Census shows half living in Toronto are foreign-born
Half the people in the City of Toronto are now foreign-born, according to 2006 Canadian census figures released yesterday, making it more diverse than Miami, Los Angeles or New York City.
And immigrants are pouring into the suburbs — Markham shot to 56.5 per cent foreign-born in 2006. Both Mississauga and Richmond Hill climbed past 51 per cent.
Instead of settling in cities first and then moving to the suburbs, a growing number of new immigrants are starting off their new lives in the suburbs.
That’s behind some sudden jumps in suburban areas. Brampton’s foreign-born population, for example, grew by 59.5 per cent since the last census; in Ajax, Aurora and Vaughan, it grew more than 40 per cent.
In 2001, 12,000 new immigrants chose Peel Region as their first place of settlement, according to Peel planning manager Ron Jaros. In 2006, the figure was 30,000.
Economist Armine Yalnizyan said it is critical to ensure immigrants don’t end up among the working poor. "Toronto is the most diverse city on the face of this planet. If we cannot make it work in Toronto, where can we make it work?" she said.