Americans appear to hold less influence and power over the content and
implementation of local government policy and programs (Pinderhughes 1997).
Nevertheless, blacks continue to be a significant presence throughout
Chicago's public institution. As seen in Table 5.4, although the percentage of
black officers in the Chicago Police Department is smaller than the percentage of
blacks in the total population, Afro-Americans represent a higher percentage of


38
approach of the Chicago School, closely link the ecological environment with the
social and economic opportunity structure of a particular ethnic/racial group.
Black Metropolis 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 Afro-
Americans in Chicago as "a city within a city." (Drake and Cayton, 12).
Specifically, Black Metropolis 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 Afro-
Americans 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 Nearo Ghetto (1948) written
by Robert C. Weaver stands as a primary example. Weaver was a former


40
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 institutionalist 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


121
At the end of WWII, there were eighty-two community newspapers, a
significant portion of them catering to particular ethnic communities, and
approximately 200 neighborhood improvement associations (Kleppner 1985, 44).
These organizations were instrumental in discouraging the movement of Afro-
Americans into Trumbull Park homes. Built in 1938, Trumbull Park was one of
the first three projects, along with Julia Lathrop and Jane Addams homes,
completed with funding from the Public Works Administration. In 1953, a light
skinned Afro-American female mistaken as white by the housing administrator
moved into Trumbull Park after being interviewed. Within 24 hours, the error by
the local administrator drew a crowd of 2000 protestors at Trumbull Park
demanding the eviction of the new tenant and any other plans to introduce new
black tenants (Bowly 1978). Then Mayor Martin Kennelly sent in police officers
in an attempt to disperse the crowd and protect tenants. Sporadic violence
continued for over one year with numerous arrests and injuries to tenants and
passersby taking place. A study of the Trumbull Park disturbances ordered by
Kennelly recommended that educational programs be provided for tenants prior
to any attempt to introduce black families into Trumbull Park (Bowly 1978).
A report in the Chicago Daily News focused on the instrumental role of
two community organizations in encouraging protests against the CHA's
integration efforts. The South Deering Improvement Association and the
National Citizens Protective Association reportedly transported and organized
many of the protestors into Trumbull Park during the year long controversy.


226
Hajnal, Zoltn L. 1993. "The Nature of Concentrated Urban Poverty in Canada
and the United States." Canadian Journal of Sociology. 20(4): 497-528.
Harles, John C. 1993. "Integration Before Assimilation: Immigration,
Multiculturalism and the Canadian Polity." Canadian Journal of Political Science.
30(4): 711-738.
Harris, Richard. 2000. "More American Than The United States: Housing in Urban
Canada in the Twentieth Century." Journal of Urban History. 26(4): 456-478.
Hawkins, Freda. 1991. Critical Years in Immigration: Canada and Australia
Compared. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press.
Heinecke, Burnell. 1953. "Stratton Vetoes Larson Housing Bill as Unwise." The
Chicago Sun-Times. Wednesday, July 15.
Henry, Frances. 1994. The Caribbean Diaspora in Toronto: Learning to Live with
Racism. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Henry, Frances and Carol Tator. 2000. Racist Discourse In Canada's English Print
Media .Toronto: Canadian Race Relations Foundation, March.
Henry, Frances, Carol Tator, Winston Mattis, and Tim Rees. 1995. The Colour of
Democracy: Racism in Canadian Society. Toronto: Harcourt Brace and Company.
Henry, Frances and E. Ginsberg. 1984. Who Gets the Work: A Test of Racial
Discrimination in Employment. Toronto: Urban Alliance on Race Relations.
Henry, Keith S. 1981. Black Politics In Toronto Since WWI. Toronto: Multicultural
History Society of Ontario.
Hiebert, Daniel. 1998. "The Social Geography of Toronto in 1931: A Study of
Residential Differentiation and Social Structure." Urban Studies 301: 55-73.
Hiebert, Daniel ed. 1994. "Focus: Immigration to Canada." The Canadian
Geographer 38(3): 254-270.
Higham, John. 1955. Strangers in the Land: Patterns of American Nativism.
1860-1925. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press.
Hill, Donna ed. 1981. A Black Man's Toronto 1914-1980: The Reminiscences of
Henry Gairev. Toronto: Multicultural History Society of Ontario.


42
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 Methodology
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


90
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.
ONTARIO PROVINCIAL GOVT.
I
PROVINCIAL HOUSING MINISTRY
I
O.H.C.
LOCAL HOUSING AUTHORITIES
II I I I I
Federal Level
C.M.H.C.
4L
Figure 3.1 Formal Organizational Hierarchy of Ontarios 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


21
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 anddiversity 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-neighbors." (24).


99
A federal commitment to urban renewal, that is the clearing, razing,
rebuilding, and redevelopment of targeted residential and commercial sites,
began in earnest in both countries during the 1940's. Amendments to the 1944
National Housing Act laid the groundwork for renewal programs in Canada, while
in the United States, urban renewal programs originated in the Federal Housing
Act ofl949. The 1949 FHA still stands as one of the most influential and
controversial pieces of legislation passed by the Congress with regards to the
public sector's role in providing shelter.
The 1949 FHA was influential and controversial for two reasons. First, it
institutionalized political authority and a legal basis for public acquisition and
redevelopment of urban property and homes, a powerful tool that would be used
by government housing authorities in concert with private building interests to
relocate thousands of urban residents. Second, as stated in the preamble, it
represented a national commitment by the federal government towards providing
a "decent home and suitable living environment for every American family"
(Housing Act of 1949, preamble). Several powerful interests in Congress and in
the building industry opposed this stated commitment.
The Public Housing Act of 1937 formed the basis on which the 1949 Act
was passed. The prospect of world war and the importance of national unity
helped to gain passage of the 1937 PHA. There was also the understanding that
all public housing constructed under the PHA would be built and administered by
local agencies and that construction would be handled by private realtors and


107
The final period took place just prior to the passage of the Federal
Housing Act of 1949. Although statewide officials in Springfield were often
hostile to the Democratic political machine in Chicago, a number of state level
officials shared a strong dislike for subsidized housing construction and funding
with several Chicago Machine Democrats. In 1948 at the urging of local CHA
critics, both groups successfully extended the reach of the 1947 Relocation Act
by giving the Chicago city council the right of final approval over housing
projects funded by federal government agencies as well (223). The act was
implemented by council members who were fully aware of the impending
passage of the FHA, which would significantly increase the number of federally
funded units slated for construction in the Chicago area. It was clear to CHA
committee members and other supporters of public housing that this move was
intended to further weaken the decision-making authority of the CHA in the wake
of a federal commitment to subsidized housing while strengthening the influence
wielded by an increasingly hostile Mayor and city council.
Institutional Characteristics and Constraints
The eventual success of CHA critics in erasing the institutional independence it
held for years previous to 1947 is indicative of the low priority given to subsidized
housing policy by government officials and private builders during the postwar era in
North America. In addition, in several large cities including Chicago, an effective
coalition of elected officials and citizen's groups joined to discourage further
construction of projects in their particular areas. Thus, in Chicago and in Toronto as


CHAPTER 6
STEMMING THE TIDE:
POLICY STRATEGIES AGAINST RESIDENTIAL SEGREGATION
In combating housing market discrimination, the American experience has
shown that government at all levels can play a proactive and effective role.
While the overall level of residential segregation remains quite high in the United
States, in each decade since the 1960's thousands of Afro-Americans have
succeeded in acquiring apartments and homes in largely non-black areas.
Recent census data has shown that several large cities experienced moderate
declines in residential segregation (Yinger 1998, 111). The ability of some black
families to move into previously closed areas has coincided with the passage of
federal and state laws aimed at discouraging racial discrimination by mortgage,
banking, and community institutions. These laws are key in aiding blacks with
financial means to follow the same patterns of mobility exhibited by every other
group in American society; to move from lower economic class communities into
middle and upper class residential enclaves.
Anti-segregation laws can also increase mobility patterns and the quality
of life for public housing residents and neighborhoods. There are several policy
strategies that should be implemented by Canadian government officials to
discourage the onset of institutionalized social isolation that now exists in many
predominantly minority public housing areas in Chicago. To be sure these laws
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