energy reporting

Toronto priority neighbourhoods may increase

Staff say that 31 areas of the city meet the at-risk threshold, up from 22
Friday, March 21, 2014
By Erin Ruddy

Toronto is a vast, multicultural city with more than 100 distinct neighbourhoods. To date, 21 of these neighbourhoods have “priority” status. However, with the city revisiting  the criteria on how Toronto priority neighbourhoods are determined, staff have recommended that 31 neighbourhoods should now receive that designation — and the influx of funds and resources that comes with it.

Priority neighbourhoods are the result of Toronto’s Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy, which was created in 2005 under Mayor David Miller. Back then, a city-wide study used data gathered by the United Way of Greater Toronto, looking at poverty and crime, as well as resident access to basic services, to determine which neighbourhoods were considered vulnerable and eligible for extra funding.

But now, a new set of metrics has been introduced. Called the Neighbourhood Equity Score, the system analyzes a range of factors including average income, unemployment levels, premature mortality, mental health and diabetes rates among the residents of each community.

The score’s assessment comes from Urban HEART (Health Equity Assessment and Response Tool) @ Toronto, which was developed in conjunction with researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital’s Centre for Research on Inner City Health.

“Urban HEART is a quick way to take the pulse of a city,” Dr. Pat O’Campo, director of the hospital’s Centre for Research on Inner City Health, said in a statement. “It’s based on evidence collected from a wide variety of reliable and readily available data, so it’s an objective, user-friendly tool to identify health inequities and plan actions to reduce them.”

So what does this mean for apartment building owners and landlords? It could mean more funds to support the emerging needs in underserviced areas where many apartment buildings and towers exist.

The 31 proposed regions for priority status, ranked in priority order, are:

  1. Black Creek
  2. Glenfield-Jane Heights
  3. Mount Dennis
  4. Beechborough-Greenbrook
  5. Oakridge
  6. Mount Olive-Silverstone-Jamestown
  7. Elms-Old Rexdale
  8. Regent Park
  9. Thorncliffe Park
  10. South Parkdale
  11. Crescent Town
  12. Rockcliffe-Smythe
  13. Scarborough Village
  14. Humber Summit
  15. Rustic
  16. Ionview
  17. Flemingdon Park
  18. Weston
  19. Humbermede
  20. Eglinton East
  21. Morningside
  22. Downsview-Roding-CFB
  23. West Hill
  24. York University Heights
  25. Woburn
  26. Thistletown-Beaumond Heights
  27. Keelesdale-Eglinton West
  28. Victoria Village
  29. Weston-Pellam Park
  30. Kingsview Village-The Westway
  31. Kennedy Park

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