Creative Canada: on the trail of Richard Florida’s creative professionals

Granger, Rachel C. (2011) Creative Canada: on the trail of Richard Florida’s creative professionals. In: The Contemporary Canadian Metropolis. Morgan, Ceri, Dennis, Richard and Shaw, Stephen, eds. The Brookings Institute/Institute for the Study of the Americas. ISBN 9781900039901. [Book Section]


The prospect of an emerging cohort of highly skilled, highly creative professionals – the so-called ‘creative class’ (Florida, R. (2002) The Rise of the Creative Class. New York: Basic Books) – has been exciting researchers and business analysts for several years now. The main precept of which are the place sensibilities of some towns and cities and the lifestyle choices of creative professionals, both the subject of considerable debate across Europe and North America. Against this backdrop, this paper explores the spatial organisation of the design sector in Canada, as one example of the type of creative and professional services growing exponentially in Western cities, and revealing a multiply constituted geography. Drawing on survey and interview work with 100 architects, the paper depicts an overwhelming centrality of the sector in the four largest city-regions in Canada and particularly in Toronto, which is home to North America’s third largest design cluster. However the research reveals a more diffuse geography, which in some respects resonates with Florida’s ideas but in other respects raises questions about the mobility of the sector and the sustainability of some conurbations. Vancouver in particular enjoys a high concentration of architects attracted by the city’s high quality of living and lifestyle. Despite this, the fact that many architects based in Vancouver leave to pursue careers and architectural investment elsewhere in Canada does raise questions about (i) the motivations of creative professionals and the appeal of cosmopolitan cities, (ii) the location of contemporary sectors, and (iii) urban sustainability and professional dislocation.

Item Type: Book Section
Keywords (uncontrolled): Creative economy; Toronto; Vancouver
Research Areas: A. > Business School > Marketing, Branding and Tourism
Item ID: 10728
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Depositing User: Rachel Granger
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2013 07:06
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:27

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