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Commuting Patterns and Places of Work of Canadians, 2006 Census: Portrait of census metropolitan areas and their municipalities

Place of work

Despite the decentralization of workers, the central neighbourhoods remain major clusters of workplaces

Despite the decentralization and sometimes a certain dispersal of jobs (and people) observed in most CMAs, the central neighbourhoods remain the major clusters of workplaces in many urban areas.1 In five of the six CMAs with populations of one million or more, i.e., Montréal, Vancouver, Ottawa - Gatineau, Calgary and Edmonton, the census tract (CT) with the most workers was in the downtown core of the city (see maps, set 2). In Toronto, the CT with the most workers was in Mississauga. However, the one that came second was right in the core of Toronto's business district. This small CT alone, which measures less than 0.5 km2, had 103,900 workers in 2006 (more workers than many CMAs). It had the highest density of workers per square kilometre in Canada.

One of the distinctive features of central neighbourhoods compared to the other clusters of workplaces in their respective areas is their high density of employment, i.e., the high number of workers per square kilometre. The presence of numerous high-rise buildings in these central neighbourhoods explains this phenomenon: they have a relatively small footprint and can hold a very large number of workers. The construction of such buildings is to a large extent attributable to the high cost of land in the city centre.

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