Will Canada's future downtowns be rich?

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Following the Second World War, a mass exodus of wealthier inhabitants leaving downtowns for the suburbs took place in North American cities. However, beginning in the 1960’s, small pockets of the downtown cores began to be re-inhabited by wealthier individuals in a phenomenon commonly known as “gentrification”. The question posed in this paper is: To what extent is gentrification in Canada anecdotal and restricted to a select few neighbourhoods, or a widespread phenomenon? I construct a novel dataset to measure gentrification in Canada. The empirical evidence of gentrification in Canada is overall similar to the United States but stronger for Canada’s three largest cities. Once I divide relative household income by the square root of household size (for a different definition of “wealth”, on a per capita level), the gap between suburbs and downtowns shrinks further and in Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto downtowns are richer than suburbs.
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