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Renfrew County

Community Study

Our Health
and Well-being

P H A S E 1: Community Data Project

Concept Paper

Prepared by Katherine Scott and Megan Conway for Renfrew County Healthy Communities Partnership
Canadian Council on Social Development
Co-ordinated by Shawna Babcock, KidActive, Building Healthy Kids, Communities and Environments
Rainbow Valley

Community Health Centre

Table of Contents
Executive Summary (see separate document)

Part I Telling Renfrew Countys Story

1. Introduction

1.1 Renfrew County Community Data Project

1.2 Concept Paper Building a Shared Understanding

2. Telling a Communitys Story

2.1 Evolution of the Community Indicator Movement

2.2 The Uses of Community Data

2.3 The Challenge of Measurement

3. Lessons from the Field

3.1 Community Well-being Scan





Canadian Index of Wellbeing, Institute of Wellbeing, University of Waterloo

Community Accounts, Newfoundland and Labrador
Victorias Vital Signs, Victoria Foundation
Headwaters Community Well-being Report, Headwaters Communities in Action
Wellbeing Toronto, City of Toronto
Urban HEART@Toronto,
Indices of Community Well-being for Calgary Neighbourhoods, City of Calgary
MyPeg, United Way Winnipeg
Espace montralais d'information sur la sant (EMIS), Agence de la sant et des
services sociaux de Montral
Ottawa Neighbourhood Study (ONS), University of Ottawa

3.2 Measuring Well-being in Rural Communities

3.3 Insights for the Renfrew County Community Study

Part II Perspectives on Well-being from Renfrew County

4. Setting the Context

4.1 Building Healthy Communities: Renfrew County Community Picture Report 30

4.2 Stakeholder Priorities


5. Community Engagement Process

5.1 Healthy Communities Partnership (HCP) Workshop

5.2 Community Conversations on Well-being

5.3 Summary and Conclusions

Final Concept Paper November 2015


Part III Building a Shared Measurement Tool

6. Proposed Measurement Framework

6.1 Introduction

6.2 Defining Community Well-being

6.3 Geographic Framework

6.4 Measuring Community Well-being: Proposed Indicator Framework


7. Data Sources
7.1 Regional Data Sources

7.2 Statistics Canada

7.3 CCSDs Community Data Program



9.1 Principles for Developing a Shared Measurement Tool

9.2 Model and Platform Options

9.3 Data Visualization Options





Part IV Options and Next Steps

8. Strategic Issues
8.1 Engaging Community and Key Constituencies
8.2 Project Positioning

8.3 Funding Environment

8.4 Data Sources

8.5 Building Community Capacity

8.6 Knowledge Mobilization: From Evidence to Action

9. Options for a Community Measurement Tool

10. Next Steps

Community Data Program (Canadian Council on Social Development)
Urban HEART@Toronto Indicator Framework

Community Conversations: Agenda

Community Conversations: Summary of Community Descriptions
Population Profile (2011)

Data Visualization Options (see separate file) Data region map

Renfrew County Community Stakeholders


Final Concept Paper November 2015

Part I Telling Renfrew Countys Story

1. Introduction

1.1 Renfrew County Community Data Project

The Healthy Communities Partnership (HCP) was developed with the goal of engaging cross-sector
community leaders and decision-makers and representational groups of health and well-being partners
across Renfrew County to share information, develop health and social policy, and coordinate
community efforts to improve the physical, mental, social, environmental and economic health of our
communities and community members.

The HCP has four strategic priority areas:

Community engagement;
Collaborative and coordinated planning;
Policy Development (Health in all policies); and
Development of a shared measurement tool.

Our shared vision is to collectively improve the health, well-being and quality of life for all residents
with the understanding that social, physical, mental and environmental health are all connected.

To effectively address the fourth strategic priority, a key goal of the Healthy Communities Partnership is
to develop a deeper understanding of community data and community needs. More than 58
organizations and community champions across Renfrew County and the Champlain Region have
identified the Renfrew County Community Study (RCCS) as a priority for the Healthy Communities
Partnership and other health and social service providers across the region.

The Renfrew County Community Study addresses concerns voiced consistently by the health and social
sector leaders across the County that there is insufficient data to support evidence-based decisionmaking. This gap is particularly acute among partners outside of the health sector. By enhancing the
understanding of local strengths and needs through shared access to a standardized set of community
indicators, the RCCS will contribute to the pursuit of a shared vision to improve the health, well-being
and quality of life for everyone in Renfrew County.

The Renfrew County Community Data Project represents the first phase of the RCCS. It aims to:

Develop a shared, multi-sector knowledge sharing and measurement tool to further

understanding of local issues and challenges;
Build a framework to proactively address health inequities; and
Increase our collective capacity to positively impact and sustain the health, well-being and
quality of life in Renfrew County.

The information gathered in this initial phase of the RCCS will help to support future health and social
planning decisions, integration of services, and a longer-term vision of sustainability for Renfrew
Countys health care system. Long-term goals for the Renfrew County Community Study are to:

Help Renfrew County, its communities and community members, tell their own stories;
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Collect, share and communicate information and analysis that matter to individual and
community well-being;
Build local capacity to track outcome data spatially and across multiple domains;
Support evidenced-informed policy and program planning and evaluation; and
Support multi-sector collaboration to improve the health and well-being of communities and
community members.

1.2 Concept Paper Building a Shared Understanding

The Healthy Communities Partnership is working in partnership with the Canadian Council on Social
Development (CCSD)1 to conduct the Community Data Project, as part of the larger Renfrew County
Community Study. Its goal, as stated above, is to develop a knowledge sharing tool for measuring and
mapping community well-being in Renfrew County.
The Canadian Council on Social Development is pleased to partner with the Healthy Communities
Partnership. The CCSD is a non-governmental, not-for-profit organization, which was founded in 1920.
Its mission is to develop and promote progressive social policies inspired by social justice, equality and
the empowerment of individuals and communities.
The CCSD has developed a strong expertise in social research using both quantitative and qualitative
methodologies, with a particular emphasis on community research. Its flagship program, the
Community Data Program (CDP), is a gateway to data for municipalities and community sector
organizations.2 Established in the mid-1990s, the CDP provides members with access to a wealth of
customized data products, valued at over $1 million, at low cost. This unique and customized data
collection is the only one of its kind in Canada. It is potentially a key resource for the Renfrew County
Community Study. (Please see Appendix 1)
The Community Data Project incorporates a number of research tasks, designed to gather necessary
background information to inform the development of a shared measurement tool to support evidencebased decision-making. These include a literature review and survey of community well-being models;
key informant interviews with subject matter experts; a workshop and an on-line survey of Healthy
Communities Partnership members; and a series of public engagement sessions in seven communities.
All of these activities have been designed to create a deeper understanding of the data and indicators
associated with health and well-being in Renfrew County. (Please see Box 1: Renfrew County
Community Data Project Workplan).
This Concept Paper presents an overview of these findings and sets out the key building blocks for
creating a shared tool or platform that tracks community well-being in Renfrew County, and measures
the collective impact of the Healthy Communities Partnership and their partners.

For the purposes of this paper we use the term Renfrew County to refer to communities formally within
the boundaries of the County as well as adjacent areas that share a historical connection to Renfrew
County. For example, the Madawaska Valley communities are closely linked to those in South Algonquin
in the Nipissing District. Incorporating information about these areas, where available, would
strengthen and enrich the proposed mapping tool, better reflecting residents understanding of
community life.

The following section reviews the evolution of social reporting and the uses of community data in order
to position the proposed project purpose, content and audience in relation to other indicator
initiatives and related community development work. It highlights several influential community wellbeing reports from across Canada, including the Canadian Index of Wellbeing, as potential models for
Final Concept Paper November 2015

the Renfrew County Community Study. It also looks at the challenges of measurement and mapping, and
the lessons for Renfrew County as it creates its own mapping and reporting tool.

Part II presents an overview of the Renfrew County context, drawing on the 2011 Renfrew County
Community Picture Report, and other key County reports and initiatives. It also presents the findings of
the community engagement process held across Renfrew County in seven communities.

Part III presents a preliminary Conceptual Model for the Community Study, including the proposed
definition of community well-being and potential domains and indicators based on an analysis of
available data sources and the findings of the community conversations.

The Concept Paper concludes with a discussion of the strategic issues involved in and potential
options for creating a shared measurement tool in Renfrew County. The final section looks at next
steps and the outreach activities required to build the partnerships necessary to successfully launch the
Renfrew County Community Study.

The Renfrew County Community Study is a work-in-progress. This Concept Paper has been prepared to
set out the plan for the initiative but more importantly to invite comment and debate. Healthy
Communities Partnership looks forward to launching this project, helping to create a more prosperous,
vital and inclusive community for all Renfrew County residents.

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Box 1: Renfrew County Community Data Project Workplan

1. Engage HCP Network / Key Informants

Gather necessary background information and expectations for project to inform Concept Paper,
Community Engagement Process, and Options for developing a collective measurement tool

2. Develop Discussion Paper for Community Engagement

Develop a paper to use as a discussion tool during community engagement phase. Short paper setting out
context (project and workplan, engagement process, proposed deliverables) and discussion topics:
Healthy Community Indicator Framework and Mapping Tool

3. Design Community Engagement Process

Outline methodology, process and outcomes for community engagement sessions

4. Conduct and Report Out on Community Conversations / Workshops

Conduct community conversations using participatory engagement processes. Summarize findings for
final report. Target audience: key community service people / volunteers. Prepare and distribute
community engagement reports

5. Prepare Draft Concept Paper and Next Steps

Prepare draft report incorporating results of community conversations and HCP workshop, literature
review, key informant research. Concluding section will highlight issues related to implementation (e.g.,
data availability, capacity to deliver), funding, and next steps for the development of a mapping tool and
data hub in collaboration with key leads.

6. Prepare Final Report

Distribute and gather feedback on draft Concept Paper and Next Steps. Prepare final report for Healthy
Communities Partnership and community stakeholders

Final Concept Paper November 2015

2. Telling a Communitys Story

2.1 Evolution of the Community Indicator Movement

The Healthy Communities Partnership (HCP) effort to understand community and its significance for
health and wellbeing of the residents of Renfrew County is taking place against at least a decade of
renewed interest in social and health indicators and statistics and measures of individual and
community well-being in Canada. There has been growing interest among scholars and communitylevel practitioners alike to develop statistics that adequately, reliably, and validly measure progress in
a comprehensive way3 including peoples health, their education and skills, the state of their
communities and workplaces, and the strength of their community ties.

Governments and international agencies such as the OECD, the European Commission and the United
Nations Development Program are now pushing the agenda forward. In 2011, for example, the OECD
released the first publications in its Better Life Initiative, including a new conceptual framework and set
of indicators for measuring well-being,4 as well as an interactive web-based tool called Your Better Life
Index.5 At the local level, a growing number of communities in Canada and abroad are launching
community health and well-being initiatives in order to track community conditions, inform policy
decisions and program development, build consensus and promote accountability.

At the same time, evidence of growing inequality and concentrations of poverty among certain urban
neighbourhoods6 has spurred research and the emergence of locally-based, comprehensive,
community-building initiatives (CCIs) aimed at reinvigorating local communities.7 One of the common
threads running through efforts in various jurisdictions is the recognition that community conditions,
also called neighbourhood effects, play a significant role in either perpetuating or reducing poverty.

In other words, place matters, not only to the well-being of individuals but also to the health and
prosperity of the broader community. Social and environmental determinants such as educational
attainment, income level, early childhood development and access to social services and resources
intersect within given geographic boundaries in ways that support or circumscribe the ability of
residents to thrive and prosper.

Building a Health and Well-Being Framework for HCP needs to be understood against this evolving
backdrop of ideas, institutions and practice. Community has emerged as an in important determinant of
success for individuals and families as well as a site of innovation and intervention. Community
organizations and programs have the potential to truly connect and engage with community members,
creating the conditions for success over time.

In the remainder of this section, the paper sets out the context for the development of a shared
measurement tool, identifying the range of potential uses of community-level data, and highlighting
instructive and innovative community profile projects setting the standard in the field.

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Box 2: A Note about Terminology

For the purposes of this project, community is defined as a geographic area or district, within recognized
boundaries, where residents live in proximity to each other and make use of common spaces that bring
them into relationships with each other in ways that give rise to or reflect shared interests.8 This
definition provides a functional framework for identifying and describing the characteristics and dynamics
of a community highlighting geographic specificity and the connection of residents to place and each

The term community data refers to data which provide facts about social, health, economic,
environmental and cultural trends and conditions occurring within sub-provincial boundaries, such as
health regions, municipalities and neighbourhoods.

2.2 The Uses of Community Data

Efforts to develop new social statistics and reporting tools are important because a more accurate
picture of our communities, empirically speaking, creates a basis for better policy and programs.
Understanding community data helps us to assess the status of specific groups, and document the
impact of social changes and community interventions.

Indicators and the data used to define them are powerful tools for identifying and interpreting
relationships between, for example, an economic condition such as poverty and an outcome such as
learning. They can be used to help monitor and evaluate the extent of problems and the success of
interventions. They can also have a community mobilizing effect, bringing attention to a problem,
drawing in actors from disparate fields or sectors to develop a shared understanding of the problem,
share information, and mobilize for change.

In the discussion below, we look at some of the current uses of indicators and the importance of
measuring community in particular. Measuring community can help to:

Identify priorities and shape action agendas;

Assess community needs and leveraging resources;

Engage community members; and

Establishing accountability for outcomes.

Telling Community Stories and Shaping Action Agendas

Community reporting provides an important avenue for telling stories about community, about how
well the community or groups in the community are doing, as well as the challenges they face. In
this, community profiles serve both as a source of information about the characteristics and dynamics of
individual communities and as a vehicle for community engagement, sparking the creation of networks,
bringing people together to develop new and shared understandings. Community profiles and the
indicators and data that they draw upon also can play a role in identifying key issues for the
communitys attention, helping to set the agenda for action.

Assessing Community Needs and Leveraging Resources

Understanding the community is the first step in assessing a communitys unique needs, resources and
aspirations. Community indicators provide an essential snapshot of each communitys unique
characteristics, assets and challenges information fundamental to the development and
implementation of policy and programs. This is a process through which community priorities are
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identified, operational plans developed, and resources and partners marshalled to carry out the work
effectively and efficiently.9 Community indicators also provide a summary of baseline conditions and
trends against which change can be assessed over time and the unique circumstances and needs of
subpopulations identified two key dimensions of program development and evaluation.

Engaging Community Members

Emerging research is starting to demonstrate the positive benefits of community engagement in
achieving improved individual and community well-being through vehicles such as indicator reports
and community reporting.10 In the health field, for example, high levels of community engagement and
participation have been linked to improved population health and more efficient health care delivery.11
The most significant value-added of community engagement in health appears to be its role in
increasing empowerment and social capital.12 Empowering citizens, building social capital and creating
connections among people in local communities are emerging as key elements in creating positive
health impacts and reducing health disparities.

Establishing Accountability for Outcomes

Community reporting is also a significant component of a robust program evaluation framework.
Community data are important to understanding what changes are necessary to achieve an
organizations or communitys long-term goals, as well as establishing realistic and relevant outcome
targets for achievement.13 Further, community data are an important input in evaluating the progress
and impact of specific programs and interventions.

Understanding the unique situation of individuals and families can help to identify the relative scale of
the challenges they face and the assets they bring to the table and how these factors iteratively
influence the course and outcome of a given intervention, program or strategy.

Measuring community is also an integral component of collective impact approaches a new field of
community development that attempts to tackle complex social problems beyond the capacity of any
one organization or sector to respond to effectively.14 Collective impact approaches call for multiple
organizations to line up behind a common agenda and action plan. Unlike collaboration or partnership,
collective impact initiatives have centralized infrastructure, typically with dedicated staff who work to
support the initiative.

Developing a shared measurement system is essential to this work. Collecting data and measuring
results consistently on selected indicators at the community level and across all participating
organizations ensures that all organizations are able to track their progress and learn from each
others successes and failures. It also reduces the duplication of effort not an unimportant issue in the
community sector often stretched for resources.15

In Summary

Rather like gauges on a car dashboard, child indicators tell us what we have to attend to in policy
making and are used for tracking the outcomes and impacts of our services and programme
interventionsWe need instruments that tell us about the contexts within which children are

The field of community reporting continues to evolve. The next generation of indicator reports and
community profiles are being developed with the active involvement of beneficiaries in the collection,
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production and assessment of data. From a program perspective, engaging community members and
program stakeholders in program design, implementation and evaluation creates a force for change:

It allows multiple stakeholders to focus on common goals and aspirations that bridge diverse
constituencies and points of view, to collaborate across sectors and groups, to establish a
common basis for joint action, and to build the relationships that sustain engagement and action
over time.
It produces data and information that reflects the knowledge and expertise of a range of
stakeholders, validating the perspectives of community members, contributing critical
information for program success.
It allows comparison of program outcomes over time and across different sites, making it
possible to select the program and strategies that are most likely to produce positive outcomes
in a specific setting;
It creates incentives for local initiatives to identify and characterize the populations that need to
be reached and served in order to achieve community-wide and population-level change.

The following diagram from the Urban Strategies Council of Oakland demonstrates how community
data collection, analysis, and reporting are part of a cyclical process to design effective interventions
and improve individual and community outcomes.17

Figure 1: Info for Action and Change

2.3 The Challenge of Measurement

Community reporting offers tremendous potential. At the same time, it is important to recognize and
respect the considerable challenges that go hand in hand.

Data sources continue to be a significant problem here in Canada and elsewhere. Data are rarely
gathered in comprehensive ways, on a community by community basis. There are some useful panCanadian sources such as the Census that support local or community analysis, and some municipalities
or universities have developed unique data repositories in their own jurisdictions, but there are very
few sources that provide comparative community-level information across jurisdictions and over
time.18 Up until 2011, the long form Census used to provide a sound foundation of socio-demographic
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neighborhood-level information. Its replacement, the National Household Survey, does not provide the
same quality or scope of information for many communities, especially at smaller levels of geography.

In the absence of comprehensive sources of information, community reporting projects must rely on
different secondary datasets which vary with respect to methods for data collection and time frame.
Small area geographies also tend to have inconsistent boundaries even within the confines of the same
community or municipality or rural area. Service providers, regional health boards, school districts
typically have different catchment areas that makes the task of gathering and aligning data very
difficult. Even where boundaries are relatively clear and consistent, there can be challenges with
gathering secondary and primary data through tools such as observation logs or subjective descriptions
of community conditions.

And there is an inherent difficulty in developing measures that can accurately capture community-level
processes and change. Measuring neighbourhood progress requires a set of indicators that are
appropriate to the actual processes of neighbourhood change. Just like you cannot use a thermometer to
measure wind chill, you cannot use age as an accurate measure of child development the
characteristics of community development require creative measurement techniques if they are to
accurately reflect real progress in complex neighbourhoods.19

Measuring and analyzing community is also a very complex task, first, relying as it does on a range of
data and data sources across a community (e.g., schools, housing, social assistance, etc.). It is also
involves tracking changes at the individual, family and community level and determining the
interrelationship of these different factors to each other and to other contextual factors outside of the
community. It is particularly challenging to tease out cause and effect particularly as it relates to a
community intervention.

There are two other questions about community data that demand attention, as we consider the choices
involved in building a community mapping tool. First, what is the appropriate unit of analysis? The
community? Or individuals living within the community? As a practical matter, as the review below
shows, community well-being reports typically use a mix of different community and individual
measures, and different types of indicators (e.g., subjective and objective) to describe communities and
measure well-being. This is an important question to consider in relation to what it is about a
community that positively or negatively influences the well-being of residents or the success of a
given program.

This begs a further question: what is community well-being? The purpose of developing a community
profile or mapping tool is not just to document the number of schools in a given town or the number of
new immigrants. But rather to identify those indicators that tell us something about the health and wellbeing of a community and its role in fostering health and well-being of residents. It is the relationship
between individual well-being and community well-being that is important and how it can facilitate or
thwart change initiatives.

In summary, community reporting offers tremendous potential for communities across Renfrew
County, taking into account the challenges involved in such a project. The following Community Wellbeing scan provides an overview of the exciting work in this field, highlighting useful insights and
potential strategies for Healthy Communities Partnership to consider as it develops its own community
reporting initiative and shared measurement tool.

Final Concept Paper November 2015


3. Lessons from the Field

3.1 Community Well-being Scan

Community reporting is growing across the country, spurred by the growing availability of communitylevel data and the demand for more precise information about community trends and program
outcomes. The examples of community well-being projects presented below illustrate the diversity of
initiatives and the diversity of formats that have been developed in Canada offering inspiration and
important lessons for the Healthy Communities Partnership in their work to develop a community
mapping tool.

For the purposes of this Concept Paper, we have used the following criteria to select our ten examples:

offers community-level information;
represents a range of sectors / perspectives;
focuses on individual and/or community well-being;
illustrate different ways to organize and visualize community-level information;
have been identified by the HCP group as an project of interest; and
are based in Canada.

These community initiatives are presented in Table 1, a short description of which is included below. In
the following section, we look more closely at measuring well-being in rural communities, and conclude
with a discussion of insights for the Renfrew County Community Study.

Table 1: Community Well-being Profiles Summary Table

Canadian Index of Wellbeing, Institute
of Wellbeing, University of Waterloo
Community Accounts, Newfoundland
and Labrador
Victorias Vital Signs, Victoria
Headwaters Community Well-being
Report, Headwaters Communities in
Wellbeing Toronto, City of Toronto

Urban HEART@Toronto, Centre for
Research on Inner City Health
Indices of Community Well-being for
Calgary Neighbourhoods, City of Calgary
MyPeg, United Way Winnipeg

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Provincial, Community,






Espace montralais d'information sur la

sant (EMIS), Agence de la sant et des
services sociaux de Montral

Ottawa Neighbourhood Study (ONS),

University of Ottawa



Canadian Index of Wellbeing, Institute of Wellbeing, University of Waterloo

The Canadian Index of Well-being is a composite index that has been developed by a consortium of
researchers to track the progress of Canadians over a range of domains, taking into consideration
activities that are beneficial and deleterious to our individual and wellbeing. The eight domains
include: our standard of living, our health, the quality of our environment, our education and skill levels,
the way we use our time, the vitality of our communities, our participation in the democratic process,
and the state of our leisure and culture.

Figure 2: Canadian Index of Wellbeing Conceptual Model

The CIW functions primarily as a statistical measure. Each of the eight domains of wellbeing consists of
eight statistical indicators to form a total of 64 indicators taken from over 130 data sources, primarily
from Statistics Canada and Environment Canada. Each indicator is set to 100 and then percentage
changes are calculated for each year from 1994 to 2010.

Until recently, the CIW has been produced, drawing on available national level data. In 2012, the CIW
fielded a community level survey in Guelph, based on its conceptual model. Since then, community
surveys have been conducted in Kingston, Waterloo Region, Victoria and Wood Buffalo (Fort
MacMurray). A provincial report has also been prepared for Ontario, sponsored by the Trillium

The City of Guelph provides an interesting case study as the first municipalities to implement the Index
of Wellbeing at a local level. This survey was designed to gather feedback from Guelph residents on
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issues affecting their wellbeing to help inform and improve services, policies, advocacy, and
community-wide action focused on increasing the wellbeing of residents.20 Ten thousand households
were contacted to respond to the survey and to rate their satisfaction with the following: their
neighbourhood as a place to live, access to recreational and parks opportunities; employment situation;
sense of belonging to their community, etc.

Survey findings were analyzed by income level and by ward and then mapped using data visualization
tools.21 The findings have been used to help set the strategic directions for the City and to engage
community residents around areas of strength and areas of concern.22 The results have prompted the
city to focus special attention on three themes: connectivity, housing and food.

More recently, the Association of Ontario Health Centres has adopted this framework to launch a new
series called Measuring What Matters the goal of which is to help change the conversation about really
constitutes progress in Ontario.23 The Coalition of Health and Resource Centres of Ottawa was the first
to release a report, called Bridging the Gap, in September 2014.24 It pulls together 44 different
community data sources, under each of the eight CIW domains, to report on everything from income
and health statistics to leisure activities and commuting times. It zeroes in on pronounced disparities
and makes recommendations to improve the physical, social and mental environments for all residents.

Bridging the Gap provides a useful reference and starting point for the Renfrew County community
well-being project both with respect to the indicator model and related research and information.

Key Points:

Comprehensive indicator model, part of a larger conceptual model of well-being
Model tracks changes to domains over time serves as a measurement tool
National and provincial level indicators, have created a community survey modeled on CIW
Is being taken up as a collective impact framework for tracking community trends (e.g., Ontario
Trillium Foundation; Association of Ontario Health Centres)

Community Accounts, Newfoundland and Labrador
Community Accounts is a web-accessible information system providing users with a reliable source of
community, regional, and provincial data. Termed the Community Accounts, it was the first Internetbased data retrieval and exchange system in Canada with unrestricted access to view and analyze data
down to the community level. It continues to provide citizens and policy makers with a single
comprehensive source of key social, economic, and health data and indicators that would not be readily
available, too costly to obtain, or too time consuming to manually or otherwise retrieve and compile.

Data provided by the system are based on a conceptual framework developed by Dr. Doug May of
Memorial University and the Newfoundland and Labrador Statistics Agency. The indicators structured
under eight main themes that directly affect individual well-being and four that indirectly affect wellbeing, all depicted in the following graphic.

Community Accounts measures well-being at multiple levels: 400 communities across the province, 200
neighbourhoods within larger urban centres; 80 census consolidated subdivisions; 20 economic
development zones; Rural Secretariat Regions; Health Authorities; School Districts; Human Resources
Development Canada Regions; and the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Final Concept Paper November 2015


Figure 3: Community Accounts Well-being Model

Data can be visualized in multiple ways. Metadata and data sources are provided and there are several
tutorials to guide site visitors in creating their own well-being index or in using the different interactive
mapping and visualization tools (e.g., InstantAtlas Flash based interactive maps with many variables in
charts and tables; links to socio-economic variables as point data on a Google Map; interactive bar
charts and motion charts). A Profiles series has been prepared for communities across the province.

This is an extraordinary resource for the residents of Newfoundland and Labrador, with a particular
emphasis on rural communities. More recently, the government of Nova Scotia has developed a similar
system, called Nova Scotia Community Counts.25

Key Points:

Award-winning website that incorporates huge range of information on social, economic and
demographic trend data for Newfound and Labour communities
Available at multiple levels of geographic, in multiple formats
Emphasis on rural areas; significant investment of resources in building data bases to support
detailed analysis in rural areas
Readily available training for users
Commitment from province ensures that data system is updated regularly, and continues to
grow and expand

Victorias Vital Signs, Victoria Foundation

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Victorias Vital Signs is part of the national

Vital Signs project, sponsored by
community foundations across Canada.
Victoria is one of 27 communities that has
published a Vital Signs report, based on the
original model developed by the Toronto
Community Foundation in 2001.26 Vital
Signs serves as a community check-up,
monitoring selected municipal-level
measures of community vitality as well as
highlighting research and information on
issues of local importance. The findings are presented in a variety of reader-friendly print and
electronic formats. They are used by the foundations and others in the community to identify key trends
and help identify local priorities for action.

The Vital Signs model is loosely based on twelve different issue areas, with individual foundations
providing supplementary information and analysis. In 2014, for example, the Victoria Foundation
engaged the Institute of Wellbeing to field a community well-being survey in Victoria based on the
Canadian Index of Well-being.

Victorias Vital Signs is an excellent example of a community well-being project that leverages existing
resources to provide an engaging and illuminating snapshot of the greater Victoria area. It provides
commentary on key issues, highlights statistical trends, and discusses the response of the Foundation
and its partners. The 2014 check-up also included a profile of young people in Victoria and a snapshot of
their views about living in Victoria. The publication is very appealing, using a great mix of design
features, including infographics, photographs, short text boxes and a colourful layout.

Key Points:

Report at municipal level, changing suite of indicators year to year
Indicators compiled nationally, supplemented by local opinion surveys and research
Used to help allocate funding to local priority areas
Colourful print publication, available electronically, tied to large pan-Canadian launch each year
Successful community profiling initiative tied explicitly to fund raising for community causes

Headwaters Community Well-being Report, Headwaters Communities in Action

Headwaters Communities in Action is a citizens group working to promote community well-being in
Dufferin County and northern Caledon (the Headwaters Region).27 The group convenes community
conversations around key issues, bringing together people from different sectors and municipalities to
work together, and helping to coordinate effective responses.

Figure 4: Headwater Community Well-being Model (2004)

Final Concept Paper November 2015


In 2012, it released its first community wellbeing report, drawing together information
research from a variety of sources to
describe life in the area. This report is a
creative example of a well-being report for a
largely rural area on the outskirts of the
Greater Toronto Area. It speaks to the strong
sense of place people living in small towns
rural areas feel. It also highlights several
unique issues typically not found in wellbeing report from larger cities such as
downtown vitality, taking care of rural
landscapes, protecting community wells and
viability of agriculture.




Key Points:

Report at county, with a rural and small town focus
Creative use of available information sources including local opinion surveys and research
Used to help create awareness and convene community conversations around local issues
Colourful print publication, available electronically

Wellbeing Toronto, City of Toronto

Wellbeing Toronto is a web-tool that measures community well-being across the City of Toronto's 140
neighbourhoods. Based on work for the Strong Neighbourhoods Task Force (2005), which resulted in
13 Priority Investment Neighbourhoods, the wellbeing index focuses on the ability to measure and
monitor well-being across all the Torontos neighbourhoods.

It provides a number of indicators that assist in monitoring economic and social well-being by allowing
users to custom select and combine indicators and see their results instantly on a map. It was designed
to assist the public in better understanding the diversity of communities that comprise the City and as a
support tool for the development of place-based policies and programs.

Wellbeing Toronto consolidates City operational metrics, socio-demographics and infrastructure
service data, analyzes them and creates a series of composite indices for 11 well-being domains: health,
housing, economics, environment, culture, safety, recreation, civics and equity, transportation,
education and demographics.

Users are also able to create their own composite indicators and or examine single indicators as
desired. Different community assets can be layered on top of the base neighbourhood map. All
information is available for export in different formats, including maps, charts and tables. This award
winning tool is used extensively for community reporting in the City of Toronto and for tracking city
performance across multiple areas.

Figure 5: Wellbeing Toronto Neighbourhood Profile Screenshot

Final Concept Paper November 2015


Key Points:

Excellent example of interactive web-based community profile
Hundreds of indicators organized in 11 well-being domains, available for download
Interactive mapping features that allow users to create custom data products
Maps of 140 Toronto neighbourhoods readily available, updated regularly
Very complex site, of particular interest to users comfortable with technology, including many
young people
Integrated in to city performance measurement system

Final Concept Paper November 2015


Urban HEART@Toronto, Centre for Research on Inner City Health

Urban HEART stands for "Urban Health Equity Assessment and Response Tool." It is a placed-based tool
designed by the World Health Organization and adapted locally for use in Toronto for measuring health
equity at the neighbourhood level.

Urban HEART includes five different measurable domains that relate to the well-being of Torontos
neighbourhoods. These domains represent different policy areas that need to be addressed to reduce
neighbourhood health inequities. They are:

Physical Environment and Infrastructure
Social and Human Development
Economic Opportunity
General Population Health

The indicators for the local data set for Toronto neighbourhoods were selected through an electronic
Delphi consultation process with 80 subject matter experts (See Appendix 2).
For each indicator, the project team identified internal benchmarks (i.e. national average, city average,
as well as desired targets, where available, in order to assess neighbourhood performance. Proposed
benchmarks and cut-offs were statistically tested and assessed against established selection criteria.
The final indicators are organized in a matrix to enable stakeholders to compare places, identify
inequities, determine actionable responses, and monitor changes over time. The matrix uses red,
yellow, and green coloured squares to identify the level of accomplishment of neighbourhoods with
respect to health determinants and outcomes. Neighbourhoods which experience lower levels of
success in relation to others are coloured red, those who experience high levels of success are coloured
green, and those in-between are coloured yellow.

The City of Toronto has used this research to develop its own Neighbourhood Equity Index to facilitate
the selection of new Neighbourhood Improvement Areas under the Toronto Strong Neighbourhood
Strategy, recently updated to 2020.28 The Neighbourhood Equity Score is a single number designed to
capture the total weight of unnecessary, unfair and unjust differences faced by neighbourhood residents
in five key areas: Economic Opportunities, Social Development, Healthy Lives, Participation in DecisionMaking and Physical Surroundings. The neighbourhood well-being indicators from Wellbeing Toronto
( were used to verify the results of the NEI design. The Neighbourhood
Final Concept Paper November 2015

Equity Scores were also checked against demographic data to ensure that important equity-seeking
groups are represented in the results of this analysis. Through this process, 31 neighbourhoods were
selected for targeted investment.

Figure 6: Urban HEART@ Toronto, Neighbourhood Improvement Areas29

Key Points:

Highly credible community reporting initiative based on internationally validated tool
Design and creation of community level indices
Alternative presentation of community data, designed to highlight community strengths and challenges
Excellent example of community reporting being used to inform policy and program

Indices of Community Well-being for Calgary Neighbourhoods, City of Calgary

Indices of Community Well-Being is a long standing publication of the City of Calgary that draws on
Census data.30 The report has been produced in order to provide relevant information regarding the key
dimensions of Calgary communities to assist community leaders and service providers in identifying
strengths and needs within their own communities.

The indicator model that was developed for this project provides a holistic view of community that
recognizes that the well-being of the individual and the community is defined by the quality of the
individuals social relationships, economic situation, and physical environment. Nineteen indicators are
used, drawn primarily from the Census of Canada, grouped under three domains: Economic Wellbeing;
Social Wellbeing; and Physical Wellbeing.

Final Concept Paper November 2015


Table 2: Indices of Community Well-being, Indicator Framework

For each indicator, an index value is ascribed to each community to represent the relative position of
each community with respect to both the number and percentage of individuals exhibiting the indicator.
Thus, the report provides relevant data to identify incidence and risk of selected social problems for
communities and for particular at-risk groups within the community. As well, the composite index
provides a summary of the relative well-being of communities based on their rank for each indicator as
measured against all other communities.

Key Points:

Comprehensive report on community well-being

Well-being model based on three sources of individual and community well-being: economic, social and
Index values generated for each community, ranked in order to identify the incidence and risk of selected
social problems
Provides useful methodology for local decision makers to assess community strengths and needs

Final Concept Paper November 2015


MyPeg, United Way of Winnipeg
MyPeg is a web-based community profile
has been developed by the United Way of
Winnipeg. It measures the well-being of
Winnipegs neighbourhoods by tracking
indicators, presenting data, maps, and
stories from the community on a range of

The site is built on a wellbeing framework
covers eight themes: basic needs, health,
economy, education and learning,
governance, the built environment, the
natural environment, and social vitality.
Poverty is treated as a cross-cutting issue.

The model was developed through a community engagement process and Indicators Working Groups.
These groups reviewed research on indicators, brainstormed indicators that would make sense for
Winnipeg and ultimately, shortlisted a set indicators to include in Peg, against a set of criteria that had
been established. A public survey was fielded to gather feedback from the general public on the
system's themes.

On the mapping page, information is presented at a city-wide, community area, neighbourhood, and/or
monitoring stations level. The maps allow user to develop custom-graphs, with the geographies,
indicators, and time frames. User can also choose between three different data visualization options.
Profiles of different indicators are available providing summary statistics for the city.

The Peg has invested considerable resources into creating a user-friendly tool that links indicators,
mapping, and community stories. The integration of community stories is a unique feature. The
collection of these stories is overseen by the Stories Advisory Group. Stories are chosen to illustrate
important socio-economic trends and what can be done to affect positive change.

Key Points:

Web-based well-being report

Incorporates indicators, mapping, as well as community stories
Significant community outreach in order to shape project, generate content
Considerable investment in presentation and functionality of site
Brings a community focus to bear on organization of information and focus on social action

Final Concept Paper November 2015


Espace montralais d'information sur la sant (EMIS), Agence de la sant et des services sociaux
de Montral (ASSSM)

EMIS is a web platform aggregating health status, health determinant and health services information
about Montrealers. EMIS supports Montreals network of health partners and provides them with
information products to fulfill their mandate including health surveillance, planning, and performance
evaluation. EMIS is also an integral part of the Province of Qubecs network of 18 health and social
services regions administered by Qubecs Ministry of Health and Social Services.

EMIS produces health inequity maps and related information products which inform local health
inequity reduction action plans. EMIS loosely follows the Qubec Ministre de la sant et des services
sociaux (MSSS) population health model and collects information as required to fulfill the surveillance
requirements of the Public Health Act 2001.

EMIS integrates data from three program areas: Service de la gestion de linformation (SGI),
Surveillance de l'tat de sant Montral (SSAM), and the Direction de la sant publique (DSP). This
arrangement provides users in Montreal with one location to access health and social information,
allows for data products to be streamlined and technology assets to be pooled, avoids the duplication of
human resources efforts, and reduces costs.

For members of the public, all data can be freely downloaded in maps, charts and tables.31 EMIS also
provides user access to a number of data access and reporting tools along with its GoClip system. Few
datasets are password protected on the EMIS site. EMIS users can create their own health and wellbeing atlases tailored to their program and community needs.

A wide range of information is available. In addition to population health indicators, tables provide
demographic, cultural, social and economic statistics for each neighbourhood in a given local health
center (CLSC) area. For any given characteristic (i.e., lone-parent families), numbers and percentages
are shown in the cells. The colours in the background refer to a quintile position within the overall
Montreal health region. The tool also provides access to location data on social and health facilities and

EMIS provides access to dynamic maps, data, information charts and indicators aggregated according to
a number of geographies. Data are aggregated into twelve Centre de sant et des services sociaux (CSSS)
which are an amalgamation of 29 Centre locaux de services communautaires (CLSC). EMIS also
aggregates data into fire, police, school and hospital administrative and service areas, along with
electoral districts and postal codes. In addition, EMIS aggregates its data by specialized local
geographies: A total of 111 neighbourhoods were created by EMIS geomaticians in consultation with
ASSSM stakeholders. These were derived by analyzing historical urban settings, parishes, related geoinformation and socio-economic data.

Key Points:
Comprehensive information and program platform on health and well-being
Developed in collaboration between social and health agencies
Integral component of action plans designed to reduce health and social disparities
Wide variety of dynamic data products including assets mapping, community profiles, etc.
Broad access to datasets by public; ability to generate own tables, profile, maps to meet specific user

Excellent community-based profile initiative with wide range of neighbourhood level variables

Ottawa Neighbourhood Study, Centre for Research and Education in Community Services,
University of Ottawa
Final Concept Paper November 2015


The Ottawa Neighbourhood Study was developed by the Centre for Research and Education in
Community Services at the University of Ottawa to provide information on health indicators for Ottawa
neighbourhoods. Health indicators have been identified and grouped under established
neighbourhoods along with extensive socio-demographic information.

The model is based on 10 categories including: access to food, access to schools, civic engagement,
community resources and services, education and labour, families and households, immigration, culture
and ethnicity, income and housing, size and population, parks and recreation and walkability. Indicators
are identified under each area.

Site visitors can read profiles of selected neighbourhoods or create custom maps, comparing one or two
neighbourhoods. Users can also map different community features such as community gardens or the
location of schools.

A unique feature of this model is its emphasis on the location of community assets The tool has been
designed to locate selected services in a neighbourhood, such as child care for example, and provides
the average distance to child care centres in that area.

This information is used by a wide range of government and community agencies in the Ottawa area.

Key Points:

Web-based mapping tool
Incorporates indicator profiles and mapping
Focus on location of community assets and services

3.2 Measuring Well-being in Rural Communities

The examples highlighted provide models of community well-being projects undertaken, by and large,
in large urban areas. Renfrew County, by contrast, is a widely disparate geographic area with many
small towns and villages dotting the landscape. Renfrew County is the largest county in Ontario,
comprised of 17 municipalities spanning 7,645 square kilometres, with a population of nearly 104,000.
Measuring well-being in smaller towns and rural areas brings its own issues and challenges with
respect to how well-being is understood and measured.

One of the primary challenges in measuring well-being in rural communities is first defining what is
meant by the word rural for use in any demographic or population analysis or community-level
evaluation.32 Definitions of what constitutes a rural community are not homogenous just as rural
communities themselves are not homogeneous. For example, individual and community well-being
varies considerably between resource dependent communities (e.g., mining towns versus fishing
communities)33 and between resource dependent communities and those that rely on other sources of
economic activity.
Thus, finding indicators that adequately capture diverse rural realities is difficult, involving statistical,
conceptual and methodological challenges. All too often, indicators are not available on a specific topic
or at a specific level of geography. Or an indicator may be available for a particular community, but the
information is gathered and reported only infrequently. For example, Statistics Canada releases
economic performance data each month, but these indicators are not available for rural areas.34
Final Concept Paper November 2015


Similarly, inequities between rural and urban populations are often masked in existing studies.35 In the
health field, it has been shown that health inequities can be hidden when evaluation is performed on a
large scale with broad rural-urban indicators, or when determinants of access such as place of residence
are not used in measuring well-being.36 These flaws undermine effective program interventions. Special
surveys or oversampling are two strategies that are commonly used to attempt to fill these types of

As a result, significant gaps in our data collection has led to significant gaps in our understanding on
health and well-being in rural communities across Canada. For instance, much of the rural health
research in Canada has focused on the accessibility to health services. Less consideration has been
placed on other determinants of health such as low income, healthy child development, or social
support networks.37

Likewise, little research has been done in examining the environment and health in rural settings.
Research studies looking at water, soil, and air pollution, and their association to health, have been
conducted mainly in urban settings.38 Rural environmental health indicators could help in
understanding and assessing the environment and its impact on health in rural communities.

What does this mean for the Renfrew County Community Study? Given the small population base
dispersed across a large geography, there are questions that will need to be resolved with
respect to the projects conceptual model and indicator selection. Research organizations such as
the Rural Ontario Institute provide a useful place to start, compiling available policy analysis, data
sources, and research tools.39

3.3 Insights for the Renfrew County Community Study

In looking at these examples and others through the HCP lens, there are a few ideas that are useful to
keep in mind to help shape the HCP Community Health and Well-being Model and the design of the
collective measurement tool.

Good data and indicators are necessary but not sufficient. It is critical to think about
audience and purpose. As we have highlighted, community profiling can serve many purposes. It
will be important to clearly identify the different goals for this initiative particularly in light of
the desire to use community information to help assess program impact and to document how
the selected indicators will be used to advance different organizational goals.

In developing a model, flexibility is key: Building an indicator model, drawing on the best
available research is important. But it must resonate with the community and be meaningful
to program clients and staff. Staying focused on program goals is critical; getting hung up on a
precise logic model or specific set of indicators and data sources isnt useful.

Unpack indicators: Behind simple data snapshots lie long-term trends, comparisons and
disparities and complex truths: Where feasible, show indicators over time, by
race/ethnicity, by age, by household income and geographic comparisons. Work to disaggregate
the information, fleshing the stories in the data with the real-life stories of individuals,
families and community advocates. As Bren Brown has famously said: stories are data with a

Recognize what indicators can and cannot do. The generation and use of community-level
data has improved immeasurably over the last decade. But there remain significant gaps in what
Final Concept Paper November 2015


is available and the quality of that information. Furthermore, it is important to always keep in
mind that community reporting is essential to understanding community dynamics but it does
not substitute for experimental research designed to establish program impact and causation.

Building bridges is key. As in all things, any community reporting project is an exercise in
building bridges. For example, in the education and health fields there is quite a store of local
administrative data but too often, these data are not produced in a useful format and remain
sequestered behind administrative barriers. Community reporting can be a project that brings
different sectors and actors together, providing the foundation for meaningful collaboration.

Commitment up front pays off down the road: This is true in life and especially in program
evaluation. It is worth taking the time to develop a meaningful model, based on up-to-date
research, with due consideration given to the indicators, metrics and data systems necessary to
track progress.

Start slow, and build over time. The best indicator systems are ever-green, benefiting from
continual evaluation and refinement. Creating a strong information base is essential through
strategic investment in the data architecture over time. Similarly, the suite of communication
products can evolve slowing, taking advantage of new reporting and mapping technologies and
formats as they are introduced, to best meet the needs of different stakeholders.
Invest in the capacity of the organization and staff to work with data and engage
participants. To build a community well-being model and mapping tool, organizations need
access to primary and secondary databases, as well as researchers, mapping technicians,
program and communication specialists who can evaluate and work with various data sets. HCP
is well positioned through HCP Canada to acquire needed access and skill sets to produce
community-level information relevant to program needs.

Engage the community. Community reporting is a great tool for engaging different
communities in telling their stories. The combination of desired results, with analysis, effective
communication tools, and good data, is a powerful catalyst for change.

Final Concept Paper November 2015


Figure 7: Map of Renfrew County

County of Renfrew


Bissett Creek



Township of Head, Clara & Maria





Deep River

of Quebec

Town of Laurentian Hills

Algonquin Park


Township of Laurentian Valley

Township of Whitewater Region


Township of
North Algona/Wilberforce

Township of KillaloeHagarty-Richards

Township of
Madawaska Valley


Algonquins of








Township of Horton


Barry's Bay

Township of
Bonnechere Valley


Township of


Township of





Township of
Brudenell, Lyndoch & Raglan
Township of Greater Madawaska



Hardwood Lake


Produced by the County of Renfrew Development and Property Department

February 2003. This is for illustrative purposes only.


Final Concept Paper November 2015


Part II Perspectives on Well-being from Renfrew County

4. Project Context

Interest in developing a shared measurement tool for Renfrew County has been growing for many years
from different sectors and organizations. Community leaders have been identifying a distinct lack of
shared information about the quality of life in Renfrew County, in multiple sectors. The Renfrew County
Community Study represents the most effective next step to create a comprehensive vision of progress
and a tool for measuring community well-being and evaluating the impact of policies and programs.

This section lays out the foundation of the current project, reviewing the results of the Healthy
Communities Partnerships 2012 Community Picture Report and the Strategic Plans of several project
stakeholders. This work establishes the context for the project highlighting the importance of the
current initiative in ongoing efforts to build local capacity to track community well-being and to support
evidenced-based policy and program planning and multi-sector collaboration. It also provides
information about Renfrew Countys strengths and challenges, information which was used to develop
the community engagement process (a summary of which follows in section 5), and to inform the
proposed Conceptual Model for the Renfrew County Community Study.

4.1 Building Healthy Communities: Renfrew

County Community Picture Report (2012)
Five years ago, the Healthy Community Partnership
received funding from the Ontario Ministry of
Health Promotion and Sport to bring community
partners together to work on a plan for advancing
health and well-being in Renfrew County. An initial
step in the process was developing a portrait of
Renfrew County and what was needed to foster
healthy environments and to encourage healthy
choices among residents and visitors. Published in
2012, Building Healthy Community: Renfrew County
Community Picture Report41 describes the
challenges and opportunities for creating healthier
communities and sets out community
recommendations for change.

This study serves as the foundation or first phase of the current study of community well-being. The
themes identified through the 2012 Community Picture Report are echoed in the Community
Conversations (described below), providing insight into the characteristic of community well-being of
importance to Renfrew County residents.
The Community Picture Study, for its part, paints a picture of the complex makeup of Renfrew County,
grounded in an understanding of the social determinants of health defined as the social,
environmental, economic, physical, psychological, spiritual and cultural factors that influence our
individual and community sense of well-being.42
Detailed information is presented for six priority health areas:

physical activity, sport and recreation (including active transportation);
Final Concept Paper November 2015


injury prevention;
healthy eating;
reducing tobacco use and exposure;
preventing substance and alcohol misuse; and
mental health.

These key themes were the subject of community consultation during which policy priorities and
recommendations for action were identified. An Action Plan was developed to move the agenda
forward, including efforts to deepen community engagement and better integrate health, well-being and
quality of life into policy development and service provision.43

Through this process, community assets and exemplary programs were highlighted creating a useful
inventory of existing supports and services as well as a listing of key stakeholders across the
government, health / non-health, community and private sectors. (For a list of stakeholders, please see
Appendix 6)44

The Community Picture Report notes that there remain significant gaps in available information about
Renfrew County and its progress with respect to community well-being. One of the key
recommendations, laying the groundwork for the Renfrew County Community Study, is to build a
collective measurement tool to capture and visualize key trends and co-ordinate the work of different
stakeholders in the Healthy Communities Partnership.

Since that time, the HCP has completed policy work in three areas Active Transportation, Access to
Physical Activity (Recreation), and Access to Healthy Food and worked to expand and strengthen the
HCP network, and facilitate the communication and coordination of multi-sector work that improves
the social, physical, mental and environmental health of our communities and community members.
This project moves the marker forward for a shared measurement tool, a critical component in
measuring our collective impact on the social determinants of health in Renfrew County. In this regard,
the HCPs work is aligned with a traditional social planning council model, integrating innovative
practice to enhance individual and community well-being.

Final Concept Paper November 2015


Table 3: Renfrew County Assets and Challenges

The following table of Renfrew County assets and challenges touches on many of the important themes
that surfaced through the community engagement process and key informant interviews for the
Community Data Project.


Abundant Natural Spaces

Waterways and Trails
Road Connectivity
Agricultural History

Natural Resources
Small Business

Strong Sense of Belonging
High Level of Happiness
Strong Sense of Community




Strong Cultural Resources

Rich Heritage
Rich First Nations Culture


Seniors as Volunteers


Algonquin College




Wide income Gap

High Levels of Unemployment
Diversity in Employment
Population Base (low tax base)

Deep Pockets of Poverty
Child Care Options
Adequate Affordable Housing

Lack of Cultural Diversity
Lack of Investment in Culture
Equity for French Language Access
to Seniors

Higher Seniors Population
Youth Engagement
Migration of Talent
Limited Disability Services

Higher Education Levels
Access to Early Childhood Learning

Health Statistics
Access to Health Care
Access to Recreation
Built Environment
Food Security

Source: Community Picture Report, p. 10.

Final Concept Paper November 2015


4.2 Stakeholder Priorities

There are a wide variety of community organizations and stakeholders involved in the Healthy
Communities Partnership (See Appendix 6). Through their involvement with the HCP, these
organizations have confirmed their interest and commitment to cross-sector collaboration, knowledge
sharing, and strategic learning. As key participants in the project, their organizational priorities are an
important consideration in understanding the potential of the initiative (e.g., the interests and resources
that the different partners bring to the table) and in developing a Community Well-being Model and
Project Design that supports the work of individual partners.
As part of a review of the status of where health and well-being is situated in relation to other priorities
in Renfrew County, the project team reviewed the strategic plans of a number of large public sector
Several themes were evident, including the importance of community well-being to understanding
the socio-economic context of their work and the unique characteristics of the populations they serve,
and evaluation and organizational learning exploring new ways to connect with community and to
report on community impact. Many identified collaboration with community partners as key to
success with respect to their own mandates and the need to enhance the capacity of the larger
community to tackle challenges and embrace opportunities.
For example, community well-being is one of three main pillars underlying the County of Renfrews
2014-2018 Strategic Plan.45 The plan touches on six areas under this theme, including Education, Health
Care, Social Service, Safety and Security, Culture, Tourism and Public Safety. Health and Well-being are
also important themes captured under the other two pillars: Economic Development and Community
One of the Community Well-being strategies calls for eliminating silos in service delivery across the
County by a greater sharing of services to reduce duplications. Another indicates that the County
will take action to make housing more affordable, and to consolidate public health services. Making
progress on all of the priorities requires meaningful collaboration with community and private sector
partners as well as investments in information systems.
The County Council has also identified a desire to create a brand that promotes the County of Renfrew
as a location of choice to work and live for young families and new immigrants to Canada. A social
reporting and community mapping tool of the type described earlier in the e-scan would be useful in
helping to tell Renfrew Countys story.

Table 4: County of Renfrew Priority Areas


Community Well-being
Social Services
Service Coordination
Government Relations


Economic Opportunity
Economic Development
Linked Trail Systems
Government Relations
Health and Well-being


Community Sustainability/
Assets and Infrastructure
Healthy Communities

Final Concept Paper November 2015


Stakeholder communication and collaboration are also key themes in the Renfrew County & District
Health Unit Strategic Plan in its efforts to protect and promote the health and well-being of residents.46
One of its strategic priorities is to align its work with the Ontario Public Health Standards and the
Ontario Public Health Organizational Standards. To this end, the Health Unit has committed to building
capacity to support evidence-based practice, program planning and evaluation and enhancing its
communication of population health information to the public, health professionals and community
partners through innovative and varied methods.
The concept of community well-being broadly defined is wholly consistent with a social determinants of
health approach to public health programming that that addresses the varied and unique needs of the
The different school boards in Renfrew County are working to strengthen community partnerships to
promote student success and enhance public communications through effective, clear and meaningful
data and story.47 The Renfrew County Catholic District School Board, for example, has committed to
sharing student achievement and other pertinent data through the board and school websites.48
The Deep River and District Hospital is another example of a key Renfrew County stakeholder
committed to advancing community well-being through its programs and community partnerships.49 In
its 2015-18 Strategic Plan, the hospital pledges to become a local leader in enhancing population
health by advocating for current population health data to inform and enhance its services. The plan
stresses the importance of community partnerships and alliances with other health partners, social
services, business, and community organizations to the pursuit of its mandate: providing high quality
health care to the Deep River community.
Renfrew Victoria Hospital, St. Francis Memorial Hospital and Rainbow Valley Community Health Centre
have also provided leadership and support for the development of this project. It aligns with their
approach to preventative health and community-based work to support a sustainable and thriving
health care system and achieve healthier communities.
Health Links lead by Renfrew Victoria Hospital, Pembroke Regional Hospital, and Arnprior and District
Memorial Hospital all provide leadership for three respective Health Links initiatives. This project will
facilitate the collection of local data to inform strong decision-making and integrated planning to
support the best possible health outcomes for community members.
The proposed Renfrew County Community Study sits on solid ground. The Healthy Communities
Partnership and its numerous partners bring together considerable knowledge, expertise and
institutional resources. They also bring an interest in collective impact and a passion to enhance and
enrich the quality of life in Renfrew County. These are key ingredients in creating an effective and
sustainable shared measurement tool.

Final Concept Paper November 2015


Box 3: Key Features of Shared Measurement

Shared outcomes: Organisations using shared measurement should have consensus on the
shared outcomes that their sector achieves and measure these shared outcomes using the same

Consistent methodologies: Organisations using a shared tool should use the same tools and
consistent methods when measuring. This means having consistent research designs, similar
sample sizes, similar analysis and consistent reporting of results.

Focus on measuring outcomes and impact: shared measurement should focus on measuring
the difference a particular activity or organisation makes to an issue or group of people.

Agreement around what is measured: there should be agreement on the key outcomes in a
shared measurement framework while also allowing the flexibility for organisations to pick and
choose which outcomes are most relevant to their work.

Clarity around a sectors impact: shared measurement should involve understanding how a
sector works together to solve a particular social problem. This can mean mapping out a sectors
theory of change* or impact network**.

Ability to compare: shared measurement should allow organisations to meaningfully compare
their results to those of similar organisations. This helps organisations put their impact data in
context and learn about what approaches are most effective.

* A theory of change is a tool that shows a charitys path from needs to activities to outcomes to
** An impact network is a range of activities performed by different organisations that leads to a
positive outcome.

Source: Eibhln N gin, Marina Svistak and Lucy de Las Casas (2013), Inspiring Impact: Blueprint for
shared measurement. New Philanthropy Capital, p. 7.

Final Concept Paper November 2015


5. Community Engagement Process

Active community engagement is key to the success of the Community Data Project and the future
Renfrew County Community Study (RCCS). It is fundamental not only to defining what community wellbeing means in Renfrew County, but also to creating a meaningful and viable collective measurement

The ultimate success of the project will be measured by the degree to which the knowledge sharing tool
1) captures the different strands of Renfrew Countys story, 2) effectively leverages existing talent,
resources, and expertise, and 3) is useful to a diverse number of stakeholders.

To this end, a workshop with the members of the Healthy Communities Partnership (HCP) and a series
of community conversations were planned to help build a consensus around what is needed to measure
and track well-being in Renfrew County. Over 125 people participated in one or more of these sessions,
representing a broad cross section of community organizations, service agencies, and local government
representatives. Taking key informants and stakeholder interviews into account, the project has
engaged over 150 people in the development of plans for the RCCS.

The findings from these sessions, in addition to the review of past research and key informant
interviews, have been used to develop a preliminary conceptual model and indicator framework as well
as recommendations for next steps. The next stage in this process will be to check in with community
stakeholders about the proposed model and begin the discussion of whats needed to move from ideas
to action.

5.1 Healthy Communities Partnership (HCP) Workshop

On August 25, 2014, the Healthy Communities Partnership convened a workshop at the Elders Lodge in
Pikwkanagn Lake to introduce member organizations to the Community Data Project, Phase 1 of the
Renfrew County Community Study (RCCS). Twenty-four representatives from organizations across the
County attended, including funders, politicians, senior health and community service managers, and
lead data and evaluation experts

The goal of the day was to gather input and
feedback into the creation of a collective
measurement tool to track the health and wellbeing of Renfrew County residents. This
workshop was designed to:

Introduce the Community Data Project and the
project partners;
Contribute to the ongoing development of
Renfrew County well-being model;
Review and continue to explore options
related to community data projects elsewhere;
Review and provide feedback/input on
upcoming community conversations about the project.

The notes below provide highlights of these discussions. The findings are organized around three main

Final Concept Paper November 2015

Describing well-being in Renfrew County

Ranking domains of community well-being
Operational and strategic opportunities for the Renfrew County Community Study.

Well-being in Renfrew County

Brainstorm a list of words that describe Renfrew County. Brainstorm a list of words that describe your
understanding of healthy communities. Where does this happen or occur in Renfrew County? Or doesnt

Communities are the stories that they tell about themselves. What is Renfrew Countys story?
Some people spoke about economic
development, or tourism these are
common narratives. But there isnt
really a narrative around community
One person spoke about diversity
and while there isnt a narrative for
the County, individual communities
have very distinct identities.
A variety of words were used to
describe the County, including:
o Rural/remote
o Dispersed/widespread/large
o Connectivity
o Beauty
o Poverty
All participants agreed that where you live and where you work would influence your
understanding of the County. For example, some areas are more rural than other areas (i.e.,
Renfrew County vs. Head, Clara, and Maria).
Participants also agreed that there was a significant divide between the Have and Have-nots.
For many, there is no sense of possibilities beyond Renfrew County. They have limited
academic, geographic horizons.
The important point that was raised was that people were influenced by the choice of Renfrew
County as the geographic focus of this workshop about well-being. For some, this isnt their
frame of reference. In future, the facilitators should direct people to think about their own
community (residence/work) in addition to the County as a whole.

Ranking Domains of Community Well-being

Please rank the domains of well-being that you believe are the most important. As a table, review and
discuss results. Summarize findings and come to consensus as to a ranking for the domains.

Participants were provided with a list of potential domains or dimensions of community wellbeing, drawing of the characteristics of healthy communities identified in the Community Picture
Report50 and other notable community well-being models such as the Canadian Index of
Wellbeing. These eight domains were presented as a starting point for the community
discussion to help flush out what participants would like to see in a Renfrew County model
(further details about the Conceptual Model are presented in Section 5).

Final Concept Paper November 2015


The workshop tables were asked to report back on top domains. For all three, Basic Needs was
number 1, followed by Health, and Economics.
Culture was low on the list, as well as
Proposed Domains
Environment. Table 1 said that we needed a
category for Mobility, that this concept was
Natural Environment,
larger than Built Environment and
Built Environment (including
Some had difficulty with Community Vitality.
Economy (Income and
Participants thought that this domain was an
outcome as opposed to a determinant of
Basic needs (including Housing
community well-being.
and Food Security)
Table 3 thought that it would be important to
Education and Learning
include consideration of the nonprofit sector as
separate domain of community well-being. This
Culture and Leisure
sector plays a key role in articulating whats
Community Vitality
important in Renfrew County.

See page 50 for the list of final
Other key points raised in the discussion related to
domains and their definitions.
community data.

There is a long list of places where to get information but with the exception of the health
sector, access remains difficult. Often time, data are either very specific / very local or either too
broad. Most available data lag the current period to a considerable degree.
Participants felt strongly that data/indicators are an important source of information but that
you need to go to community members as well. Stories remain essential to identifying and
analyzing community trends.

Strategy and Operational Next Steps

Who in the County could host a project like this long-term and why?

County of Renfrew
Renfrew County and District Health Unit (public health)
Healthy Communities Partnership with dedicated funding
Community Resource Centre (211)
Algonquin College (Pembroke campus)
Champlain LHIN
Social service agency or coalition of agencies (e.g., HCP)

How might you or your organization use these data / this tool in the next year to 3 years? How might
this project be helpful/ useful in Renfrew County broadly speaking in 10 years?

3+ years vision:
o Tool for advocacy
o Strategic planning
o Identify service and program gaps
o Proposal writing
o Leverage funding / co-ordinate funding opportunities

10+ years vision
o Trends for future planning
Final Concept Paper November 2015



Prevent duplication of services

Measuring performance
Measuring impact
Make decisions-makers more accountable
Funders begin to tailor call for proposals and programming around community
Increased cross-sector collaboration
Greater consistency in data collection, greater transparency
Strategic priorities for North Renfrew Integrated Community Services Counsel
Provide needed community benchmarks
Target high needs
Support to administrative data collection, tool for reporting
More Trillium grant funds awarded!

5.2 Community Conversations

The HCP Workshop served as a pilot for the engagement sessions with local communities, providing
insight into the design of the workshops and relevance of the questions. With this input, the agenda and
materials were revised and the community conversations were organized in collaboration with local

Seven community conversations were held in different communities across Renfrew County through
the winter of 2015. These sessions were devised, like the workshop with the HCP, to introduce the
Community Data Project and to explore what residents of Renfrew County value with respect to their
quality of life. (Appendix 3: Agenda)

The goal of the conversations was to capture the diverse experiences of the different communities,
providing the information needed to define and measure community well-being. What defines
community well-being in Renfrew County? What factors contribute to well-being and what factors
undermine it? What kind of indicators are important to track? Whats needed to measure progress and
to make life better?

Through the community conversations, participants also explored different types of reporting tools and
discussed what might be useful in their own work. As well, each conversation discussed the strategic
issues and practical considerations involved in building and launching a shared measurement tool.

A cross section of different organizations attended the community conversations, including members
from the Healthy Community Partnership. Participants were largely community volunteers or
representatives from health, education, recreation or social service agencies. Representatives from the
different municipalities, the province, and the United Way also attended. The sessions ranged from 8 to
20 participants, with the largest turnout in North Renfrew / Deep River.

Table 5: Community Conversation Overview

Location (number of participants)

Madawaska Valley and Area (18)

Opeongo Seniors Centre, Barrys Bay

December 8, 2014

North Renfrew / Deep River (24)

Deep River & District Hospital, Deep

January 13, 2015

Final Concept Paper November 2015



Lutheran Church, Renfrew

Renfrew and Area (15)

Pembroke and Area (16)

February 4, 2015
February 24, 2015

Petawawa and Area (17)

Ottawa Valley Health and Wellness

Centre, Pembroke
Petawawa Civic Centre, Petawawa

Arnprior and Area (13)

Arnprior Public Library, Arnprior

February 24, 2015

Bonnechere Valley and Area (8)

Eganville Seniors Centre, Eganville

February 24, 2015

February 24, 2015

The section below provides an overview of the different conversations, highlighting both the points of
commonality and of difference. (For a summary of key points from each session, please see Appendix 4).

Describing well-being in Renfrew County

How do you describe your community? What are its geographic boundaries?

It was clear as the community conversations progressed that participants understood and
experienced Renfrew County in distinctive ways. Most people indicated that they were
primarily attached to their community, and that the County did not always figure as a point of
That said, groups tended to define their communities as larger than a particular set of municipal
boundaries. Community reflected the geography of their daily lives. For instance, those living
in Petawawa go to Deep River for health services while many Arnprior residents commute to
Ottawa for work. And people travel large distance to see family and friends, attend recreational
events and to shop.
The table below presents the list of communities that hosted community conversations. The
figure in the brackets is the population as recorded in the 2011 Census of Population. The
second column presents the way in which the participants defined the geographic boundaries of
their communities. In every case, the participants boundaries captured a much larger land and
population base.
This raises interesting questions as to how to highlight the interconnections of the different
areas of Renfrew County in a shared measurement tool.
The importance of Highway 17 was also noted as the defining characteristic of the County.
Highway 60 is also emerging as a key reference point as well.

Table 6: Defining Community: Geographic Boundaries Selected by Group Participants

Madawaska Valley and

Includes all of the area and communities from Whitney or the edge of
Algonquin Park to Killaloe along the Hwy 60 corridor.

North Renfrew / Deep


Includes all communities and geography inclusive from the border of

Petawawa to Deux-Rivires, along the Highway 17 corridor. In particular,
the participants wanted to acknowledge the differences between the
larger centres in this catchment area and the smaller, more rural

Final Concept Paper November 2015


Renfrew and Area

Pembroke and Area
Petawawa and Area
Arnprior and Area

Bonnechere Valley and


Includes the town of Renfrew and adjacent municipalities up to Beachburg
(to the west) and extending past Burnstown towards Arnprior.
Includes the city as well as Laurentian Valley Township and surrounding
villages such as Westmeath.
Runs from Chalk River to Pembroke along Hwy 17 and is bounded by
Algonquin Park and the Ottawa River.
Includes the town and communities around Arnprior such as
McNab/Braeside Township, but for many, their community reaches south
to places like Kanata, Carleton Place and Mississippi Mills.
Includes everything from the edge of the town of Renfrew to Deacon and

What makes your community special? How is your community connected to your sense of personal

Several cross-cutting themes emerged as participants spoke about their individual communities,
revealing the connections that tie residents of Renfrew County together.
Each group spoke of the sense of connection among residents and the significance of living in
a small community. They valued their sense of community and the willingness to share and
support each other.
Related to this, several groups highlighted the high rate of volunteerism in their communities
(Madawaska Valley, Arnprior, Renfrew, and Pembroke). For example, the new music festival
Priorpalooza has been a tremendous success due to the support of Arnprior residents.
Participants also noted the wonderful natural environment of the County and the immediate
access to nature and leisure activities. They placed a high value on the quality of recreational
opportunities available to community members.

A white pine in Gillies Grove, Arnprior, has just won
the title of Ontarios tallest tree at 47 metres

Several groups pointed to the level and quality of available services, such as the local
hospitals in Barrys Bay, Town of Renfrew and Deep River, and Renfrew Countys awardwinning emergency services.
And many communities noted the positive impact of having wonderful community meeting
spaces such as the Seniors Centre in Barrys Bay and music and cultural venues in the town of
There were also several interesting differences distinguishing one community from another.
Participants in Arnprior and the town of Renfrew spoke about the impact of living within easy
commuting distance of Ottawa and the challenges in attracting economic development.

Final Concept Paper November 2015


Population aging was an important theme for Madawaska Valley, Arnprior and Pembroke. By
contrast, Petawawa is a comparatively young community, positioned in close proximity to the
Canadian Forces Base. The challenges and opportunities facing these communities are different,
particularly with respect to the local economy and need for different types of supports and
Deep River is in a unique position given its historic relationship to Anomic Energy of Canada
Limited (AECL) and its evolution of as planned community. Participants from North Renfrew
spoke with pride about their communitys commitment to innovation and its ability to take
North Renfrew participants also acknowledged the divide between the town and the
surrounding rural areas, particularly with respect to income and other markers of individual
well-being. The divide between urban and rural areas and the north and the south of the
County was a prominent theme across all sessions, especially with respect to access to
affordable housing and transportation.
The theme of disparities emerged in the Pembroke session with respect to its position vis--vis
other Renfrew Country communities. Because Pembroke is a service hub for the County,
many residents in need of assistance locate here, including seniors and low income families. As a
result, Pembroke doesnt have the tax base that it needs to sustain these supports and its aging

Ranking domains of community well-being

Please rank the domains of well-being that you believe are the most important. As a table, review and
discuss results. Summarize findings and come to consensus as to a ranking for the domains.

Participants in the community conversations were also asked to rank the different dimensions
or domains of community well-being.
There was a good deal of variation between the sessions, but looking across all of the groups, the
top ranking domains were:
o Basic Needs
o Health
o Economy
o Education and Learning
Some participants noted the importance of community vitality as a domain that weaves through
many aspects of community life.
Interesting, while the natural environment was identified as one of the defining features of
Renfrew County, this domain did not rankly highly as a dimension of community well-being.
More work is needed to raise its profile.
The state of the economy and measures such as unemployment, quality of employment, and
level of economic diversification were flagged as important areas to track.
With respect to gaps, several groups noted that lack of youth representation (with the exception
of the conversation in Arnprior). Youth engagement was flagged as a key dimension of wellbeing that should be incorporated into the Conceptual Model.
As well, attention needs to be paid to the accessibility of key services in the County such as
affordable housing and transportation supports. It was also recommended that the team
consider adding Personal Security as another domain.
Several participants noted that the model and tool must find a way to focus on key groups such
as Aboriginal peoples, low income people, and youth.

Characteristics of Models
Final Concept Paper November 2015


What type of visualization tool would you like to see? Who should be the primary audience? What type
of functionality should the tool have?

Participants requested an easy to use, electronic, sustainable / affordable, simple model (one
person summarized the request for a KISS model that it, keep it simple, stupid).
They wanted an information tool that would build on existing data sources and reporting
initiatives (including the LHIN quality indicators), include a baseline, and be able to measure key
indicators over time.
Providing information for individual communities was a high priority. Participants also wanted
to ensure that the diversity of their communities was reflected.
Some participants thought that the Newfoundland Community Accounts model might best
meet their needs. In particular, they liked the detailed community information and the ability to
layer on different types of data and/or information on community assets.
Others liked the Winnipeg example My Peg was the most attractive option in its ability to
blend stories and indicators. Using local stories was highlighted as a possible strategy for
incorporating a focus on smaller communities where statistical information is not available.
That said, one participant suggested that it seemed likely that the primary audience would be
planners and service providers. In this instance, it might be less expensive to go with a more
technical approach (such as the ONS) and spend the energy identifying trends, gaps, and
opportunities. Perhaps there would be more user-friendly reports for the public but this didnt
need to be integrated in the tool itself.
There could be a separate set of communications products developed to present County
progress on selected indicators. It would be important here to use graphics to report on trends,
opportunities, and gaps to illustrate differences and interconnections between communities in
Renfrew County.
Other feedback highlighted the need for data to be current and kept-up to date, and that the
indicator model should incorporate an asset-based approach rather than only focusing on
deficits or gaps.
One participant suggested that we look at the cultural mapping project to discern lessons from
this experience. This tool hasnt been used to its full potential and so it will be important to
create a user-friendly tool that serves the needs of diverse stakeholders / potential users.
It will also be important to keep in mind that there are still barriers with respect to data literacy
and broadband access across the county.
People acknowledged the importance of building the tool over time, focusing first on geography,
and then populating the model domain by domain, indicator by indicator.
One participant recommended that the indicator model should be aligned with the new Trillium
evaluation framework based on the Canadian Index of Wellbeing.
One participant stated that they hoped that data liberation would be an important component of
the project to hopefully start to fill in some of the gaps.
Lastly, it will be essential to lay out the benefits of the project regardless of the final form the
mapping tool might take. Attention will need to be paid to how residents and service providers
in the County might use this information and to what ends. The HCP has a big role to play in
helping to connect the dots.

Operational and strategic next steps

Change is coming as the four-lane highway continues its expansion up the Valley. This project offers an
opportunity for the County to step up and invest in the infrastructure needed to position all of Renfrew
County for the future. (Town of Renfrew Group)

Final Concept Paper November 2015


What are the challenges and opportunities to implementing a data project and visualization like the
ones reviewed in Renfrew County? What are recommended next steps?

Participants were excited about the potential of the project to pull county players together to
create a tool that would allow for consistent reporting on important socio-economic trends. It
will be hugely helpful in service planning, evaluation, and community outreach/engagement.
As well, it provides the opportunity to canvas potential partners with respect to their needs for
information and what they might be able to contribute to project in the future.
It was stressed that the final paper will need to talk about how this tool can be used by diverse
There were concerns about what would be needed to operate and sustain the data base and
mapping tool.
A good marketing plan was recommended to assist with fundraising and partnerships to sustain
the work over the long term.
One participant made the case that the first group of stakeholders to target should be County
Council and local municipalities. Engaging the community was essential to advancing a more
comprehensive vision of well-being for the County, but to create a tool such as the ONS, it would
take government support.
Related to this point, one participant said that it would be wise to align the final model and
indicator selection with Healthlink and LHIN indicators. The LHIN and the Public Health Unit are
already tracking several indicators this should provide the foundation for the project.
The United Way has a special role to play, bringing different actors together to discuss how the
project and the resulting tool can be used, and in helping to inform its own efforts to develop a
Community Impact model for its own granting.
Finally, many participants expressed the desire to see the final report and have the opportunity
to provide input as the project moves forward.

5.3 Summary and Conclusions

There is a rich opportunity to build a Community Data Table and collective measurement tool in
Renfrew County, one that would engage the major public and non-profit stakeholders to create a
common framework and approach/protocols for sharing data, evaluating impact, and tracking
collective progress.

The community conversations revealed significant interest across geographic areas in the power of a
user-friendly, reliable and up-to-date community mapping tool, findings that confirm past research and
consultations with key stakeholders and subject matter experts.

The engagement sessions were also useful in advancing and deepening the conversation about what
constitutes community well-being. While economic concerns dominated many discussions, the
understanding of progress extended far beyond economic indices to encompass a more comprehensive

Participants pointed to Renfrew Countys considerable strengths such as:

Access to healthy community environments, e.g., outdoor recreation and nature;
Strong voluntary networks;
Access to quality health services; and
A strong sense of community vitality.
Final Concept Paper November 2015


Several challenges were also identified, including:

the lack of youth engagement;
notable disparities between the urban and rural areas of the County, also between the north and
the south;
a lack of focus on the natural environment and its impact on community well-being; and
a lack of sharing information systems across Renfrew Countys different communities.

These themes align with many of the stated interests and priorities of HCP stakeholders, here including
the County and municipal governments, health and social service agencies, community sector
organizations, and local volunteers and advocates.

The table below presents a summary of this information. In building and launching the Renfrew County
Community Study, it will be necessary to take into account the following Strengths, Challenges, Opportunities
and Potential Barriers as identified by Renfrew County residents.

Table 7: Renfrew County Analysis

Community leadership is active and visible (HCP,
UW, other)
County stakeholders are motivated to collaborate
and enhance services
Relevant data sources and technical knowledge
among many stakeholders
Strong collaboration and sharing with community
partners through HCP

Interest in looking at ways to assess
organizational performance and community
impact notably in health, social service,
education sectors
Stakeholders want accurate, timely local
Emphasis on Community Well-being and Social
Determinants of Health (SDOH) approach at the
provincial level and among funder (e.g., Trillium)
Many HCP partners have resources to share (e.g.
tools, practices, expertise)
Technological options available
Opportunity exists to develop community
planning table that meets Renfrew County needs
to create a platform for this and other projects
Opportunity exists to leverage other County

Final Concept Paper November 2015

Many community partners have limited resources
to engage in collective work
Generally limited research/data/evaluation/
communications capacity outside of larger service
Limited data availability for smaller communities
and for several potential indicator domains
Administrative data for county programs not
readily available or produced in formats that lend
themselves to analysis
Project leadership an open question
No community-based planning capacity
Resources constraints a pressing concern for all

Potential Barriers
Identifying and tracking comprehensive range of
well-being indicators will be challenging
Community partners may not be interested in
County-level information.
Inability to capture the experience of specific
groups such as Aboriginal peoples or youth will
make the tool less useful
Questions about the timeliness of the information
and ability to update over time
Lack of knowledge and interest in project from
Lack of sources of funding to support crosssectoral work of this nature
Global climate of constraint
Rapidly changing and variable use of technology


and/or Ottawa projects (e.g., ONS) to create a

tool that meet Renfrew County needs
CCSDs Community Data Program a potential
vehicle for accessing custom community-level

Note: This table builds on the SWOT Analysis prepared for the RCDHU which faces similar challenges in its
health promotion work.

Table 8: How Does Community Affect Our Health?

Healthy Community
Safe neighbourhoods, schools
and walking paths
Every member of the population
receives a livable wage
Engaged, healthy young people who
contribute positively to their community
Free or low cost, safe physical activity
programs and built environment
Clean air and environment
Healthy natural spaces, parks,
public spaces
High quality mixed
income housing
Nearby grocery stores well stocked
with affordable local healthy food
Clean, green streets (880 rule*)
Visible arts, culture and heritage
in the community
Community centres, rich with
social services and recreation
Access to primary care and
multi-faceted health services
Accessible, safe transportation
Vibrant, inclusive schools open to the
community before and after school

Not so Healthy Community


Unsafe, unused roads, schools

and trails





High population of vulnerable

High cost gyms, no safe, accessible
community or outdoor public spaces
Exposure to pollutants, hazardous waste
No green space for
physical activity
Limited affordable housing is run-down
and unsafe
Convenience stores, liquor stores,
fast food
No sidewalks, streets designed
solely for vehicles
No public art or opportunities
for creative contribution
No opportunity to engage
socially in a community hub
Poor local health
care services
Lack of co-ordinated transportation services
or safe integrated walking and biking paths
Schools isolated from
the community

Source: Community Picture Report, p. 11.

Final Concept Paper November 2015


Initial Data Collection Regions Proposed

Township of
Head, Clara
& Maria
Town of
Deep River
( 4,193)

Renfrew County "Communities"


Town of
Laurentian Hills


Town of


City of


Township of
Laurentian Valley

Township of
Killaloe, Hagarty
& Richards

Township of
Madawaska Valley


Township of

Township of
Town of
( 8,218)

Algonquins of
Township of
Bonnechere Valley

Township of
Lyndoch & Raglan


Township of North


Township of

Township of

Town of

Township of
Greater Madawaska


Final Concept Paper November 2015


Part III Building a Shared Measurement Tool

6. Proposed Model and Framework

The goal of Renfrew County Community Data Project is to lay the groundwork for developing a shared
measurement tool for the Healthy Communities Partnership. This section proposes a Conceptual Model
and Indicator Framework and reviews potential data sources. The goal is to generate constructive
dialogue and action to shape the content and design for a Renfrew County Community, building on the
excellent work highlighted in the 2011 Community Picture Report and the findings of Community
Conversations that were hosted between December and February, this past year.

A draft model will be presented to members of the Healthy Communities Partnership, key stakeholders
and participants in the Community Conversations. Their feedback will be incorporated in the final
project design, to be released along with an implementation plan in the fall 2015.

6.1 Introduction

In this section, we explore two key questions: How should we define community well-being? and How
should we go about measuring it?

Healthy people live and thrive in healthy communities. The literatures on individual well-being and
healthy communities intersect at this point. The characteristics of communities that support and
nurture individuals and families by leveraging assets and mitigating risks overlap to a considerable
degree with the characteristics of healthy and vibrant communities as described in community wellbeing literature.

For example, the Action for Neighbourhood Change project team defined vital neighbourhoods as
those that are able to cultivate and marshal a communitys assets and resources for the collective
benefit.51 This perspective is founded on John McKnight and John Kretzmanns work on community
assets.52 For McKnight and Kretzmann, the most important aspects of any community are not its
deficits but its assets, here including economic and physical assets as well as human assets, both
individual and collective, that are assembled in networks and social relationships.

In practice, the concept of community well-being or other variations such as neighbourhood vitality or
nurturing communities defies easy definition. William Grisby, in fact, suggests that defining
community vitality and well-being seems to lend itself better to list-making than to concise
theorization or application.53

Healthy communities are engaged not only in the collective task of getting by but also of getting
ahead. Alan Black and Philip Hughes, in a review of the literature on community strength, conclude
that: the notions sustainability, resilience, capacity and health, as applied to communities, all point to
the capacities of communities to maintain and enhance outcomes not just for the present, but for
future generations maintaining outcomes in the face of shocks and stresses which might otherwise
diminish the capacity of a community.54

To this end, the energies, knowledge and skill of engaged residents fuel the engine of community wellbeing. Healthy communities are those that are able to marshal their assets and relationships in
support of all of their residents.

Final Concept Paper November 2015


Box 4: Definitions

Well-being indicators are measures or statistics used to observe, track and analyze quality of life at the level of
the individual or the community. Well-being indicators are useful tools for identifying strengthens and
weaknesses, providing key information for developing priorities, setting action goals, and determining program
and policy impact. They tell a rich story about the state of the community, where they have been and where they
are likely headed

Well-being domains are categories or dimensions of well-being such as health or learning. Domains are useful in
helping to organize and focus the collection and analysis of individual and community information and trends.

6.2 Defining Community Well-being

Community well-being research and practice, briefly summarized above, provide important insights
into the characteristics of communities that nurture their residents and as such offer a good starting
point and foundation for developing the Conceptual Model for the Renfrew County Community Study.

For our purposes, we are using the term healthy communities to define the parameters of the
Conceptual Model and the proposed domains of community well-being.

Proposed Definition
Healthy communities are those that:

Offer the opportunities and supports that individuals and families need to thrive and prosper.
Connect residents to economic opportunities, to social networks of family, peers, and
neighbours, and to quality programs and services that can help them succeed and thrive.
Facilitate the participation of all residents in community life, fostering a sense of belonging
and respect
Cultivate and marshal community assets and relationships in support of individual and
collective well-being in times of need and hardship.
Work to nurture and enjoy the natural environment, while providing for our immediate and
future needs in ways that protect the earths living systems.

This definition emphasizes both the characteristics of community that cares for people as well as the
capacity of communities to take action in the pursuit of well-being, in ways that are inclusive and
respectful of the needs and aspirations of community members.

It is consistent with the definition of healthy communities set out in the 2012 Community Picture Report
(See Figure 8 below) and Renfrew Countys strategic vision of being safe, thriving, and affordable,
committed to creating opportunities to prosper.
Taking this definition and these characteristics as a starting pointing, the paper proposes the following
Conceptual Model as a starting point or foundation of the shared measurement tool.

Final Concept Paper November 2015


Figure 8: Healthy Communities: Proposed Conceptual Mode

The proposed model is built around ten pillars or domains of well-being, and aligns with other
influential community well-being initiatives such as the Canadian Index of Wellbeing and My Peg
from Winnipeg, and incorporates the findings and recommendations from the Community
Conversations and review of HCP stakeholders priorities.
For example, Community Conversation participants pointed to the sense of community and active
social life as important features of life in Renfrew County. As well, the County has a vast geographical
area rich with natural spaces. This is a significant asset for many who are able to access this natural
environment for recreation and leisure activities and economic opportunity.
At the same time, Renfrew Countys vast geographic area creates challenges related to transportation
and access to health care services, particularly for groups like seniors who comprise a significant
portion of the Countys population, especially those living in rural areas.
There is a high percentage of families in Renfrew County who live in poverty, a known and powerful
determinant of health and well-being. Many residents live with multiple challenges related to poverty,
lack of physical activity, smoking, alcohol abuse, poor eating habits and high levels of stress.55
These findings have been taken into consideration in the selection of well-being domains and proposed
All participants in the Community Conversations stressed the importance of Basic Needs and the
related domain of Economy and local labour market. In response to feedback, the project team has
Final Concept Paper November 2015


broken the original domain of Built Environment into two domains focusing on Housing and
Transportation. Housing in particular is a key focus for the County as it moves forward with its Ten
Year Housing and Homelessness Plan, while Transportation was stressed as a critical factor influencing
equitable access to supports and supports, especially among seniors living in rural areas.
There was some degree of confusion around the domain of Community Vitality. This is a domain from
the Canadian Index of Wellbeing. The team has relabeled this domain: Belonging and Engagement to
better reflect its focus. A new domain Safety has also been added at the request of community
The Conceptual Model also incorporates demographic indicators and an accounting of the
communitys physical, institutional and social assets, two sets of descriptive statistics that will serve
as the foundation for the shared measurement tool, consistent with the approach of the Ottawa
Neighbourhood Study (ONS) and the desire of the HCP Indicator Working Group, as expressed in its
April 2014 Indicator Inventory. 56

The Table below presents the list of proposed domains and their respective definitions.

Table 9: Proposed Domains: Definitions



Basic Needs

Belonging & Engagement

Basic needs are those things that we need to survive including security,
shelter, and food as well as access to basic services and supports.
Belonging & Engagement indicators examine the strength, activity and
inclusiveness of relationships within a community between residents,
organizations, business, and public services.
Leisure, Art and Culture refers to all forms of human expression, as well as
the more focused area of the arts, and recreational activities.
Economy includes all that people do in our community to produce,
exchange, distribute, and consume goods and services. It also includes the
level and distribution of income, including trends in poverty.
Health is a state of complete physical, social and mental well-being, and
not merely the absence of disease or infirmity (WHO). It refers to the
personal and social resources and physical capabilities that we bring to
everyday life and contribute to our community.
Housing that provides a safe and comfortable place to live is fundamental
to individual well-being. When housing is inadequate or unavailable,
individual and community well-being suffer. Housing cost and housing
diversity are two key elements of the housing domain.
Learning in the broadest sense is any experience that shapes the mind,
character or capacity of individuals to function in the world. Through
formal systems of education and life-long learning, we acquire new
knowledge, skills, and values.
The natural environment encompasses all living and non-living things
occurring naturally in our community.
Safety and security include both subjective feelings of safety (people
feeling they can go anywhere, feeling comfortable in public), as well as
objective measures of safety (e.g., freedom from crime, absence of
pollutants and contaminants, safe buildings).
Transportation facilitates the movement of individuals within and between
communities. Healthy communities are those where people can move

Culture, Art & Leisure

Economy & Labour Market



Learning & Education

Natural Environment


Transportation & Mobility

Final Concept Paper November 2015


freely and efficiently via a safe, integrated and convenient transportation

routes including public transit, bike routes, and pedestrian walkways.

Demographic Profile

Community Assets and Resources

Demographic indicators are the foundation of any community profile,

providing the insight into the unique composition and dynamics of
individual communities. Key areas include: size of population, age profile,
ethno-cultural make-up, and family structure.
A community asset or resource is anything that can be used to improve
the quality of community life, here including the skills and talents of
residents, a physical place or structure, natural resources, accessible
community programs, and strong local businesses.

6.3 Geographic Framework

One key facet of this work is exploring potential data sources and questions around data availability at
different levels of County geography in order to establish the Geographic Framework for the initiative.

The Geographic Framework is a key consideration given the largely rural character of Renfrew County
and the presence of many small population centres. Because of issues related to sample size, response
rates for particular surveys, and the suppression of data, many potential indicators may only be
available if at all at the level of the County or for another administrative unit such as the school
district or health region. And others may only be available for the larger population centres in Renfrew
County. Consequently, it will in all likelihood be necessary to rely on more than one level of geography
or set of geographic units or categories in the collective measurement tool. This will be a critical
consideration in selecting indicators to populate the Indicator Framework.

The County of Renfrew is classified as a Census Division a Statistics Canada term that refers to a group
of neighbouring municipalities joined together for the purposes of regional planning and managing
common services.57 Within the County, Statistics Canada recognizes 19 Census Subdivisions. A Census
Subdivision (CSD) is typically a municipality but may also be an area deemed to be equivalent to a
municipality for statistical reporting purposes such as an Indian reserve or an unorganized territory.
Census subdivisions are broken down further into Dissemination Areas (DAs).These are defined by
Statistics Canada as small areas with a total population of 400 to 700 persons. A DA is the smallest
standard geographic unit among Census geographies.

Renfrew County has a population of roughly 100,000 according to the Census of Population in 2011. As
the chart below shows, the largest census subdivision is Petawawa at 15,988, followed by Pembroke at
14,360, and Laurentian Valley at 9,657. The smallest is Head, Clara and Maria Township and
Pikwkanagn with less than 500 residents, respectively. Of the 19 communities, 13 have populations of
less than 5,000. The large majority of these communities are sparsely populated, with fewer than 150
people per square kilometer, the OECD definition of a rural area. (See Appendix 5 for a population
profile of the 19 CSDs).

There are other potential levels of geography or geographic units to consider in building the Geographic
Framework. For instance, the use of Taxfiler data is becoming more common in the analysis of socioeconomic trends.58 Taxfiler data use Postal Codes as their basic geographic building block. Postal
geographic scales are based on (or aggregated from) six-digit Postal Codes. For example, in Renfrew
County, there are three postal cities, four urban forward sortation areas (FSAs), and 24 rural
communities outside of the postal cities.

Final Concept Paper November 2015


Taxfiler data offer a relatively new community-level source of information on several key indicators of
community well-being. In practice, however, the boundaries of rural postal codes often do not align well
with other administrative boundaries or the ways in which residents describe and understand their
communities. Converting postal geographies is a potential option, but this process can be challenging
and does not always produce reliable results.

It will therefore be necessary to establish clear guidelines for identification of the appropriate
geographic units for collecting and presenting the information in the collective measurement tool,
taking into consideration available funding and resources and the current practices of the County
government and other governments and agencies. This will be a key area of discussion with the
Healthy Community Partnership in the final design of the measurement tool.

Proposed Guiding Principles:

All measures should be presented at the lowest level of geography available to the extent
possible. Where information for smaller communities is not available, Renfrew County
indicators will be included.
All efforts will be made to bring together different sources of information within a common
Geographic Framework.59
The Geographic Framework should incorporate established geographic units that have meaning
for the residents of Renfrew County.
The mapping tool should endeavour to include the location of community assets and other
features of interest to Renfrew County.
The mapping tool should be designed with a view to working with other established Renfrew
County initiatives such as the GIS department at the County.
The mapping tool will not present information for any community that may compromise the
privacy of any resident.60
All limitations with regard to the quality data and the challenges related to assembling
information across different levels of geography will be noted and discussed in the development
of the Geographic Framework and final measurement tool.

Final Concept Paper November 2015


Source: Statistics Canada, 2011 Population of Census

Source: Statistics Canada, 2011 Population of Census

Final Concept Paper November 2015


6.4 Measuring Community Well-being: Proposed Indicator Framework

Community indicators are measurements that provide information about past and current trends
within a community [they] provide information on the overall direction of a community,
providing data on where it is improving, declining and/or staying the same.61

The measurement of community well-being has its challenges. And so, in developing this Indicator
Framework, the team has cast a broad net. We have been guided first and foremost by the Conceptual
Model, the input from the Community Conversations and key informant interviews, as well as the
literature on known factors associated with community well-being and our review of established data
source (see Section 6.5).

Our goal is to find measures that are:

Valid and reliable, generated through sound research techniques, providing a consistent
measure over time
Available for small area geographies
Are understandable and useful to a wide audience, including community members, service
providers and government officials
Are comparable, based on standard definitions, across population groups and different county
Are relevant, representing a significant aspect or dimension of community well-being or the
context in which people live
Are accessible from credible sources at modest cost.

Many potential indicators will not meet all of these specific standards. For example, many data are not
consistently available at lower levels of geography. Statistical indicators that measure soft values such
as trust or perceptions of safety are also often lacking. Community surveys a potentially useful source
of data are typically limited in their demographic breakdowns.

A key theme in each of the Community Conversations was the need to highlight the situation of
particular groups such as First Nation and Mtis peoples living in Renfrew County and low income
residents. Some information is available at the County level but there are significant limitations a
problem well known to community organizations and service providers. The Renfrew County
Community Study will need to bring different strategies to bear in order to ensure that these voices are

With these caveats in mind, the Community Data Study attempts to identify and evaluate a variety of
potential measures from a variety of sources (discussed below) for measuring community well-being in
Renfrew County, remembering any indicator is only able to point to a trend or fact. It is always
necessary to validate the information gleaned from statistics with other sources including the
experiences of residents to correctly interpret and communicate the message.

This preliminary list of indicators represent both the characteristics of a given community and the
conditions or systems necessary to foster the well-being of community members. Many of the
quantitative measures that are being proposed are essentially measures of the attributes of the
individuals within the specific communities. A more comprehensive indicator system would include
specific information on community dynamics. Unfortunately, data like these are not generally available
from published sources, often requiring the use of household and individual surveys to acquire them.

Final Concept Paper November 2015


Therefore, our goal at this stage of the project is to create a framework that can be revised and
populated over time, drawing on additional sources of administrative data as well as the perspectives
of residents and community stakeholders. Different strategies have been developed that attempt to fill
some of these gaps. Some communities such as Victoria62 and Kingston63 have fielded their own
community well-being surveys, working in this instance with the team behind the Canadian Index of
Well-being to complement their local Vital Signs report, an initiative sponsored by Community
Foundations across the country. Other communities have commissioned public opinion polling to
gauge public opinion and establish programming priorities for funding.

The Peg website, produced in Winnipeg, supplements its community indicator system with the use of
stories for the different theme areas. They are personal stories of people with lived experience and
individuals helping to make a difference. These stories are chosen to: help improve general
understanding of an issue; inspire and empower others to take action; illustrate the impacts of an
action, share effective actions, and celebrate success; and help establish the factors affecting change in a
given indicator. Inserting research and program highlights can be another effective strategy for
deepening the understanding of community well-being and the impact of existing efforts to enhance
quality of life. The Headwaters Community Well-being Report provides an excellent example of how a
largely rural area using many of these strategies created a meaningful and fulsome portrait of the
quality of life in their community.64

As County stakeholders move forward with the Renfrew County Community Study, exploring these
types of options to complement its analysis of well-being indicators will enable a more strategic and
purposeful approach. The HCP and their partners may also want to consider establish benchmarks and
targets for specific domains or indicators to build a more effective platform for tracking progress over
time and enhancing the collective impact of the HCP.

An overview of the Proposed Indicator Framework is presented below. A brief description of each
domain is provided as well as a list of potential indicators for each. The exact number of indicators per
domains has not yet been decided. This will depend on the interests of the community stakeholders and
the resources that are generated to support the project. The number can and will vary, reflecting the
status of existing data collection in the different domains. For example, there is much more information
available for Health and Economy.

This Framework is being presented in order:
to gather feedback on the desirability of these measures;
to identify important gaps in our knowledge; and
to identify additional indicator candidates for inclusion in the Renfrew County Community

Those indictors highlighted in red are available from the CCSDs Community Data Program. The
proposed indicators are also presented in Appendix 6, organized by data source.

As additional information is identified or generated, the data base will grow and supplementary
information and resources (e.g., related research studies, program evaluations, public polling and the
like) will be incorporated over time.

Final Concept Paper November 2015


Domains of Well-being
Learning & Education
Learning in the broadest sense is any experience that shapes the mind, character or capacity of
individuals to function in the world. Through formal systems of education and life-long learning, we
acquire new knowledge, skills, and values. The indicators here have been chosen to reflect both the
flow (children gaining qualifications) and stock (adult qualifications) of learning. Early levels of
achievement are a good predictor of social mobility (as measured by future educational success and
employability), while poor levels of literacy hamper access to and ability to use information, in addition
to creating barriers to social cohesion among community residents.

Educational disparities was raised in several Community Conversation particularly between the urban
and rural areas of the County and the availability of resources to close the gap. These include services
and supports targeting pre-school and school-aged children.

In selecting indicators for this domain, we have attempted to align the measures with existing reporting
systems, including the County of Renfrew Annual Report on Child Care Services, the report on School
Readiness prepared by the Parent Resource Centre (PRC) in Ottawa, and the information published by
the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) of the Ontario Government. It will also be
important to consult local school boards to vet these measures and ensure that they align with the own
reporting requirements.

In April 2015, the province announced that it would begin to publish board-level graduation rates, using
its own definition. The graduation rates are calculated by the province based on administrative data
from school boards.

Table 10: Four Year and Five Year 2014 Graduation Rates, Renfrew County

Renfrew County and

District School Board

Renfrew County
Catholic District School


Four Year Graduation Rate

Five Year Graduation Rate


The proportion of 20-24 year-olds who have completed high school is also commonly used as a proxy
measure for high school graduation, while the proportion of those who have not completed high school
has been used as a proxy for drop-out rate. This information is available through the National
Household Survey every 5 years. It is also possible to derive this measure on an annual basis using the
Labour Force Survey but it would be necessary to purchase custom cross-tabulations. Another
alternative might be to explore whether this measure is available through the ESMI from the Labour
Market Group.
It would be useful to explore other indicators of post-secondary training and lifelong learning. Potential
indicators might include a measure of enrollment in post-secondary training or enrollment in ESL/FSL

Final Concept Paper November 2015


Table 11a: Proposed Indicators: Learning & Education

Readiness to learn: % of children (age 5) assessed as ready and very ready for school across 5 domains
Readiness to learn: % of children who are vulnerable in one or more domains
Number of available licensed child care spaces for children, by community
Number of children in receipt of fee subsidy / integration services OR Number of children on the waiting
list for subsidies / other support service for children (e.g., FCS)
Number of children outside of the formal school system To be determined
EQAO scores (grades 3,6 and 9) by school and County
High School Graduation
Dropout Rate (% of 20-24 years with no high school diploma or any other certificate or diploma)
Participation of 18-24 years in post-secondary training
Indicator: Enrollment in ESL/FSL training course (LIP) To be determined
Educational Attainment (% 25-64 with post-secondary qualifications, change over time)
Indicator: Lifelong learning To be determined

Note: Community Data Program. Information potentially available for selected sub-populations

Basic Needs
Assured access to the basics of life for families and for communities is fundamental to individual and
community well-being. This refers not only access to suitable shelter and nutritious food, but also to
goods and supports or activities that allow individuals and families to participate with dignity in the
economic, social and cultural life of the community. Basic Needs was consistently selected as the most
important community well-being domain in the Community Conversations.

In selecting these indicators, the project team pulled together several sources of information. Some of
the information is produced annually (e.g., social assistance information, taxfiler information on family
income). Information from the National Household Survey a valuable source of community level
information is only available every 5 years. In making the final selection it will be necessary to balance
the desire for community level information with the need to have the most up to date information
possible, highlighting local program progress where possible (e.g., Renfrew County Living Wage
Working Group).

Table 11b: Proposed Indicators: Basic Needs

Unemployment rate / Long-term unemployment by age group (population aged 15+)

Median total income by age (all persons / economic families)
Income inequality (ratio to 90 percentile to 10 decile, economic families)
Poverty rate by age / by family type (After-tax Low Income Measure)
Living wage indicator (Renfrew County Living Wage Working Group)
Social assistance average caseload (OW / ODSP) (# and annual % change)
Food bank use (# and annual % change) (OR # receiving meals on wheels)
Population experiencing food insecurity (population aged 12+)
Social Housing Waiting List (# and annual % change) and average wait time
Population in subsidized housing
Young people Not in Education, Employment or Training / Not in the labour force
Number of Employment Ontario assisted clients / Literacy and Basic Skills clients
Exit outcomes of Employment Ontario clients

Final Concept Paper November 2015


Note: Community Data Program. Information potentially available for selected sub-populations

Health is a state of complete physical, social and mental well-being, and not merely the absence of
disease or infirmity (WHO). It refers to the personal and social resources and physical capabilities that
we bring to everyday life and contribute to our community.

The indicators selected for this domain focus on reported levels of physical and mental health of
residents, as well as accessibility and quality of service. In this domain, there are several potential
sources of information from key health agencies serving Renfrew County. The Renfrew County and
District Health Unit tracks many different service and outcome indicators as a part of their mandated
surveillance activities and program evaluations. Similarly, local hospitals, the Local Health Integration
Network and the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care compile rich repositories of information,
tracking measures against established benchmarks and targets. The Canadian Community Health
Survey is also a significant source of information on health and health care use reported at the County

Given the large number of potential indicators, it will be necessary to establish criteria for inclusion, for
example, significant predictors of population health, indicators that highlight challenges for Renfrew
County, or those that speak to the accessibility and quality of health services and supports, for example,
ambulatory clinics; palliative care beds; dementia supports; or prenatal care. What type of access to
specialists is available at local hospitals? Where possible, it will be important to look at the selected
indictors by age.

A final note: Many of the indicators selected below are taken from the Canadian Community Health
Survey. Where possible, it would be desirable to choose similar indicators from local administrative
sources and to track success of the many local health initiatives underway in the County.

Table 11c: Proposed Indicators: Health

Low birth weight

Life expectancy at birth
Self-reported health by age (12+)
Self-reported oral health by age (12+)
Disability rate by age (12+)
Population with probable depression by age (12+) (OR visits to ED for self harm)
Population with self-reported diabetes (12+)
Daily or occasional teen smokers (12-19 yrs) (OR % exceeding Canadas Low Risk Alcohol Drinking
Population meeting physical activity targets (12+)
Influenza immunization, 65+
Fall-related emergency visits in older adults aged 65+
Population with a regular medical doctor (12+)
Proportion of high needs patients who dont have access to a regular family doctor or other alternative
health care provider
Percentage rating health services as excellent or very good (12+)
Indicator: Community mental health initiative (Community Picture Report, p. 32) To be determined

Final Concept Paper November 2015


Belonging & Engagement

Nurturing communities are characterized by strong, active and inclusive relationships between
residents, community organizations, local businesses and the public sector. These social networks
facilitate and foster active community engagement and a strong sense of belonging, trust and
reciprocity key determinants of both individual and community well-being. It is the connection that
people experience that allows residents to come together to pursue community goals for the benefit of

Belonging & Engagement indicators proposed here examine the strength, activity and inclusiveness of
relationships within a community between residents, organizations, business, and public services.
Statistics Canadas General Social Survey is an important source of information on community
engagement and support and the social norms and values that underlie these relationships.
Unfortunately, this survey does not produce community-level estimates. Therefore, it will be necessary
to look at other proxy measures for this domain. To this end, several proxy measures could be created,
looking at participation in, for instance, community organizations and service clubs. Community
participants were also interested in looking at measures of youth engagement.

Table 11d: Proposed Indicators: Belonging & Engagement

Voter turnout in municipal elections

Proportion of women on County Council
Volunteer Experience (Renfrew County survey)
Proportion of taxfilers making charitable donations
Success in meeting United Way fundraising target
Sense of belonging
Quality of life
Participation in selected community organizations / campaigns / service clubs To be determined
Number of community event permits To be determined
Measure of youth engagement To be determined
Residential stability
Proportion of single households

Note: Community Data Program. Information potentially available for selected sub-populations

Community Safety was identified as a high priority in Renfrew County. Safety impacts all aspects of
daily life from feelings of personal security at home and moving about in the community, to the quality
of our food, shelter, and workplaces, to the quality of public infrastructure, and access to emergency
services. It is a high priority for County Council who are seeking support to expand Highway 17, to
upgrade County infrastructure, and invest in community resources such as Renfrew Countys awardwinning paramedic services. The Health Unit is working on related issues such as unintentional
injuries65 and environmental toxins.
As this domain covers a range of topics, there are several potential indicators. Further work is needed to
confirm final indicator selection and community-level data sources. For example, the new Age Friendly
Grants that have been awarded may include indicators of interest and municipal accessibility plans
mandated by the province. It would also be useful to identify several program related markers for
inclusion in this category (e.g., participation in CPR training programs, access to defibrillators; walkway
safety, etc.).
Final Concept Paper November 2015



11e: Proposed Indicators: Safety

Property Crime local statistics (# per 100,000) Local police service (break out separate offences)
Violent Crime Local police service (break out separate offences)
Shelter Indicator (Bernadette McCann House) To be determined
Indicator: Crime prevention initiative / Womens Sexual Assault Centre To be determined
Vehicle collision rate
Hospitalization rates for transport incidents by age
Proportion of population using bicycle helmets
Hospitalization rates related to unintentional injuries by age
Indicator: Injury prevention initiative (Community Story Report, p. 22) To be determined
Indicator: Substance abuse prevention (Community Story Report, p. 30, 63) To be determined
Indicators: Paramedic Services (Community Story Report, p. 22, 35) To be determined

Transportation / Mobility
Healthy communities are those where people can move freely and efficiently via a safe, integrated and
convenient transportation routes including public transit and active transportation infrastructure, such
as bike routes, and pedestrian walkways. This is a significant dimension of community well-being in
Renfrew County where a large proportion of the population live in small villages and rural areas and
rely heavily on private automobiles to get around. It is especially important for seniors and low income
families for whom access to supports and services hinges on access to affordable transportation.
The Countys 2013-18 Strategic Plan identifies transportation as a top priority. It is working to upgrade
existing roads in order to promote safety and to facilitate economic development and tourism. As well,
the County is also working to eliminate barriers to active transportation as a way of promoting
healthier activity. The indicators proposed below offer some suggestions for tracking this dimension of
community well-being. In making the final selection, it will be important to align these measures with
existing targets and goals and requirements under provincial legislation.

Table 11f: Proposed Indicators: Transportation / Mobility

Indicator: Access to public transportation

Active transportation measure: how many people 15+ walk or bike to work; how many people 15+ take a
car, truck or van to work
Average commuting time and median commuting distance
Road program indicator County Public Works To be determined
Active transportation infrastructure (e.g., trails, waterways, etc.) Report on new County policy To be
Access to transportation through Champlain Community Transportation Collaborative (Carefor)
Investments in County infrastructure To be determined
Investments in active transportation infrastructure To be determined

Note: Community Data Program. Information potentially available for selected sub-populations

Final Concept Paper November 2015


Housing that provides a safe and comfortable place to live is fundamental to individual well-being.
When housing is inadequate or unavailable, individual and community well-being suffer. Housing cost
and housing diversity are two key elements that relate to community well-being.
The County of Renfrews new 10 Year Housing and Homelessness Plan provides an excellent discussion
of the challenges related to housing in the County and lays out a vision and a set of goals and related
actions to ensure that all residents have a place to call home.66
Goal 1: Housing persons who do not have a home
Goal 2: Preventing homelessness and maintaining housing stability
Goal 3: Ensuring an adequate supply and choice of housing
Goal 4: Improving coordination and capacity within the system

The proposed Action plan includes the creation of an annual Housing Report Card in order to monitor
community progress in achieving housing objectives and actions. A sample report card is provided to
illustrate the type of information that will be gathered to assess progress. A selection of these indicators
are noted below, thus aligning the proposed Renfrew County Community Study with the proposed
Housing Report Card.

Table 11g: Proposed Indicators: Housing

Renters / owners (housing tenure) by age

Housing stock by type
Housing starts and completions by type
Housing in need of repair
Housing affordability (proportion of income spent on shelter for owners and renters)
Average / median monthly payments for renters/owner
Average value of homes; average value of housing as % of median total family income
Vacancy rate for county
Capacity of Emergency Homeless Shelters
Capacity of Long-term care services
Waiting list for social housing and supportive housing / average duration
Indicator: Affordable housing initiative - TBD

Note: Community Data Program. Information potentially available for selected sub-populations

Box 5: Proposed Housing Report Card, County of Renfrew 10 Years Housing and
Homelessness Plan (August 2013)

Housing Indicators (2011)

Private Rental and Ownership Housing

Average Market Rent for One-Bedroom Unit $611 (December 2012. $523 bachelor, $611 one-bed,
$722 two-bed, $804 three-bed.)
Average Vacancy Rate (private rental market) 1.7%
Average Resale House Price $214,536 (Canadian Real Estate Association Sales Data)

Final Concept Paper November 2015


Social and Affordable Housing

Number of Social Housing Units 1,397
Number of Households on Social Housing Waiting List as of December 31st 1,121
Number of Households Housed from the Social Housing Waiting List (incl. SPP) 36
Number Of New Applications for the Social Housing Waiting List 143
Annual Turn Over n/a
Total Number of New Affordable Units Created this Year n/a
Emergency, Transitional and Supportive Housing
Number Of Emergency and Transitional Housing Units 39 (Bernadette McCann House (16),
Columbus House (11), MacKay Manor (12)
Average Length of Stay in Emergency/Transitional Housing (weeks) 10.5
Shelter Occupancy Rates (%) 50
Number Of Designated Units for Victims of Domestic Violence 16
Number Of Persons Moving from Shelter to Permanent Housing
o Youth n/a
o Victims of Domestic Violence n/a
Number Of Homeless or Unsheltered Who are Now in Permanent Housing n/a
Number Of Supportive Housing Units (outside social housing) 93 (Community Living Madawaska
Valley and Barrys Bay (34), Community Living Ottawa Valley(24), Community Living Ottawa
Number of Alternative Housing Units 25 (Kinsmen Court)

Housing Support Services Indicators (2011)

Number of Households Assisted through Homelessness Prevention Program 698

Number of Households Assisted through County of Renfrew Homeownership Program 22

Number of Households Assisted through Ontario Renovates 24
Number of New Tenant Support Services n/a
Number of Households Served Under the Federal Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program
(RRAP ) n/a
Number of New Services in Rural Communities n/a
Number of OW Caseloads 12,264
Number of ODSP Caseloads 4,119

Economy / Labour Market

A health economy is fundamental to community well-being. Economy includes all that people do in our
community to produce, exchange, distribute, and consume goods and services. The focus here is on the
ability of residents to generate the resources needed to participate fully in community life. This includes
tracking employment levels and the types of jobs on offer and the pace of job creation in the County.
Individual earnings, household income and reliance of government transfers are also important
markers of economic vitality and resilience, in turn, a key marker of community well-being.
These indicators have been selected with a view to the Countys strategic goals around economic
development and workforce training as well as agencies such as Employment Ontario. These measures
are closely related to those proposed for the Basic Needs domain.

Final Concept Paper November 2015


Table 11h: Proposed Indicators: Economy / Labour Market

Median family income by family type

Distribution of families by income group
Median annual earnings
Employment rate by age
Unemployment rate by age
Top 10 jobs by industry
Business per capita
Change in number of employers
Job quality metrics (e.g., part-time, temporary, self-employed, seasonal) To be determined
Government transfers as % of income
Number of Planning applications
Number of Business Licenses Received / Renewed
Indicator: Employment Ontario

Note: Community Data Program. Information potentially available for selected sub-populations

Natural Environment
Participants in the Community Engagement sessions all highlighted the importance of the natural
environment to their own well-being. Not only does the natural environment provide considerable
enjoyment and recreational opportunities for residents and their families, it supports a diverse range of
industry and business, as well as private households. For example, according to the State of the
Environment Report published in 2004, just under half of residents (46%) rely on groundwater for
their potable water.

This domain will need further work to identify potential measures from the different organizations
involved in environmental preservation and stewardship, drawing on the expertise of provincial and
county departments and agencies as well (e.g., Ottawa Valley Waste Management Board). Land owner
associations, private business, recreational groups and environmental nonprofits should be consulted
to craft a diverse list of measures that reflects the importance of the environment to County residents,
including access to natural spaces; biodiversity and conservation.

The County covers about 8,000 square kilometers, 70% of which is covered by forests. It has
over 300 lakes, four major river systems, and 1,600 wetlands. Roughly 15% is dedicated to
farmland and less than 1% is settled and developed land.

Table 11i: Proposed Indicators: Natural Environment

Waste production / diversion / re-cycling per capita (progress against targets)

Waste water treatment To be determined
Municipal water use To be determined
Freshwater: Quality of Ottawa River, other bodies of water To be determined
Status of groundwater / wells To be determined
Biodiversity indicators To be determined
Habitat preservation (e.g., wetlands, etc.) To be determined

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Percentage of protected greenspace per community To be determined

Progress of protection efforts To be determined
Participation in nature programs To be determined
# of natural outdoor play spaces

Box 6: Environmental Stakeholders in Renfrew County

Ministry of Natural Resources

Renfrew County Stewardship Council (RCSC)
Bonnechere River Watershed Project (BRWP)
Renfrew County Forest Stewardship Committee
Algonquin College Forestry Technician Program
fish and game clubs
Ducks Unlimited, Upper Ottawa Valley Chapter Ducks Unlimited
Federation of Ontario Cottagers Associations (FOCA)
Macnamara Field Naturalists Club (MFNC)
Ottawa Valley Forest Inc. (alliance of private forest companies in RC)
Renfrew County Federation of Agriculture
Renfrew County Cattlemens Association
Renfrew County Soil and Crop Improvement Association
Renfrew County Woodlot Owners Association
Renfrew County 4H Association

Culture, Art & Leisure

Renfrew County boasts a diverse and thriving local arts scene and is actively working to preserve its
heritage buildings and landscapes. It is a popular destination for tourists seeking to experience the
beauty and challenge of the Countys forests and waterways. Both Leisure & Culture contribute directly
to the sense of community and connection that residents expressed in the Community Conversations
and is a large reason why people chose to settle and stay in Renfrew County.
For its part, the County of Renfrew is pursuing a long-term strategy to position itself as a primary
tourist destination, investing in different culture and leisure programs and events. In 2012, it launched
the Cultural Mapping Project to help support cultural development in Pembroke and throughout the
Upper Ottawa Valley. It includes over 900 cultural assets of interest to residents and visitors in an
online database:
The proposed indicators have been chosen to complement this important resources, by looking at
different dimensions of culture and leisure in the County and the success of programs like the Cultural
Mapping Project in promoting community well-being. It may be useful to pull out separate measures for
the Arts as well to focus attention on its role in fostering community well-being.

Table 11j: Proposed Indicators: Culture, Art & Leisure

Attendance at cultural institutions / performing arts Selected venues

Attendance at parks / historic sites. Average # per site

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Municipal funding for arts services / programming by community

Enrolment in recreation, arts, sports programs per capita (County, CSD)
Community centres where programs are free
Number of library visits / materials circulated / use of electronic services (CSD)
Number of sports facilities (CSD)
Satisfaction with access to services and facilities (County, CSDs) (Community Picture Report, p. 58-59)
Indicator: Use of Cultural Mapping Tool to be determined
Indicator: Outdoor Play to be determined

Demographic Profile
Demographic indicators are the foundation of any community profile and are important component of
program evaluation and collective impact frameworks. This set of indicators has been chosen with a
view to describing the community context of all Renfrew County residents. Basic information about the
population by age and household status are provided. In additional the demographic profile highlights
the proportion of Aboriginal peoples and new immigrants, in and out migration, and changing family
and household profile.

Table 11k: Proposed Indicators: Demographic Profile

Total Population and Population Growth
Age Profile / Median Age
Language Profile
Gender Profile
Self-identified Aboriginal Population (on reserve / off reserve; status and non-status)
Immigrant Population
Visible Minority Population
Disability Population
Language spoken at home (neither English nor French)
Lived in same community a year ago
Net Migration per 1,000 Population
Net Migration (15-19 / 20-24)
Household Profile
Family Profile
Average household size
Note: Community Data Program. Information potentially available for selected sub-populations

Community Supports & Assets

The Demographic Profile addresses the question of who lives in the community. Community Assets and
Resources looks at the community assets that are available and accessible to residents that contribute to
enhanced quality of life. This includes access to services such as child care and libraries, green space
and recreational facilities, clean water and affordable transit, social housing and employment services.

This is perhaps the widest component of the Indicator Framework with a large range of possible
amenities and features to include. Many of the services and supports have already been compiled by
different service agencies and the County, including the Cultural Mapping project hosted by the County
of Renfrew. The list below provides a few examples of what might be included in the data inventory and
mapping tool depending consultation with stakeholders.

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Table 11l: Proposed Indicators: Community Supports & Assets

Healthy Communities Partnership, Building Healthy Community: Community Picture Report (2012)
Parent Resource Centre, Children and Family Service Inventory, 2012 County of Renfrew Data Profile
10 Year Housing and Homelessness Plan, Appendix B (August 2013)
Cultural Mapping Project
County of Renfrew, listing of recreation facilities, parks, green spaces
Community Resources Centre (Killaloe)
County Connections: Renfrew County Database of Community Services
211 (Renfrew County)
Child Poverty Action Network
Community Health Information Network
Per capita spending by program area County, municipalities
Other service areas of importance to County residents

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Concluding Thoughts

It is important to remember that measuring community cannot be accomplished with a simple tally of
data. The danger is that in the pursuit of simplicity, the development of an indicator framework may
reduce complex topics to more manageable, but less accurate, component parts. Indicators are,
therefore, not a stand-alone tool but should work in conjunction with other tools related to data
collection, analysis, evaluation and reporting. Community indicators require an approach to analysis
that is informed by the intersection of data and an interpretation based on the specific neighbourhood
context.67 The most effective community measurement efforts are those that engage key stakeholders
in the design, research and reporting out bringing the voices and expertise of community residents
and organizations to the table.

The Renfrew County Community Study will provides a starting point for a meaningful and ongoing
conversation about how communities can work to enrich and support all of their members.

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7. Data Sources

The Renfrew County Community Study has the good fortune of building on an established body of
research, public education materials, and policy and program documentation to create its proposal for a
collective measurement tool. County-level government and other public agencies such as the Public
Health Unit are important sources of information on the well-being of Renfrew residents. Local
hospitals and the Champlain Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) track population health and the
efficacy of health services. Statistics Canada also produces several surveys and administrative databases
that will be useful for the project, such as the National Household Survey, Taxfiler Data, and the
Canadian Community Health Survey.

The section below provides a brief overview of some of the key initiatives, reports and surveys on a
range of topics related to community well-being. This review helps to paint a picture of what we know
about Renfrew County and, in turn, where the gaps lie.

As those working in the County are all too aware, there are often significant limitations in the types of
resources available to document and analyze life in smaller communities and rural areas. When it
comes to smaller geographies, our capacity to track important well-being indicators is weak. As noted
above, there are some useful national-level sources that support local or neighbourhood analysis, and
some municipalities have developed unique data repositories in their own jurisdictions, but there are
very few sources that provide comparative information on communities or neighbourhoods across
jurisdictions and over time.

The challenge, then, in developing a shared measurement tool will be to build a framework that can
draw on available data sources, identifying a core of comparable indicators for comparable
geographies that speak to the reality of the lives of residents in Renfrew County, as well as integrating
sources of information on unique populations such as seniors or Aboriginal peoples.

The following review is organized into three sections. The first highlights key reference documents and
reporting initiatives as well as statistical surveys that examine different dimensions of community wellbeing. Following this, the report provides a short overview of the Canadian Council on Social
Developments Community Data Program (CDP) and its holdings of relevance to the Renfrew County
Community Study.

7.1 Regional Data Sources

County of Renfrew

There is a considerable amount of information available through the County, particularly in areas of its
administrative jurisdiction. These include information on economic development, housing, tourism and
recreation, natural resources and conservation, social services such as child care, social assistance,
emergency services, culture and heritage, and long-term care. The County has invested in its own GIS
mapping capacity which costs roughly $20,000 per year. This system is based on property tax records
because of the difficulty in using postal code geographies. This will be an important issue to keep in
mind in developing a data sharing platform for the Renfrew County Community Study.

The County produces a range of reports based on administrative data to inform their program and
policy work, some of which are available publicly, others are not. Some of the key reference documents

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Renfrew County Housing Department

The Housing Department produced its first 10 Year Housing and Homelessness Plan in
2013, in response to new provincial legislation. It provides an excellent overview of housing
conditions in the County, drawing on a range of administrative and survey data sources, all
of which will be useful in building the community well-being framework. See: 10 Year
Housing and Homelessness Plan (2013).
The 2013 Plan builds on an initial analysis prepared in 2008. Housing Need and Demand
Analysis (2008)
In addition, the department prepares a range of statistics on housing, including information
on its social housing portfolio and wait list information.
The Eastern Ontarios Wardens Caucus and the Ontario Non-profit Housing Association
have published recent reports on social housing and wait lists.
o See: EOWC (June 2014), Social Housing: One of a Series of White Papers on the
Financial Sustainability of Local Governments in Eastern Ontario.
o ONPHA (2015), Waiting Lists Survey 2015: ONPHAs Report on Waiting List Statistics
for Ontario.
Housing information is also available from:
o Canadian Housing and Mortgage Corporation conducts several annual surveys including
the Rental Market Survey. Its online data portal provides ready access to information for
Pembroke and Petawawa. Custom tabulations are also available.
o See also, CMHC Rental Market Statistics (published twice a year):
o ESDC, Shelter Capacity Report (2014),
o Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing compiles a considerable amount of
local housing data.

Child Care and Early Learning
County of Renfrew (2014), 2014 Statistical Report and Overview of Child Care in Renfrew
Childrens Services and Demographics Project Report (January 2012). This report, prepared
by the Parent Resource Centre in Ottawa, presents detailed profiles for Renfrew County and
20 communities, including an overview of recent demographic information, a service
dashboard, and an analysis of early development and academic achievement indicators. The
profiles are posted on the Best Start Network website:
o For Renfrew County, see:
The County Child Care Links page provides a listing of the membership of the local Best Start
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The County of Renfrew Child Care Services Division launched a quality initiative with all
licensed child care providers in January 2010, using Early Childhood Environment Rating
Scale, Revised Edition (ECERS-R). Agency scores are available for 2010 and 2012 at
The Early Development Instrument (EDI) measures childrens readiness to learn at school. It
is a 104-item checklist that is completed by Senior Kindergarten teachers for each child in
their class and measures readiness for the Grade One learning environment. Additional
information is gathered through the Kindergarten Parent Survey (KPS). This information is
designed to support the development of appropriate services and supports for young
o EDI and KPS findings are analysed and compiled in community profiles by the Program
Effectiveness Data Analysis Coordinators (PEDAC) attached to the Eastern Ontario
Region. Profiles for 11 communities in Renfrew County, are available at:
o Please note that the fourth cycle has been fielded and is set for release in December.
Contact: Andrea McIntrye, Ontario Early Years Centre.

Ontario Works
County of Renfrew (2014), Ontario Works Program Statistical Reports.

LTC and Emergency Services
Administrative Data To be completed

Other Data Sources for Renfrew County

Renfrew County and District Health Unit

The Renfrew County and District Health Unit is mandated to deliver public health programs
and services, to prevent the spread of diseases and promote and protect the health of
residents. To this end, it tracks the health of Renfrew County residents and evaluates the
impact of its mandated programs, producing a range of performance indicators. In this role,
it also produces regular research and community bulletins on a wide range of topics
relevant to community well-being.
For example, the RCDHU is responsible for the Integrated Services for Children Information
System and the Integrated Public Health Information System. As well, it tracks indicators
such pollution levels at public beaches and dental health information. Recently, the RCDHU
launched a new infant feeding surveillance program.
A list of data sources available to Ontario health unit can be found at: Important sources of health information include: Born
Outcomes Registry Network, Vital Statistics, and Ontario Roads Data.
See also: Intellihealth Ontario, a knowledge repository that contains clinical and
administrative data collected from various sectors of the Ontario healthcare system.
The most recent overview of public health performance indicators was released in 2013.
Review of Selected Public Health Performance Indicators at Renfrew County and District
Health Unit (2013)
Other fact sheets are produced from District Health Unit, posted under Quick Health
Statistics on the RCDHU website. Topics include: breastfeeding, low birth weight, transport
injuries, and exposure to second-hand smoke. See:
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In addition, the RCDHU produces reports on specific population groups such as: Child Health
in Renfrew County and District, Renfrew County and District, Community Health Status
Report Issue #17, 2010

Ottawa Valley Economic Development Services
The Ottawa Valley Economic Development Services provides a web portal with key
information on Renfrew County to prospective residents and business (e.g., demographics,
education, taxes, employers, etc.). See:

Cultural Mapping Project (with City of Pembroke and Ottawa Valley Tourist Association)
The cultural mapping website identifies and documents cultural resources in Renfrew
County. There is information on county activities and cultural assets as well as community
stories, all available through an interactive mapping tool.
See also: A Cultural Framework for the City of Pembroke and the County of Renfrew, 2012

Ontario 211 data for Eastern Ontario
Ontario 211 provides a telephone helpline and a searchable electronic database of
community, social, non-clinical health and related government services. Information for the
Eastern Region can be found at: .

Champlain Local Health Integration Network (LHIN)
The Champlain LHIN has responsibility for health planning in Renfrew County. It plans,
coordinates and funds Hospitals, Community Care Access Centre (home care), Addictions
and Mental Health Agencies, Community Support Services (such as Meals on Wheels),
Community Health Centres, and Long-Term Care Homes. Renfrew County is one of six
communities of care.
The most recent County profile was produced in 2008, looking at population characteristics,
health status, and health services. (Another profile is being prepared at this time).
Champlain LHIN (2008), Profile of the Champlain Communities of Care: Focus on Renfrew
One key focus of activity is responding to the needs of high needs patients. This report looks
at high needs patients in Renfrew County.

Champlain Community Care Access Centre (CCAC)
The CCAC provides services to those in need of health care support, in homes, schools and
communities. It tracks several performance measures of its services including wait times.

Child and Youth Health Network of Eastern Ontario

Child and Youth Health Network for Eastern Ontario (2008), Profile of Child and Youth
Health in Rural Eastern Ontario
See other fact sheets in the series:!living-rural/c1ldp

Final Concept Paper November 2015


Another valuable resource is a publication that looks at how to use population health data to
track the health and well-being of children and youth. Child and Youth Health Network for
Eastern Ontario (2014), Using Population Health Data to Profile the Health and Well-being of
Children and Youth in Eastern Ontario, Second edition.

Labour Market Group of Renfrew & Lanark (LMG)

Since May of 2007, the Labour Market Group of Renfrew & Lanark (LMG) has delivered a
Local Labour Market Planning (LLMP) process within the Renfrew-Lanark region. The LMG
works with two sub-committees (one for Renfrew and one for Lanark) that reflect a wide
cross section of industry, employment, training, economic development and governmental
agencies. The committees provide local labour market information and feedback on
community projects to better serve communities within Renfrew and Lanark counties.
The LMG has produced the Labour Market Planning Report for several years
More recently, it has launched a new Labour Market Information Bulletin:
Given the difficulty and expense of securing county level employment data, the LMG is now
working with Economic Modeling Specialists Intl. (EMSI) to track labour market and
occupational data via access to their labour market information tool. The EMSI analyst tool
combines employment data, payroll data with data from the Labour Force Survey (LFS),
Census and Canadian Business Patterns (CBP) to form detailed geographic estimates of
The LMG will be using this tool to report out on a group of labour market indicators each
year. This is an important resource for the Renfrew County Well-being Tool.

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Local Immigration Partnership Renfrew and Lanark

The Local Immigration Partnership (LIP) was a project spearheaded by the Labour Market
Group (under the 1000 Island Workforce Development Board). The project report sets out
an Immigration Settlement and Integration Strategic Plan for improving the recruitment,
retention and way-of-life to newcomers in this area. It was released in March 2012.
Report: The Rural Mosaic: Building on Strengths and Seizing Opportunities.
One of their current projects is creating a business case for settlement services. They hope
to demonstrate the implications of population decline, low levels of immigration, etc. They
are working with a new indicator tool called Newcomer and Youth Community Indicators,
developed by Stephen Morris. Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
This tool enables communities of all sizes to assess their attractiveness to newcomers and
youth, and benchmark against comparable communities. It covers 8 different domains (55
indicators): Health, Economy, Amenities, Society, Education, Access to Healthcare,
Innovation, Housing, and Youth. The tool is a downloadable database in Excel which allows
users to select geographies and indicators of interest.

School Boards
There are four school boards serving Renfrew County. Outreach is underway to determine
what type of reporting each board does.
Basic information is available on each school through the Ontario Ministry of Education
(School Information Finder). This includes a student population profile (indicators noted
below) as well as student achievement results for Grades 3, 6 and 9 and class size for JK to
grade 3.
Percentage of student who live in lower-income households
Percentage of students whose parents have some university education
Percentage of students who receive special education
Percentage of students identified as gifted
Percentage of students whose language is not English
Percentage of students who are new to Canada from non-English speaking
Percentage of students whose language is not French
Percentage of students who are new to Canada from non-French speaking
The Education Quality and Accountability Office in Ontario releases annual reports on
student achievement by school and district: 2013-14 Results.
It also produces a good deal of information to assist with the interpretation of its
standardized testing scores. See Education Quality Indicators Framework:

Ontario Government Examples

Ministry of Community and Social Services (2013). Ontario Works and ODSP Shelter
Ministry of Finance (2012). Population Projection Update (2012-2036).
Ministry of Health and Long-term Care (2012), Initial Report on Public Health, 2012 Update
Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU). Employment Ontario information of
employment and literacy services and their clients. See LMG Report:

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Box 7: Ontario Health Data

Emergency room visit data are from the National Ambulatory Care Reporting System (Canadian Institute of
Health Information - CIHI). The majority of hospitalization data are from the Discharge Abstract Database
(CIHI) from fiscal years (Ma rch through April) 2003/2004 to 2012/2013;
Ontario Mental Health Reporting System. Mortality data (1986 to 2011 calendar years) are from the Vital
Statistics database (from the Office of the Registrar General)
Prevalence of other indicators such as physical activity are from the Rapid Risk Factor Surveillance System
(RRFSS). The RRFSS is an ongoing random-digit-dialled telephone survey of adults aged 18 years and over,
conducted by the Institute for Social Research at York University on behalf of OPH. These data are based on
Information on communicable diseases (2000 to 2013) was obtained from the Integrated Public Health
Information System (iPHIS) of Ontarios Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC).

7.2 Statistics Canada

There are several Statistics Canada surveys that can be used to support the development of the Renfrew
County collective mapping tool. These include the 2011 Census of Population; the 2011 National
Household Survey; Annual Estimates for Census Families and Individuals (T1 Family File); the Canadian
Community Health Survey; Canadian Business Patterns; and the Labour Force Survey.

Census of Population

The Census of Canada is conducted every five years, most recently in the spring of 2011. It provides the
population and dwelling counts not only for Canada but also for each province and territory, and for
smaller geographic units such as cities or districts within cities. The Census is Canadas most important
source of community-level information.

In 2010, the government introduced significant changes to the Census. In 2011, only the traditional
short form (a suite of 8 questions plus 2 on language) was administered to the Canadian population.
This questionnaire provides information families, households and housing, languages, population and

The long-form Census, historically administered to a 20% sample of the Canadian population, has been
replaced by a voluntary survey of Canadian households that covers many of the same areas (and
questions) as the 2006 long-form Census.

Final Concept Paper November 2015


National Household Survey (NHS)

Starting in 2011, information previously collected by the mandatory long-form census questionnaire is
now being collected as part of the voluntary National Household Survey (NHS). The NHS provides
information about the demographic, social and economic characteristics of people living in Canada as
well as the housing units in which they live. The subjects include:

Aboriginal peoples
Education, training and learning
Ethnic diversity and immigration
Families, households and housing
Income, pensions, spending and wealth
Population and demography
Society and community

Approximately 4.5 million households across Canada were selected for the National Household Survey.
This represents about one-third of all households. The unweighted response rate for Canada was
68.6%, while the weighted response rate was 77.2%.68 This rate is similar to rates on other voluntary
surveys conducted by Statistics Canada, but considerably lower than that for the 2011 Census at 97.1%

The global nonresponse rate (GNR) is an indicator of data quality that combines complete non-response
(household) and partial non-response (question) into a single rate. It is calculated and presented for
each geographic area.69 Statistics Canada uses the GNR as its main dissemination criterion for
distinguishing the quality of the NHS estimates. For example, the NHS estimates for any geographic
area with a global non-response rate greater than or equal to 50% are not published in the standard
products. The estimates for such areas have such a high level of error that they should not be released
under most circumstances.70, 71
For Canada, the 2011 NHS's global non-response rate was 26.1%. In Renfrew County, the GNR was
33.8%. It was higher than 50% in six of Renfrew Countys 19 Census Subdivisions (Bonnechere Valley
Township, Greater Madawaska Township, Killaloe, Hagarty and Richards Township, Madawaska Valley,
North Algoma Wilberforce Township and Pikwkanagn Indian Reserve).
Statistics Canada notes in its quality assessment of the NHS that the non-response rate for the first half
of the questionnaire related to questions of demographics, socio-cultural background, language,
mobility and education level was quite low, comparable to the rate for 2006 long form census (at 9%
for Canada). The non-response rates for housing and income questions in 2011 were twice as high as
2006 rates.
As a result of the introduction of the NHS, the quality of estimates particularly for smaller level
geographies has been called into question. Of the 4,567 CSDs with an estimated population of more than
40, NHS estimates are available in standard products for 75.3%, representing 96.6% of the Canadian
population targeted by the NHS.72 Statistics Canada warns that caution is needed, then, in interpreting
these findings. In some instances, it will be necessary to rely on information for higher levels of
geography such as the County.
Despite these significant limitations, the 2011 NHS remains the single largest survey of Canadians,
offering an unparalleled window into the complexity of local demographic, socio-economic, and cultural
Final Concept Paper November 2015


conditions. Using it however requires a greater investment of resources in order to understand the
limitations created by the shift from the long form census to a voluntary survey.

Annual Estimates for Census Families and Individuals (T1 Family File)

This dataset is constructed each year to produce small area socio-economic data for Canadians and their
families. These data, collected primarily from income tax returns submitted to the Canada Revenue
Agency (CRA), provide income and demographic information for sub-provincial geographic areas.

These data cover all persons who completed a T1 tax return for the year of reference or who received
CCTB (Canada Child Tax Benefits), their non-filing spouses (including wage and salary information from
the T4 file), their non-filing children identified from three sources (the CCTB file, the births files, and an
historical file) and filing children who reported the same address as their parent. Development of the
small area family data is based on the census family concept. The census family concept groups
individuals either in a census family (parent(s) and children living at the same address) or identifies
them as persons not in census families.

Many tables on family characteristics, age and presence of children, labour market participation, income
distribution, and reliance on government transfers are now available through CANSIM and custom
order. Rates of low income are available based on the Low Income Measure (50% of median household
income adjusted by family size).

The Community Data Program inventory (described below) includes: Family Data (Tables 1 to 18);
Seniors (Tables 1 to 5); Individual Data (Neighbourhood Income and Demographics Tables 1 to 8;
Economic Dependency Profile; the Labour Income Profile); and Financial Data and Charitable
Donations. This information is available for the

Renfrew County;
three Postal Cities (Petawawa, Pembroke, Renfrew);
five Forward Sortation Areas (Petawawa; Renfrew County excluding Petawawa and Pembroke
and Renfrew towns; Northern Pembroke; Southern Pembroke; and Renfrew town); and
24 Rural Communities outside of Petawawa and Pembroke and Renfrew Postal Cities.

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Table 12: Postal Code Geographies: Renfrew County Rural Postal

Codes included in T1FF Database
Community Name
Census Sub Division
Postal Code

McNab/Braeside (ON)
McNab/Braeside (ON)
Madawaska Valley (ON)
Whitewater Region (ON)
McNab/Braeside (ON)
Greater Madawaska (ON)
Laurentian Hills (ON)
Whitewater Region (ON)
Madawaska Valley (ON)
Bonnechere Valley (ON)
Deep River (ON)
Admaston/Bromley (ON)
Bonnechere Valley (ON)
Whitewater Region (ON)
Bonnechere Valley (ON)
North Algona Wilberforce (ON)
Whitewater Region (ON)
Killaloe, Hagarty and Richards (ON)
Brudenell, Lyndoch and Raglan (ON)
Brudenell, Lyndoch and Raglan (ON)
Killaloe, Hagarty and Richards (ON)
Whitewater Region (ON)
Madawaska Valley (ON)
Brudenell, Lyndoch and Raglan (ON)


Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS)

The Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) is a biennial survey that collects information on the
health status and health utilization of Canadians for health regions and combinations of health regions
across Canada. In 2000, the CCHS replaced the cross-sectional component of the National Population
Health Survey (1994-2000).

The CCHS surveys Canadians age 12 and over on a range of topics, including: physical activity, height
and weight, smoking, exposure to second hand smoke, alcohol consumption, general health, chronic
health conditions, injuries, and use of health care services. It also provides information on the sociodemographic, income and labour force characteristics of the population.

Originally, the CCHS was fielded every two years (2001, 2003, 2005 and 2007). In 2007, major changes
were made to the survey design with the goal of improving its effectiveness and flexibility through data
collection on an ongoing basis. Data collection now occurs every year, with a smaller cross-sectional
sample of 65,000. Excluded from the sampling frame are individuals living on Indian Reserves and on
Crown Lands, institutional residents, full-time members of the Canadian Forces, and residents of certain
remote regions.

Final Concept Paper November 2015


Information from CCHS is available for the Renfrew County and District Health Unit (Health Region).

Labour Force Survey (LFS)

The Labour Force Survey was developed following the Second World War to satisfy a need for reliable
and timely data on the labour market. LFS data are used to produce the well-known unemployment rate
as well as other standard labour market indicators such as the employment rate and the participation

The LFS also provides employment estimates by industry, occupation, public and private sector, hours
worked and much more, all cross-classifiable by a variety of demographic characteristics. For
employees, wage rates, union status, job permanency and workplace size are also generated.

The LFS covers the population aged 15 and over. Since July 1995, the monthly LFS sample size has been
approximately 54,000 households, resulting in the collection of labour market information for
approximately 100,000 individuals.

Estimates are produced each month for Canada, the provinces, the territories and a large number of
sub-provincial regions, including Economic Regions. Renfrew County is part of the Kingston-Pembroke
Economic Region. Information for Renfrew County is available via custom tabulations. The Labour
Market Group for Renfrew and Lanark has also started to use the data services of ESMI to track labour
market and occupational trends.

Canadian Business Patterns

Canadian business patterns data provide counts of active establishments by industry classification and
employment size categories. The data are compiled from the Business Register, which is a repository of
information on the Canadian business population. CBP tables are available for several levels of
geography including Census Divisions and Census Subdivisions. This dataset is released twice yearly.

7.3 CCSDs Community Data Program

The need for high quality, accessible community-level information is pressing. Yet, as described above,
communities continue to be poorly served, both in terms of meeting their needs and the prices they are
required to pay to acquire relevant information.

The Community Data Program (CDP) was designed precisely to fill this critical gap by facilitating access
to unique neighbourhood-level, cross-tabulated social data. Established by the Canadian Council on
Social Development (CCSD) in the mid-1990s, the CDP provides a gateway for municipalities and
community sector organizations to access and purchase neighbhourhood-level data from Statistics
Canada and other providers to monitor and report on social and economic trends within their

For 20 years, the Community Data Program has been supporting the efforts of community data
consortia across the country to conduct research in support of local policy and program development,
program evaluation, and enhanced public accountability. Local consortia members work together to
identify data needs and then negotiate discounted prices with Statistics Canada and other data
providers. These data are available to local consortia and their members through the
CDP project website. The program also provides training programs in collaboration with Statistics
Canada, building the capacity of partner organizations to access and use data for their particular
Final Concept Paper November 2015


The existing Community Data Program data inventory contains 60 data products available from over 20
public and private sector data product providers in Canada, including over a thousand customized data
products published by Statistics Canada. It also includes data tables that are available at no cost from
public sector data providers such as the federal, provincial and municipal governments. These online
data products typically offer standard tables using standard Statistics Canada census geographies.
However, the CDP makes available Census/NHS data and, as of next program year, taxfiler data, using
custom geographic boundaries unique to each consortium.
Appendix 1 provides an overview of the data holdings of the Community Data Program that would be
available to provide community-level for Renfrew County. Many of these products are only available
through the CDP.
There are two potential options for joining the Community Data Program or accessing these data
holdings are available to Renfrew County organizations (municipalities; service agencies; nonprofit
organizations) interested in forming a community data consortia.
1) Renfrew County groups could form a local data consortia and apply for membership in the
Community Data Program. One organization (often a municipality) is identified as the lead and
enters into an agreement with the Canadian Council on Social Development. Fees are based on
population. For a community of Renfrew Countys size (101,326 in 2011), annual fees would be
$6,499.00 + HST. Each consortium divides the consortium fee as they see fit. (In some cases, one
organizations pays the fee. In others it is divided between several or all organizations). In
addition, individual members are asked to pay an annual membership fee of $125 to the CCSD.
(In some instances, these fees are rolled into the consortium fee.)

2) A Renfrew Consortium could also explore the possibility of joining the Ottawa consortium led by
the Social Planning Council of Ottawa-Carleton (Dianne Urquhart, ED):
Ottawa currently pays $17,741.50 + HST in fees. With Renfrew County, fees would rise to
$19,240.50 + HST. The CCSD would leave it up to the two parties to reach an agreement.
Working with an established consortium would offer many benefits, including access to lower
fees and an established network of community data practitioners. Again, individual members of
the Renfrew County group would be asked to pay the annual fee of $125 to the CCSD.

For further details, please see the Community Data Program Primer:

Final Concept Paper November 2015


Part IV. Recommendations and Next Steps

8. Strategic Issues

8.1 Engaging Community and Key Stakeholders

Community engagement is fundamental to the success of the Community Data Project. The Healthy
Communities Partnership (HCP) and the project team have, therefore, reached out to a varied and broad
cross-section of stakeholders from across Renfrew County.
Moving forward, it will be critical to continue these activities in order to successfully develop and
launch the Renfrew County Community Study. This section of the paper presents a set of
recommendations for an ongoing engagement strategy, identifying who else needs to be included and
consulted about the design and implementation of a community well-being project and mapping tool.
To date, the Community Data Project has worked with the HCP membership to identify and invite
stakeholders to participate in key informant interviews and the community engagement sessions.
Emphasis was placed on service providers and volunteers involved with member HCP organizations.
There was strong engagement from the health, education, social services and community sectors in
these conversations. Increased engagement from municipal governments as well as youth, people with
disabilities, newcomers, and First Nations/Aboriginal communities would contribute to a stronger
representational model.
For the continued success of this endeavor, future community and stakeholder outreach will be
required to ensure that all voices are adequately represented in the design and implementation of the
Renfrew County Community Study.
The importance of developing effective channels for engagement cannot be overstated. The community
conversations revealed that many residents do not strongly identify with the County, but with their own
community. Indeed, the unique nature of individual communities, from more rural to larger centres
within the County, appears to be a defining characteristic of this area and needs to be considered in the
development of any project or tool.
This poses both a challenge for developing the conceptual framework and an opportunity for further
consideration. For example: How can the distinct and separate nature of the communities in Renfrew
County be leveraged to benefit the whole? In what ways does the nature of the many communities who
see themselves as distinct limit or marginalize the possibilities of achieving more together? Any tool will
need to be positioned in a way to engage broadly, creating a vehicle to bridge differences and to build a
stronger collective identity.
Based on the feedback received to date, it will be particularly important to target the following
stakeholders to successfully develop and launch the Renfrew County Community Study.

The Algonquins of Pikwkanagn and the Mtis Community: Given the lack of information
about the well-being of Aboriginal peoples in Renfrew County, it will be important to explore
how to best measure and report on the well-being of Aboriginal communities in the final project
design. Currently, there is strong interest from health leaders in Pikwkanagn to better
understand the scope of the project and to explore ways for creating a meaningful dialogue and
partnership. Continuing outreach and engagement is needed to deepen relationships and to
flesh out a strategy for telling the story of Renfrew Countys Aboriginal communities, taking into
account the distinct needs and perspectives of those living on and off reserve.73

Final Concept Paper November 2015


Low Income and Marginalized Communities: Similarly, it will be necessary to incorporate the
voices of residents and communities that face significant challenges such as low income or
chronic illness. Participants also stressed the importance of ensuring that the project
acknowledge the unique circumstances of rural residents who face significant challenges
accessing needed supports and services.

Young People: Community engagement sessions carried out for this project were not wholly
successful in attracting youth participation. Bringing the perspective of young people to bear on
the development of the quality of life framework and the resources being created is a critical
next step. Enhancing the quality of young people was a top priority for several communities.

Public Sector: Support of the public sector is essential to the project success given the scope
of resources and supports available from organizations like the County of Renfrew and the
Renfrew County District Health Unit. A targeted strategy is needed that will enable ongoing
engagement at different levels of government.

It will be particularly important to connect with the County government in order to leverage its
planning and social services expertise in areas such as Childcare, Long-term Care, Public Works,
Environment, Social Housing and so forth.
The project team also needs to reach out to different provincial and federal government
departments to explore funding opportunities and potential partnerships.

Education and Health Sectors: Ongoing discussion and dialogue is required with key leaders
in health and education. A future engagement strategy should include presentations to the
senior management teams of all County hospitals and the four Boards of Education to review the
findings of the Community Data Project and secure support for the Renfrew County Community
Study. The project should also explore the potential of a partnership with Algonquin College.

Environmental Stakeholders: There is still much to do to define the environmental domain
and potential indictors for the proposed measurement tool. Given the emphasis on the natural
environment noted in the community conversations, moving forward, it will be necessary to
continue efforts to connect and work with environmental agencies and organizations.

Community Voices: Any ongoing consultation and engagement process within Renfrew County
needs to incorporate a community storytelling component. Recording the stories and the voices
of community members is an important dimension of the project. Stories have the power to
shape how a community sees itself and the way it perceives future actions and endeavors. For
example, North Renfew talks about itself as an Innovation Hub and works to bring this
perspective into its community building activities.

Finding strategies for engaging residents will also provide the perspective and understanding
needed to interpret statistical trends or program data providing the context necessary to
designing meaningful policy and program responses.

Community engagement is an on-going requirement. Efforts will be needed to sustain and strengthen
existing partnerships while reaching out to new partners, expanding the scope of and the resources
available to the Renfrew County Community Study.

8.2 Project Place

Final Concept Paper November 2015

One of the key challenges for moving the Renfrew County Community Study forward is to establish its
position and connection to the work of other County organizations and agencies. The Healthy
Communities Partnership has provided the collaborative platform and resourcing to develop the
project. But where to next? How should this initiative be positioned or hosted?
While the Healthy Communities Partnership has a broad membership and is working on several crosssectoral priorities, it lacks core funding and its leadership model has placed significant emphasis on
Kidactive as a driving partner. Other scenarios need to be explored and investigated. Below, we look at
four different possibilities:
Health Care Sector Alignment: Given the strength of health organizations in the County,
specifically the hospital sector, it might be possible to consider aligning this initiative with one
or a couple of the hospitals. As noted, hospitals and health agencies are accountable for
reporting on a number of indicators to the LHIN as well as the Ministry of Health and Long-Term
Care. The challenge in this is that there are five main hospitals within the County and although
they host and collect a large amount of health data, they dont typically collect and report on
broader community well-being indicators or information.
Similarly, the Renfrew County District Health Unit is well-positioned to lead a project like this;
the organization is currently implementing a new strategic plan and is evaluating whether a
project of this type could align with its priorities. The new Healthy Kids Community Challenge,
for example, provides an opportunity for collaboration that would be hugely beneficial for all
Health organizations are well positioned having the scope, the mandate, and the resources to
develop and launch a knowledge sharing initiative. That said, these organizations do not have a
history to working cross-sectorally and this project will require the ability to engage broadly
and deeply across the County. The presence of large and powerful service organizations could
also potentially exclude more marginalized demographics or sectors that might not see
themselves served especially well by these organizations. This will potentially be a challenge for
any leadership group moving forward.
County or Municipal Leadership: The County of Renfrew brings many considerable assets to
the planning table for the Renfrew County Community Study. Many County leaders have
expressed support for the goals of the project and believe that it would make a huge
contribution to enhancing the quality of life in the County.
As the project develops and unfolds, connecting in meaningful ways to the County and to its
leaders and managers will strengthen and deepen the project. Finding concrete ways to leverage
existing resources and information (e.g., Age-Friendly Community Planning Projects in Arnprior,
Calabogie, Barrys Bay, and Petawawa) and to align and support existing reporting requirements
will be key to the success of the project.
Healthy Community Partnership as a Social Planning Council: There is a strong history and
recent discussions about the feasibility of and need for creating a Social Planning Council in
Renfrew County. Social planning councils play a hugely valuable role in enabling the work of
community organizations including government and business through the provision of
research, capacity building, and knowledge mobilization. The Social Planning Council of Ottawa,
for example, serves an excellent example of this type of organization.
The discussion about the creation of a Social Planning Council has become more pressing in
recent months given new requirements to track and evaluate program outcomes as a part of
program and project funding. This is particularly relevant in the non-profit sector where
funding is dependent on the ability to demonstrate impact and measurable change.
Final Concept Paper November 2015


Healthy Community Partnership partners have identified the alignment of HCPs current work
with that of a potential Social Planning Council. The principles, vision and desired outcomes are
the same, and both share similar objectives and goals. The Renfrew County Community Study
provides a launching pad for a comprehensive shared measurement tool that could serve as a
basis for social planning or as a pillar of the potential work of a Social Planning Council.74
The call for a social planning body in Renfrew County has a good deal of resonance. However, in
a region with stretched resources, pursuing both tracks would represent duplication in efforts.
Further discussions are needed to position the proposed Renfrew County Community Study
within this context and to ensure that regardless of the final host that strong connections are
sustained with community development groups and social service providers.
Partnership Model: Another option to consider might be a partnership model between a
number of organizations, including health agencies and the County, along with more grassroots
organization, with one organization serving as the lead. This model brings together the
resources and assets of various partners, within an established management and leadership
framework (to be determined). The Healthy Communities Partnership provides an excellent
example of this type of approach.

The RCCS project could be housed with an established community organization (e.g., HCP with
KidActive), government body (e.g., Health Unit), or a funding agency (e.g., United Way). Given
the nascent nature of this project, developing a partnership model it will require dedicated
funding, clear leadership and working governance protocols, significant in-kind contributions,
and long-term community support from all stakeholders.

The success of a partnership model indeed, any of the options discussed above ultimately
rests on building and strengthening cross-sectoral relationships to generate and sustain the
support necessary to create and launch the Renfrew County Community Study. The project
should ideally be structured to address the information needs of all of the varied partners.

8.3 Funding Environment

Regardless of how the ultimate tool and framework are positioned, ongoing funds and resources will be
required to prepare the final the model and to build a user-friendly interface and design. Funds will be
required to purchase data and assemble information, to record the voices of residents, to develop a
web-platform, and to seek ongoing technical support. Funding will also be required to create research
and communications products that speak to the needs of Renfrew County residents and community
stakeholders and to engage those same residents and stakeholders in identifying action items.

This study recommends identifying short-term development funding from a foundation or local funder
and then building a longer term business case as a specific deliverable of that application (See Section
10). But before moving to recommendations, we discuss the funding environment in Renfrew County,
setting out the key factors that need to be considered in developing a funding strategy for the Renfrew
County Community Study.

Currently, there are few provincial or federal resources for an initiative such as this one. In spite of a
drive for more outcome focused public service provision, little investment has been made in building
evaluation capacity or data infrastructure, particularly in rural communities. That being said, there are
local opportunities and potential resources that could be accessed for continued funding:
Final Concept Paper November 2015


Champlain Local Health Integration Network or other health sector sources: Local and
provincial health organizations or agencies are a potential source of investment. The proposed
project aligns closely with the social determinants of health approach and the push to build an
evidence base for local programming and planning. Health and social service organizations are
already engaged as key partners in the Healthy Community Partnership and next step
discussions are underway to explore further investment in the Renfrew County Community
Renfrew County United Way: The Community Studys goals are clearly consistent with the
United Ways work to improve the quality of life in Renfrew County. The project is aligned with
its strategic priorities and has the potential to be funded by the United Way. Further discussion
is required to explore this avenue of support. The Community Foundations in Deep River and
the Pembroke/Petawawa District are two other potential sources of support.
Ontario Trillium Foundation: The Ontario Trillium Foundation has placed a strong emphasis
on evaluation and outcome measurement in its new funding programs. The Renfrew County
Community Study will help organizations across Renfrew County measure their impact, and as
such, is a very strong fit for the Collective Impact stream of funding.
Provincial Government: Provincial funding sources should be further explored with local
Ministry officials. A meeting with provincial representatives should be convened to explore how
this project can support Ontarios ongoing policy and program goals across different ministries.
One potential opportunity is the new Local Poverty Reduction Fund.75 Another option might be
Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs which has invested in a similar project in
Lanark County called Big Data in Small Places.76
Year-End Funding: Accessing one-time end of year monies could be another strategy for
investing in the project. This source of funding is contingent on having solid relationships across
a number of government funders.

In thinking about the funding strategy, it will be important to consider potential in-kind
contributions. All of the partners bring considerable assets to the table in terms of knowledge,
expertise, primary data and research, and related technical skills and capital equipment. Creating a
resource that can address the information needs of the partners will not only ensure that success of the
project, but work to strengthen cross-sectoral relationships that are fundamental to vibrant, prosperous
and caring communities.

8.4 Data Sources

All community well-being projects struggle with the issue of data and potential data sources. This not
only involves identifying valid sources of information for the selected indicators at the required levels of
geography, and in accessible formats, but also devising strategies for presenting and interpreting this
information. A great deal of work goes into creating a sound foundation for any shared measurement
tool, particularly those with mapping capabilities.

The review of potential data sources identified a number of different sources and types of information
to support the development of the Renfrew County Community Study. As the project team moves into
the implementation phase, it will have to look at a range of issues related to data sharing protocols;
methods for standardizing information; and the technical requirements of any mapping tool or data
sharing platform. There are also the issues related to where the initiative is hosted and the IT
requirements of the host agency.

The review also revealed gaps in the research and available survey and administrative data particularly
as it pertains to different dimensions of well-being and sub-County level information. Ideally, the
project would rely on secondary sources of information as this is the most cost effective strategy. While
Final Concept Paper November 2015


many potential indicators fall into this category, they typically report on information at the county level.
Purchasing data for small areas, custom variables, or access to imputed data sets such as the one used to
support the Local Labour Market Planning Report is a potential option. Joining the Community Data
Program sponsored by the Canadian Council on Social Development is another.
In moving forward, it will also be useful to look at other potential sources of information for filling
sizable data gaps, through community surveys, opinion polling, program overviews, best practice
highlights, and community stories. Victorias Vital Signs commissioned the Institute of Wellbeing at
Waterloo to field a local survey based on the Canadian Index of Wellbeing. These findings were used to
present a more fulsome picture of community well-being in Victoria. Many community foundations also
regularly employ public opinion polling to help gain insight into trends among smaller population
Data access challenges are an integral part of any community well-being initiative. The solutions almost
always involve forming partnerships to create solutions a process through which project partners
enhance their own capacity, and collectively contribute to building a culture of data collection and
measurement and shared learning.

8.5 Building Community Capacity

Throughout the community conversations, and background research compiled for this analysis, the
need to develop community capacity was highlighted continually with respect to creating a collective
narrative, adopting a collective impact approach across sectors, and fostering a culture of evaluation.
Each of these dimensions will be explored below.

A County Narrative: One of the fundamental goals of the project is to build a shared narrative across
communities that speaks to the who and the what of Renfrew County. To this end, it will be essential
for the initiative to engage with the diversity of residents now living in the County and to make
explicit the connection between community well-being and individual health, connection and
prosperity. Building countys capacity to tell its story through a project of this type will, in turn, expand
the audience and strengthen the base of support for the project.
A Collective Impact Approach: Similarly, there is a
need to build community capacity with respect to
collective impact and strategies for aligning
community well-being efforts. As discussed in
Section 3, collective impact is an approach that
brings different actors together to create a common
agenda for solving a specific challenge.
Collaboration is not new, particularly in the
community sector. But collective impact initiatives
are different in that they involve a centralized
infrastructure, a dedicated staff, and a structured
process that leads to a common agenda, shared
measurement, continuous communication, and
mutually reinforcing activities among all
Today, a great deal of attention is being paid to
collective impact approaches and how they are
being used to tackle complex problems. Historically, the HCP has operated under a collaborative
Final Concept Paper November 2015


governance model and a multi-sector approach to planning, integration and coordination of activities.
This approach provides the foundation for collective impact through its roster of coordinated activities,
each led by partners, networks and community champions, working together towards a shared goal.
Trillium is also in the process of unveiling a new funding stream dedicated to Collective Impact.78
While the HCP approach has been successful in engaging a broad cross-section of stakeholders around
issues such as active transportation and food system development, the proposed project will help to
deepen and strengthen their work in the County.
Building Evaluation and Data Literacy Capacity: Given the increased appetite and demand for
evaluation tools and metrics to measure impact, and given the paucity of evaluation resources in
Renfrew County, building this knowledge base and skill-set across the HCP member organizations is an
important project goal of the Renfrew County Community Study. A collective measurement tool of the
type proposed would support the individual and collective research and evaluation activities of
community organizations and agencies, through access to customized community data, tailored
mapping and reporting tools, customized mapping, and training on evaluation and community-based
research methodologies. It would also help to build the data literacy capacity of those directly involved
in the development of the project and the many potential users of the RCCS.
A data literacy project has just concluded in Lanark County called Big Data for Small Places and it would
be useful to connect with this group including sponsors from Algonquin College in Perth to learn about
their municipal partners and community groups.

8.6 Knowledge Mobilization: From Evidence to Action

Any successful data gathering initiative is only ever as good as the action it inspires. What the
community engagement and consultation phase of the Community Data Project has uncovered is that
there is significant interest in creating a shared measurement platform that drives needed change. The
hope is that the Renfrew County Community Study will not only report on facts and figures or tell
community stories but will enable strategic action and policy and program development. This is
where its true value will lie.
Creating the link between knowledge and action creating a foundation for collective impact takes
time and consideration. In the next phase, the project team will need to explore:

How the tool or platform could be used? And by whom?

What type of design will enable broad usage across the county, taking the challenges of internet
access and data literacy into account?
What type of design could enable different stakeholders to come together to share data and
information and, as importantly, analysis, expertise and skills?
What is needed to support the emergence and use of collective impact approaches in program
delivery and community development in Renfrew County?
How can the process of building a knowledge sharing platform bridge service silos and
information gaps within and between communities? How can community organizations enhance
and enrich their own practices together?

The process of creating the Renfrew County Community Study will be as important as the collective
measurement tool itself in telling the Countys unique story and building and strengthening the capacity
to effect positive change.

Final Concept Paper November 2015


9. Options for a Community Measurement Tool

The following section will outline a series of options for further consideration in the design and
development of a shared measurement tool. These options have been developed based on the input of
the participants in the community conversations and key informants. This is not an exhaustive list
there are certainly many different products that could meet the needs of Renfrew County. And there are
many different ways of undertaking and resourcing community reporting and collective impact work.
The intent here is to present some ideas in order to generate the necessary feedback for finalizing the
conceptual model and indicator framework and creating an implementation plan that is feasible,
practical and doable.

The other point to underscore at the onset is that these different options exist on a spectrum. Renfrew
County may choose to start with a basic community checkup report, working through a data table. This
project could evolve over time to include additional sources of information and community storytelling.
Or it might take a different direction and focus on community evaluation tools. The key thing is to
ensure that whatever projects are chosen that they are based on meaningful community engagement
and designed to facilitate / enable / spur action on key priorities.

Below, the report identifies some guiding principles and potential options with respect to the shared
measurement tool and the look and functionality of the final product.

9.1 Principles for Developing a Shared Measurement Tool

The community conversations were a tremendous source of information for framing the project.
Participants had clear ideas about what they wanted in a shared measurement tool and the priorities
that should guide its development. We heard:

Build on and incorporate the resources of existing partners. For example, the County of
Renfrew works with GIS mapping tools and is a key source of administrative data. The hospitals
and healthcare partners have a long history of data collection, tracking and reporting and have
much expertise to offer. The local school boards are engaged in reporting on student
performance. These resources can and should be leveraged to create the Renfrew County
Community Study.

Utilize and leverage existing work done in the County related to the social determinants of
health and other subjects. There has been significant work across HCP partners with respect to
the use of the social determinants of health as a lens through which to understand health equity
and in areas such as child care and housing. All of the partners brings considerable assets to
bear in the creation of the RCCS.

Ensure accessibility and up-to-date data along with simple design. This was a consistent
theme in the conversations. Many participants identified challenges related to frequent or
ongoing access to information, particularly up-to-date information.

Include the lowest level of geography possible: Getting information at the lowest geography
possible is a top priority. Inevitably, there will be trade-offs and potential costs involved.
Decisions will have to be made regarding the acquisition of small area data (at potentially high
cost) or whether higher order geographic information is sufficient. With small area data, there
are also issues of confidentiality to consider.

Final Concept Paper November 2015


Be economical but a shared measurement tool is worth investing in. Resourcing for the
project is a fundamental consideration. There are a number of models (such as a community
checkup) are less costly than others (such as an interactive website and reporting tool). That
said, all models demand adequate resourcing to get off the ground. This type of project is
difficult to do off the side of a desk. It will be important to develop a resourcing plan (including
targeting in-kind donations) to assist with the development of the shared measurement tool and
to track and demonstrate its value over time. While it might take longer to accrue the resources
required for a reasonably well-developed tool, the end product will be more sustainable and
meet the needs of a broader cross-section of users.

Start small and grow. Participants were agreed that it would be important to think of this
project in stages. Resources are only one consideration. Issues around data development and
access, for example, will take time to resolve. And there is the question of what group should
host the project. Starting small with a data sharing table, for example, and growing over time
makes sense pending the confirmation of available resourcing.

Employ an equity lens in the design of the tool and research / communication products.
There was a clear desire to integrate an equity lens into the design of the Renfrew County
Community Study. There are clear disparities evident across the county with respect to a
number of domains. Any community well-being project needs to capture these trends and think
through how to best facilitate / support an action agenda. The challenge here is that information
on at-risk or marginalized populations is difficult to acquire. It will be important for the project
team and the larger circle of partners to continue to explore strategies for highlighting
significant disparities and threats to community well-being.

Link community well-being to assets and gaps: The question of the equity lens is connected
to county assets and service provision. Participants were keen to incorporate an accounting of
community assets and the identification of service gaps into the community well-being tool.
Several people also expressed the desire to link the shared measurement tool to available
supports and services.

9.2 Model and Platform Options

There a number of options for building a shared measurement tool that the HCP and their partners can
consider. Each of these options presents its own opportunities and limitations. Each option will need to
be evaluated, taking into consideration available resources, institutional capacity, technical capacity;
leadership qualifications; and strength of connection to community both residents and wider
organizational networks.

The Ottawa Neighborhood Study, housed by the University of Ottawa, was the original
inspiration for the Renfrew County Community Study. One option for the Renfrew County
Community Study would be to piggyback onto this established platform. The website and tool
have just been refreshed and the company that did the work (Industrial based in Ottawa) has
provided an estimate to the HCP for creating a platform using the same specifications (i.e.,
google fusion tables import; unique theme; Drupal CMS; contact form; blogging capabilities; GIS
mapping display; and neighbourhood profile tables). The HCP would be responsible for
providing all content to the vendor. The vendor has provided a fixed price quote, pending
consultation on the final project, of $19,800 + HST for the development of the website. Annual
maintenance is not included.

Final Concept Paper November 2015


Challenges with the ONS model include its limited modularity and its standardized approach.
The conceptual model and selected indicators, built on the geography for the City of Ottawa,
would need to be adjusted to incorporate a rural perspective on community well-being. There
was also some reluctance on the part of community conversation participants to create a
Renfrew product that mirrors an Ottawa product. That being said, there are advantages to
leveraging an existing resource such as the ONS platform as it potentially can strengthen and
open other opportunities that might emerge in being a part of this larger initiative with its wide
network of partners.

Leverage and build on existing a County-wide framework/initiative: The County of
Renfrew has invested significant resources into the development of a GIS system largely used
for tourism and internal planning purposes. Similarly, there are other resources that exist
within Public Health, the Champlain LHIN, and the Labour Market Group of Renfrew and Lanark.
Identifying and building a model based on existing resources and/or projects supports would
reduce costs and leverage existing assets and expertise. Careful consideration will have to be
given to evaluate these different options to build and host a community well-being initiative
and/or piggyback on an existing community reporting project.

Piloting a community well-being project in one community: In the community
conversations, some communities identified a strong willingness to take the lead or to pilot a
community-specific well-being tool. Tackling one community or a model that focuses on
County level data can be a useful strategy, in effect creating a prototype to scale up over time.
This strategy, however, also runs the risk of undermining a more systematic, County-wide
approach. It also could create the perception of unfair advantage to the chosen community.

Piloting a community well-being project with a focus on one population or domain: Paying
attention to the projects and populations that are on the radar of provincial funders might help
to quickly identify resources that can support the development of a pilot. For example, the
project team and HCP partnership could elect to develop a youth report, headed up by youth
serving agencies. This approach might show quick results as well as helping to build a model
that can be tested and scaled over time. Again, scope, focus and resourcing are questions to be
tackled before committing to this type of approach in platform design.

Many participants expressed the desire for an interactive website similar in design to the ONS, custombuilt for Renfrew County. There is also considerable support among the HCP to pursue a phased
approach, piloting a single domain or population group such as children and youth first.
Regardless of the option chosen, building a shared measurement tool will require the creative energies
of all HCP partners and involve a process of give and take. It may be that the Renfrew County
Community Study will be a hybrid of the different options listed above, meeting some of the goals of the
initiative, falling short on others. But it will be through the process that collective ownership is
generated the most important ingredient in creating and sustaining a meaningful tool that speaks to
the realities and aspirations of County residents.

9.3 Options for Data Visualization and Functionality

Data compiled in a Renfrew County information system can be presented in any number of ways.
Recent development in web-based design and on-line mapping programs have opened up a world of
Final Concept Paper November 2015


different options for communicating information in formats that are visually engaging, effective and
easy-to-understand. At the same time, new electronic presentations facilitate the active engagement of
different audiences, creating the greatest potential for impact. Picking the right visualization format will
be essential to the success of the Renfrew County Community Study.

There are both simple and complex approaches to web-based visualization. A fact sheet and a map,
for example, are examples of a simple communication tool. Information on one or more indicators is
presented in a static format, posted online in a pdf or html format. The UK Office of National Statistics
has developed a number of these
tools to report on personal and
national well-being each year such
the infographic presented here.
More complex data visualization
tools integrate greater capacity for
user to manipulate one or more
variables to generate findings of
interest. These tools can integrate
or more digital formats (e.g., data,
audio, video, etc.) to create a multidimensional presentation of
community well-being. Some tools include the ability to upload the users own data to supplement
existing information. For example, the Wellbeing Toronto website lets user pick from a host of
indicators for city of Toronto and its many neighbourhoods. Users can generate and download their
own analyses of the data presented in this mapping tool, tracking change across neighbourhoods and
over time.80
Some different illustrations are summarized in the table below and snapshots of the different webpages
are provided in Appendix 6.

Table 12: Examples of Web-based Data Visualization Tools



Canadian Index of Wellbeing,

Composite Index

Canadian Centre for Policy
Alternatives, The Parent Trap
FCM Municipal Data Reporting Tool
en/reporting_tool.php Interactive: Unemployment

Web-based, infographic

Wellbeing Toronto

Web-based, interactive, mapping


United Way Winnipeg: My Peg

Web-based, interactive, mapping

tool, multi media platform

CFED, Family Assets Count

Web-based, interactive, report

and mapping tool highlighting

Final Concept Paper November 2015

Web-based, infographic, report

Web-based, interactive, charting
Web-based, interactive, map


different communities

The goal of Renfrew County Community Study is to increase the collective capacity of Renfrew County
to positively impact and sustain health, well-being and quality of life. The Healthy Community
Partnership can use a relatively simple or a relatively complex tool to achieve this end as the
survey of other community well-being initiatives in Section 3.1 illustrates. It is also possible to construct
a tool or platform, starting with a simple series of products and expanding the scope of the tool and its
functions over time. The key is always to tailor the tool to community need.
The Community Conversations gathered important feedback on what participants would like in a webbased visualization tool, all of which are key considerations for the design of the measurement tool. To
recap: participants would like a measurement tool that:

Provides information for individual communities;
Incorporates an asset-based approach rather than only focusing on deficits or gaps;
Includes a baseline and measures key indicators over time;
Is easy to use, maintain, and sustain over time;
Is cost-effective;
Builds on existing data sources and aligns with other reporting County and Provincial
Can be expanded over time, focusing first on geography, and then populating the model domain
by domain, indicator by indicator; and
Produces different type of research or communications products that speak to the needs of
planners, service providers and community organizations and the general public.
The selection and design of the final tool will also be influenced by the resources available and the
capacity and technical requirements of the project leader and host. The very range of design options
available, however, will give the project team tremendous latitude in creating the final set of products
that meets the needs of County residents regardless of the option chosen.

Final Concept Paper November 2015


10. Next Steps

At this stage in the development of the framework and corresponding tool, a concrete action plan is
needed to move the Renfrew County Community Study from concept to reality. Several
recommendations are presented below to assist with the development of such a plan, here including a
future engagement strategy, a knowledge mobilization strategy, a funding strategy, a proposed set of
evaluation metrics, and a draft set of timelines for implementation project.

10.1 Community Consultation and Ongoing Engagement Strategy

This project has garnered significant attention and interest from the communities consulted and the
individuals engaged. Moving forward, the following steps are recommended:

Connect Back to Communities: Report back to the communities and the HCP membership
engaged in the original consultations through a second set of workshops, community meetings
or other vehicles with the findings of the Community Data Project. Through these sessions,
solicit feedback on the options and recommendations presented in this report. Consider
developing a high-level workshop and corresponding multimedia presentation that helps
communicate the status of the project and future plans. Share this potential video or PowerPoint
presentation widely to continue to engage stakeholders.

Set Out the Path Moving Forward: Identify a critical path that outlines the steps and
milestones for the development and release of the Renfrew County Community Study. This
should be done in partnership with potential organizational project leaders.

Communicate Broadly and Often: Develop a communication strategy for the project that
promotes the findings of the Community Data Project and publicizes next steps in the process.
Consider establishing a project-specific page on the HCP website that will provide a centralized
location for all reports (including Final Report and Executive Summary and community
consultation reports) and information on next steps in the process. Develop a set of key
messages for different stakeholder groups to secure their ongoing support for the development
of the Renfrew County Community Study.

Create a Storytelling Strategy: Develop a mechanism for capturing stories about the quality of
life in Renfrew County highlighting the benefits and the challenges across the different
domains. Explore options as well for connecting individual people to services, supports and
opportunities. Consider developing a specific component in the next phase of this project that
engages individuals more broadly in sharing their stories and experiences of services.

10.2 Funding Strategy

The following steps are proposed to build a robust funding strategy for the Renfrew County Community
Develop a proposal to the Ontario Trillium Foundation requesting two years of project
development funding. Given the robust partnerships already in place, and the time and energy
devoted to the Community Data Project, and the models alignment with the Canadian Index of
Wellbeing, a strong case for support exists.

Simultaneously, cost out potential in-kind supports that are being or will be contributed to
the project and to the development of the tool. Specifically, allocate a dollar-value to the
Final Concept Paper November 2015

resources that might be leveraged from various partners, including CCSD, the County, the
Labour Market Group of Renfrew and Lanark, etc.

Simultaneously, explore short-term developmental funding with the Champlain LHIN through
the existing partnership with Renfrew Victoria Hospital. Given the amount of community
traction, there is a case to support short-term development of the project and ongoing
community consultation with a renewed focused on story-telling to help flush out narratives
associated with indicators and domains.

Connect with new initiatives that touch on the quality of life in Renfrew County, including the
MOHLTC Healthy Kids Community Challenge and the Age-Friendly Community Planning
Grants in Arnprior, Calabogie, Petawawa and Barrys Bay.

As part of the proposal to any short-term funder, include a specific focus for the next two years
on a longer-term business case. This business case might take many forms, including a fee for
service by organizations accessing data or more logically, a per-resident contribution from each
municipality through the County or the Health Unit.

Other options that a business case might explore would be the potential alignment of the project
with the Renfrew County United Way and/or the launch of Vital Signs-style report (pending
support from a Community Foundation such as the one in Deep River or Pembroke /
Petawawa District).

Lastly, corporate and business sponsors should be explored as a long-term source of funds
and in-kind supports.

10.3 Knowledge Mobilization Strategy
Central to the longer-term success of this project will be the development of a knowledge mobilization
strategy that will help translate key findings and project objectives to a variety of audiences across the
County. Traditionally, community organizations have been well-versed at communicating with their
representative demographics and clients. However, they have not always been as successful at
translating best-practice research or socio-economic trends into meaningful evaluation and action.
Given this gap, this project offers the opportunity to develop new strategies for mobilizing evidence to
affect change individually and collectively.

A variety of research and communication products could be developed under the Renfrew County
Community Study, for example:

Community Well-being Report like those produced under the Vital Signs banner for Renfrew
County. This checkup would be written for a general audience, building on the shared
measurement tool, integrating different sources of information such as program profiles and the
stories of residents.

Service Sector Profiles like the housing report and childcare reports prepared for the County
government. These could be technical reports or popular summaries, highlighting
administrative data, socio-economic trends and descriptive information.

Common Evaluation Framework for Community Service Organizations, drawing on common
content from the shared measurement tool. This framework could be tailored to the needs and
Final Concept Paper November 2015


realities of different service sectors and organizations, engaging service providers and
stakeholders in a collaborative design process.

Management Dashboards for different county agencies and organizations, a different type of
monitoring tool, designed to summarize key indicators in a visually compelling format.

Community Planning Tools, including mapping applications, to assist with identification of

service gaps and the creation of new supports and services.

In developing a successful suite of products and tools, knowledge mobilization strategy needs to:

Build bridges across service provision cultures: If the tool and this initiative is to resonate
with different service providers, then clarifying terms, definitions and domains and
understanding how service providers collectively contribute to achieving positive outcomes will
be an important step to the longer-term success of any change or action-plan.

Tackle issues stemming from the urban/rural divide: Any knowledge mobilization strategy
needs to acknowledge the differences between residents living in urban areas and living in more
isolated settings. This will be an important with respect to type of issues and analysis needed to
unpack community well-being in Renfrew County as well as the effectiveness of key messaging
and communications.

Develop a marketing strategy: Consider working with a marketing firm who can help develop
some key messages and a simple communication strategy for the Renfrew County Community
Study to help engage stakeholders and secure ongoing support.

Graphic and Visual Investment: Infographics, pictures and images help to tell stories and
impart meaning in ways that words cannot. As this project unfolds, a small investment in
graphic and visual storytelling through images, visuals, as well as possibly audio/visual stories
will help impart project findings to a broad audience base.

Consider strategies for building data literary: One of the key points raised throughout the
community conversations was the theme of data literacy. There is no point building a shared
measurement tool or acquiring and assembling information about Renfrew County if
individuals or organizations are not able to put these resources to use. Part of the final project
must include thinking about how best to build and promote data literacy across community
organizations and agencies. Consider the lessons from the recent pilot in Lanark called Big Data
in Small Places.

10.4 Evaluation Metrics

Although the Renfrew County Community Study is in itself an evaluation and outcome measurement
project, it needs its own discrete set of indicators by which to measure success. As the project unfolds,
two areas need to be targeted to measure the success of the initiative.

Shared Measurement Tool: The project team needs to track and understand how the shared
measurement tool is understood and used. Is the tool accessible? Is it useful for community
Final Concept Paper November 2015


organizations? Does it effectively speak to community well-being in different areas of the

County? For example, the team will need to track the proportion of the HCP membership that
highly value and use the project tools, setting a high target. Another indicator should track the
use and support of the project across different communities in Renfrew County.

Culture Change: It will be important to establish some metrics and benchmarks related to take
up of community-level information and increased collaboration between community partners
with respect to promotion of the social determinants of health and quality of life. Establish
baseline measures on impact of collective impact work of the Healthy Communities Partnership
including the RCCS through consultation with community partners and residents, and seek
out support for continuous improvement.

10.5 Implementation Activities and Timelines

Phase 1: Partner Scan and Finalize Model and Design Target December 2015
o During this phase, conduct high-level options workshop with the HCP membership, and
additional research and key-informant interviews with strategic partners as required
with a view to finalizing the model and design for the Renfrew County Community Study.
Flag topics and issues that need to be addressed in implementation phase.
o Canvas members of HCP with respect to desired strategy for moving project forward and
governance structure for the implementation phase.
o Intentionally connect with Aboriginal community, Francophone community, School
Boards, and youth representatives. Alternatively, identify representatives and
engagement strategies to access these unique perspectives and voices
o Review preliminary list of indicators and domains that matter by seeking feedback and
input on this report across HCP membership and communities within the County
o Develop a government relations strategy and begin to implement with key government
representatives at the Ministry, County and other elected officials

Phase 2: Solidify Management Model and Funding Strategy. January 2016
o Organize conversations with community leaders to explore ongoing leadership and
funding opportunities
o Identify potential project hosts and related logistical issues
o Make a clear set of decisions with regard to the management and governance framework
for the project (e.g., collective project vs. single organization) and the relationship
between the HCP and chosen host (e.g., working protocols, MOU)
o Develop a resourcing plan, business case, and funding proposal template (e.g.,
membership fees; project funding; sponsorship; mix)
o Make a clear set of decisions as to scope and scale of project based on data gathered to
o Consider developing a short-term 2 year proposal focused on model development, tool
creation, and community story-telling and engagement with respect to one domain or
population group

Phase 3: Implementation Phase. March 2016 Onward

o Purchase necessary data, software, and technical services
o Prepare underlying databases, graphics and metadata conducting additional research
as required
o Create knowledge sharing tool and platform based on final project design and technical
specifications (this item hinges on the final decision about the type of tool and
collaboration selected)

Final Concept Paper November 2015



Develop a training plan to help ensure effective utilization of developed resource

Implement story-telling strategy and plan for ongoing research
Finalize ongoing operational management and governance plan
Create an evaluation framework and shared learning framework for the project
Develop longer-term resourcing options (including in-kind assistance) and identify
varied sponsors and funders

10.6 Conclusion

There is a significant interest in the development of a health well-being tool and framework for Renfrew
County. The community conversations and research phase has been robust and provides a solid
foundation for moving forward into the implementation phase. The next few weeks and months for the
Healthy Communities Partnership will be pivotal as the HCP finalizes the design and implementation
plan moving forward.

The project team for the Community Data Project has enjoyed the opportunity of participating in the
development phase of the Renfrew County Community Study. This is the beginning of an exciting
journey for HCP and all of its community partners. All the pieces are in place to move from vision to

Final Concept Paper November 2015



Community Data Program (CCSD)

Urban HEART@Toronto Indicator Framework
Community Conversations: Agenda
Community Conversations: Summary of Community Descriptions
Population Profile (2011)
Data Visualization Options
Renfrew County Community Stakeholders

Final Concept Paper November 2015


Appendix 1: Community Data Program, CCSD

The Community Data Program (CDP) is a project of the Canadian Council on Social Development
(CCSD). It serves as a gateway for municipalities and community-based organizations to access data
from Statistics Canada and other institutions in order to identify and better understand the social and
economic trends within their individual communities.

The Community Data Program is made up of a national network of 25 community data consortia.
Members include more than 50 municipalities and 1000+ users, including local police, social planning
councils, health and family service agencies, school boards United Ways and other organizations
working on the ground for social development.

Consortia members work together to identify data needs and then negotiate special consortia-data
licenses with Statistics Canada. These data are available to local consortia and their members through
the project website. The program also provides training programs in collaboration with Statistics
Canada, building on the capacity of partner organizations to access data and to use the data for their
particular purposes.

The data inventory contains a large selection of data products, gathered together in a searchable data
catalog ( With respect to Renfrew
County, there are several datasets of potential interest that provide sub-County information on a range
of topics. These include

Taxfiler Data, Statistics Canada

The CDP inventory currently includes the following Taxfiler tables:

Family Data tables 1 to 18 (2006 to 2012);

Seniors tables 1 to 5 (2010 to 2012);
Individual Data Neighbourhood Income and Demographics tables 1 to 8 (2010 to 2012),
Economic Dependency Profile (single table, 2012), and Labour Income Profile (single table,
Financial Data and Charitable Donations Capital Gains (2010 to 2012), Charitable Donors
(2010 to 2012), Investors (2010 to 2012), Investment Income (2010 to 2012), Savers (2010 to
2012), Taxfilers (2010 to 2012), RRSP Contributions (2010 to 2012), RRSP Room (2010 to

These tables for available for:

Renfrew CTY (Census Division);
3 Postal Cities: Petawawa, Pembroke, Renfrew
4 Forward Sortation Areas: K8H (Petawawa), K0J (Renfrew County excluding Petawawa and
Pembroke and Renfrew towns), K8A (northern Pembroke), K8B (southern Pembroke), K7V
(Renfrew town)
24 Rural Communities outside of Petawawa and Pembroke and Renfrew Postal Cities See
Table 14 (Note that Postal Cities and Rural Communities don't have shapefile boundaries.)

Final Concept Paper November 2015


Census and National Household Survey, Statistics Canada

The CDP acquires a wide range of information from the Census and the National Household Survey for
all of Canada, including Renfrew County and 19 Census Subdivisions, here including the Profile Series
and Topic-Based Tabulations.
While the Census Profiles are available for the larger communities on the Statistics Canada website, the
CDP program have acquired NHS Profiles at the PT-CD-CSD-DA level with all geographic units, including
those with Global Nonresponse Rate (GNR) above 50%. We also acquired the NHS Profiles at the FSA,
Health Region, Designated Place, and by Place of Work, for the PT, CD, CSD, CMA, CT, and DA.82
In addition, the program has acquired 12 Target-Group Profiles at the PT-CD-CSD-DA level, as well as
the CMA-CA-CT level, with variables from both the Census and NHS:

Table A1: Community Data Program Target-Group Profiles

Target Group Profile of the Francophone population

Target Group Profile of the population with difficulty in activities of daily living
Target Group Profile of the visible minority population
Target Group Profile of recent immigrants
Target Group Profile of female lone parents
Target Group Profile of the population 65 years and over
Target Group Profile of the low income population (LIM-AT)
Target Group Profile of immigrants
Target Group Profile of the low income population (LICO-AT)
Target Group Profile of the low income population (MBM)
Target Group Profile of the low income population (LICO-BT)
Target Group Profile of the population living alone
Target Group Profile of the population aged 0-17
Target Group Profile of the population in subsidized housing

Community Poverty Project

The Community Poverty Project, formerly called the Urban Poverty Project, is a long-standing research
program of the CCSD. The goal of this project is to explore the varied dimensions of poverty at the
community and neighbourhood levels. The program acquires unique custom tables for this purpose,
covering a range of topics, including age group, gender, activity limitation, education, ethnic original,
Aboriginal status, language spoken at home, labour force activity, and immigrant status.83

Table A2: Community Data Program: Custom Poverty Tables

CPP Table 1: Age groups (22), sex (3), income status (7) and selected cultural, activity limitation and
demographic characteristics (37) for the population in private households, NHS 2011

Final Concept Paper November 2015


CPP Table 2c: Ethnic origin (52), age groups (9), sex (3), income status (7) and knowledge of official
languages (5) for the population in private households, NHS, 2011

CPP Table 2d: Detailed language spoken most often at home (111), age groups (9), sex (3), income status
in 2010 - CPP (7) and knowledge of official languages (5) for the population in private households, NHS,
CPP Table 3: Age groups (8), sex (3), income status in 2010 - CPP (7) and selected educational and labour
force characteristics (84) for the population 15 years and over in private households, NHS, 2011
CPP Table 5a: Aboriginal identity (3), age groups (8), sex (3), income status in 2010 - CPP (7) and selected
income characteristics (12) for the population 15 years and over with income living in private
households, NHS, 2011
CPP Table 5c: Immigrant status and period of immigration (6), age groups (8), sex (3), income status in
2010 - CPP (7) and selected income characteristics (12) for the population 15 years and over with income
living in private households, NHS, 2011
CPP Table 6c: Age groups (8), sex (3), income status in 2010 - CPP (7), Aboriginal identity (3) and selected
labour force and income characteristics (42) for the population 15 years and over in private households,
NHS, 2011
CPP Table 6c: Age groups (8), sex (3), income status in 2010 - CPP (7), Aboriginal identity (3) and selected
labour force and income characteristics (42) for the population 15 years and over in private households,
NHS, 2011
CPP Table 9a-EF: Elderly/non-elderly spouse or economic family reference person (3), income status in
2010 - CPP (economic family households) (7), selected cultural and activity limitation characteristics (11),
presence of children (5) and selected dwellings, household and income characteristics (27) for the
economic family households in non-farm, non-reserve private dwellings, NHS, 2011
CPP Table 9a-UI: Age groups (3), income status in 2010 - CPP (7), selected cultural and activity limitation
characteristics (11) and selected dwelling, income and household characteristics (27) for persons 15
years and over not in economic families in private households in non-farm, non-reserve private dwellings,
NHS, 2011
CPP Table 11: Age groups (3), sex (3), income status in 2010 - CPP (7), attendance at school (3) and
selected cultural and activity limitation characteristics (20) for the population 15 to 24 years of age living
in private households, NHS, 2011
CPP Table 12: Income status in 2010 - CPP (7), economic family structure (5), and number of economic
family persons and age groups of children (7) for the persons in economic families in private households,
NHS, 2011

Canadian Business Patterns, Statistics Canada

Canadian business patterns data provide counts of active establishments by industry classification and
employment size categories for Canada and the provinces/territories. The data are compiled from the
Business Register, which is a repository of information on the Canadian business population. The CDP
have CBP tables for all CDs, CSDs, CMAs, CAs, and CTs for all of Canada, for the years 2008 to 2014. This
dataset is released twice yearly and we acquire both versions (June and December).

TransUnion Credit Report Characteristics, Transunion Canada

The TransUnion Credit Report Characteristics dataset has data on non-mortgage consumer debt for 25
million Canadians, aged 18 and older, for each six-digit Postal Code across Canada, unless there are
fewer than 15 credit files per Postal Code (in which case the data are suppressed). This is an important
Final Concept Paper November 2015


private sector data set, available for the first time in the Community Data Program. Data files are
updated quarterly. Historical records are provided back to 2004.

Permanent Residents Rounded Data Cube, Citizenship and Immigration Canada
The Citizenship and Immigration (CIC) Permanent Residents Rounded Data Cube (2012) counts the
number of permanent residents in a given Census geography, cross-tabulated by age, landing year,
country of birth, country of citizenship, country of last permanent residence, education level, gender,
immigrant class (including subcategories), marital status, mother tongue, occupation skills (National
Occupation Codes 2, 3, and 4 digit, and skill level), official languages spoken, and years of schooling. The
data cube is a multidimensional database that uses a Microsoft Excel PivotTable as a user interface. We
acquire this database as soon as it becomes available. The two current tables available to CDP members
cover data from 2000 to 2012.

Final Concept Paper November 2015


Appendix 2: Urban HEART@Toronto Indicator Framework84

Table A3
Numerator and Data Source
Economic Opportunity

Denominator and Data Source

Unemployment rate

Total population aged 15 and over

in the labour force: 2011 National
Household Survey (NHS
All families and non-family persons
by number of persons: T1-Family
File; Table F-18; Statistics Canada;
Income Statistics Division, 2010;
Annual Estimates for Census
Families and Individuals, 13C0016
Total population 2001 Census, all
age groups.

Low income measure

Social assistance

Population age 15 and over that is

unemployed: 2011 National Household Survey
All low income families and non- family
persons by number of persons: T1-Family File;
Table F-18, Statistics Canada, Income Statistics
Division, 2010, Annual Estimates for Census
Families and Individuals, 13C0016
Ontario Works (OW) recipients (cases and
dependents), and Ontario Disability Support
Program ODSP recipients participating in OW
employment programs, and non-OW members
receiving special assistance for medical items:
2012 Toronto Employment and Social
Services, Data Mart, 2012.

Numerator and Data Source
Social and human development

Denominator and Data Source

High school graduation

(Used four indicators to

All age 2024 in 2006 Census, All

Grade 9 cohort from 20052006,
TDSB, all Grade 12 students in
2010, TDSB; and all Grade 9
students in 20032004 TDSB.

(Explore for Renfrew)


Number with Grade 12/secondary school

certificate (or 30 credits accumulated) from
four datasets (2006 Census age 2024), TDSB
Grade 9 Cohort graduating in 2011; and Grade
12 class graduating in 2011; TCDS Grade 9
cohort graduating in 2009).
A combined measure of 18 census variables
representing: residential instability, ethnic
concentration, dependency and material
deprivation. The data for these measures was
derived from the 2006 Census.

Age 2564 with post-secondary certificate,

diploma or degree
Source: 2011 National Household Survey
(NHS); Statistics Canada, June 26, 2013.

A combined measure of 18 census

variables representing: residential
instability, ethnic concentration,
dependency and material
deprivation. The data for these
measures was derived from the
2006 Census.
Total population aged 2564 years
by highest certificate, diploma or
degree. Source: 2011 National
Household Survey (NHS);
Statistics Canada, June 26, 2013.

Numerator and Data Source
Governance and civic engagement

Denominator and Data Source

Municipal voter

Denominator: Total eligible

electors. Source: Toronto Election
and Registry Services, obtained
from Toronto Open Data.

Number of eligible electors who voted in the

2010 municipal election. Source: Toronto
Election and Registry Services, obtained from
Toronto Open Data.

Final Concept Paper November 2015


Numerator and Data Source
Physical environment and infrastructure
Community places for

(NA Renfrew)

Access to healthy food

(Explore for Renfrew)

Access to green space

(NA Renfrew)

Denominator and Data Source

DMTI Spatial CanMap Route

Addresses of places of worship and the parks
and recreation centres; XLS data from Toronto Logistics Road network file, 2011
census population in dissemination
Open Data.
blocks (DB), aggregated up to the
neighbourhood level.
Walk Score
internally validated using the Toronto
Utilitarian Walkability Index, 2012 (TUWI)
from Toronto Public Health created by Urban
Design 4 Health Ltd.
DMTI Spatial CanMap Route
Grocery stores, convenience stores, and
Logistics Road network file, 2011
fruit/farmers markets addresses, Dinesafe
census population in the
2013 data.
dissemination blocks (DB), and
aggregated up to the neighbourhood
Shapefile of parks and green space obtained
Centroids of dissemination blocks
from Toronto Open Data.
from 2011 Census.

Population health

Numerator and Data Source

Denominator and Data Source

Premature mortality

Number of deaths age 074 (Both sexes) age

074. Ontario Mortality Data 20052009,
Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term

Denominator: Population age <75,

Statistics Canada, 2006 Census of
Canada. Standardized to the 1991
population of Canada, Statistics
Respondents age 12 and over,
CCHS 2005, 20092010, 2010
2011 and 2011 combined.
Individuals who did not respond to
this question were removed.
Canadian Community Health
Survey, Ontario Share Files,
Statistics Canada.

Self-rated mental health Proportion of residents in the neighbourhood

(over age 12) who said they have very good or
excellent mental health, 20052011. Dataset:
Canadian Community Health Survey, four
waves, 20052011, Ontario Share Files.

Potentially avoidable

Diabetes prevalence

Age and sex standardized rate of

hospitalizations age 074 for specific chronic
conditions (diabetes, hypertension, angina,
congestive heart failure, asthma, chronic
obstructive lung diseases, grand mal seizures
and other epileptic convulsions)/100,000,
population age 074. Source: Discharge
Abstract Database, Canadian Institute for
Health Information (CIHI).

Denominator: Population, 2011 by

age groups. Age standardized to the
1991 Canadian population.

Number of persons aged 20+ with at least one

hospitalization or two physician visits in two
years with a diagnosis of diabetes.

All individuals age 20+ with a valid

OHIP card, alive on April 1st, 2011
and living in the City of Toronto
derived from the Registered
Persons Database (RPDB) from

Final Concept Paper November 2015


Appendix 3: Community Conversations Agenda

Healthy Communities Partnership

Community Consultation: Renfrew County Community Data Study
February 24, 2015

Workshop Goals:

Create community-level understanding about health and well-being framework

Create awareness and build consensus for longer term vision for Renfrew County Community Study and
Phase 1 work related to the Community Data Project
Provide input into development of Renfrew County indicators, framework, communities, etc.
Review and explore options related to community mapping projects elsewhere
Review and provide input into operational next steps

1. Welcome: Overview and Goals of Process
2. Introduction and Warm-Up Activities: Starting to Think About Indicators
3. Ranking Domains
4. Review Other Community Mapping Projects
5. Strategy and Operational Next Steps
6. Wrap-Up: Qs & As

Final Concept Paper November 2015


Appendix 4: Community Conversations Summary

Community residents were asked what makes their community unique. The following is a summary of
their responses.

Madawaska Valley

High rate of volunteerism

Access to a variety of outdoor activities
Community vitality and strong social connections.
Cultural activities such as theatre clubs, restaurants and artisan fairs
Local hospital and venues such as the Seniors Centre which provide a wonderful place for
residents to meet and connect.

North Renfrew

Ability of North Renfrew to take risks.

High quality services and amenities
Wealth of physical resources in the area and the ready access to nature and leisure
Historic connection to AECL important source of well-being, prosperity
Division in community between prosperity associated with Deep River and residents living in
more remote areas.


Friendly community with tight community bonds

Close proximity to the larger urban area of Ottawa and the many surrounding rural
Wealth of physical resources in the area and the ready access to nature and
High number of services and amenities such as excellent medical services and award winning
emergency services
Affordable cost of living was reasonable, especially for housing.
Vibrant downtown
Vibrant music and cultural scene, with live performances, step dancing, and heritage sites such
as the hockey museum.


Friendly community with tight community bonds

Close proximity to the larger urban area of Ottawa and the many surrounding rural
Wealth of physical resources in the area and the ready access to nature and leisure in town and
the larger county such as Gillies Grove, the marina and the Nick Smith Centre.
High number of services and amenities available to residents and community members.
Affordable cost of living, including housing.
Strong tradition of volunteering as evidenced by the important role that community service
clubs. The new music festival Priorpalooza has been a tremendous success due to the
support of Arnprior residents.
Arnpriors position as a bedroom community is challenging with respect to economic
development. Considerable effort to attract new industry and business and to redevelop the
downtown core but gaps remain
Community growing, as seniors and retirees settle in Arnprior. See lower average incomes and
higher poverty rates.

Final Concept Paper November 2015


Older residents many of whom live alone also have different service needs and the town is
working to catch up.


Pembrokes connection or relationship to Petawawa was the dominant theme. Pembroke is the
largest community and administrative centre for Renfrew County. Key health, economic and
social services are located here. At the same time, Petawawa the location of one of Canadas
largest ground force bases is a wealthier and more economically dynamic community.
Friendly community with tight community bonds.
Levels of volunteerism and community engagement are high, notably with respect to sport.
Residents here enjoy a wealth of physical resources and ready access to nature and leisure
Affordable cost of living tends
High number of services and amenities available to residents and community members,
including the new Algonquin College campus and medical specialists.
More culturally diverse than some of the surrounding communities.
Sense that Pembroke is struggling with significant economic and social challenges. Because
Pembroke is a service hub for the County, many residents in need of assistance locate here,
including seniors and low income families. As a result, Pembroke doesnt have the tax base that
it needs to sustain these supports and its aging infrastructure. Petawawa, by contrast, tends to
have a younger population and has had more success attracting economic development.
This is a catch 22 for the city. Residents from surrounding communities come in to make use of
public services and the like, but live and pay taxes elsewhere. As a result, see issues with state of
infrastructure (e.g., poor state of its sidewalks and roads).
Local transportation service closed a number of years ago and many do not have ready access to
shopping and services.
Efforts to revitalize the downtown have been proceeding slowly.
Poverty is a particular challenge in Pembroke. Many rely on social assistance and the Ontario
Disability Support Program in particular to provide household income.
High demand for mental health and addiction supports and services.
Much more to do to address disparities

Bonnechere Valley

Strong social fabric, collaboration and sharing of resources among residents

Ready access to nature and the tranquility of the surroundings
Good recreational facilities and activities


Presence of outdoor opportunities

Young community
Access to recreation
Large and sparsely populated population base
Significance of the military as an economic generator acknowledged, bringing in new families
and community members.
Petawawa constitutes the heart of the Valley, distinct from other communities in Renfrew
County with respect to economic positioning and demographic profile
Affordability and accessibility challenges. Housing a priority area, as well as basic needs and
issues related to under-employment
Transit and accessible transportation also a challenge for many

Final Concept Paper November 2015


Appendix 5: Population Profile (2011)

Population Profile of Renfrew County and Local Communities, 2011


Renfrew (County)

Size of
Total Population
Region Population Growth Rate
7,441 101,326

Admaston/Bromley (Township)
Arnprior (Town)
Bonnechere Valley (Township)*
Brudenell, Lyndoch and Raglan (Township)
Deep River (Town)
Greater Madawaska (Township)*
Head, Clara and Maria (Township)
Horton (Township)
Killaloe, Hagarty and Richards (Township)*
Laurentian Hills (Town)
Laurentian Valley (Township)
Madawaska Valley (Township)*
McNab/Braeside (Township)
North Algona Wilberforce (Township)*
Pembroke (City)
Petawawa (Town)
Pikwakanagan (Golden Lake 39) (Indian reserve)*
Renfrew (Town)
Whitewater Region (Township)

525 2,844
13 8,114
593 3,763
706 1,658
51 4,193
1,034 2,485
728 235
159 2,719
396 2,402
640 2,811
552 9,657
672 4,282
256 7,371
379 2,873
14 14,360
165 15,988
7 432
13 8,218
538 6,921


3.1% 1,000.7

*Subdivisions with GNR values greater than 50%. Information provided is from 2011 Census of Population (short form).
Source: Statistics Canada, 2011 Census of Population, Community Profiles

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Appendix 6: Data Visualization/Regions Options

Township of
Head, Clara
& Maria
Town of
Deep River
( 4,193)

Renfrew County "Communities"


Town of
Laurentian Hills


Town of


City of


Township of
Laurentian Valley

Township of
Killaloe, Hagarty
& Richards

Township of
Madawaska Valley


Township of

Township of
Town of
( 8,218)

Algonquins of
Township of
Bonnechere Valley

Township of
Lyndoch & Raglan


Township of North


Township of

Township of

Town of

Township of
Greater Madawaska


Final Concept Paper November 2015


Appendix 7: Renfrew County Community Stakeholders

The following is a list of provincial, regional and community agencies and organizations working to
enhance the well-being of Renfrew County residents.

Local Municipalities
Addictions Treatment Service
Arnprior & District Food Bank Inc.
Arnprior & District NeighbourLink Fountain
Arnprior Regional Health Assisted Living Services Program
Barrys Bay and Area Senior Citizens Home Support Services
Bernadette McCann House for Women Inc.
Carefor Health and Community Services
Champlain CCAC
Community Living Madawaska Valley and Barrys Bay
Community Living Renfrew County South
Community Living Upper Ottawa Valley
Community Resource Centre Killaloe
Community Support Coalition Renfrew County and Area
Columbus House for Youth
Economic Development Services County of Renfrew
Employment Networks
Family and Childrens Services of Renfrew County
Good News Program
Killaloe & District Housing Inc
L'Arche Arnprior
Mental Health Services of Renfrew County, Renfrew and Arnprior sites
Mental Health Services of Renfrew County, Pembroke Regional Hospital
North Renfrew Family Services
North Renfrew Long-Term Care Services Inc.
Ontario Disability Support Program County of Renfrew
Ontario Provincial Police
Ontario Works County of Renfrew
Ontrac Employment Resource Services
Ottawa Valley Health and Wellness Centre/ West Champlain Healthy Community
Opeongo Non-Profit Housing
Pathways Alcohol and Drug Treatment Services
Pembroke Regional Hospital
Petawawa Housing Corporation
Petawawa Military Family Resource Centre
Phoenix Centre for Children and Families
Pikwkanagn First Nation
Renfrew and County District Health Unit
Renfrew County and District Aboriginal Friendship Centre
Renfrew County Catholic District School Board

Final Concept Paper November 2015


Renfrew County Child Poverty Action Network (CPAN)

Renfrew County Coalition Against Poverty (RCCAP)
Renfrew County District School Board
Renfrew County Housing Corporation
Renfrew County Legal Clinic
Renfrew County Planning Department
Renfrew County Social Services
Renfrew County United Way
Renfrew Victoria Hospital
The Salvation Army
Training and Learning Centre of Renfrew County
Victim Services of Renfrew County
Whitewater Bromley Community Health Centre


3 Alex Michalos, (2011), The Canadian Index of Wellbeing: Technical Report, p. 2.
4 See OECD (2011), Hows Life: Measuring Well-being,,3746,en_2649_201185_48791306_1_1_1_1,00.html and OECD (2011),

Compendium of OECD Well-being Indicators.
6 United Way of Greater Toronto and Canadian Council on Social Development (2004), Poverty by Postal Code: The
Geography of Neighbourhood Poverty, City of Toronto 1981-2001.; David
Hulchanski (2007), The Three Cities within Toronto, Centre for Urban and Community Studies, University of
United Way Toronto (2011), Poverty by Postal Code 2: Vertical Poverty,
7 Vibrant Communities is an excellent example of what has come to be known as comprehensive community
initiatives. It is a pan-Canadian, action-learning initiative that supports and explores promising local solutions for
poverty-reduction. It links communities from all across Canada in a collective effort to test the most effective ways
to reduce poverty at the grassroots level.
8 Action for Neighbourhood Change (2005). Community and neighbourhood, while conceptually distinct, are used
interchangeably in this Background Paper to refer to a geographically specific area.
9 See Jake Cowan and G. Thomas Kingsley (2007), Stories: Using Information in Community Building and Local
Policy, Third Edition. Washington: The Urban Institute.
10 Community engagement is defined as community members working collaboratively, through inspired action
and learning, to create and realize bold visions for their common future. Engagement is understood to be the
active and meaningful participation or involvement of community members in all facets of an initiative, including
decision-making. Denise Whaley and Liz Weaver (2010), Approaches to Measuring More Community Engagement,
Tamarack Institute.

Final Concept Paper November 2015


11 See: N. Wallerstein (2006). What is the Evidence on Effectiveness of Empowerment to Improve Health? WHO

Regional Office for Europe Health Evidence Network Report.
12 S. van Kemenade (2003), Social Capital as a Health Determinant: How It is Defined? Policy Research Division,
Population and Public Health Branch, Health Canada Working Paper Series. http://www.hcsc.; Zena Simces & Associates (2003), Exploring
the Link Between Public Involvement/Citizen Engagement and Quality Health Care. Health Canada, Health Human
Resources Strategies Division.
13 Theory of change models of evaluation, introduced by Carol Weiss, articulate the process of change one can
expect as a result of a program intervention or community change. Organizations, for example, develop a longterm set of desired objectives and then map backwards to identify the medium- and short-term markers of
progress toward the long-term goals. Carol Weiss (1995), Nothing as Practical as Good Theory: Exploring TheoryBased Evaluation for Comprehensive Community Initiatives for Children and Families, New Approaches to
Evaluating Community Initiatives: Concepts, Methods and Contexts, The Aspen Institute Roundtable on
Comprehensive Community Initiatives for Children and Families, The Aspen Institute: Washington, D.C.
John Kania & Mark Kramer (2011), Collective Impact, Stanford Social Innovation Review
For a useful summary of shared measurement approaches, see:
16 C. Ward et al., (2007), Core Indicators for Monitoring Childrens Wellbeing, London: HSRC Press, p. 3. Cited in:
Geoff Woolcock and Wendy Steele (2008), Child-friendly Community Indicators: A Literature Review,
17 Diagram taken from: Promise Neighborhoods Institute (nd), Beyond Lessons in the Field Using Data to Make a
Difference: Keys to Success.
18 At this time, there are no comprehensive, pan-Canadian data systems reporting at the community level in
Canada. There are several unique data repositories such as the Population Health Research Data Repository at the
Manitoba Centre for Health Policy. In the United States, National Neighborhood Indicators Project (NNIP) at the
Urban Institute and Making Connections initiative of the Annie E. Casey Foundation work with different
communities to assemble comprehensive local datasets. Much remains to be done to develop and support the
capacity and infrastructure that systems, institutions, and agencies need to collect, analyse, and use small
geography data in program design, implementation and evaluation.
19 Sean Meagher (2007), A Neighbourhood Vitality Index: An Approach to Measuring Neighbourhood Well-being. An
Action for Neighbourhood Change Report for the United Way of Toronto. p. 4.
20 Canadian Index of Wellbeing website:
21 See: Bryan Smale (2012), Guelph Wellbeing Survey: Preliminary results and selected comparisons.
Presentation to Guelph Community Wellbeing Initiative Local Partners, November 20, 2012.
22 See:
23 Association of Ontario Health Centres (2014), Measuring What Matters.
24 Coalition of Community Health and Resource Centres of Ottawa (2014), Bridging the Gap. Measuring What
Matters: The Ottawa Community Well-being Report 2014.
25 See:
28 See:
30 Social Policy and Planning Division, City of Calgary (2010), Indices of Community Well-being, 2006 for Calgary
31 For example, see: Atlas Sant Montral,

Final Concept Paper November 2015


32 Robert C. Annis (2005), Determinants of Health of Rural Populations and Communities Research Project. Final

Report: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Grant No. 828-1999-1029.
33 Richard Stedman, et al. (2004), Resource Dependence and Community Well-being in Rural Canada, Rural
Sociology, Vol. 69., No. 2.
34 Bill Ashton, Allister Cucksey, Ray Bollman, and Alessandro Alasia (May 2011), Rural Economic Development
Indicators Report Rural Development Institute, Brandon University.
35 Lyn M. Sibley and Jonathan P. Weiner (2011), An Evaluation of Access to Health Care Services Along the RuralUrban Continuum in Canada 11(20) BMC Health Services Research.
36 Ibid.
37 CPHI (2006), How Healthy Are Rural Canadians? An Assessment of Their Health Status and Health Determinants.
38 Trevor Hancock, Indicators of Environmental Health in the Urban Setting, Canadian Journal of Public Health
93, suppl. 1 (2002): pp. S45S51.
41 Healthy Communities Partnership (HCP) (2012), Building Healthy Community: Community Picture Report.
42 HCP (2012), p. 56.
43 See: Building Healthy Community: Action Plan, p. 7.
44 See: Building Healthy Community: Appendix 7: Stakeholder Wheel, p. 66.
45 County of Renfrew (2013), Strategic Plan and Council Priorities, 2013-2018.
46 Renfrew County & District Health Unit (2015), Our Road to the Future (2015-2019) Strategic Plan
47 Renfrew County Catholic District School Board, Strategic Plan (2014-15), p. 2.
48 RCCDSB, Directors Annual Report, 2012-13.
49 Delaney and Associates (2015), Strategic Planning Retreat: Report and Recommendations. Deep River and
District Hospital Stakeholder Engagement: Strategic Success Planning.
50 The different domains of well-being were identified in the 2011 Community Picture Report. See: Healthy
Communities Partnership (HCP) (2011), Building Healthy Community: Renfrew County Community Picture Report,
p. 56.
51 Action for Neighbourhood Change (March 2007), Rebuilding Neighbourhoods: A Neighbourhood Vitality
Framework, Unpublished Draft.
52 John McKnight and John Kretzmann (1993). Building Communities from the Inside Out: A Path Toward Finding
and Mobilizing a Communitys Assets. Evanston, IL: Institute for Policy Research.
53 William Grisby (2001). Community Vitality: Some Conceptual Consideration. The Northeast Regional Centre for
Rural Development. Rural Development Paper No.6.
54 Alan Black and Philip Hughes (2001). The Identification and Analysis of Indicators of Community Strength and
Outcomes. A Report to the Department of Family and Community Services, Department of Family and Community
Services Occasional Paper, No. 3, Edith Cowan University. Cited in Sean Meagher (2007), p. 16.
55 HCP (2012), p. 46.
56 Healthy Communities Partnership, Indicator Working Group Document, April 2014. In this document, the group
identifies the following types of amenities: Food availability/accessibility; Greenspace; Parks and recreation;
Education/culture; Health services; Community resources. Also see the 2011 Community Story Report.
57 For a discussion of Census geographies, see: Statistics Canada (2011). Overview of the Census, Census Year
2011. Catalogue 98-302-XIE.
58 Statistics Canada, Annual Income Estimates for Census Families and Individuals (T1 Family File).

Final Concept Paper November 2015


59 In choosing indicators, it will be desirable to rely on larger sources of information such as the Canadian

Community Health Survey or Taxfiler data that can serve as a single source of a wide range of variables, using
consistent geographies.
60 With respect to the 2011 National Household Survey, Statistics Canada provides the Global Non-response Rate
(GNR) for each geography. The agency recommends caution in reporting and interpreting information for
communities with a GNR above 50%. The GNR for the Renfrew County is 33.8%. Of the 19 census subdivisions in
Renfrew County, five have GNRs above 50% (see Table 10). A decision will need to be made with regard to the
inclusion of information for these communities.
61 Peg. (n.d.). About Peg. Peg.
64 Headwaters Community in Action (2012), The Headwaters Community Well-Being Report.
65 See: RCDHU 2009:
66 County of Renfrew (2013), 10 Year Housing and Homelessness Plan.
67 Sean Meagher (2007), p. 5.
68 The weighted response rate reflects two phase sampling technique designed to minimize response bias.
Weighted response rate is considered the more accurate measure of accuracy.
69 In the NHS, the item non-response made a much smaller contribution to the global non-response rate than
household non-response, an important consideration in assessing the potential quality of community level data.
70 Statistics Canada (2013), NHS User Guide: National Household Survey 2011, Catalogue no. 99-001-X2011001, p.
16. . The GNR cut-off for the
2006 Census was 25%.
71 Statistics Canada also recommends comparing the population estimates produced by the NHS and the 2011
Census as a second quality check.
72 See Statistics Canada (2012), National Household Survey: Data Quality.
73 For further clarification on the distinct Aboriginal communities in Renfrew County, see: Joan Holmes (1998),
Hidden Communities: Research Difficulties encountered in Researching Non-Status Algonquins in the Ottawa
Valley, Paper presented at Presented at 30th Algonquian Conference, Boston.
74 For a discussion of the value of backbone organizations such as social planning councils, see: Shiloh Turner,
Kathy Merchant, John Kania and Ellen Martin (2012), Understanding the Value of Backbone Organizations in
Collective Impact: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4. Stanford Social Innovation Review.
77 John Kania & Mark Kramer (2011), Collective Impact, Stanford Social Innovation Review
78 See details at:
79 See: Measuring What Matters website for a list of their simple and complex visualization tools and many related
80 See:
81 Please see the Data Reference Guide for a complete listing of the Community Data Program holdings:
82 See:
84 Centre for Inner City Health (2014), Urban HEART@Toronto: Technical Report / User Guide.

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Final Concept Paper November 2015