Troubled Carlington Rates Poorly In Study.
According to a 2008 news report Carlington was listed as being the neighborhood in Ottawa with the lowest rating according to a study conducted by the University of Ottawa. The following is a portion of that report supplied by the study's lead researcher, Elizabeth Kristjansson, of the University of Ottawa's Institute of Population Health.
Neighbourhood Profile: Carlington
History and Description
Carlington is bounded by Carling Avenue to the north, Kingston Avenue and Caldwell Avenue to the south, Fisher Avenue to the east, and Maitland to the west. This neighborhood contains a small number of older homes that were built after WWII to accommodate returning veterans. These homes were known as “war homes” or “veteran homes”. Many of the street names (e.g., Admiral, Veteran, Marshall) reflect the military heritage of the neighbourhood.
As of the 2006 census, Carlington had 10106 residents. The age structure and languages spoken in this neighbourhood are shown in the pie charts below.
In 2001, the average income in Carlington was $25,114, which is well below the Ottawa average. Unemployment was 8.6%, and the percent of people below the Low Income cut-offs was 34.5%. Eight percent of the residents were in lone parent families. The population was fairly educated, with 71% or residents completing high school, and 13% completing a bachelor’s degree. Twenty-nine percent of the population were immigrants, while 6% were recent immigrants (i.e., came to Canada within the last 5 years). Based on the above factors, the socio-economic level for Carlington is 5, which indicates that the neighbourhood is among the least advantaged in Ottawa.
In 2001, this neighbourhood had 4958 dwellings and the majority (67%) of residents owned their homes, while 33% rented. Housing is unaffordable for some residents in Carlington: 34% of residents pay more than 30% of their income on shelter. The percent of the dwellings that were reported to be in need of major repairs (12%), and the number of people per room (.44), a measure of crowding, were both well above the city average.
Civic Engagement and Responsibility
Carlington residents are not well engaged in the political process, with 40% of eligible voters participating in the last municipal election (Fall 2006); this is lower than the city average of 47%. Thirty eight percent (± 11.3% of the residents) felt a sense of belonging to their community. The neighbourhood has had some change in its residents, with 20% moving within the last year compared to the city average of 16%. In 2005, the property crime rate was 54 crimes per thousand people, a slightly lower rate than the city average of 58 per thousand people. Personal crimes rates were higher than the city average of 24 per thousand, at 41 per thousand people.
Carlington has some religious organizations within its borders, with a ratio of .72 per thousand people. Carlington has an active Community Association. For more information you may visit their website: http://carlingtoncommunity.org/ or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Neighbourhood resources for health (note that all of these are up to date as of September 2007)
Food. Carlington had better access to unhealthier food sources than to healthier food; the score on the “Healthy Food Access Index” (grocery stores, specialty stores) was below average, while the “Unhealthier Food Access Index” (fast food outlets, convenience stores) was average for neighbourhoods across Ottawa.
In terms of healthier food, Carlington has no grocery stores, and 1 specialty food store (.10 per thousand people). The closest four grocery stores and specialty stores are 1657.45 meters and 1191.67 meters, respectively, from the population weighted center.
In terms of opportunities to purchase unhealthier food, Carlington has 8 convenience stores (.79 per thousand people) and 4 fast food outlets, or .40 for every thousand people. The closest four convenience stores are 280.42 meters away from the population center and the closest four fast food outlets are 261.41 meters. Of some concern is the fact that both of Carlington’s two schools are within 500 meters (or easy walking distance) of a fast food outlet.
Carlington also has nine sit-down restaurants, or .89 per thousand people, and the average distance to the four closest restaurants is 301.87 meters from the population center.
Greenspace. In terms of greenspace, Carlington has .31 kilometers of greenspace within or near its borders, which amounts to .03 km for every thousand people; this is slightly below average for the Ottawa area.
Parks and Recreation. Carlington has some opportunities for recreation, with four sites for winter recreation (.36 per thousand people), 29 sites for summer recreation (2.62 per thousand people), and three indoor recreation facilities (.27 per 1000 people). It also has .71 meters of bike/walking paths per person. The “Recreation Index” score (indoor, outdoor summer and winter and paths) is 51, near the city average of 50. Carlington also has slightly below the average amount of parks within its borders, with 23.57 meters of park space for every resident.
Education and Culture. Carlington has two schools. There is also some access to a City of Ottawa Library branch, which is located 2814.42 meters from the center of the population; this is a similar distance to the city average, but may be quite difficult for those without cars to access.
Financial services. This neighbourhood has no banks, which is below the city average. However, it has one ‘less healthy financial service (check cashing, pawn shops, or payday loan outlets), which is average at a ratio of .10 per thousand people.
Health services. Carlington has no pharmacies, which is below the city average. The mean distance to the four closest physicians from the population center is 291.22 metres; this is below the average distance for the Ottawa area. Three quarters of the residents reported having a regular medical doctor (75.4% ± 7.8%). This is not statistically different from the average of the 5th SES quintile, but is significantly lower than the Ottawa average of 88.7% (± 1.0%). The proportion of residents who visited a dentist in the past year (67.6% ± 9.6%) was also not statistically different than the Ottawa average of 70.9% (± 1.6%).
Neighbourhood Health Outcomes
*Please note that the results from the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) represent combined data from the 2001, 2003, and 2005 waves, and should be considered as preliminary. Results from the Rapid Risk Factor Surveillance System (RRFSS) represent combined data from 2002 to 2006 for self-rated health and body mass index (BMI) and from 2003 to 2006 for physical activity.
The health of Carlington residents is generally below average for the Ottawa area (RRFSS data). From 2002 to 2006, over half of the residents rated their overall health as excellent or very good (58.8% ± 11.7%). This is below to the Ottawa average of 65.6% and similar to the 55.3% for neighbourhoods in the 5th SES quintile. Reproductive health is of concern; the rate of low birth weight births and preterm births in the years of 2002 to 2006 were 8.5 and 10.9 per hundred births, respectively. These rates are well above the city average and the average for neighbourhoods in the lowest socioeconomic quintile.
The number of emergency room visits for Ambulatory Care Sensitive Conditions (conditions such as asthma, diabetes, cellulitis, angina, and hypertension) between 2002 and 2006 was 7188.49 per 100,000 people; this well above the city average and above average for the least advantaged socioeconomic quintile. The rate of hospitalization for the same conditions was 1244.91 per hundred thousand people, which well above the city average and above the average for the least advantaged neighbourhoods.
In terms of physical activity, 60.9% (± 14.1%) of residents were either moderately or highly active across all domains including work activities, leisure time, domestic and gardening activities, and transportation (RRFSS). Specific to leisure time, 50.7% (± 10.1%) of the residents were inactive (CCHS). Forty nine percent (± 12.2%) of the residents aged 18 and over had overweight or obese BMIs (RRFSS).
Neighbourhood Strengths and needs
The neighbourhod of Carlington has some strengths, including an active community association, and average access to recreation facilities. It also has two schools within its borders, good access to the bike trails, and a good age and linguistic mix among its residents. However, residents have relatively poor access to healthy food, and the distance of almost 2 kilometers to the closest grocery store is likely to present difficulties to residents who lack reliable transportation. Conversely, Carlington residents have high access to unhealthier food. The health of Carlington residents is cause for concern, as is the sense of belonging. Particular attention might be paid to improving social cohesion, increasing access to healthier food, to decreasing the personal crime rate, and to reproductive health, physical activity rates, and preventative health care.
News Items about this study.
Research team breaks down Ottawa's detailed demographics
OTTAWA- A team of 25 planners, city bureaucrats, community workers, health advocates and researchers, including a dozen University of Ottawa professors and students, worked for two years to develop detailed profiles of the city's neighbourhoods.
Troubled Carlington rates poorly in study
The first step in solving a troubled neighbourhood's problems is often for a group of concerned residents to take charge.
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Last Update: September 21, 2014.