Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts




Godwin Arku

2nd Supervisor

Joseph Mensah

Joint Supervisor


Social and spatial exclusion of immigrants is an emerging phenomenon in Canadian cities. While many of the existing studies have looked at the deprivation of visible minority immigrants in education, labour market and housing patterns, little attention has so far been given to the broader issue of their socio-spatial exclusion in Canadian cities. To help fill this gap in the literature, this study assesses the nature and characteristics of socio-spatial exclusion experienced by Blacks in Canada, using Ghanaian immigrant youth in the Jane and Finch neighbourhood as a case study. The study uses a qualitative methodological approach consisting of in-depth interviews and focus group discussions. The study examines the causes and possible solutions of social and spatial exclusion among Ghanaian immigrant youth. It incorporates meaningful insights from their own perspective on the drivers of exclusion in diverse situations and locations in Toronto, including: schools, churches, sports and entertainment arenas, neighbourhoods and shopping malls. Overall, the findings suggest that Ghanaian immigrant youth experiences of socio-spatial exclusion are intertwined in a dialectical process involving the Jane and Finch neighbourhood and the general public. In particular, the youth negotiate access to employment opportunities, shopping malls and adapt to exclusion through reformulation of “dress codes”, resumes, and masking of their actual neighbourhoods.

Keywords: Youth, Socio-spatial exclusion, Ghanaians, Immigrants, Toronto.