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Lu Wang

Wang, Lu




BSc, East China Normal University, BSc, Chinese Academy of Sciences, PhD, York (Can.)


JOR 610


416-979-5000 x2689

Email Address:


Health geography, marketing/business geography, economic geography, immigration and settlement studies and research methods


Geography & Environmental Studies

Research Interests:

My research focuses on the social and economic dimensions of urban experience. My research interests include health geography, health and GIS, immigrant health, transnationalism, retail and urban geography. My methodological interests include GIS and spatial analysis, statistical modeling and mixed-method approach combining quantitative and qualitative methods. My research utilizes large secondary datasets such as CCHS (The Canadian Community Health Survey) and geo-referenced Census data and special-tabulated Census data, as well as primary data collected through survey and focus groups. Some of my on-going research projects are funded by SSHRC Standard Research Grant and CERIS, the Ontario Metropolis Centre. These projects examine the health experiences of immigrant populations in Ontario, and spatial and ethnic variances in health status, and spatial and linguistic mismatch between health-care provision and demand.

Current Courses:

SA 8904: GIS Project Management Applications (graduate)
SA 8991: MSA Practicum (graduate)
GEO 645: Place and Population Health
GEO 421: Geography of Retail Economy
GEO 208: Geography of Global Economy
GEO 301: Marketing Geography
GEO 721: Retail Project Management

Selected Publications & Presentations:

Wang L., 2018, Unequal spatial accessibility of integration-promoting resources and immigrant health: a mixed-methods approach. Applied Geography (Elsevier). Vol 92 (March): 140-149.

Wang L., Lara Palacios E. (MSA), 2017, The Social and Spatial Patterning of Life Stress among Immigrants in Canada. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health (Springer) 19:665-673

Kolpak Patrycia (MSA), Wang Lu, 2017, Exploring the social and neighbourhood predictors of diabetes: a comparison between Toronto and Chicago. Primary Health Care Research & Development (Cambridge University Press). 18(3)291-299

Wang L., (2015)Immigrant Health Services and Healthcare, in Bauder H. & Shields J. (Eds.) Immigrant Experiences in North America, Canadian Scholars’ Press Inc. pp 343-366

Wang L., Kwak M., (2015)Immigration, barriers to healthcare and transnational ties: A case study of South Korean immigrants in Toronto, Canada, Social Science and Medicine, Vol 133: 340-348 (

Wang L., Tormala T.2014, Integrating Spatial and Aspatial Factors In Measuring Accessibility To Primary Health Care Physicians: A Case Study of Aboriginal Population In Sudbury, Canada. Journal of Community Medicine and Health Education. 4:3

Wang L., 2014, Immigrant health, socioeconomic factors and residential neighbourhood characteristics: A comparison of multiple ethnic groups in Canada. Applied Geography (Elsvier). 51,90-98

Wang L, H. Wei, (2013). “Immigrant health, place effect and regional disparities in Canada”, Social Science and Medicine, 98: 8-17.

Lo Lucia and Wang L, Economic Rationality, (2012), “Economic Rationality, Ethnic Identity, and the Geographies of Consumption”, in Warf, Barney (ed.), Encounters and Engagements between Economic and Cultural, Springer, Series: GeoJournal Library, Vol. 104. pp 79-101

Wang L, 2011, Analyzing spatial accessibility to health care: a case study of access by different immigrant groups to primary care physicians in Toronto, Annals of GIS. 17(4): 237–251.

Wang L, Chacko Elizabeth, Withers Lindsay, 2011, “Immigration, Health and Health Care” in Wei Li, Teixeira Carlos and Audrey Kobayashi (Eds.) Immigrants in US and Canadian Cities (Oxford) pp. 158-178

Wang L and Roisman D., 2011, Modeling Spatial Accessibility of Immigrants to Culturally Diverse Family Physicians, The Professional Geographer, 63(1): 73–91

Wang L, 2008, Book Review of Geocoding Health Data: The Use of Geographic Codes in Cancer Prevention and Control, Research and Practice, The Canadian Geographers 52(4): 517-518

Wang L, Rosenberg M and Lo L, 2008“Ethnicity, Accessibility, and Utilization of Family Physicians - A Case Study of Mainland Chinese Immigrants in Toronto, Canada”. Social Science and Medicine 67(9): 1410-1422

Wang L and Lo L, 2007, “Global connectivity, local consumption, and Chinese immigrant experience” Geojournal 48: 183-194

Lo, L and Wang, L., Wang, S. & Yuan, Y. 2007. Immigrant Settlement Services in the Toronto CMA: A GIS-Assisted Analysis of Demand and Supply. Working Paper Series. No. 59. Toronto: Centre of Excellence for Research on Immigration and Settlement.

Wang L, 2007, “Immigration, Ethnicity, and Accessibility to Culturally Diverse Family Physicians” Health and Place 13: 656-671

Wang L and Lo L, 2007, “Immigrant Grocery Shopping Behaviour: Ethnic Identity versus Accessibility” Environment and Planning A 39: 684-699

Lo L and Wang L (with Li Wei), 2006, “Consuming Wal-Mart: A Case Study in Shenzhen, China” in S. Brun (ed) Wal-Mart World: The World's Biggest Corporation in the Global Economy pp. 315-330 (Routledge)

Lo L and Wang L, 2005, “Economic Status of the Chinese Population in the Toronto CMA: Immigrant Origin and Landing Period” Journal of International Migration and Integration 5(1):107-140

Wang L, 2004, “An Investigation of Chinese Immigrant Consumer Behaviour in Toronto”, Canada Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services 11: 307-320

Ghosh S and Wang L, 2003, “Transnationalism and identity - Tales of Two Faces and Multiple Lives” Canadian Geographers 47(3): 269-282

Wang L, Wang Z and Ma C, 2002, “Chinese Knowledge Network: Simulation and Policy Recommendation (II)” R&D Management 23(1): 17-26

Wang Z, Ma C and Wang L, 2001, “Chinese Knowledge Network: Simulation and Policy Recommendation (I)” R&D Management 22(3): 126-133

Wang Z and Wang L, 2000, “An Exploration of Optimal Urbanization Ratio of China” Chinese Journal of Management sciences 8(2):56-64

Wang Z and Wang L, 1999, “A Discussion of the Principles of Environmental Ethics for Sustainable Development” in Chiao-Min Hsieh Ed. Human Geography: Nature, Culture, Human and Environment Science Press: Beijing, 216-27

Chen Z, Hong X, Li S, Wang L, and Shi X, 1997, “Environmental Archaeology in Tai Lake Region” ACTA Geographica Sinica 52(2):131-6

Graduate Student Supervision:

Gelsomina Montana (in progress) (MSA)

Stephanie Dizonno (in progress) (MSA)

Patrick Laforest (2017) Developing an age-friendly community walkability index within the Regional Municipality of York, Ontario (MSA)

Gabby Lee (2017) Crime and individual and neighbourhood sociodemographic characteristics in the City of Toronto (MSA)

Joseph Ariwi (2017) Spatial accessibility to mental health care in the city of Toronto (MSA)Anne Christian (2016) integration, healthcare, and well-being: A case-study of Sri Lankan immigrants in the Toronto CMA Using a mixed-methods approach

Sasha Ramroop (2016) Measuring Accessibility to Community Pharmacies in the Greater Toronto Area: The role of community pharmacies in healthcare provision

Tylor Munn (2015) Spatial Analysis of 911 STEMI Calls for Toronto Paramedic Services

Jacob Levy (2015) A Spatial Analysis of Distribution of Practicing International Medical Graduates in Canada, Ontario and Toronto

Shannon Streliof (2015) Examining Street Level Robbery Predictors in Durham, Ontario Using Statistical and Risk Terrain Modeling

Elmer Palacios (2015) The social and spatial patterning of stress in Canada

Chantel Spade (2014) the ‘good’ refugee is traumatized: post-traumatic stress disorder as a measure of credibility in the Canadian refugee determination system

Matthew Emmons (2013) Modifying the Two Step Floating Catchment Area Model to Consider Population Heterogeneity in Regards to Primary Care Physician Access in the Toronto CMA

Marina Carr (2013) Obesity in Canada: A preliminary analysis of potential predictors of BMI

Emily Hazell (2012) Exploring Individual and Contextual Influences on Self-Perceived Mental Health of Foreign-Born Populations within the Toronto CMA, 2007 - 2010

Vivian Wei Hu (2012) Neighbourhood Environment, Individual Characteristics and Immigrant Health in Canada’s Metropolitan Areas: A Multi-Level Modeling Approach

Karen Li (2012) Accessibility to Primary Care Physicians among on-Reserve Aboriginals in Northern Ontario: A Three Zone 2SFCA Approach

Haoran Zhang (2012) Examining the Changing Spatial Relationship between Ethnic Grocery Business Development and Immigrant Settlement Patterns in the Toronto CMA