Vital Signs Report 2018 Digitized Version

Vital Signs 2018 Report




The County Foundation’s second Vital Signs Report is an evidence-based snapshot of the community at this point in time. It promotes awareness of community successes and challenges and what is being done to address them. It also identifies opportunities for further involvement, collaboration and support from within the community.


peopleWe have many strengths. Our rich heritage and culture, sense of pride, generosity of spirit and resilience have served us well for 225 years. In this current period of rapid change there is growth and prosperity for some but not for all. This report touches on collaborative initiatives to build a community where everyone can feel they belong. ⇒ Read more 


houseGrowing popularity has led to soaring house prices and a lack of affordable rental accommodation. A new not-for-profit housing corporation and two grassroots organizations are initiating projects to address this. The municipality is deliberating on regulating short-term rentals that are impacting our community. Read more 


toolsLocal businesses are optimistic about the future and plan to expand. However there is a mismatch of opportunities and skills in our workforce. A new collaborative initiative will help to close that gap. Lack of available and affordable (attainable) housing and inadequate public transit also affect employment, and solutions are planned. Agriculture is changing. There are fewer midsize operations and more “mega-farms.” However new small family farms are being established. Read more 


moneyPEC’s median household income has increased but remains about 10% lower than Ontario’s. Housing, hydro, water and food costs are rising faster than incomes. Our data shows that while there are some high-income households in The County, the number of individuals who fall within the Low Income Measurement category has increased, and, in the case of seniors, has almost doubled since our 2013 Vital Signs Report. Read more 


healthAn increase in obesity and continued smoking are of concern, and healthcare professionals are continuing to inform and educate on long-term impacts. There is increased awareness of the impact of mental health on our well-being and several projects are addressing the issue. 

We are an aging population and this places demands on healthcare services. However we are recruiting new doctors and have initial approval to build a new hospital. We generally feel safe and crime rates are dropping. Our community-oriented police force and first-responders are addressing emergent concerns, including misuse of drugs. They work closely with healthcare professionals regarding calls involving mental health issues. Read more 


appleThis is still a concern for too many in our bountiful County. Since our 2013 Vital Signs Report many effective projects have been working on this complex problem, and there is a system-wide collaborative initiative to begin dealing with the root causes. Read more 


graduateThe education data reflects challenges for all ages, and there are projects and programs underway working hard to address them. We report on some troubling achievement scores. The individual and collaborative projects striving to improve educational outcomes engage both youth and community partners, and they are starting to show results. School closures and consolidations affect many County families, and they may affect the decision of young families planning to move to the County. Innovative initiatives are underway to repurpose empty school buildings and surplus space to address housing as well as food security issues. Read more 


busGetting around in our vast geography can be an obstacle in accessing affordable food and essential services, education, employment and recreation. Lack of transportation can also contribute to social isolation and a reduced sense of belonging. Stimulated by the 2013 Vital Signs Report, a number of agencies and organizations collaborated on planning an integrated affordable transportation system. This plan builds on existing modes of transportation and is now ready to roll out. Read more 


handshakeAll of the issues we report on have an impact on our sense of belonging. While the majority of us report feeling satisfied with our lives, there is a decrease in our sense of community belonging. The actions and initiatives in the “What’s Being Done” sections that seek to address each issue may also help to restore this all-important feeling. Read more 

While recognizing the many challenges identified in this report, TCF is heartened by the progress that has been made on several fronts and is committed to taking a leadership role in working together with its many community partners and volunteers to build a County of shared prosperity where everyone belongs. 

Purpose of the Report

This report provides evidence-based information about our community, its strengths and its challenges at this point in time and highlights the actions that are being taken to address them.

It is intended to:

  • Engage the community to participate in building on the significant efforts already underway.
  • Assist community organizations with their grant applications.
  • Provide donors with information to make decisions on directing their donations.
  • Guide The County Foundation’s granting process.


The data contained in this report is drawn from quantitative and qualitative primary and secondary sources. Statistical data was gathered from a variety of sources at the national, provincial and municipal levels, and from studies carried out by community and regional organizations. From the wealth of data surveyed and the input of our Advisory Committee, comprised of a team of leaders from local community organizations, and our Board we carefully chose our areas of study and selected indicators for them based on:

  • availability and consistency of data
  • reputation and reliability of the source
  • how current the data was
  • relevance to our community
  • suitability of the data to be tracked for future comparisons
We produced PEC’s first Vital Signs Report in 2013 and followed it up in 2015 with a Progress Report to share details of what actions were being taken on three priority issues. You can read both reports on our website

Qualitative data reflects the thoughts and opinions of County citizens as voiced at the Community Conversations held in the autumn of 2017 and from several studies and discussions carried out by community and regional organizations.

Some of the information is specific to Prince Edward County (shown in the report as PEC); some of it is combined with Hastings County (shown in the report as HPE). Sources of data included in the report are cited on the Selected Sources page and a complete listing of all sources reviewed for the report will be posted on The County Foundation website in the Vital Signs section.

We are most grateful to Community Foundations of Canada, to the community organizations who provided their statistics, reports and comments, and to all community members who participated in the Community Conversations, all of which informed the preparation of this report.

Selected Sources

Statistics Canada

Census of population. Community Profile 2001, 2006, 2016
National Household Survey 2011
Canadian Community Health Survey, Health Indicator Profile (2015-16)
Crime Reporting Survey 2017
Canadian Mortgage and Housing Organization, Housing Market Information Portal, Primary Rental Market data, Oct 2017

Ontario Ministry of Education

Secondary School Graduation Rates for 2016/17
Safe Schools. Suspension Rates. 2015/16
Standardized Test Results 2017 EQAO, OSSTL

Offord Centre for Child Studies. Early Development Index 2015

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health. 2017. The Real Cost of Eating Well
Knowledge Management, KFL&A. Hastings Prince Edward Public Health 2017 Population
Health Assessment. Belleville: HPEPH

Hastings Prince Edward Paramedic Services. Status Presentation to Community Safety and Well-being Advisory Team May 2018

Poverty Roundtable Hastings Prince Edward

Leaning In: Community Conversations on Poverty in Hastings Prince Edward. 2018
Moving Forward: Recommendations for Community Action based on Community Conversations. 2018

County of Prince Edward

Community Development Department. Age Friendly Community Plan updated March 2017
Community Development Department. Business Retention and Expansion Initiative Report Manufacturing and Construction 2016
Community Development Department. Business Retention and Expansion Initiative Report Professional Services and Healthcare Sector 2017
Committee of the Whole. Presentation of the Affordable Housing Task Team regarding The Case for a County Affordable Housing Not-for-profit Corporation. 12 July 2018
Committee of the Whole. Presentation on Employment and Housing in The County updated August 2018
Committee of the Whole. Presentation on Establishment of a Prince Edward County Not-for-Profit Affordable Housing Corporation. August 2018
Committee of the Whole. Presentation on Rental Vacancy Rate in The County updated August 2018
Prince Edward County. Public Transportation Plan and Business Case, 2018
The County of Prince Edward. Economy Overview Prince Edward. 2018

Lennox & Addington E-resources. PELA Housing Advisory Committee. 24 May 2018.
Transition and Emergency Housing; Housing Revitalization; Long-term Housing and Homelessness update

Prince Edward-Lennox & Addington Social Services. Make it Count: Report on Homelessness 2018

Ryerson Research Team
Housing Affordability in PEC interim report Oct 2017
Putting the Pieces Together a Toolkit to Promote Housing affordability in PEC December 2017

Treat Hull. Affordable Housing Official Plan. 5 March 2018

County Workforce Partnership. Summary Report on Research Findings. 2017

East Central Ontario Training Board. 2018. Looking Forward Local Labour Market Plan

Prince Edward Police Services Board Report. March 2018. Review of Police Services

Prince Edward Detachment, OPP
Annual Progress Report. 2017
2017-2019 Action Plan and 2016 Progress Report

Vital Signs Community Conversations – 13 focus groups, November-December 2017

Developing an Integrated Strategy for Addressing Food Insecurity in Prince Edward County. September 2017 – March 2018


The County Foundation could not have produced this report without the efforts of many people​.

Thanks to the report production team:

  • Brian Beiles, TCF President
  • Linda Conley, Board Member
  • Janet Davies, Writing and Design
  • Helen Findlay, Past Board Member
  • Ann McIntosh, TCF Projects
  • Diane Milan, Vital Signs Coordinator
  • Christine Searle, TCF Vice-President
  • Tony Walton, TCF Communications Coordinator
  • Judith Zelmanovits, TCF Researcher

Thanks to the members of the Vital Signs Advisory Committee who gave their time, information and guidance:

  • Shelly Ackers, Quinte Access Transportation
  • Trevor Brookes, Eoin Callan and Zainab Mnyetto, PELA CFDC
  • Neil Carbone, County of Prince Edward Community Development Department
  • Emily Cowan, Prince Edward County Chamber of Commerce
  • Christine Durant, Poverty Roundtable Hastings Prince Edward
  • John Hatch and Patrick Menard, PEC OPP
  • Brandi Hodge, United Way HPE
  • Cindy Jones and Debbie Korzeniowski, Prince Edward Family Health Team
  • Kathy Kennedy, Prince Edward Learning Centre
  • Annette Keogh, Prince Edward-Lennox & Addington Social Services
  • Lesley Lavender, ROC, Prince Edward Youth Centre
  • Veronica Montgomery, Hastings Prince Edward Public Health
  • Barb Proctor, Prince Edward County Community Care for Seniors Association
  • Susan Treverton, Community Living Prince Edward
  • Marg Werkhoven, Prince Edward County Community Care for Seniors Association and the Police Services Board
  • Ruth Ingersoll, Community Development Council of Quinte

Sincere thanks to the people of Prince Edward County who took part in our Community Conversations and told us about their concerns and about what they think is working in The County. Community Conversations were hosted by Prince Edward County Community Care for Seniors Association; The Hub Child and Family Centre; the ROC; The Prince Edward Learning Centre, Prince Edward Collegiate Institute, Community Living Prince Edward and The County Foundation.

The County Foundation is led by a dedicated Board of Directors:

  • Brian Beiles, President
  • Linda Conley
  • Lennie Epstein
  • Brian Ford, Treasurer
  • Lesley Lavender
  • Debbie MacDonald Moynes 
  • David MacKay
  • Christine Searle, Vice-President

Sincere thanks to the members of the Vital Signs Working Groups who have worked tirelessly over the past four years on the projects identified in this report:

  • Food Security: 25 organizations involving 38 individuals and 4 community members
  • Learning: 19 organizations involving 34 individuals
  • Getting Around: 15 organizations involving 25 individuals

Additional in-kind contributions in the form of meeting space were provided by: 

  • Career Edge
  • Community Living Prince Edward
  • Prince Edward County Community Care for Seniors Association

For the photographs we thank Trevor Crowe, Graham Davies, Johnny Lam, Antonio Lennert, Ramesh Pooran and the community organizations: The Hub Child and Family Centre; Storehouse Foodbank; County of Prince Edward;; ROC; PEC Community Care for Seniors Association who offered us their pictures to enhance this report.


Since the Vital Signs Report 2018 was published, more studies have been done, more initiatives undertaken, more resources identified. This digital report aims to provide access to updates and additional information by way of links (generally coloured blue) throughout the text. If there are numerous links, look for the bulleted list at the end of each section.