Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts




Dr. Michael Buzzelli


This study set out to address the out-migration of highly skilled individuals from medium-sized city-regions in Ontario. In today’s knowledge-based economy, city-regions that are able to attract, develop and retain valuable human capital have a distinct advantage that is crucial to economic growth. Using mixed qualitative methods, involving a policy document analysis and in-depth interviews with recent graduates, this study seeks to understand to what extent and in what ways policies of key institutions seek to attract and retain post-secondary graduates in medium-sized city-regions in Ontario? Does the built environment play a role in these policies? This study revealed that young professionals are primarily attracted to city-regions on the basis of employment opportunities, continuing education, and proximity to family and friends. Elements of the built environment are important in terms of overall attractiveness of the city, yet they are not significant factors guiding the mobility of the highly educated.