Bigger, more diverse, and more exciting than ever before. I am talking about London and Middlesex County of course.
In the heart of southwestern Ontario, London is a special place to live and work. We’re approaching half a million in population and yet still appreciate the relative affordability and security that a mid-size community has combined with the business and career opportunities of a big city.
Thoughtful generations before us carefully planned the tree-lined streets, numerous parks, extensive walking and biking trails and an abundance of recreation facilities that we enjoy today.
Today I see citizens of all ages involved with community groups in every neighbourhood. More and more new Canadians are choosing London as their home. New apartment towers are going up in the core, City officials released an ambitious plan to overhaul downtown that includes creating more residential space and reconnecting with the Thames River. We’re attracting some of the best sports and entertainment events. Yes, the London as you know today is different from the London of 10 years ago. In fact, at no other point in history have we had as many tools at our disposal to develop this City to its fullest potential.
Yes, life is good – until it isn’t.
Our third Vital Signs® report compiles research conducted by individual organizations and identifies trends - both good and bad - across the City. Perhaps not surprisingly to many of you, even though we want our community to be smart, caring, inclusive, productive, forward-looking, and healthy - the reality is we are falling short.
Since we released Vital Signs® 2010, it’s only gotten worse for those most vulnerable in our community. The need for headsidized housing is increasing, more children are living in poverty and our smoking rate is above both the Ontario and Canadian average.
This report is a call to become more informed about the health and well being of our vibrant community. As you read this report, I encourage you to reflect on how you - as a member of this community - feel we are doing in each area. Visit londonvitalsigns.ca and let us know your thoughts.
Vital Signs ® is an annual check-up conducted by community foundations across Canada that measures the vitality of our communities and identifies significant trends in a range of areas critical to quality of life. Vital Signs ® is coordinated nationally by Community Foundations of Canada.
Methodology: Indicator Selection
Indicators for each of the six key areas were selected on the basis of:
• Availability of data
• Ease and cost of data collection
• Reputable and reliable data source
• Currency of data
• Community interest
• Data that will be updated regularly for future trending
• A three-year cycle for core indicators as agreed upon by all community foundations participating in Vital Signs
The Vital Signs ® trademark is used with permission from Community Foundations of Canada.
London’s Vital Signs ® report would not be a reality without the working support and contributions from countless individuals, organizations and businesses from across the community. We would like to offer our sincere gratitude to all for making London’s Vital Signs ® 2010 a success. Special thanks to Donna Bourne for her leadership on this project.
Joan Atchison, London Police Service
Matt Feldberg, City of London
Stephen Giustizia , City of London
Ellen Hobin, London Public Library
Houda Hussein, The London & Middlesex Local Immigration Partnership
Donna Ladouceur, Community Care Access Centre
Anne Langille, WIL Employment Connections
Devin Munro, WIL Employment Connections
Abe Oudshoorn, London Homelessness Outreach Network
Jan Richardson, City of London
Jay Stanford, City of London
Kathy Stark, Community Care Access Centre
London Community Foundation Board
Richard M. Ivey, Honorary Director
Lorraine Ivey Shuttleworth, Honorary Director
2012 Board of Directors
Donna Bourne, Chair
Patrick O'Neill, Vice Chair
John Nicholson, Past Chair
M. Lee Myers
Diane Y. Stewart