Community Data Program - Toronto Consortium

The Community Data Program is an initiative that provides a rich source of data about communities across Canada.

What is the Community Data Program?

The Community Data Program (CDP) is a gateway for municipalities and community sector agencies to access customized data from Statistics Canada and other providers at reduced costs, to monitor and report on social and economic trends within their communities. The CDP is made up of a national network of 30 community data consortia. Members include more than 50 municipalities and 1000+ users, including local police services, social planning councils, health and family service agencies, school boards United Ways and other organizations working on the ground for social development.

The three goals of the Community Data Program are:

  1. to purchase and facilitate access to social data at the smallest geographies possible
  2. to train organizations to access community data and use it for better decision making
  3. to network, communicate, and disseminate the results as widely as possible

2016 Census Community Planning Session

On Friday, April 28th, the Toronto Consortium of the Community Data Program hosted a Census 2016 Community Planning Session. This session was held to celebrate the arrival of long form Census data, to provide an opportunity to inform community-serving organizations about the data that is available to them from the Census, and to get their feedback about what data from the Census would be most valuable to their work.

The session began with a joint presentation by staff from Statistics Canada and the City of Toronto, who provided an overview of what we can expect in the way of data from the 2016 Census, and what story the data for Toronto over the last few Censuses has told us.

The presentation is available for download in .pdf form here.

This presentation was followed up by a panel of staff from organizations who work with Census data in a community setting: the United Way of Toronto and York Region, Social Planning Toronto, and the City of Toronto's Social Policy, Analysis and Research unit. These presentations provided the planning session with some examples of how Census data has and can be used to support program planning and evaluation.

The presentations are available for download in .pdf form here.

Throughout the event, participants were asked to record their responses in a participant workbook. The responses are being collated and analyzed and will shared in a number of ways. Once ready, the results will be posted here, as well as reported directly back to the session's participants, and will also be reported to the Community Data Program to help inform purchase decisions for data from the 2016 Census. This information will also help organizations such as the City of Toronto and Social Planning Toronto to produce Census data products and reports that meet the needs of community organizations and programs.

Who administers the program?

The Community Data Program is led by the Canadian Council on Social Development (CCSD). CCSD is a non-governmental, not-for-profit organization. The CDP has enabled the CCSD to negotiate with Statistics Canada and other data providers for the preparation and lower-cost purchase of a wide variety of data that is geographically specific for planning local programs and services. Each consortium administers its own program locally - in this case, the City of Toronto's Social Development Finance & Administration Division is the lead for the Toronto Consortium.

Who may join?

Government and non-government agencies may join the CDP. There are some restrictions in joining: you must be either a local government agency, or a non-government not-for-profit organization with a local focus. Organizations with a national or provincial mandate are not eligible to join. If your organization is based outside of the City of Toronto, please refer to the list of Consortia that may be in your local community.    

If your agency is in Toronto and wishes to join, please contact the City's Social Development Finance & Administration Division, Social Research & Analysis Unit. 

Toronto CDP Contacts:

Heath Priston, Planning Analyst,
Social Development Finance & Administration Division
Social Research & Analysis Unit


Harvey Low, Manager,
Social Development Finance & Administration Division
Social Research & Analysis Unit

What data is available through the CDP?

All data are available for download from the national CDP website. The data catalogue is open for all to browse, but only registered users may download the data. The catalogue can be accessed at: There, you have the option of searching the catalogue by data group or provider, or you can scroll down to investigate data holdings organized by theme.

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