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Research Assignment on Toronto's Ethnic Economy

Section 1: Research Questions

The assignment asks you to learn about one of Toronto’s ethnic economies through background research (online and library research). You will answer 11 questions about your chosen site (cultural landscape or ethnic economy) (or select your own) first. Answering these questions will be used as the primary source material for your analytical essay. Details and examples from your findings and research must be used in your essay.

1. What is your research question? What do you want to know about this cultural landscape or ethnic economy? Make it quite specific.
(140 characters (not words), e.g., Why do burger joints have Greek salads on the menu? Or Why is Chinatown where it is? Or Why are there Polish restaurants in Roncesvalles?

2. Why do you want to know about this cultural landscape or ethnic economy? What spurred your interest? (Narrative response 280 characters (not words), e.g., I was eating at a burger joint and I wondered why I saw Greek salads on the menu, at many different locations. I had a theory it might be because of Greek immigration, but I wanted to find out.)

3. Do your research on 3 newspaper articles on your topic. You can use the Toronto Star (1894-2015, 1971-2016, 1985-2019), Toronto Sun, or Globe and Mail (1936-2015, 1985-2019). If you find any other local newspapers, or international newspapers writing on your place (reviews of restaurants for example), you can also use those.

3.1. Summarize the findings of these secondary source articles in 140 characters (not words) each.

4. Do your research on 3 academic journal (peer-reviewed) articles on your topic. Use RULA or Google Scholar. They do not necessarily have to be from Toronto. You could examine Chinatowns in other cities or how Syrian refugees are creating their own local economies.

4.1. Summarize the findings of these academic or scholarly sources in 280 characters (not words) each.

5. Do your research on 3 popular media sources on your topic. These can be websites, non-academic (“coffee table”) books, songs, films, television shows, webisodes, etc. 

5.1. Summarize the findings of these popular media sources in 140 characters (not words) each.

6. After reviewing your web, library, and media research, draw a map of your cultural landscape or ethnic economy (or at least a part of it that you can visit online). Draw the main streets that act as the boundary. Locate 4 major landmarks in the area on the map; write a short description of these landmarks. You can use Google Maps or Google Earth for your research for this element, but draw the map by hand on paper (You can scan the map or take a picture of your drawn map and attach it to your assignment as an appendix which will be uploaded to D2L through 
Turnitin along with your assignment).

7. Go online using Google map street views into your cultural landscape or ethnic economy. Document it with pictures. Include 3 iconic pictures here.

8. Check if there are any symbols, artifacts or architecture from groups who had lived in the place in the past? Take note of places of worship, old signs, old buildings, and historic plaques, renovated or refurbished sites.

9. What are some indicators of the economic wellbeing of the area? (Be creative: how would you describe the area to someone else? Is it wealthy? Is it poor? Why would you say this?).

10. What are some indicators of the cultural wellbeing of the area? (Is it a diverse space? Are there indicators of cultural identity?)

11. What are some indicators of the environmental wellbeing of the area? (Is it environmentally interesting and biodiverse? Is there litter or garbage found on the streets? Do you see signs of neglect in the environment?)

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