This assignment addresses market demand in census tract neighbourhoods in the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area (CMA). You will first collect and present demographic data on two census tracts. Then you will compare and contrast the two census tract neighbourhoods. Finally, you will briefly identify census variables from your own neighbourhood.
Before you begin, read textbook chapters seven and eight on the geography of demand. Also consult the appendices in the textbook. Appendix A gives detailed instructions on how to retrieve census data from the Statistics Canada website using your postal code. Appendix B presents many of the census variables available. Appendix C shows the kinds of goods and services purchased by households in Canada. We are using 2016 census data.
Read ALL of this assignment and relevant parts of the textbook before you proceed and BEFORE you ask questions.
PART A: Data collection
Select a pair of census tract neighbourhoods according to the following schedule:
- First letter of your surname (last name) A-H: census tracts 5350086.00 & 5350576.16
- First letter of your surname (last name) I-O: census tracts 5350413.02 & 5350265.00
- First letter of your surname (last name) P-Z: census tracts & 5350065.02 & 5350601.00
Retrieve the Statistics Canada 2016 Census Profiles for your two assigned neighbourhoods (see Appendix A in the textbook for instructions). Begin by searching for one of the Census Tracts by ‘Geographic code’ (your first census tract number above). This will generate a table for your census tract (on the left) plus a comparative benchmark such as the CMA beside it. Note there is an option to ‘Change geography’. Click on ‘Change geography’ under the benchmark data (usually the CMA) and under ‘Geographic code’ type in your second assigned census tract number.
When you have retrieved the data for both your census tracts note that there are hundreds of variables. You have several options to rationalise your search. For example, at ‘Topic:’ there is a drop-down menu where you can pick the variables from various themes such as ‘All data’, ‘Population’, ‘Ethnic origin’, ‘Income’ etc. (see below). There is also an option to get ‘Rates’ rather than ‘Counts’ which will be handy for some of the data you have to retrieve. After each selection be sure to hit the ‘Submit’ button to apply your selection. You also have options to download the data and map the census tract.
A further option is to get selected charts (graphs) that Statistics Canada have already created:
Charts (using rates)
Using these various options, study the census data for your two census tracts.
Part B: Data presentation
Present selected charts (graphs) and a table of data as follows.
Table. Using the data from the census tables you have retrieved create your own table that shows for both census tracts the following selected variables: Population 2016; Population change 2011-2016 (%); Population density per km sq.; % Male; % Female (calculate this from counts); Population by major age groups (% 0-14 yrs., %15-64 yrs., % 65 yrs. and over); Average age of the population; Average household size; 1 person households (count & %); Average household income; Household income – $200,000 or more; Prevalence of low income (%); Average value of dwellings ($); Total visible minority population (%); No certificate, diploma or degree (%); Marital status – Not married and not living common law (count). Also from the ‘COVID-19- Relevant indicators (use the drop-down menu) identify two variables.
[Note: selected variables for three of the census tracts above are already available at the end of Chapters 7 and 8 in the textbook.]
Charts (graphs). From the option retrieve the following graphs and include them in your assignment: ‘Age groups – 100% data, both sexes’; ‘Ethnic origin for the population in private households – 25% sample data, both sexes’; ‘Occupied private dwellings by structural type of dwelling – 100% data’; ‘Household total income groups in 2015 for private households – 100% data’.
Ensure that both census tracts are on the same graph for each variable to enable direct comparison.
Examples of these graphs, using the Toronto CMA and City of Toronto rather than pairs of census tracts, are included with this assignment below.
Keep these four graphs and the table to no more than two pages in your assignment. Give the table and graphs (charts) numbers and appropriate titles.
You can copy the charts (graphs) from the Statistics Canada website by using Techsmith Snagit or screenshots (or some other capture software if you have it). If using screenshots, enable full screen first (right-click on the graph to get a menu). As a UofT student you can download Techsmith Snagit free from student resources. When using Snagit: use the ‘Image’ and ‘Region’ options; click ‘Capture’ and pull out a region over the graph you want to copy. Right-click the resulting image, select copy and then paste into your document. You will likely have to reduce the size of each graph to fit all four and the table on two pages – right-click the image of the graph in your document to get the ‘Size and position’ menu.
Part C: Discussion
Using the information you have collected, compare and contrast the two census tract neighbourhoods. Are there ways in which the variables are related? To what extent do the variables combine together to produce a distinctive market area? Identify one more variable for each neighbourhood (so, two variables in total) that you think is distinctive. Give the value for each variable and say why you think it is distinctive in each particular neighbourhood.
Part D: Selected variables for your home census tract
Use your postal code to find your home census tract as per the instructions in the appendix of the textbook. Identify which of the two census tracts you studied in Part A above differs most to your home census tract. Present two census variables that effectively illustrate how your home census tract differs from your selected census tract from Part A. Provide the data for both your home census tract and the selected census tract from Part A. If you do not live in Canada or your home census tract happens to be one of the census tracts you studied in Part A use the university census tract found using the postal code M5S 3G4.
The written component of this assignment (exclusive of graphs and table) should be approximately 5 type-written pages (but it is possible to do a good job in less). Use 12-point font, double spaced. Do not exceed six pages.
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