The Community and Belonging Domain

The NEI Community and Belonging Domain quantifies various factors that impact resident experience at the level of Ottawa neighbourhoods (census tract level).  It ranks Ottawa neighbourhoods on exposure to crime, the proportion of the population that has moved in the last five years; and the proportion of seniors living alone. Through empirically mapping inequity, this NEI domain aims to support decision makers in making evidence-based decisions that can produce a more equitable, stronger, and healthier Ottawa.


The Ottawa NEI Community and Belonging Domain has five indicators:

Mobility Status

Percentage of the population who moved in the last 5 years

Seniors Living Alone

Percentage of seniors, 65 and older who live alone

Crime against the Property

Crime rates – crime against the property per 1,000 people

Crime against the Person

Crime rates – crime against the person per 1,000 people

Pedestrian and Cyclist Collisions

Number of collisions involving pedestrians and cyclists

Why this domain matters

An Individual’s sense of community and belonging can be complex and related to the individual’s social network, sense of social support, perceived social cohesion, and levels of community engagement. A strong sense of community and belonging is associated with improved mental health, and the perception of social cohesion can be used as a predictor of health. Conversely, limited or no access to social support and community activities that encourage belonging can result in difficulty forming healthy peer relationships and increased incidences of criminal activity 1.


According to the data platform, Ottawa Insights 2, the least socio-economically advantaged neighbourhoods in Ottawa are three times more likely than the most advantaged neighbourhoods in Ottawa to experience violent crime. The same neighbourhoods also experience 50% more property crimes relative to more advantaged neighbourhoods in Ottawa. Other considerations for community cohesion and feelings of belonging include high rates of residential mobility, and the state of vulnerable members of a community (for example senior isolation).



1 Canadian Institute for Health Information. (2008). Reducing Gaps in Health: A Focus on Socio-Economic Status in Urban Canada. In Canadian Institute for Health Information – report.

2 Community Foundation of Ottawa. (2010). Ottawa Insights. Retrieved from

Maps and Data related to the Community and Belonging Domain

Featured Resources

DATA: Community and Belonging Theme through Ottawa Insights

By the Ottawa Community Foundation

Find data and indicators related to community & belonging in Ottawa.

WEBSITE: The Ottawa Neighbourhood Study

The Ottawa Neighbourhood Study (ONS) provides data on strengths and challenges for each neighbourhood in Ottawa

DATA: Crime Data and Mapping

from the Ottawa Police Service

Crime map by category

WEBSITE: Crime Prevention Ottawa

Neighbourhood Toolkit

A one-stop resource for ideas on building better neighbourhoods and staying safe at home, at work and in your community.

Neighbourhood Equity in Action: Community and Belonging Domain

Find out what others are doing to improve community and belonging in Ottawa.  Reach out directly to get involved.

The Safer Roads Ottawa Program is committed to preventing or eliminating road deaths and serious injuries for all people in the City of Ottawa

Community Development Framework (CDF) brings together residents, community organizations, and city services in priority neighbourhoods across Ottawa in order to identify local community issues, decide on the changes and build on neighbourhood strengths.

Crime Prevention Ottawa provides suggestions on how to make your community safer.

To build social capital in priority neighbourhoods in support of the Strong Neighbourhoods goal, United Way and partner agencies engaged key stakeholders and volunteers to establish Ottawa Neighbourhoods Social Capital Forum (ONSCF).

Community Safety and Well-Being Plan

A Community Safety and Well-Being Plan (by the City of Ottawa) is a way to work together to address common objectives to ensure Ottawa is a safe, healthy and vibrant community.

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