"Toronto has a multitude of distinct ethnic groups - European, Asian and Caribbean. Their visible expression in streetscapes ranges from the obvious, especially in retail districts, to subtle modifications of houses and gardens. However, all these ethnic landscapes have one fact in common - they have been adapted to an existing built environment which has little resemblance to that of the originating region, and are therefore in some sense out of context.. This paper examines the processes by which built environments are transformed as ethnic groups express their identity in Toronto's streetscapes through signs, symbols, structures, social facilities and street activities. The short-term effect is usually revitalized street life. Longer term consequences seem to involve the adoption of cliche images of ethnic identity and absorption into North American consumer culture. In these transformations how can the idea of 'context" be understood? Is it visual, cultural, symbolic, or international? It is argued that conventional ideas about landscapes being in context have little relevance to modern ethnic landscapes, which are less transplanted fragments of ethnicity than parts of international networks, linked both electronically and through frequent movements of people. These linkages create new relationships between the originating and host localities which require that ideas about designing to fit particular contexts need to be reexamined."