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Canadian cities examined

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Community foundations across Canada are beginning to release report cards evaluating the country’s cities as part of a project led by Community Foundations of Canada.

The Vital Signs project, based on a program of the Toronto Community Foundation, will measure cities’ well-being annually using metrics such as health and wellness, safety, the gap between rich and poor, housing and the environment.

The pilot phase of the program, funded by the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, began this year, with Victoria, Vancouver and Ottawa already having published Vital Signs reports outlining successes and challenges using each of 10 metrics.

In its report, Ottawa identified a growing gap between rich and poor and a challenging environment for immigrants to the city.

Vancouver found a jump in homelessness and problems wrought by substance abuse and mental illness, while Victoria identified housing costs as a major issue.

The Foundation of Greater Montreal is scheduled to release its report in November.

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