This chart shows the amount of parkland for every 1,000 residents. While there is no “correct” amount of parkland per population as it depends on local context, looking at similarly sized cities can reveal common trends. For example, many of Canada’s major urban centres, such as Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver, show lower levels of parkland per population as they deal with higher densities and development pressures—each sitting below the average for cities above 500,000 residents of 4.4 hectares per 1,000 people. Ensuring these numbers do not decrease as populations grow will be key to meeting future parkland needs.
As with parkland per population, there is no “correct” operating budget amount. Tracking dollars spent per person over time helps shed light on whether budgets are keeping pace with population growth, which puts additional pressures on park systems. The average operating budget spend has remained stable for the past three years at $57 per person, despite additional pressures placed on parks last year due to COVID-19 measures. Cities have identified operational budget pressures as an ongoing challenge throughout all three years of the report.