The Canadian Urban System: Urban Canada Goes Global

  • Jim Simmons
  • Larry S. Bourne
Part of the Advances in Geographical and Environmental Sciences book series (AGES)


Over the last 60 years (since 1951), Canada has been transformed from a British colony with a significant francophone component into a multiethnic society with trade links throughout the developed world. Much of this evolution has been due to the response of a series of federal governments that have opened the door to immigration and to international trade – notably through the NAFTA agreement with the United States and the recent treaty negotiated with the European Community. In this sense Canadians have become more optimistic and open to change. At the same time, the current organization of government discourages innovation at the municipal level. Municipalities are defined, and their powers restricted, by the provinces in which they are embedded. These restrictions moderate any variations in urban growth rates and constrain the possibilities for municipal innovation.

Recent developments in the Canadian urban system include a concentration of growth around the largest urban areas, especially Toronto and Vancouver, the result of overflow growth from their central cities. At the same time, the growth of smaller and less accessible cities has declined as the overall rate of Canada’s growth has slowed down.


Urban system Immigration Trade 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jim Simmons
    • 1
  • Larry S. Bourne
    • 1
  1. 1.University of TorontoTorontoCanada

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