Toronto Region — Statistics Canada Research Data Centre

Newsletter Number 5 – Spring 2004

This is a newsletter for academic researchers in the Toronto region using, or those interested in using, Statistics Canada confidential microdata files.  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.  Please see “RDC Proposal Submission Process” near the end of this newsletter for information about applying.

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.    Latest News
2.    Dataset holdings update
3.    Hours of operation
4.    Workshops at the RDC
5.    Conferences
6.    Data Analysis and Statistics Seminars
7.    RDC Proposal Submission Process
8.    Contact us

1)    Toronto RDC Latest News

Professor Blair Wheaton, Academic Director of the Toronto Region Statistics Canada Research Data Centre from July 1, 2001 to December 31, 2003, has accepted a position as Chair of the Department of Sociology at the University of Toronto.  Dr. Wheaton was instrumental in the creation of the Toronto Region RDC, and spent a great many hours securing funding and poring over every detail of the Centre, from the equipment to be used to the furniture to the design of the Centre itself.  We thank Blair for his forward thinking, commitment to the Toronto RDC and the RDC Program in general, and for making a lasting imprint on this world-class research facility.

As of January, 2004, capably stepping into the Academic Director’s role is Professor John Hagan.  Dr. Hagan brings a wealth of research experience, an impressive academic record, and a strong commitment to the long-term viability of the Centre.  Dr. Hagan has received the 1998 C. Wright Mills Award from the Society for the Study of Social Problems for his book Mean Streets: Youth Crime and Homelessness, and the 1997 Edwin H. Sutherland Award from the American Society of Criminology.  We welcome Dr. Hagan to the Toronto Region RDC and are happy that the Toronto RDC, under John’s able directorship, continues to be very well represented in the academic community.

An RDC Baby!  The Toronto Region RDC is happy to announce that Tina Hotton, RDC Analyst, gave birth to a healthy baby girl on December 2, 2003.  Alexandra Clare Mahony was 7 pounds, 8 ounces at birth and both mother and baby are doing very well.

As well, the Toronto Region RDC welcomes Glenn Stalker, PhD Candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Toronto to his position as RDC Analyst.  Glenn’s research focuses on time-use issues and incorporates data from the Canadian General Social Survey (GSS).  Glenn was a recipient of the 2002-2003 Statistics Canada Research Stipend, which allows Ph.D. candidates the opportunity to conduct research on Statistics Canada master datasets in Ottawa.  Glenn would be happy to talk to prospective researchers about using the NLSCY, YITS/PISA, CCHS 1.1 or LSIC data sets at the Toronto Region RDC.

Last but not least, the Toronto RDC welcomed Selahadin Ibrahim as the new Extended Hours employee.  Selahadin is a research associate with the Institute for Work and Health, and holds a lecturer status position in the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Toronto.

The number of research projects at the Toronto RDC has grown to nearly 120.  These projects involve well over 200 graduate students and faculty members from the University of Toronto, York University, Ryerson and other universities. This is by far the single largest concentration of research at any of the 9 RDCs across the country.

2)    Dataset Holdings Update

The RDC houses the master files from 6 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), the newly-added Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants in Canada (LSIC) 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).

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.

a)    Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Canada (LSIC)

The Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Canada, conducted jointly by Statistics Canada and Citizenship and Immigration Canada, is a comprehensive survey designed to study how recent immigrants adjust to living in Canada and to provide information on the factors that can help or hinder this adjustment.

The survey is longitudinal - the same respondents are interviewed six months, two years and four years after arriving in Canada, to provide an update on their experiences in Canada.  While full adaptation may take generations to achieve, the LSIC is designed to examine the process during the critical first four years of settlement, whereby newcomers establish economic, social, and cultural ties to Canadian society.

Traditional data sources often provide only a limited range of immigrant settlement experiences, leaving unknown the actual trajectory followed by each individual and how integration experiences influence each other.  By examining newcomers' progress over time, LSIC will assist researchers and policy-makers in going beyond existing descriptions of immigrant integration outcomes to an examination of the means by which newcomers achieve these outcomes.

More information can be found on the Statistics Canada website (

b)      NLSCY Synthetic Dataset (Cycle 4)

A synthetic version of the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (Cycle 4 Secondary) has been released.  These files are useful for preparing syntax for submission to the Statistics Canada Remote Date Access service or for use in the Research Data Centres. To obtain a copy of the NLSCY synthetic files, please contact your university’s data services librarian.  Researchers at the University of Toronto may contact Laine Ruus at the University of Toronto Data Library (

3)    Hours of Operation at the Toronto Region RDC

The hours of operation of the Toronto RDC are 8:30am to 4:30pm Monday-Friday.  We are currently in the process of hiring an Extended Hours employee, which will allow the Centre to remain open later each day.  Please see the “Hours of Operation” page on our website for current information.

4)    Workshops at the RDC

The Toronto RDC has recently hosted 2 workshops that were well attended:

a)     Uses of Social Science Data in Legal Settings

On January 19, 2004, Toronto RDC Academic Director John Hagan and Toronto RDC Research and Computing Consultant Dave Haans provided students in Dr. Hagan’s Sociology of Law course with an overview of the usefulness of academic research in the justice system.

b)    Statistics Canada Presentation on the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Canada

On April 16, 2004, Ryerson University hosted a presentation by Statistics Canada on the new Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Canada (LSIC).  Presentations were made by Sylvain Tremblay, Content Manager with LSIC at the Labour and Household Surveys Branch of the Special Surveys Division and Owen Phillips, Methodologist with LSIC at the Methodology Branch of the Social Survey Methods Division.  Also in attendance was Jessie-Lynn MacDonald, Project Manager with LSIC.

The presentation was specifically meant to benefit those researchers at Ryerson University who will take part in Ryerson’s unique Master of Arts in Immigration and Settlement Studies graduate program commencing this fall.  Among the 28 in attendance were researchers from Ryerson, York and the University of Toronto, as well as 4 Toronto RDC staff members.

Sylvain Tremblay presented a detailed account of the survey content and change in the data collection instrument between cycles.  Owen Phillips addressed methodological issues with respect to sampling design and provided a detailed account on the appropriate use of sample weights and variance estimation and additionally addressed necessary considerations when assessing the quality of estimates.  Glenn Stalker, Toronto RDC Analyst, presented information on accessing the RDC, to assist in the recruitment of new researchers.

Workshops will continue on through the summer and fall of 2004.  Please check the “Events” section of our website for more information.

5)    RDC Conferences

a)    Toronto Region RDC Dataset Conference Series

On June 29, 2004, the Toronto Region RDC will host the first day-long conference for and by current Toronto RDC researchers in which researchers will have the opportunity to make short presentations on their research-in-progress, gain feedback from other researchers, and generally discuss research issues in a collaborative environment. Graduate students and other researchers seeking experience giving talks and presenting papers are especially welcome.  The conference series will focus on the RDC’s core datasets; first to be considered will be the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY).  Please contact Dave Haans (; 416-946-8106) or Glenn Stalker (; 416-946-8321) if you would like to participate and/or attend, or to request more information.

b)    Statistics Canada Research Data Centres (RDC) Second Annual Network Conference at the University of Calgary from September 20-21, 2004

The Prairie Research Data Centre will be hosting the 2nd Annual Network Conference at the University of Calgary from September 20-21, 2004.  The theme of this year’s conference is “From Human Development and Health Research to Public Policy:
The Challenge of Knowledge Transfer.”  For more information, please contact Gus Brannigan at the Prairie Region Research Data Centre (403-220-7466).

6)    Data Analysis and Statistics Seminars

a)    2004 Quebec Inter-university Centre for Social Statistics (QICSS) Summer School at the University of Montreal

Primarily for Quebec researchers, the QICSS offers a number of training sessions in statistics.

June 7th-11th: Introduction à la modélisation d’équations structurales.  To be presented in French.  This session will be run by Michel Préville, professor at the Research Centre on Aging, Université de Sherbrooke.  Lectures will be held at the QICSS offices.  The course description and the registration form, both in French, are now available.

June 14th-23rd: Longitudinal Data Analysis: Event-history Analysis.  To be presented in French and English with simultaneous translation.  This training session will be run by Jean Renaud, professor, Département de sociologie and director of CÉETUM, Université de Montréal,  Céline Le Bourdais, professor at INRS-UCS, QICSS director and CIED regular member, Johanne Boisjoly, professor at the Département des sciences humaines, Université du Québec à Rimouski, and Rajulton Fernando, professor, Center for Population Studies, University of Western Ontario.  This intensive course will be given at the UNESCO Statistical Institute, in Montreal.  The course description, registration form, and syllabus are now available.

August 2nd-12th: Innovations méthodologiques et statistiques sociales. Analyse quantitative des données biographiques.  To be presented in French. Presented by QICSS, in collaboration with the Département de sociologie de l'Université Laval and l'Unité d'Enseignement et de Recherche en démographie (UERD) of l'Université de Ouagadougou, this training session will be run by professor Richard arcoux, Département de sociologie de l'Université Laval. This session will be held at Pavillon La Laurentienne, Cité universitaire, at Université Laval in Quebec City.  The course description and registration form, both in French, are now available.

Please consult the QICSS web page for more information on any of these seminars (

b)    CRISP Data Analysis and Statistics Seminar (DASS) at the University of New Brunswick.

The Canadian Research Institute for Social Policy (CRISP) Data Analysis and Statistics Seminar (DASS) is a seminar being offered on June 14-18, 2004 at the University of New Brunswick which is designed to assist new Canadian researchers gain skills necessary to analyze the NLSCY or PISA data sets.  The seminar will cover the use of classical regression techniques (multiple regression and logistic regression) and multilevel regression techniques (hierarchical linear models).  For more information please see the CRISP DASS website (

c)    21st International Methodology Symposium in Gatineau, Quebec, hosted by Statistics Canada.

Statistics Canada is hosting the 21st International Methodology Symposium on the theme of “Innovative Methods for Surveying Difficult-to-Reach Populations.”  The symposium will be held on November 3 to 5, 2004 in Gatineau, Quebec (10 minutes from downtown Ottawa).  The first day will feature workshops on indirect sampling, data mining and neural networks.  For the following two days, session topics will include questionnaire design, sampling issues, data collection and analysis, and surveys on Aboriginal peoples.  For more information, please visit the Statistics Canada website (

7)    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:

8)    Contact us

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

John Hagan, Academic Director
Toronto Region-Statistics Canada RDC
Robarts Library, Room 7032
130 St. George St.
Toronto, ON
M5S 1A5
Tel: 416-946-8107
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: 416-946-8104

Glenn Stalker, RDC Analyst
Toronto Region-Statistics Canada RDC
Robarts Library, Room 7032
130 St. George St.
Toronto, ON
M5S 1A5
Tel: 416-946-8321
Fax: 416-946-8104

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