September 13, 2017 3:06 pm
Updated: September 21, 2017 1:59 pm

Census 2016: Mapping Canadians’ income, coast to coast

Statistics Canada released another installment of census data Wednesday, this time with a focus on poverty and income. Here are the highlights.

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Wednesday’s release of income data from Statistics Canada marks a shift in the agency’s approach.

In previous years, the census relied on Canadians to report their incomes more or less on an honour system. This year, however, it switched to using data from tax returns, in many ways more reliable. Tax filers were cross-referenced to their census tracts.

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However, tax data can only shed light on Canadians who file tax returns; it lets us know little about the layer below the working poor. Also, census tracts only cover towns and cities and the areas around them — they don’t show income patterns in rural and northern communities.

Are you interested in a city not shown below? Zoom out to have a look at it.


Halifax

The Halifax area’s lowest-income neighourhoods are in Dartmouth, around the north end of the Angus Macdonald Bridge and to the northwest. There are also low-income pockets in the south end of downtown Halifax, though in that case, we may be seeing a student ghetto connected to Dalhousie. The HRM’s richest areas are in the Marlborough Woods neighbourhood downtown, and then on the city’s outskirts — Bedford, Hammonds Plain, Port Wallace and parts of Shearwater.

READ MORE: Statistics Canada releases revised numbers on Quebec anglophones

Montreal

It wouldn’t take long to walk through Montreal’s ten poorest census tracts, cheek-by-jowl with each other northwest and southwest of the city’s downtown core. It wouldn’t take much more of a walk to bring you to Westmount, long the bastion of the city’s wealthy — along with Outremont, on the other side of Mount Royal. Older parts of the city contain both five out of Canada’s ten poorest census tracts and three of its ten richest ones. (#1 is a part of Westmount, amazing given that the city’s economy has been tepid at best for two generations.)

READ MORE: More than one-third of young Canadian adults live with their parents: 2016 census

Toronto

Toronto preserves its traditional income map, with monied neighbourhoods bulging along Yonge Street (and also in a second cluster in mid-south Etobicoke) and in Vaughan. Incomes are rising, along with house prices, in pockets south of Bloor/Danforth. But the city’s V of low-income neighbourhoods persists, with its western arm stretching along the railway and its eastern one covering much of Scarborough away from the lakeshore.

READ MORE: Where are Canada’s singles? The census found them

Winnipeg

Moving west, Winnipeg’s upper-income neighbourhoods are almost all in the suburbs, mostly southwest of the city, but with an older pocket in River Heights. The city’s lowest-income area is west of downtown — it includes several of Canada’s poorest neighbourhoods.

READ MORE: Resource boom fuelled Canada’s richest cities, according to the census

Calgary

Calgary’s lowest-income neighbourhood is the east part of downtown, but to put things in perspective, this is only the 203rd-poorest census tract in Canada. The map shows a large low-income area along 17th Avenue east of the Bow River. On the other end, a tract in rural Rocky View County, west of the city, is Canada’s fifth-richest neighbourhood.

Statscan cautions that its income data is from before the energy crash.

READ MORE: The rise of solo living: Political world may need to adjust to a new reality

Edmonton

The area generally north and west of downtown is home to Edmonton’s lowest-income census tracts; higher-income neighbourhoods are to the southeast and southwest of the downtown core.

READ MORE: 1.2 million Canadian children living in poverty: census

Vancouver

Once again, an area of the Downtown Eastside is Canada’s poorest census tract, with a median income of under $18,000. The region’s next-poorest tracts are next door, and in Langley and Richmond. Pockets of West Vancouver and Shaughnessy continue to be the city’s richest.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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