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Survey Finds High Levels of 'Social Capital' in Toronto

The first comprehensive look at social capital in a Canadian city reveals lessons for planners and more about what connects citizens to their communities.
November 7, 2018, 5am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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The City of Toronto

"Toronto — a city of more than 2.8 million people where 51 per cent of residents are visible minorities — exhibits remarkably high levels of social capital," reports Laurie Monsebraaten, broadcasting the findings of report released this week by the non-profit Toronto Foundation and Environics Institute for Survey Research.

"Social capital is the 'lubricant' that drives social networks, determines trust and makes it possible for people who may have little in common to live peacefully with each other," explains Monsebraaten. "The foundation hopes the research…will help academics, planners, activists and philanthropists guide investment in communities and help those who are most vulnerable."

Since this was the first study of social capital in a Canadian city, the study raises obvious questions about how Toronto compares to U.S. cities where similar analysis has been completed. "In contrast to some of the research evidence for U.S. cities, this study found no evidence in Toronto that increasing ethnic diversity is linked to lower levels of social capital," quoting directly from the report.

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Published on Tuesday, November 6, 2018 in The Star
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