Toronto Region Statistics Canada Research Data Centre (Toronto RDC)

Newsletter Number 7 -- Fall 2006

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 microdata in a well-equipped computer lab setting.

The Toronto RDC is a partnership among Statistics Canada, the University of Toronto, York University and Ryerson University.  Statistic Canada's RDC Program is a national initiative to make Statistics Canada microdata more directly available to researchers across the country.

For information about applying for access to the Toronto RDC, please see "RDC Proposal Submission Process" near the end of this newsletter.


1.         Latest News
2.         Presentations
3.         Dataset Holdings
4.         Hours of Operation
5.         Toronto RDC Annual Report
6.         RDC Proposal Submission Process
7.         Contact Us 

1)         What's new at the Toronto RDC?

a)         The Toronto RDC is Five Years Old! 

This month, the Toronto RDC celebrates its fifth anniversary. 

Since its official opening in November 2001, the Toronto RDC has facilitated 215 research projects and welcomed over 340 researchers.  Researchers have spent over 40,000 hours, or 23 person-years, conducting research in the Toronto RDC. 

118 refereed articles have been written based on research conducted at the Toronto RDC and have either been published or are currently in press.  Research completed at the Toronto RDC continues to have a significant impact on academic, policy and public debates in public health, education and social science.

Please see our website's "Papers" page for a list of those that have been published and are currently available: 

The Toronto RDC continues in its role in promoting student training and advancement; over half of all time spent by researchers in the Toronto RDC since its opening has been by graduate students working on their own dissertation or on other projects as research assistants.

b)         Accessibility in the Toronto RDC 

With the generous financial support from Pekka Sinervo, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science at the University of Toronto, the Zoom Barrier Free Fund at the UofT along with the Institute for Work and Health, the Toronto RDC is currently in the process of ensuring that our facilities are accessible to all.  In addition to automatic door openers, we have purchased electrically adjustable tables and additional equipment to enable everyone to feel comfortable and be productive in the Toronto RDC.  We hope to have all installations and construction completed this term.

c)         Staff changes at the Toronto RDC 

Angela Prencipe and Byron Lee have come on board as Statistics Canada Analysts, and Heidy Morales has joined us as our Administrative Assistant.  Michael Baker, Susan Murphy and Dave Haans continue on in their roles of Academic Director, Manager, and Research and Computing Consultant, respectively.  Last but not least, we are happy to report that Tina Hotton Mahony, Toronto RDC Analyst, had her second baby girl on August 30th and baby, mom and dad are doing well!

2)         Presentations at the Toronto RDC

a)         The Whys and Hows of Analyzing Complex Survey Data

On Friday September 8th, 2006, David Binder, Ph.D. and Georgia Roberts, Ph.D., Statistics Canada led a workshop on the analysis of complex survey data.  The workshop began with a general talk about why typical survey data are different from data collected by simple random sampling and why these differences need to be accounted for when doing analyses.

Based on the great turnout for this workshop, with forty-three in attendance, the Toronto RDC plans to organize more talks like this, so stay tuned!

b)         Brown-Bag Lunch Talk Series, 2006-2007

The Brown-Bag Lunch Talk Series, in its second year, features presentations by researchers focusing on one or more aspects of their research at the Toronto RDC.  The Brown-Bag Lunch Series seminars take place from October to April of each academic year in the Toronto RDC's Conference Room.

Our 2006-2007 season inaugural talk was by Tony Fang, Assistant Professor, School of Administrative Studies, York University, and Research Associate, Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources, University of Toronto.  His talk on October 3rd was titled "Employment Dynamics of Non-Standard Workers: Evidence from SLID."

Our second talk took place on the 25th of October.  Amanda Sacker, Ph.D., University College London and Peggy McDonough, Ph.D., University of Toronto presented a talk based on their international comparative research titled: "Modelling health and poverty dynamics."

If you would like an opportunity to present or discuss your RDC research in an informal, collegial setting the Brown Bag series provides, please contact Dave Haans ( or Angela Prencipe (

Please see our Events page on our website for the latest information on all our presentations and workshops:

3)         The Toronto RDC's Datasets

The following are some of the core RDC Program datasets available to RDC Researchers.

The National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY)
The NLSCY follows the development and well-being of Canadian children from birth to adulthood.  It currently consists of 5 cycles with surveys administered every two years.

The National Population Health Survey (NPHS)
The NPHS is a longitudinal survey which collects information related to the health of the Canadian population and related socio-demographic information.  The NPHS currently consists of 5 cycles with surveys administered every two years.

Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS)
The main objective of the CCHS is to provide timely, consistent, cross-sectional estimates of health determinants, health status and health system utilization across Canada.  The CCHS is a sample survey with a cross-sectional design.  There are presently 3 cycles of the CCHS available, each with a different research focus.

The Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics (SLID)
The SLID is a multi-panel longitudinal survey conducted every year.  The main objective of the SLID is to study the economic well-being of Canadians over time.  It incorporates changes in paid work, family make-up, receipt of government transfers and other factors.

Other datasets include the Ethnic Diversity Survey (EDS), the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Canada (LSIC), the Youth in Transition Survey (YITS), the Workplace and Employee Survey (WES) and the Canadian General Social Surveys (GSS).

The RDC Program's listing of core datasets is always available at:

4)         Our Hours of Operation

The hours of operation of the Toronto RDC are 8:30am to 7:00pm Monday-Thursday, and 8:30am to 4:30pm on Fridays.

During Regular Hours (8:30am - 4:30pm), an RDC Analyst will be available for all routine RDC activities, including disclosure analysis, tours, presentations, etc.   As well, the Toronto RDC's Research and Computing Consultant is available during normal operating hours.

During Extended Hours (4:30pm to 7:00pm), the Toronto RDC Administrative Assistant will be available for limited RDC support such as help with printing, supplies, etc.

Our hours, including any relevant closures, are always available at:

5)         Toronto RDC Annual Report

The Toronto RDC is in its sixth year of operation.  Our 5th Annual Report was released earlier this year and is available on our website:

Here are some Annual Report highlights:

*  The Toronto RDC maintains the greatest number of projects nationally. Toronto holds almost 20% of all projects across the fifteen RDCs.  As of April 30th, 2006 there were a total of 188 projects and 305 researchers on account at the Toronto RDC (an increase of 25 new projects since last year).
*  The RDC National Coordinating Committee was successful securing funding through a joint application to CIHR and SSHRCC. These granting councils will provide at least 1.2 million dollars annually to the RDC network over the next 5 years.
*  Graduate student use of the RDC increased in Year Five to account for more than half of the total activity, or 60.73%, an 11% increase over last year.
*  Researchers from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto are again the largest users of the RDC; their time totaled 3,731 hours, or 41% of total usage

6)         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:

Please note that the RDC Program facilitates the use of master data sets.  If you require public use files, please consult your local Data Liberation Initiative (DLI) representative:

Once your proposal has been accepted, you will be invited to the Toronto RDC.  Here, you will receive an orientation on how research is best conducted here, your security pass, a locker for your project's research materials if required, and a tour of our facilities including a Conference Room where you can meet with your project members and/or advisors, and our Internet Room where you are free to check email or search for and print articles.

7)         Contact Us

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

Toronto RDC
130 St. George St., Room 7032
University of Toronto
Toronto, ON
M5S 1A5
Phone: 416-946-8105
Fax: 416-946-8104

Michael Baker, Academic Director
Toronto RDC
Tel: 416-946-8107

Angela Prencipe, RDC Analyst
Toronto RDC
Tel: 416-946-8321

Byron Lee, RDC Analyst
Toronto RDC
Tel: 416-946-8105

Heidy Morales, RDC Administrative Assistant
Toronto RDC
Tel: 416-946-8108

The Toronto RDC Steering Committee may be contacted through:

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

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

Dave Haans, Research and Computing Consultant
Toronto RDC
Tel: 416-946-8106