Region Statistics Canada Research Data Centre
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
3. Dataset Holdings
4. Hours of Operation
5. Toronto RDC
6. RDC Proposal
7. Contact Us
1) What’s new at the
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
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
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
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Angela Prencipe
(email@example.com) for more information.
Please see our Events page on our website for the latest information on
all our presentations and workshops:
b) Introductory SAS
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com if you are an RDC researcher and would
like to be informed about progress on this workshop.
3) The Toronto
The following are some of the core RDC Program datasets available to
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
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
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
4) Our Hours of
The hours of operation of the Toronto RDC are 8:30am to 4:30pm
Our hours, including any relevant closures, are always available at: http://sites.utoronto.ca/rdc/hours.html
5) Toronto RDC
The Toronto RDC is in its seventh year of operation. Our 6th
Annual Report was just released and is available on our website: http://sites.utoronto.ca/rdc/news.html
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The proposal process is done through an on-line application system
accessible at: http://www.statcan.ca/english/rdc/apply.htm.
For more information on the Toronto RDC and how to apply for access,
please visit our website at: http://sites.utoronto.ca/rdc.
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: http://www.statcan.ca/english/Dli/dli.htm.
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:
130 St. George St., Room 7032
University of Toronto
Michael Baker, Academic Director
Angela Prencipe, RDC Analyst
Byron Lee, RDC Analyst
The Toronto RDC Steering Committee may be contacted through:
Susan Murphy, RDC Manager
University of Toronto
222 College Street
For further information on computing equipment and analytical software
available at the Toronto RDC, please contact:
Dave Haans, Research and Computing Consultant