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Globalization & the Economic Geography of the GGH Story Map- Callie Deacon

Story by Callie Deacon-


What are the relevant statistics of economic change and development in the GGH?


From 2006 to 2016, downtown Toronto saw an increase of 67,000 ‘core’ jobs. The types of jobs that increased were centered around media, architecture, design, digital industries, finance, tourism, arts, research, and engineering. In the downtown area, there was a concentration of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) workers, senior managers and professionals like accountants and brokers. These statistics show that Toronto has become much more knowledge based, and we have shifted from Fordism, to a creative community. Overall, Toronto accounts for 17.5% of core employment in the GGH, while downtown Toronto accounts for just under 386,000 core jobs. Jobs in downtown Toronto are increasing even faster than jobs in Megazones. Because of the shift from Fordism, the GGH has lost 200,000 manufacturing jobs since 2001.


Employment Megazones in the GGH account for 450,000 core jobs. These jobs include airport, warehouse, transportation, finance, business, and services. In the York-West Megazone, most jobs included were industrial, warehouse, and transportation. Megazones represent 20% of all core jobs in the region (543,000), and more than 80% of jobs in Megazones are considered core employment. Because of job concentration in these Megazones, 500,000 work trips are made daily.


In 2001, there were around 131,960 jobs (2%) in SKIDs. One major SKID surrounds the Highway 7 and 404 intersection, and it is rich with “High skilled and knowledge intensive jobs”. These jobs are centered around science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The area surrounding the 404/407 intersection, is also full of jobs, 4,000 being finance and business services jobs. Over 1,000  finance and business services jobs were added in the Highway 404 area, just north of Steeles Avenue.


Where have changes in the patterns of economic development and urbanization occurred in the GGH?

Most of the changes in patterns of economic development and urbanization have occurred in three major spots; Downtown Toronto, Megazones, and SKIDs.

As we know, core employment is mainly seen in Downtown Toronto, near the Lakeshore area,  Queen, and Younge. We also see these patterns in Megazones. The first Megazone is the area that surrounds the Pearson Airport, where we see a lot of job concentration.  The second one in centered on the intersection of the 407/404 highway (Tor-York East). The third Megazone , called Tor-York West, starts at Highway 400 east of Keele Street, and winds through Vaughn. SKIDs are located in suburban business parks and campuses in Mississauga, Tor-York East, Markham, Waterloo, Brampton, Oakville and Hamilton.  We have seen widespread job losses in Hamilton, Oshawa, and Brampton, and job growth in Markham, Mississauga, and Waterloo. We have also noticed deindustrialization in Hamilton, due to the less need for factories and industrial work.  


How have globalization and associated economic forces affected the economic geography of the GGH?

Because of Globalization,  smaller and local businesses are being pushed out, and we are seeing more chain stores, with locations and products in various countries. This adds variety for consumers, but also puts pressure on local businesses.

We used to live in a fordist and manufacturing era, but now we are living in a globalized, post fordist society. This shift has caused factories to close down, as we have less need for them, because our economy has become more knowledge based. Because of this, we are seeing deindustrialization in places like Hamilton, Oshawa, and Brampton. Right here in our city, we are seeing places like Liberty Village, and the Distillery District turn into cultural and creative environments for the public, where services like clothing and food are offered. Instead of people working in factories, there are now waiters serving tables at restaurants, and people selling various goods and services


How have the changing patterns of urbanization in Toronto, been influenced by changes in economic development in the GGH?

With Toronto becoming bigger and more advanced, the economy is growing. Employment Megazones full of knowledge based jobs, like the Toronto Pearson Airport, are becoming more crowded, in terms of traffic and road congestion, as people are needing to drive to work every day.

With younger people needing to be in school for longer in order to obtain knowledge based jobs, they will be more dependent on their parents, and will still be living with them. This means that the younger generation will be less inclined to buy or rent homes, meaning there's less of  a need for more condos and houses to be built in Toronto. Dense employment in areas like downtown Toronto attract many people, meaning the structure of the GGH is centered around these areas, because of the job opportunities. The Finance district (along yonge street), is densely populated, and we can see clustering in SKIDs. In the Quaternary Sector, the knowledge based portion of the economy, we see job concentration and opportunity for growth.

How have economic development and globalization impacted on the GGH from a social, environmental, economic, and political perspective?


the process by which businesses or other organizations develop international influence or start operating on an international scale.

We now live in a cognitive cultural economy, meaning employment in the GGH has become centered around technology, business and financial services, and the media, rather than mass manufacturing, like it was in the 20th century when we were living in the Fordism era.  Cognitive-Cultural Capitalism has allowed our community to become more creative, and to consist more of knowledge based jobs in Megazones, Downtown Toronto, and SKIDS. Here are some of the impacts of economic development and globalization on the GGH:


  • With the Quaternary sector growing, people need to be more educated in order to find employment in these high skilled careers (longer schooling, more dependent on parents and guardians money, maybe welfare). They also will depend on their parents for housing and money, and this means less younger people will be paying taxes.

  • technological advances because of globalization (cell phones, internet, telephones, airplanes) have made communication and transportation easy

  • globalization puts immense pressure on small local businesses trying to start up in our city


  • Globalization allows for bigger markets and more opportunities for business and local firms

  • globalization allows for international trade

  • faster economic growth

  • better and stronger economy due to worldwide employment increasing, and investments  


  • Due to 500,000 daily work trips to places like the Pearson Airport and other Megazones,  traffic becomes so heavy and intense, increasing GHG emissions, and worsening climate change.

  • Globalization can cause global warming, depletion of natural resources, and production of dangerous chemicals


  • Traffic congestion due to 500,000 daily commutes on the highway could cause road rage, people being late to work, and others having to fill in for them. Missing work and being late is incredibly stressful for hard working individuals who are trying to make money to support themselves and their families. The more you miss work, the less you get paid, and this is very stressful.

  • People working in knowledge based jobs have more opportunities, and are paid well. This could be a negative impact however, because as these employment opportunities attract a more expensive ‘high class’ type of person, a concentration of knowledge based

jobs in an area could push out people who have less money as the area becomes more expensive.

  • Globalization means cheaper products for consumers in the GGH


  • Because of Globalization, local governments deal with international companies trying to do business in their city

  • unity (different countries depend on each other for trade, making them more connected)

Map 9 Spatial Economic Structure of the GGH, 2011

Pearson Airport, 905 Megazone


Distillery District in the Fordism Era  vs now