Toronto Region Statistics Canada Research Data Centre (Toronto RDC)

Newsletter Number 8 – Summer 2007

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 now provides data access to individuals and government organizations

The Toronto RDC now provides data access to individuals and government organizations in the region external to the RDC network. These projects are approved by the SSHRCC and Statistics Canada reviewers following normal procedures. Beginning in the early fall of this year, a total of five of these contracts have been initiated with the Toronto RDC.

b)    The Canadian Foundation for Innovation awards grant to the RDC Network

In the fall of 2006 the RDC network was awarded a new 4 year, 4 million dollar grant from the Leading Edge Fund of the Canada Foundation for Innovation.  These monies will be used for capital projects including the installation of a secure intranet across all centres and branches within the RDC network and the renewal of computers systems at all RDCs.

c)    Most Toronto RDC use is by graduate students

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.

d)    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 has completed 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.

e)    Staffing at the Toronto RDC

The Toronto RDC is staffed by both Statistics Canada and University of Toronto staff and faculty members.  For Statistics Canada, Angela Prencipe and Byron Lee continue in their positions as Analysts, while Heidy Morales, our Administrative Assistant, has moved on to a position with the Hospital for Sick Children.  Tina Hotton, currently on maternity leave, is due to return in September to resume her role as Analyst.  For the University of Toronto, Michael Baker, Susan Murphy and Dave Haans continue on in their roles of Academic Director, Manager, and Research and Computing Consultant, respectively.

2)    Presentations at the Toronto RDC

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

The Brown-Bag Lunch Talk Series has completed its second year and featured 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’s final talk was given by Sharon Kirkpatrick, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto.  Her talk on December 12th was titled "Food access among Canadian households: Insights from national health and expenditure surveys".

Our third Brown-Bag Lunch Talk Series begins in October, 2007.  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 ( for more information.

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

b)    Introductory SAS Workshop

The Intro SAS Workshop is given twice a year and is meant to introduce researchers to the SAS System, giving them both the basics and a large number of tips and techniques that prove handy in the Toronto RDC’s research environment.  For more information, please contact Dave Haans at

c)    Upcoming presentations

Toronto RDC staff are currently working on a Practical Bootstrap Estimation Workshop.  Bootstrap estimation is a process by which repeated samples are taken and a more accurate estimate of standard error and confidence intervals is generated.  Statistics Canada provides a macro with which to perform bootstrap estimation on data in the RDC Program.  This workshop is being designed to introduce researchers to the technique of bootstrap estimation using both the Statistics Canada Bootvar macro and Stata SE.  Please contact Dave Haans at if you are an RDC researcher and would like to be informed about progress on this workshop.

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 4:30pm Monday-Friday.

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

5)    Toronto RDC Annual Report

The Toronto RDC is in its seventh year of operation.  Our 6th Annual Report was just released and is available on our website:   

Here are some Annual Report highlights:

*  The Toronto RDC maintains the greatest number of projects nationally. A summary of all projects produced by the RDC Program Manager, Dr. Gustave Goldmann, at the recent National meeting of the RDCs in London in April, shows Toronto holds 21% of all projects across the RDC network, followed by the Quebec RDC system that holds 19%.
*  Graduate student use of the RDC still accounts for more than half of the total activity (57.35%).
*  Researchers from the faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto are again the largest users of the RDC; their time totalled 3,778 hours, or 41.76% of the 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.

Important Note:  Please note that the SSHRC website will be offline for maintenance from October 15, 2007 to October 31, 2007 inclusive. During this period, you will not be able to make a new application for access to the RDC. Applications submitted before October 15, 2007 will be processed as usual. If you need any further information on this matter, please direct your emails to

The proposal 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

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