Toronto R egion - Statistics Canada Research Data Centre

Newsletter Number 4 – Fall 2003

This is a newsletter for academic researchers in the Toronto region using, or interested in using, Statistics Canada microdata.  The Toronto RDC is a secure social science research facility located at the University of Toronto that offers researchers from many academic disciplines an opportunity to analyze large-scale, longitudinal Statistics Canada data sets in a modern, well-equipped computer lab setting.

The Toronto Region - Statistics Canada RDC is a partnership of the Universities of Toronto, Ryerson and York, in a national initiative with Statistics Canada, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, with major funding from the Canadian Foundation of Innovation.

Please feel free to forward this email newsletter to anyone you think may be interested in the RDC program.  Thank you!


1.         Toronto RDC Latest News
2.         Dataset holdings update
3.         Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Canada (LSIC)
4.         Extended hours operation
5.         Workshops at the RDC
6.         Additions to the Toronto RDC Library
7.         University Affairs RDC article
8.         Data Analysis and Statistics Seminar
9.         RDC Proposal Submission Process
10.       Contact us 

1)         Toronto RDC Latest News

The Toronto Region - Statistics Canada Research Data Centre had a very full year in 2002. The Toronto RDC welcomed Veronica Yei, Statistics Canada Analyst and University of Toronto Economics Department graduate.

The number of research projects at the Toronto RDC has grown to 89 as of August 2003.  These projects involve over 100 graduate students and faculty members from the University of Toronto, York University, Ryerson and other nearby universities. This is by far the single largest concentration of research at any of the 9 RDCs across the country.

A new Internet Room was built in late 2002 to free space for another Analyst’s office.  We thank the researchers at the Toronto RDC for their patience during our expansion!

The Toronto RDC website was updated to include “What’s New” and “Hours of Operation” pages, to improve readability for those with visual impairments, and to facilitate the inclusion of recently updated Statistics Canada RDC web pages.  We hope the new format makes the site easier to use and more informative overall:

Finally, a welcome to current and new graduate students attending the University of Toronto, York University and Ryerson University.  We hope you consider utilizing the RDC for your thesis or dissertation work.

2)         Dataset Holdings Update

The RDC houses the master files from 5 core longitudinal surveys, and 1 cross-sectional survey: the National Population Health Survey (NPHS), The Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics (SLID), the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY), the Youth in Transition survey (YITS), the Workplace and Employee Survey (WES), and the cross-sectional Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS).

In addition to the Toronto RDC's core surveys, researchers with approved projects may also access other survey master files, such as the General Social Survey (GSS).

In the near future, the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants in Canada (LSIC) will be added to our core data holdings here at the Toronto RDC (see the next item for more on this newly released survey).

a)      NLSCY Cycle 4 Available

The Toronto RDC recently acquired Cycle 4 of the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY).  Additionally, data from Cycles 1-3, as well as the survey weights have been revised and are available.  Statistics Canada strongly urges NLSCY researchers to use the revised data and weights for their analyses if possible.  For more information on the revisions to NLSCY survey weights and other data, please contact Tina Hotton at 416-946-8321.

b)      NPHS Relationship Data Available

Researchers using the National Population Health Survey (NPHS) can now access the household member and relationship files for Cycles 1 to 4 of the National Population Health Survey. These files provide information on the relationship between the household reference person and the household member who is selected for the health questionnaire.  For more information, please contact Veronica Yei at 416-946-8105.

c)      WES 2001 and revised data now available

Researchers working with the Workplace and Employee Survey (WES) may now access the data for 2001 and revised data for 1999 and 2000.  A number of important changes have taken place in the 1999 and 2000 data.  For more information on changes to the WES, please contact Veronica Yei at 416-946-8105.

d)      YITS Cycle 1 18-20 Year-old Cohort Available

Researchers analyzing the Youth in Transition Survey (YITS) may now access the Cycle 1 18-20 year-old cohort. The previous microdata release in 2002 included only a selection of variables.  For more information, please contact Veronica Yei at 416-946-8105.

Please see the section: “How to Apply” on our website if you would like to apply to conduct research at the Toronto RDC using any of these datasets.

3)         Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Canada (LSIC 

From the Statistics Canada ‘Daily’:

“Newcomers to Canada are developing a strong attachment to the country, and 98% of them said it was the only destination they applied to when they chose to leave their homeland, according to the first data from the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Canada (LSIC).

Many people emigrated for economic reasons; some came to Canada to reunite with their family; others chose to leave their homeland for political or other personal reasons. However, most immigrants had the same plan in mind: they would make Canada their new home. The vast majority (91%) of these new arrivals expressed their intention to settle here permanently and become Canadian citizens.

The Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Canada (LSIC), conducted by Statistics Canada and Citizenship and Immigration Canada under the Policy Research Initiative, is a comprehensive survey designed to study the process by which new immigrants adapt to Canadian society. This release is based on a new report, Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Canada: Process, progress and prospects.

About 12,000 of the roughly 164,200 immigrants aged 15 and older who arrived from abroad in Canada between October 2000 and September 2001 were interviewed in the first wave of this longitudinal study. The first wave of interviews was conducted between April 2001 and June 2002, about six months after their arrival. This same group of individuals is currently being interviewed once again, (two years after their arrival), and will be interviewed for a third time about four years after their arrival.

Information collected in this first wave of interviews will serve as a benchmark for tracking the subsequent settlement experiences of these newcomers. By late 2005, when all three waves of interviews have been completed, the survey will provide a better understanding of how the settlement process unfolds for new arrivals.

A more detailed publication of the results from the first wave of the LSIC is planned for release in early 2004. The publication will cover the following themes: profiling the LSIC sample, motivations for immigrating to Canada, early outcomes related to the economic and social well-being of newcomers, as well as an examination of the barriers newcomers face.

The publication Highlights of the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Canada, 2000-2001 (89-611-XIE, free) is now available on Statistics Canada's website (”

4)         Extended Hours at the Toronto Region RDC

As part of a pilot project in response to researchers who have expressed a desire to have the RDC open later each day, the hours of operation of the Toronto RDC were extended to 7:30pm Monday-Thursday, and to 6pm on Friday, from March to August of this year.

The Extended Hours pilot allowed researchers to keep more flexible hours at the Toronto RDC, and will be re-introduced shortly.  The new Extended Hours will extend Toronto RDC operating hours from 4:30pm to 7:00pm from Monday to Thursday.  Please see the “Hours of Operation” page on our website for the latest Extended Hours information.

5)         Workshops at the RDC

Since the last newsletter in the fall of 2002, the Toronto RDC has hosted 4 workshops that were all extremely well attended.

a)         Marie Drolet, Senior Research Economist and WES Research Manager at Statistics Canada came to the RDC October 24th from 1:30 to 3:30pm and discussed research opportunities using the Workplace and Employee Survey (WES).

b)         Adam Wronski, Chief of Content and Analysis for SLID, and Heather Lathe, Senior Analyst with Income Statistics Division, came to the Toronto RDC the afternoon of Wednesday, December 11 and met with current SLID users, and researchers interested in learning more about the survey.

c)         Dave Haans hosted an introductory SAS workshop.  This workshop was meant to help researchers at the RDC acquaint or re-acquaint themselves to the SAS programming language. In this workshop, the basics of the SAS programming language were covered, including creating variables, reading in raw text files, modifying SAS data sets, merging SAS data sets, and printing output in useful ways.

d)         Blair Wheaton, Academic Director at the Toronto Region RDC and Lisa Strohschein, Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto were hosts of a 2-day workshop on using HLM and SAS for Multilevel Modeling.  Held on Monday April 28th 2003 and Tuesday April 29th 2003, this workshop introduced the HLM model, growth curve models, and the use of SAS (as well as the HLM program).  As well, generalized multi-level models (logistic and Poisson), crossed-random effects models, and merging census with individual level data were covered in detail.

Workshops will resume in the fall of 2003.  Please check the “Events” section of our website for more information.

6)         Additions to the Toronto RDC Library

To assist our researchers in their work, we have recently purchased the entire collection of SAGE Quantitative Applications in the Social Sciences series.  These “little green books” will be familiar to many working with quantitative statistics.   As well, we have obtained subscriptions to the Statistics Canada publications “Health Reports,” and “Canadian Social Trends,” both of which regularly feature articles which utilize datasets available at the RDC.  Finally, along with obtaining licenses for the Special Edition version of Stata 8, we purchased the entire set of Stata 8 manuals.

Recommendations of useful statistical books or manuals are always appreciated, and further additions to the RDC library are planned for the near future.

7)         RDC Article in “University Affairs”

The March, 2003 issue of University Affairs ( featured a lengthy article titled “Mining for Gold” which discussed the Research Data Centres across the country, their history and the types of research conducted in them.  A handy link to the above article appears on the “News” page of our website.

8)         Data Analysis and Statistics Seminar

Data Analysis and Statistics Seminar

Canadian Research Institute for Social Policy

Vancouver, B.C.

November 1- 5, 2003

Sponsored by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

The Canadian Research Institute for Social Policy is pleased to announce that application forms for the 2003 Data and Statistics Seminars (DASS) sponsored by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) are now available on our website.  Researchers and analysts interested in applying to this seminar can learn more about our training program at

The primary objective of the DASS is to equip new and beginning Canadian researchers with the quantitative skills they require to effectively understand, analyze and utilize survey data available to them through Statistics Canada. We also hope that these seminars will contribute to the development of an infra-structure for two of Statistic Canada’s major surveys and strengthen the network of Canadian scholars interested in human development.


The DASS curriculum includes instruction on: scaling of quantitative data based on Item Response Theory; techniques for handling missing data; basic methods for longitudinal surveys, including the use of plausible values and design weights; regression techniques for continuous, ordinal, and categorical data; and hierarchical linear models (HLM). As part of this training, data from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY) will be used extensively to illustrate how these quantitative techniques can be applied to large, complex datasets.  Participants in the training program will receive an extensive set of syntax files for the NLSCY data developed by the staff at CRISP.

Apply on-line at for this opportunity to join scholars who share your interest in social policy concerns.  You will work with knowledgeable and experienced researchers in a collaborative, hands-on environment where you can learn new analytical methods and useful strategies for interpreting and reporting your results.  The number of participants for this program will be limited to 20, and preference will be given to those who have not previously attended a CRISP Data Training School or DASS.

We encourage you to please pass along this message to any colleagues you feel may be interested in this training opportunity.  If you require further assistance please contact:


Beth Fairbairn
Assistant to the Director
Canadian Research Institute for Social Policy
University of New Brunswick
Tel:  506-447-3178
Fax: 506-447-3427


9)         RDC proposal submission process


To access the RDC, researchers must submit a project proposal to a review committee operating under the auspices of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and Statistics Canada.

 The process is done through an on-line application system accessible at:

 For more information on the Toronto RDC and how to apply for access, please visit our website at:

10) Contact us

 For further information on the RDC or on any other item in this newsletter, please contact either:

Tina Hotton, RDC Analyst
Region-Statistics Canada RDC
Robarts Library, Room 7032
130 St. George St.
Toronto, ON
M5S 1A5

Tel: 416-946-8321

Fax: 416-946-8104


Veronica Yei, RDC Analyst
Toronto Region-Statistics Canada RDC
Robarts Library, Room 7032
130 St. George St.
Toronto, ON
M5S 1A5
Tel: 416-946-8105
Fax: 416-946-810 

The Toronto RDC Steering Committee can be contacted through:

Susan Murphy
, RDC Financial Administrator
University of Toronto
222 College Street, Suite 106
Toronto, ON
M5T 3J1
Tel: 416-978-7037
Fax: 416-978-4771

For further information on computing equipment and analytical software available at the RDC, please contact:

Dave Haans, Research and Computing Consultant
Toronto Region-Statistics Canada RDC
Robarts Library, Room 7032
130 St. George St.
Toronto, ON
M5S 1A5
Tel: 416-946-8106
Fax: 416-946-8104