Ethnic packaging and gentrification: The case of four neighborhoods in Toronto

Jason Hackworth, Josephine Rekers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Urban theory has historically situated ethnic commercial strips as an organic extension of nearby ethnic residential enclaving. While this is still a useful way to frame such commercial spaces in many cities, this article argues that some areas of this sort function as a marketable branding mechanism (intended or not) to produce nearby residential gentrification. This article explores the influence of ethnic packaging on the process of gentrification in Toronto, Ontario. Using four ethnically defined business-improvement areas - Corso Italia, Little Italy, India Bazaar, and Greektown on the Danforth - it explores the role that constructed ethnicity plays in the valorization of local real estate markets. The commercial areas of these neighborhoods now function increasingly as ways to market each neighborhood's residential real estate markets. This has specific implications for gentrification theory and more general ones for the study of urban landscapes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-236
Number of pages26
JournalUrban Affairs Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Nov
Externally publishedYes

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Social and Economic Geography

Free keywords

  • Comparative case studies
  • Gentrification
  • Toronto
  • Urban entrepreneurialism


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