Social Development

Social Policy Analysis & Research


SPAR unit logoSocial Policy Analysis & Research (SPAR) works with the other divisions, levels of government outside community groups, university researchers and organizations by providing analytical and research services as well as developing strategies, policies and programs that meet the city's community and social needs.

More specifically the Social Policy Analysis & Research Section:

  • develops strategic responses to fiscal, policy and governance changes affected by other levels of government, and develops departmental policies that respond to community needs
  • supports City Council-directed task force initiatives related to community and neighbourhood services
  • engages in social research, often in partnership with the community, to identify social, economic, political and demographic trends, and to analyze the impacts on communities
  • designs and implements social planning initiatives that support Council, the Community and Neighbourhood Services Department, and the Toronto Corporation in identifying priorities and responding effectively to community needs.

Interested in monitoring Toronto’s social change?

Then check out the SPAR Monitor newsletter. This bulletin is a quick inventory of recent social research information related to population, seniors, youth, immigration, newcomers, aging, women, ethnicity, race, income, poverty, inequality, urban affairs, geographic analysis, labour force and languages. For the latest issue, please contact and ask to be added to the mailing list. The SPAR Monitor also accepts a small number of submissions related to the above topics, based on editorial approval. 

Looking for demographic info for the City of Toronto?

Check out the Ward, Community Council and Neighbourhood Profiles. These profiles reflect the results of the 2006 and 2011 Censuses and provide key information on the social and economic fabric of the City for 44 Wards, 4 Community Councils and 140 neighbourhoods. Population density, population change, visible minorities, household income and low income and other key demographic indicators reveal the changing fabric of the city.

Denise Andrea Campbell


Harvey Low
Research and Information Management