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Google Earth Exercise: Chapter 8

Landscapes of Diversity

Ethnic neighbourhoods and “gay villages” are integral components of many contemporary urban landscapes. Though often formed in response to marginalization and exclusion, many are now cultural centres within cities. In this exercise, your task is to locate and describe three neighbourhoods that typify a diverse city.

The task: Using Google Earth Street View, visit Toronto, Ontario and search three areas in the city for the diverse neighbourhoods listed below.

Step 1: Open the chapter8.kmz file. There are three zones defined here, search each one for:

  1. the “gay village”
  2. an ethnic neighbourhood that may experience exclusion from the surrounding city
  3. a neighbourhood that has been gentrified

Refer to your textbook for the characteristics that defines these types of neighbourhoods. Identify each neighbourhood by its location as defined by street names or its main street and two delineating cross streets.

When you have evaluated the three zones above, scroll to the bottom of the page to check your answers.


1. The gay village in Toronto is centred at Church Street and Wellesley Street West. The area maintains its character and identity but it is much better integrated into the city than it was 30 years ago. It enjoys status as a recognized neighbourhood. This area caters to a large residential population and attracts many LGBT tourists.

2. Many neighbourhoods throughout Toronto fit this description. The newer ethnic communities in the inner suburbs are the best example of recent immigrant communities that exist in parallel with the city but apart from its mainstream. These are characterized by signage predominantly in the language of the local ethnic groups and relatively homogenous product and service offerings.

3. Some older neighbourhoods in the city, many that have an older ethnic population, have been gentrified. Examples include Little Italy on College Street and Grace, the Polish area on Roncesvalles beginning at Queen, Little Portugal along Dundas Street West near Ossington and Greektown on the Danforth Avenue beginning at Broadview. Much of the housing stock has been renovated and the retail areas attract visitors from across the city.