GUELPH POLITICAST #115 – The Vital Signs Report

What does our community look like? If you’re asked that question, then you surely think of the very literal picture of Guelph in your head, probably Downtown Guelph and the various landmarks of our city core. But less literally, what does our city look like? What kind of people live here? How many live here? What do they do? And are they happy and healthy in Guelph and Wellington County?

These are some of the questions answered in the Vital Signs Report, a joint project by the Guelph Community Foundation, Toward Common Ground, and The Community Engaged Scholarship Institute, or CESI, at the University of Guelph. Vital Signs offers a snapshot of life in Guelph and Wellington County thanks to a thorough gathering of data from various sources that can then be used in the development of new policy and ideas to enhance life in the Royal City and address our challenges.

The report has all sorts of information on who we are, what we do, and what our problems are, but this podcast is about more than the cold, hard numbers, it’s also about how the numbers come together. To do that, we gathered the two women behind the report, Dominique O’Rourke, who is the President of Accolade Communications, and is the past chair of the Guelph Community Foundation, and Sarah Haanstra, who is the project manager of Toward Common Ground. O’Rourke wrote the report, and Haanstra lead the research into gathering all those facts and figures.

With our reliable sources, we talk about the work that went into creating Vital Signs, where all the statistics come from, the sorts of things that the report tells us, and in some cases doesn’t tell us, and what kinds of things the report can, and will, be used for. So let’s dig into the story behind the numbers in the Vital Signs report on this week’s Guelph Politicast.

You can get your own copy of the Vital Signs report at the Guelph Community Foundation website here. You can also request a hard copy version of the report at You can also learn more about Toward Common Ground here, and the Community Engaged Scholarship Institute here.

The theme music for the Guelph Politicast is from the KPM Klassics collection by Syd Dale.

The host for the Guelph Politicast is Podbean. Find more episodes of the Politicast here.

Remember that the Politicast Podbean channel is also the host for podcast versions of Open Sources Guelph. The previous Thursday’s episode of Open Sources will be posted on Mondays.

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