This year’s report contains 35 Canadian cities, including 30 returning cities, and five new cities. We aimed for diversity in size, geography, and official language, and prioritized cities that were returning from 2022, contacted us to participate, or filled a gap.
To collect data on national trends, we distributed a confidential survey to each municipality, available in both French and English, that included mostly closed-ended questions on challenges, policy and planning priorities, and park projects and practices.
To complement the quantitative data gathered through the survey, we conducted individual semi-structured interviews with senior staff (i.e. parks managers and directors) in 30 municipalities, in which a total of 44 city staff participated. The interview transcripts were then analyzed to identify common themes in challenges, priorities, and strategies municipalities are encountering in their work.
Finally, we created and launched a public survey in May 2023 to collect data on park use, perceptions, and preferences among people living in Canadian cities. This survey was open to residents of Canadian cities and was promoted through our newsletter, social media, and partner networks. We received over 2,000 responses from across the country.
Challenges and Limitations
One survey was submitted per municipality. We suggested that the survey be completed by a senior staff member with a more holistic view of departmental priorities and challenges, however left this at the discretion of each participating city. This means that the survey responses reflect the perspective of a limited number of staff within each municipality.
Public Survey Demographics
For the public survey, the distribution of respondents across sociodemographic variables is worth noting: 65% identified as women, 46% were between the ages of 30-54, and 73% were white. This means that these demographics are overrepresented when compared to the general Canadian population.