A map of social and material deprivation in Toronto. The Canadian Deprivation Index is based on measures of employment, education, income, marital status, living alone and single-parent families.
The measure does not capture any surprising geographies. High deprivation scores appear in the U-shape familiar to many who work with social policy in the city. High deprivation scores also cover vast swaths in the city's northeast and -west. In these neighbourhoods, inequities are compounded by reduced transit provision, and lower levels of transit service. Also an inferior housing, fewer recreational opportunities and a lower quality public realm in these neighbourhoods contributes to health inequities and higher rates of chronic disease. See reports on health inequity and diabetes by Toronto Public Health and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences.
This particular geography is long-running in Toronto's history and many of the city's Neighbourhood Improvement Areas fall within its boundaries.
Social deprivation, a component in the measure of overall deprivation, describes the inhibition of culturally normal interaction and is a factor contributing to social exclusion. On its own, social deprivation takes on a unique and centralized geography, corresponding roughly to downtown living.
The high scores in the neighbourhoods extending south of queen street to the east and west of downtown are interesting to note. Much of this area contains newly developed high-rise condominiums where a particularly high concentration of young adults reside. High social deprivation in youth oriented urban areas and its presence in relatively affluent areas is concerning as the millennial generation is noted as having higher rates of contract and precarious employment and lower incomes from those of a generation ago. It is also worth noting that factors associated with social deprivation are more commonly associated with young adults (ie. unemployment and smaller household sizes). The data also may not adequately capture millennials living with roommates/housemates in measures of household size.
These maps present interesting geographies of neighbourhood and generational disadvantage. It is disappointing that changes to the long-form census in the form of the 2011 National Household Survey mean that we cannot update our view of deprivation in Canadian cities to see how these trends have shifted in the nine years since 2006.
I developed these maps for what was originally my photoblog. The site has since grown into a photo/mapping amalgam which now competes with this blog for my spare time: urbancontext.ca.
Pampalon, R., Hamel, D., Gamache, P., & Raymond, G. (2009). A deprivation index for health planning in Canada. Chronic Dis Can, 29(4), 178-91.