2020 Research Projects 

In 2020, a working group with representation from eCampusOntario, the City of Toronto, funding bodies and all of Toronto’s HEI partners, mobilized to pilot and expedite research partnerships in support of COVID-19 relief and recovery priorities. The resulting collaborations have helped inform policies and programs and are summarized below.

The Association between Socio-Demographic Characteristics and COVID-19 Incidence and Severity
Collaborators:
  • Ryerson University & Toronto Public Health (City of Toronto)

Overview:
  • To explore the socio-demographic characteristics of reported COVID-19 infections in Toronto to help pinpoint where inequities exist, inform effective health promotion messaging and support a more equitable health services system.

Outcomes:
  • Data collection completed November, 2021. Report anticipated in Spring, 2022.

Plausible Futures: Economic and Labour Market Trends in the City over the Next 3-5 years
Collaborators:
  • Ryerson University & Economic Development and Culture (City of Toronto)

Overview:
  • COVID-19 has transformed organizations and workplaces. This research project identifies possible, probable and preferable futures facing Toronto to facilitate strategic conversations about potential interventions that may be needed related to employment, skills, sectors, and development.

Outcomes:
  • Report informed City programs and was discussed during the CivicLabTO Summit session on Economic Resiliency

 

Supply Disruption Risk for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Procurement
Collaborators:
  • York University, Ryerson University and the Office of Emergency Management (City of Toronto)

Overview:
  • To enhance the City’s decision-making processes regarding PPE forecasting, purchasing, consumption, and conservation.

Outcomes:
  • Report provided insights into the City’s PPE management during the onset of COVID-19 and offered recommendations on relevant policies and procedures moving forward.

 

 
Digital Access: Who is Underserved and Why?
Collaborators:
  • Humber College, Seneca College, University of Toronto, York University, Ryerson University and the Technology Services Division (City of Toronto)

Overview:
  • Access to quality high speed internet is essential for residents to participate in online schooling, work from home, and access public health and an increasing range of online government services. This research project aims to help the City better understand which communities and demographics are underserved by digital infrastructure, the reasons why that is so and to identify where resources are most needed in order to help create longer-term solutions. 

Outcomes:

 

 
Low Cost Decontamination Process for Disposable N95 Masks
Collaborators:
  • Ryerson University, Office of Emergency Management and Toronto Paramedic Services (City of Toronto)

Overview:
  • To evaluate the disinfecting, efficacy and conservation of N95 masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE). 

Outcomes:
  • Study paused.

 

 
COVID-19 Impacts on Toronto Ambient Air Quality
Collaborators:
  • University of Toronto, Ryerson University and the Environment & Energy Division (City of Toronto)

Overview:
  • To identify air pollution sources within Toronto by studying variations in air pollutant concentrations as a result of changes in transportation patterns, energy use, employment and industrial operations before, during, and after the pandemic. This will aid TransformTO’s ongoing greenhouse gas mitigation action. 

Outcomes:
  • In progress.

 

Telework: GHG Emission Impacts & Employee Performance
Collaborators:
  • Ryerson University and the Environment & Energy Division (City of Toronto)

Overview:
  • To evaluate employee performance while teleworking and the resulting impacts on GHG emission due to people working from home instead of at a commercial office/workplace. 

Outcomes:
  • Did not move forward.​

 

Innovations in Tax Filing
Collaborators:
  • Seneca College, Prosper Canada, Toronto Employment Social Services & Senior Services and Long Term Care (City of Toronto) 

Overview:
  • To better understand the gaps, barriers and challenges facing low-income Torontonians in filing taxes, and thereby access income tax benefits, as well as audit approaches that are working to improve tax filing in other jurisdictions. 

Outcomes:
  • The insights gained regarding tax filing challenges will inform human centred design sessions intended to identify solutions to address these barriers. Project findings also shared with the Seniors Strategy Accountability table.
     

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