We have collaborated with Statistics Canada on a set of proximity measures to services and amenities. These indicators will help CMHC and other members of the housing community understand how close Canadians live to employment, transit and other services and is aimed at facilitating further research on housing, neighbourhood and social and economic inclusion.
The result of this collaboration is the release of the first nation-wide Proximity Measures Database (PMD). This database is now available as an early release to make this information available to departments and other stakeholders across Canada who are dealing with COVID‑19.
The proximity measures
The database contains 10 measures. They are proximity to:
- Grocery stores
- Health care
- Child care
- Primary education
- Secondary education
- Public transit
- Neighbourhood parks
All measures are at the dissemination block level. A dissemination block is a block in urban areas or an area bounded by roads in rural areas. This provides the highest level of geographic resolution currently possible and the database has approximately half a million records.
About the database and methods
Proximity measures are based on a simple gravity model that accounts for the distance between a reference dissemination block and all the dissemination blocks in which the service is located (within a given distance) and the size of the services. The measure accounts also for the presence of services within the dissemination block of reference.
The size of the service is captured by total employment or total revenue of the service, or more simply, the presence of points of access to the service within a given distance. The measure of size of the service is specific to each measure.
More information about the database and the methods are available on the Statistics Canada website.
Information is provided wherever possible although some data limitations exist in certain geographies. This work is expected to be further developed and revised as new and updated information on the geolocation of services becomes available.