Skip to main page content

(Im)migrants’ residential geographies in urban Canada: housing crisis and exclusion at the intersections of class and identity

13:30, Monday 8 May 2023 EDT (1 hour 30 minutes)
Coffee break - SH-4800   03:00 PM to 03:30 PM (30 minutes)

(Im)migrants undergo significant transitions when settling in Canada and especially when they are searching for housing. The main aim of this session is to examine the housing experiences of (im)migrants (including permanent residents, refugees, temporary migrants, and international students) from an intersectional perspective with a particular interest in the role of class and visible minority identity. Specifically, we are interested in understanding the influence of local housing markets in interaction with (im)migrants’ identity characteristics (ethnicity, race, gender, culture, language, religion, values), and in turn the impacts on their residential behaviour, including the types of challenges they face and the potential strategies they develop to overcome barriers. To elaborate, the scarcity of affordable housing options, coupled with increasing cost of living, rising property values and rental rates, and the financialization of housing, may force some immigrants, as well as larger communities, to relocate to areas where they can find more affordable housing. Discriminatory practices in the real estate industry such as redlining, steering, discriminatory advertising and lending are another issue that motivates certain ethno-racial groups to concentrate, segregate, or disperse spatially. The focus will not only be on understanding the role of class, culture and identity issues for visible minority (im)migrants, but also on critically re-examining broader questions relating to the role of housing in (im)migrants’ socio-economic integration and their experiences of urban displacement and increased housing insecurity and precarity. Among other things, the papers in this session will help to shed light on novel dynamics of structural exclusion, while identifying effective modes of resistance, strategies, and critical interventions from which community leaders/organizers and service providers can learn and replicate elsewhere.

This session aims to gather together geographers and scholars from other disciplines who wish to engage on the housing experiences of (visible minority) (im)migrants and related issues. We are looking for papers on topics that include (but are not limited to): 

  • Immigrants’ socio-economic integration through housing
  • Immigrants’ housing careers and social mobility
  • Immigrant settlement and experiences of gentrification and urban displacement
  • Precarious housing and homelessness among visible minority immigrant groups
  • Racialized dispossession and urban politics of resistance
  • Identity, cultural minorities, and spatialized experiences of gender, race, class and sexuality in and through home/housing
  • The social, cultural and political significance of home for visible minority (im)migrants
  • Spatialized experiences of urban inclusion and intersecting exclusions
  • Intersections and links between immigration, and housing policy changes in Canada.

Presentation 1:

Presenter: Sara Vieira, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of community, Culture and global studies, University of British Columbia. 

Title: Transitioning Social Landscapes: A Case Study of Portuguese Ethno-cultural Organizations in Toronto

Keywords: Immigrant organizations; Integration; Portuguese; Greater Toronto Area; transnationalism

Presentation 2:

Presenter: Negar Valizadeh, PhD Candidate, Department of Geography, Environment and Geomatics, University of Ottawa, ON

Title: Worlds apart: diverging integration pathways for Iranian immigrants in Toronto

Keywords: Iranian immigrant women and men, housing settlement, integration practices, sense of attachment

Presentation 3:

Presenters: Sérgio Silva Borges and Luisa Veronis, Department of Geography, Environment and Geomatics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON

Title: Newcomer families’ experiences in superdiverse neighbourhoods: negotiating belonging and emotional citizenry in a context of housing crisis 

Keywords: immigrant families, belonging, emotional citizenry, housing crisis

Discutant : Michael Buzzelli


Master of ceremonies
Seneca College
University of New Brunswick
Chercheuse postdoctorale
Memorial University
Graduate Student
Carleton University
PhD Candidate
University of Ottawa
Session detail
Allows attendees to send short textual feedback to the organizer for a session. This is only sent to the organizer and not the speakers.
To respect data privacy rules, this option only displays profiles of attendees who have chosen to share their profile information publicly.

Changes here will affect all session detail pages