Living in York Region: A Community Indicators Project

Here is the November news from the York Region Community Foundation (Ontario, Canada) as follows:

“York Region Community Foundation, in partnership with York University’s Knowledge Mobilization (KMb) Unit, were jointly awarded a three-year grant (2010-2012) by the Ontario Trillium Foundation to create Living in York Region: A Community Indicators Project.

As York Region continues to grow in size and diversity, this project represents our joint interest in and commitment to working with others to develop a made-in -York Region, reliable baseline understanding of residents and communities’ well-being across a series of civic, economic, environmental and social indicators.

What is a Community Indicator?

In this project we are defining a community indicator as a measure of community wellbeing and sustainability, from residents’ perspectives. Living in York Region: A Community Indicators Project is similar in many ways, but also an enhancement, to other community assessments and planning processes conducted in many communities across Canada. It will use the Community Foundation of Canada’s Vital Signs framework and, in that way, become part of a network of communities across Canada that annually check-up on measures of community vitality. York Region’s first report will be released in October, 2011.

This project will build on and align with existing local efforts to capture quality of life from residents and service provider’s perspectives. Residents, businesses, governments and community organizations in York Region will be able to interactively contribute to and rely on the information gathered to learn about and identify community needs and assets.

Canada’s Vital Signs

Living in York Region: A Community Indicators Project will link up with the Community Foundation of Canada’s (CFC) Vital Signs framework in 2011, and become part of the network of nearly 20 communities across Canada that complete check-ups on measures of community vitality. To learn more about Canada’s Vital Signs 2010, please visit

Which indicators are we measuring?

In June we met with 60+ ‘critical friends’ to ask for advice on community indicators and, recently, the Leadership Council considered different approaches to indicator measurement.
After much thoughtful discussion, it was decided to use twelve Vital Signs indicators in the first report.
The indicators are:
• arts and culture
• learning
• health and wellness
• environment
• getting around
• gap between rich and poor
• safety
• housing
• getting around
• work
• belonging and leadership
• the economy

How do I get involved with the project?

Living in York Region: A Community Indicators Project will give a voice to residents to help generate pragmatic and collaborative solutions to key issues affecting local communities and neighbourhoods.

We will be consulting with residents and community groups in York Region over the next 4 to 6 months. A number of methods will be used to engage residents, including study groups and research advisory groups, context focus groups, moderated panels and discussions, surveys, geographic focus groups, and resident-to-resident engagement and interviews. In our next newsletter, we will provide details on dates and specifics about how to get involved during the consultations.

Leadership Council

A Leadership Council of key leaders in York Region has been established to provide high-level strategic guidance to the project. The members are:
• Gina Rosen, Executive Director, York Region Community Foundation (co-chair)
• David Agnew, President, Seneca College of Applied Arts & Technology (co-chair)
• Nancy Bodi, Executive Director, York Region Arts Council
• Wyn Chivers, Executive Director, CHATS
• David Dewitt, Associate VP of Research, York University
• Goody Gerner, President, Ladies of the Lake
• Reneé Jarrett, General Manager, Communications and Education, Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority
• Michael Johnny, Manager, Knowledge Mobilization, York University
• Rosemary Park, Board Member, York Region Community Foundation
• Patricia Preston, Associate Director, York Catholic District School Board
• Ian Proudfoot, Vice President & Regional Publisher, York Region Media Group
• John Pugsley, Program Manager, Trillium Foundation
• Adelina Urbanski, Commissioner of Community & Health Services, Regional Municipality of York
• Khalid Usman, Vice-chair, York Region Community Foundation
• Daniele Zanotti, CEO, United Way of York Region
• Susan Taylor Simpson and Helen Tam, ProAct Ideas (Project Management)

For more information, please email us at or contact the York Region Community Foundation at (905)940-7899.”

Contact Info:

York Region Community Foundation
80F Centurian Drive Suite 210 Markham, ON L3R 8C1
Toll Free:

Leave a Reply