In April 2010 the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada awarded a Public Outreach Grant to the University of Toronto based Neighbourhood Change research team.
This two-year research dissemination and knowledge mobilization project was titled:
Neighbourhood Trends in the Montréal, Toronto & Vancouver City-Regions, 1971 to 2006: Identifying & Understanding Change at the Neighbourhood Level within Metropolitan Areas
Principal investigators: David Hulchanski (UofT), David Ley (UBC), Damaris Rose (INRS, Montréal). Research manager: Emily Paradis, PhD (Cities Centre, UofT).
This project was designed to inform a broad audience about our ongoing research in documenting and explaining changes in neighbourhoods in Canada’s three largest metropolitan areas: Montréal, Toronto and Vancouver.
These changes are the result of many combined forces, including globalization, economic shifts, public policies, gentrification, and immigration. They affect people and the neighbourhood institutions and services they use and depend on, but most people do not fully understand why the changes are occurring, or what they mean.
Neighbourhood change affects who lives where, the type and quality of housing, what businesses prosper in certain places and why others fail, the quality of schools, the distribution of social and municipal services, and access to other parts of the city. In short, everything connected with living in a specific neighbourhood.
We have studied these changes in three Canadian cities over a span of 35 years, using census data, as well as many other sources of information. We have produced a series of maps that illustrate changes in everything from income distribution to housing to immigrant settlement, supported by reports and presentations that are intended to explain the changes to other academics. But since the changes have immediate effects for about a third of all Canadians (the combined population of the Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver city-regions), we need to explain them to a much broader audience. Furthermore, these changes have implications for policy and government programs and the allocation of resources, and decision makers and their staff at all levels of government need to know about them.
We are, in particular, concerned about the divisions and increasing inequities among neighbourhoods, about deepening poverty in some areas and concentrated wealth in others, and the decrease in the number of middle-income households and middle-income neighbourhoods in all three cities. The project includes community outreach and working with community partners to spread information through their networks.