How did we design the survey?
We created four groups to guide us through the survey process:
1) Community Advisory Board
Members of diverse communities who were associated with community-based organisations located in study neighbourhoods and were representative of the communities of interest. This group provided feedback on the wording of survey questions as well as recruitment and sampling process. For example, this group developed strategies for targeting older community members to complete the survey. The group helped us identify areas where older individuals congregated and the most appropriate ways to approach them. We also presented a preliminary version of our survey findings to the community advisory group. Community advisors indicated the important and less important findings, and the most effective ways to present this work to the broader community.
2) Technical Advisory Board
Expert researchers in survey design and methodology. They provided us with feedback regarding the design of the survey, recruitment and sampling process, and analysis methods.
3) Community Researchers
Two community researchers from study neighbourhoods were recruited as members of our research team. They supported the survey design and administration process, including identifying recruitment areas such as community centres and resolving challenges related to a specific demographic.
4) Undergraduate Research Assistants
Surveyors who had residing or connections in the study neighbourhoods.
How did we find the right sample to survey?
The first step was to decide which neighbourhoods to include in the survey sample. We reviewed the City of Toronto’s official 2016 Neighbourhood Profiles data set to find the neighbourhoods that were (1) close to the diversity of the Toronto inner suburbs on average, and (2) were classified as low-income neighbourhoods. We also chose several neighbourhoods that were classified as high-income to serve as controls for our analysis. Keep in mind that the types of neighbourhoods you choose may be different from those targeted in our survey because they will depend on the aims of your survey.
Retrieve postal codes for selected neighborhoods
Once we selected the most appropriate neighborhoods, we retrieved all postal codes for each neighborhood using Statistics Canada’s Postal Code Conversion File.
Retrieve list of addresses associated with each postal code
We then used the Canada Post website to generate a list of addresses and unit numbers associated with each postal code. The format of addresses of apartment units were not consistent; we modified them to a consistent format using a geocoding tool. The final format for all addresses we used was: [unit number] [street], [suite number], [city], [postal code]. For our purposes, we selected a random sample of houses to visit based on a statistical sample size calculation.
Map addresses to Google Maps and clean up addresses manually
We mapped all addresses on MyMaps, a Google Maps feature. The survey coordinator then reviewed the MyMaps file to remove non-residential addresses (i.e., restaurants, libraries, schools, etc.) manually. In addition, the survey coordinator also removed addresses for high-rise buildings without unit numbers.
Create “routes” based on the final set of addresses
The remaining addresses were the households for the survey team to visit. The survey coordinator used MyMaps to define “routes” based on the number of houses to visit and approximate walking time between corners of the route area. The survey coordinator prepared a handout for each route that included a map of the area with pins on each house to visit, list of addresses to visit with postal codes and unit numbers (if applicable), and other information about the area: the distribution of homes to high-rises, parks and restaurants in the area, and whether or not there were any safety concerns identified by community advisors.
Click here to jump to the Resources section for examples on route handouts.