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Who are the voters in Ward 5?

Background note and health warning. Thanks to the Census and the National Household Survey we can unpack Ward 5 and build a profile without invading anyone’s personal privacy. This is as it should be. The census is a treasure trove of information. There are three census tracts which cover Ward 5. The census tract is the smallest area examined by the census. The Town of Newmarket is a census division; within it are the census tracts. The census tracts and Ward boundaries are not coterminous.

I have looked at the census tract (5350451.02) which covers the largest area in Ward 5 from Davis Drive in the north to Eagle Street in the South, Yonge Street in the West and the rail track in the East. The second census tract covering the south west part of Ward 5 bleeds into Ward 6 (5350451.03). The third census tract covers the area from Eagle Street in the North to Mulock Drive in the South and includes the Town’s HQ (5350451.01). It has a population of 2,230 – less than half the size of the biggest tract that I am looking at. It shares many of the characteristics of the other tracts.

The statistics I quote below come exclusively from the largest census tract, ignoring the other two. This saves me a lot of work and flaffing about. It gives us a feel for the old downtown which is at the heart of Ward 5.

The data is not from this year’s census. It is from 2011 and, in many instances, it shows its age. House prices, for example, will for some appear curiously affordable ($357,571). But as we know, since 2011, house prices have gone through the roof. These figures no longer reflect present reality. But in other respects the data is still good. The structure of the population in terms of housing tenure and, say, income distribution probably remains much about the same. The numbers do not always round for a myriad of reasons explained by Statistics Canada. So, with all these health warnings, what did I learn?

Older and wealthier and wiser?

The population of the biggest census tract of Ward 5 (where voters will be going to the polls on 17 October) is on average older, wealthier and more highly educated than the Town as a whole.

The population was 4,903 in 2011 – down 3% from the 5,056 in 2006. During that period the Town’s population grew by 7.6%. The population density per square kilometer is higher in the biggest census tract of Ward 5 than for the Town as a whole (2,460 vs 2,088) so they cosy up together.

The median age of residents (half way between the youngest and oldest) is 46 compared with just over 39 for the Town. This census tract of Ward 5 has fewer children than the town as a whole and smaller households (the tract has 2.1 people in the average household compared with 2.9 for the Town.)  

Deep roots

The census tract is overwhelmingly anglo with 4,105 people citing their mother tongue is English (French 70 and other non official languages 530). And they’ve been here for a long time and have deep roots.

Of the total population (4,750) in private households, 780 are first generation Canadians; 1,070 are second generation and a remarkable 2,900 are third generation or earlier.

2,820 cite origins in the British Isles followed by France (455), Germany (410) and the Netherlands (350). Of those from the British Isles, 1,765 census respondents say they have links with England (through parents or grandparents or more distant relatives); 1,215 with Scotland and 1,095 with Ireland.

Well educated

The people in this part of Ward 5 are very well educated. They know the time of day.

2,400 people have a post secondary certificate, diploma or degree. 455 have qualifications in business, management or public administration. 405 in architecture, engineering and similar disciplines and 360 in health and related fields.

The top four occupations in Ward 5 are (1) sales and service - 650 (2) business, finance and  administration – 500 (3) education, law and government – 350 and (4) management of some kind – 270.

Full time or Part-time?

Just over one fifth of people in work in this part of Ward 5 are part-timers (PT = 605 and FT = 2030). Most of those in work leave home between 7am and 9am (1385) but there are early risers leaving between 5am and 7am (540) and the leisurely sleepy heads (330) who leave anytime after 9am.

The cost of having a roof over your head

There are 2,230 households in this part of Ward 5. Of these 1,425 are owned and 810 rented. Of the total, taking both tenures together, 1,500 households are spending less than 30% of their income on their accommodation and 730 more.

36.4% of tenants are spending 30% or more of their total household income on shelter (ie accommodation). In 2011 this was $906. For owner occupiers it was $1,323. It will have increased significantly since then.

Out of the total number of owner households, 58.2% have a mortgage. Almost one third (30.5%) are spending 30% or more of their household income on their accommodation. (30% is often regarded as a benchmark of affordability.)

The average value of dwellings in this part of Ward 5 in 2011 was $357,571.

Wealthier than most Canadians

The National Household Survey looked at the after-tax family income of the population in this part of Ward 5 (4,745) by decile, (or by bite-size chunks of 10%). It found 2,610 were in the top half of Canadian distribution and 2,140 in the bottom half.

615 people were in the top 10% of Canadian income distribution.

In the National Household Survey of 2011, of the 2,230 private households in this part of Ward 5, the average household income was $76,307 and, after-tax, $63,975. Again, these figures will have changed.

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Nominations for the by-election on 17 October 2016 have now closed. The candidates are: Bob KwapisDarryl Wolk, Tom Pearson, Ron Eibel, Ian Johnston, Wasim Jarrah, Tracee Chambers (no web site yet though I am told one is under construction) and Peter Geibel.

I shall be looking at them all in turn.

Update at 6pm on 4 September: Tracee Chambers' website is now up and running.

Update on 5 September: Population counts and dwelling information from the 2016 Census will be released on 8 February 2017 by Statistics Canada.


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