Health in Toronto

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Several factors affect citizens' health in Toronto.

The city has many opportunities for citizens to be physically active, including bike lanes, walkways, and parks throughout the city. Given the cultural diversity of the city, there is also great diversity in the foods that citizens can consume, which determines their personal nutrition. Many foods for example enter the city through the Ontario Food Terminal, located on the west side. The city is also part of the Toronto Public Health Division, and is home to many hospitals. Other factors affecting health in the city include air quality in regard to smog. Smog alerts are issued by Toronto Public Health when the air quality is poor enough to warrant informing some segments of the public to limit their exposure to the smog, such as children, the elderly, and people with lung diseases or heart conditions. The best and worst years for smog in the city within the last five years were respectively 2006 with 11 smog alerts, and 2005 with 48 smog alerts. Another risk to health for citizens is exposure to crime in the city. Toronto has a rate of violent crime of 738 incidents per 100,000 people, though this is still lower than the national average of 951, according to 2006 Statistics Canada data, and far lower than other cities of comparable size (particularly those in the United States). [1]

A vehicle emissions testing program known as Ontario's Drive Clean began in 1999, and has had a minimal impact on smog in Toronto. 2005 was Toronto's worst year on record for smog with a total of 48 smog alert days. The Ontario Medical Association estimated in 2005 that total air pollution (from all sources) would cause some 5,800 deaths and 17,000 hospital admissions that year.


Several municipally funded programs affect health in the city. They are listed below, and where possible their annual budgets are provided. Provincial and federal programs also affect health in Toronto, such as the provincial Smoke-Free Ontario Act which bans cigarette smoking in enclosed spaces in the province.


The city is home to many health organizations, including:

The city was also the host of the 2006 XVI International AIDS Conference.

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