As part of the purpose of the Downtown Community Residents Association is to get to know each other as neighbours, my inner sociologist decided to get a little scientific about this and research some of the 2011 census information released so far by Statistics Canada. I learned that there are two “census tracts” that fit neatly within the area we call home, and much of the census information available is broken down to this small community level. Looking up these statistics inspired the posters around the room at our preliminary general meeting in November that talked about the kinds of people – families, age groups, languages, and more – that make up our neighbours.
If any of you are fellow demography enthusiasts I would like to link you to where you can look at this information on our community. The two census tracts are given very impersonal numbers but they make up the very personal community around us – 6020014.00 for Osborne – Assiniboine – Main – York, and 6020013.00 for York – Memorial – Portage – The Forks.
These two combined make up just over 7,000 people – seven thousand neighbours – in under two square kilometres. If you have an imagination like mine you can use these numbers to imagine walking through the area and seeing the differences between the two census tracts – between Assiniboine and York resides the bulk of the neighbourhood with more high-density housing and a greener, homier feel. The median age of residents of 6020014.00 is below the provincial average, with over half between the ages of 20-39, and the median age in 6020013.00 is above the provincial average with some of its senior-oriented housing.
There are statistics on dwelling types (overwhelmingly in apartments, of course) family structures (more of us are single than the Manitoba average) and first language spoken (predominantly English, but also over a hundred responses of each in French, Tagalog, Amharic, and German). As a census geek I plan on following further releases from Statistics Canada to see how our community is represented in the official picture of our country, of Manitoba, and of Winnipeg. So many people have said at meetings since reading these statistics that they had no idea so many people lived here. If we reach out to all of our neighbours to bond and form a voice, think of what 7,000 of us can do together.