St. Mike’s Hospital ranks the relative health of 140 Toronto neighbourhoods (with predictable results)

St. Mike’s Hospital ranks the relative health of 140 Toronto neighbourhoods (with predictable results)

(Image: Courtesy of Urban Heart @ Toronto)

For health nuts who wonder if they’re settled in the best possible part of the city, St. Michael’s Hospital has answers. Urban Heart @ Toronto, a new study by the hospital (in partnership with a bunch of other organizations) evaluates the relative healthiness of 140 Toronto neighbourhoods.

Researchers made colour-coded maps to show how areas are performing in 15 health-related categories, including everything from premature mortality, to proximity to green space, to access to stores that sell healthy food. The end result is pretty much as you’d expect: Toronto’s richest neighbourhoods are the healthiest.

Affluent Rosedale-Moore Park is in tip-top shape. Residents are likely to be spotted jogging to yoga or strolling through one of the area’s many gourmet, organic food shops. North Riverdale, the Leslieville offshoot, is also a healthy area, likely thanks to its easy access to Don Valley green space and the local influx of young, yuppie families. Meanwhile, one of the city’s least-healthy areas, according to the study, is troubled Regent Park, where almost half of the population is low-income.

But despite these very expected results, there are a couple small surprises. For example, Regent Park, despite its numerous drawbacks, scored very well on community meeting spots. And the lovely Wynchwood, a farmers’-market destination, is apparently lacking in green space. Oddly enough, seemingly the only exception to the money/health correlation is the Bridle Path. Although income and education levels are extraordinarily high, apparently residents rarely walk and there are limited healthy food options and community meeting places. But really, if you live in a mansion like this, you can probably have your in-house chef prepare healthy feasts.