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toronto | october 1–3

Facing change and guiding Ontario into the next quarter century

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401B: Understanding Northern Ontario’s Population Decline by Exploring Youth Settlement Decisions

October 01, 2019

4:30PM - 5:00PM

Northern Ontario's population is declining. With a population peak at 822,450 residents in 1991, it has decreased to 797,000 in 2016 and is projected to decrease another 2 percent by 2041. Other than economic opportunity, there is a gap in literature explaining why youth will leave their communities in Northern Ontario. This session showcases research that tries to understand youth out-migration by utilizing social psychology of place: an individual's place will influence behaviour and decision making. A case study was conducted among the youth aged 19 to 29 from Hearst, a small ressource town with a declining population in Northern Ontario. Learn about lived experiences of the youth in Northern Ontario and what influences their decision to settle in small or large urban centres, the importance of collaborative planning practices in community planning and place branding, and learn how to utilize the theory of psychology of place to explain uneven growth in smaller communities.