The Retail Structure of the Greater Toronto Area
By Dr. Jim Simmons, Dan Montgomery and Sara Simmons
The 1997 version of the CSCA annual handbook focuses on Canada's largest market, the Greater Toronto Area. A number of reasons justify the Toronto volume, beyond the size of the market and the availability of data and material. First, retail and service activities mostly deal with local markets: these are their units for analysis and decision rather than the more abstract concept of the Canadian market. Our members want to know about the commercial structure and growth of specific cities (and especially Toronto). Second, we have found that the types of information required, the sources of data and the levels of analysis are quite different for studies of urban markets than for Canada or the provinces.
In this report we refer to 'informal' nodes of retail and service activities within retail strips or shopping malls; and we use data obtained from our own field work, local planning agencies and private sector sources instead of Statistics Canada. We hope that the handbook provides an example for studies of commercial structure in other cities.