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Part of our Neighbourhood now in NIA (Neighbourhood Improvement Area)

Neighbourhood Improvement Areas Map
Neighbourhood Improvement Areas Map
Under a new ranking system revealed by city staff on Monday, each of Toronto’s 140 neighbourhoods has been given an “equity score” based on 15 criteria that includes health, economics, political participation and education. A team of experts set 42.89 as a benchmark score. Communities that fall below the line are designated as a “Neighbourhood Improvement Area,” which replaces the old “Priority Neighbourhood Area.”
  • Black Creek scored the lowest, with 21.38. Lawrence Park north was the highest, with 92.05.
  • Westminster-Branson, ranked 38th overall, came in at 46.57. This north Toronto neighbourhood is one of eight that no longer qualifies as a priority investment area. Malvern, Dorset Park, L’Amoreaux, Yorkdale-Glen Park, Steeles, Englemount-Lawrence and Humber Heights-Westmount round out that list.
  • Each was part of the city’s original neighbourhoods program, which was launched eight years ago after the so-called Summer of the Gun.
  • The designation meant the community of about 24,000 in Ward 10 received a new community hub and health centre development, renovated facilities and additional recreation and employment supports, among other things.
  • Chris Brillinger, Toronto’s executive director of social development, finance and administration, said the major benefit of the new criteria is that staff will be able to track the impact of investment. The previous iteration wasn’t based on data in the same way, so it was impossible to quantify evidence of progress — even though, anecdotally, it was obvious. Now, every Toronto neighbourhood is assessed based on the same 15 indicators. “(The new version) allows us to identify and measure how people are doing in our neighbourhoods … then we can go back, year after year, to track progress,” Brillinger said.
  • It’s difficult to measure the financial impact of the priority designation. About $12 million in capital funding has been earmarked for these Neighbourhood Improvement Areas, a similar investment to that made by the city eight years ago. But the actual total is much higher. The city partners with numerous charitable organizations and community groups to leverage those dollars. And a significant chunk of costs, such as programming and staff salaries, are buried within the normal city budget.
According to Toronto Sun, Mayor Rob Ford is against this expansion of NIAs.
  • Mayor Rob Ford says the city has enough priority neighbourhoods.
  • Ford on Monday dismissed a recommendation from city officials to increase the number of neighbourhoods with the priority neighbourhood designation.
Sources / More info: Toronto Star, tsmap,

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