The two Torontos: Young people navigating the core-inner suburb socio-spatial divide


  • Anuppiriya Sriskandarajah Department of Humanities, York University


Youth, Space, Race, Abstract space, Increasing socio-economic and spatial inequalities


In 2014 Toronto was named ‘Youthful City of the Year’ by the global Youthful Cities initiative. The ranking was supposed to be indicative of Toronto’s progressiveness and as a place where youth are equipped to thrive. Toronto also ranked number one for diversity. Much of Toronto’s celebrated diversity exists in the inner suburbs of the city. The homogenous framing of Toronto as captured by the Youthful Cities initiative neglects the lived realities of young people who live on the fringes of the city. This is heightened in a context of increasing socio-economic inequalities that is spatially concentrated. In this paper I examine how divergences in the city are spatially produced and navigated by young people that live both symbolically and geographically on the fringes. I argue that Toronto is differentiated along lines of race and socio-economic status that is reified through the socio-spatial division between the core of the city and the inner suburbs.