Professor Emeritus
Oxford, 1968, BA, Honours
Pennsylvania State University, 1972, MS, PhD


I have undertaken a number of projects on immigration to Canadian cities, including: immigration, housing and labour markets; offsetting immigration and domestic migration in world cities; immigration and poverty; immigrant churches as service hubs; multiculturalism and the governance of diversity. An abiding focus has been the experience of wealthy business migrants. This work is drawn together in Millionaire Migrants: Trans-Pacific Life Lines (2010). A principal long-term interest has been with processes of social and spatial change in older inner city neighbourhoods, notably work on gentrification, processes of urban reinvestment leading to housing renovation or redevelopment and the replacement and displacement of poorer households by the middle-class.

There are two current projects. The first is a comparative study of housing market bubbles, their causes, social consequences, and policy responses in five global cities. A second project involves participation in the national Neighbourhood Change Research Partnership, examining growing income inequality and polarisation in large Canadian cities

Dr. Ley was Department Head (2009-2012). He was the first UBC Director of the Metropolis Project, examining issues of immigration and integration in Greater Vancouver and beyond, and has been appointed a Trudeau Fellow and also a Fellow of The Royal Society of Canada. He holds a Canada Research Chair in Geography.


LEY, D. and TEO, S.Y. 2014 ‘Gentrification in Hong Kong? Epistemology vs. ontology’ International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 38(4), 1286-1303

HO, E. and LEY, D. 2014 ‘‘Middling’ Chinese returnees or immigrants from Canada? The ambiguity of return migration and claims to modernity’ Asian Studies Review 38(1), 36-52



LEY, D. 2013 ‘Does transnationalism trump immigrant integration? Evidence from Canada’s links with East Asia’ Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 39(6), 921-38



LEY, D. 2011 ‘Transnational networks of business immigrants between East Asia and British Columbia’ Our Diverse Cities 8 (Spring), 23-27



LEY, D. 2010 Millionaire Migrants: Trans-Pacific Life Lines (Oxford, UK and Malden, MA: Blackwell-Wiley)