Who is the East End United Regional Ministry?

”We will live out our mission to be a sustainable social justice and faith seeking spiritual community.”

East End United Regional Ministry Mission statement.

The East End United regional ministry came about in 2018 as a partnership between the Cosburn, Glen Rhodes, and Eastminster United Churches. These three charges chose in June 2017 to chart a new path that would allow them to define the legacy of their individual churches and become an agile, creative ministry that is responsive to opportunities arising from the relationships built within our neighbourhoods.”

“A progressive, vibrant, welcoming, and supportive Christian community in the east end of Toronto.”

Problem we were asked to solve.

Identify the neighbourhood profiles around the United churches

  • To understand the public common space needs of the neighbourhood 
  • To strategize what type of public space is needed for the neighbourhood 
  • Overlay current public events around the region to understand the public events needs and popularity 

“As a development manager leading a multi-sectoral partnership expanding the use of large urban churches as locally responsive innovation hubs, I was very excited about the opportunity to work with Data for Good Toronto.

A deep understanding of neighbourhood context and community need would be essential to the success of any of our projects.”

Jordana Wright, Welcome Project development manager, East End United Regional Ministry

Data Sets

The data used in this DataThon came from non “first party” sources. This is unusual for our DataThon’s as most NFP will bring their own data to supplement publicly available or Open Data sets. The quality of the insights from this event are a testament to the creativity of the volunteers in finding data sources and combining them in interesting ways.

The data came primarily from two different sources, open data such as the 2016 Canadian Census Data set, and social event organization sites such as Eventbrite and Meetup. The goal of course being to determine which type of public events around the three church-spaces are popular and consistently attended

The following tables show the FSA codes for the areas surrounding the three churches. The FSA codes are used to cross index data from event locations with Census data. 

Eastminster United
310 Danforth Av, Toronto, ON M4K 1N6
M4K, M4J, M4W

Cosburn United
1108 Greenwood Ave, Toronto, ON M4J 4E8
M3C, M4B, M4H, M4K, M4J, M4C, M4K, M4J

Glen Rhodes United
1470 Gerrard St E, Toronto, ON M4L 2A3
M4J, M4C, M4L, M4E, M4L

What are FSA Codes?!?!?!

A bit more information about FSA codes. From https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/bsf-osb.nsf/eng/br03396.html 

Each character in an FSA code provides information:

  • The first character is a letter that identifies the province or territory (although Nunavut and the Northwest Territories share the letter X). For Ontario and Quebec, this first character further identifies a particular part of the province: for example, G identifies Eastern Quebec, H Metropolitan Montréal, K Eastern Ontario and M Metropolitan Toronto.
  • The second character is a numeral that identifies whether the area is urban or rural. A zero indicates a wide-area rural region, while all other digits indicate urban areas.
  • The third character is a letter that, in combination with the first two characters, identifies a more precise geographic district—a specific rural region, an entire medium-sized city or a section of a major metropolitan area.

Tools and Analytical Methods Used to Help

Multiple tools were used, including Tableau, R, Python / Jupyter Notebooks, PowerBI and Excel. 

Several different approaches were used to analyze the data. Each group of Data For Good volunteers chose their own approaches. Some of the models put into use are listed here:

  1. Logistic Regression 
  2. Lasso & Ridge Regression
  3. Random Forest
  4. Support Vector Machines
  5. Naïve Bayes

Data Analysis Highlights

Types of Events

Based on the categorical break-down of the most popular types of events in the neighbouring areas, it appears that there are primarily two times of day when events are held. 


‘Country of Origin’ in the FSAs surrounding the three church-spaces

The data heavily leans towards populations from South-East Asian countries immigrating to the neighborhood we are interested in.


Overview of Language Distribution in the FSAs M4K, M4J & M4L

Note: The language distribution does not take English/French knowledge into account, since these languages skew the results widely 

Key Findings and Recommendations

Event Types

Almost 80% of the meetups cater towards Business, Wellness or Hobbies related categories. Following the 80-20 rule, focusing on welcoming meetup hosts of these events into Eastminster United or Glen Rhodes United to organize their events will pave the way towards these spaces quickly becoming potential multi-purpose hotspots. 

Conversely, the following categories are the least popular and likely not to be in demand.

  1. Politics
  2. Fashion
  3. Reading

Socio-economic and Demographic Insights

There is a general high concentration of higher-income earning immigrant families belonging to the First Generation, surrounding Glen Rhodes United. Most of these families also tend to be South-East Asians speaking predominantly Indo-Aryan Languages like Hindi, Urdu, Tamil & Bengali. Renting out the church-space for live sports-event streaming or other South-East Asian cultural events might attract more foot-traffic and help establish Glen Rhodes United as a multicultural space.

The neighbourhoods around Eastminster United consists mostly of a higher-income/senior Asian population, and hence organizing regular events catering to seniors above 60 years might help transform this space.

“Data for Good helped create an evidence-based strategic approach to analysing relevant local service, event, and facility needs by combining demographic data and data from popular social platforms – a creative approach we had not previously considered. The resulting analysis identified a number of viable hub uses and user groups. It also to introduce data-driven approaches to a century-old institution setting out to tackle a modern challenge. We are now better equipped to identify impactful hub residents along with participating stakeholders.

It was a great experience overall!”
Jordana Wright, Welcome Project development manager, East End United Regional Ministry

Case Study questions? Ask stephen.boyd@dataforgood.ca

Interested in working with Data For Good? Get in touch with us! contact@dataforgood.ca