Living in Niagara 2017 quality of life report released


The Living in Niagara 2017 quality of life report is now available, to support evidence-informed planning in the Niagara context.

The report contains relevant, reliable, Niagara-focused evidence to help inform the work of faculty, researchers, students, and people working in administration and human resources at the College. People can use data from the report to guide research and focused decision-making in the Niagara context.

The triennial report was launched at the 16th annual Niagara Community Foundation Leaders’ Breakfast on November 28, with 350 people in attendance, including representatives from Niagara College.

NC’s Duncan MacDuff, research analyst, Planning and Institutional Research, contributed to the report as a community expert opinion leader and helped to provide oversight to the project as a member of the Niagara Connects Board of Directors.

“The LIN report provides Niagara College students and staff with a broad compilation of data, information and analyses of life in Niagara across twelve broad themes, or what Niagara Connects calls ‘sectors,’ including arts, culture and heritage, health and wellness, work and employment and learning and education,” said MacDuff. “The report and accompanying online data may be of great value to students and staff involved in Niagara related college papers, research papers and proposals.”

MacDuff has served on the Niagara Connects Board since 2011, and as with three of the previous reports, he contributed through two unique roles. As a director of the Niagara Connects Board, he contributed to the overall design of report content. He also served as one of the community expert opinion leaders (CEOLs) for three of the sectors, namely Economic Prosperity, Learning and Education, and Work and Employment, by reviewing and providing data and content, sharing ideas and contributing to the suggested action steps.

Niagara Connects facilitates the construction of the report, by combining relevant, reliable, Niagara-focused data with knowledge shared by hundreds of people working on the front lines in and across the 12 Living in Niagara sectors: including  Arts, Culture and Heritage; Community Belonging; Crime, Safety and Security; Economic Prosperity; Environment; Health and Wellness; Housing and Shelter; Learning and Education; People Getting Started; Recreation and Sports; Transportation and Mobility; and Work and Employment.

NC in the report

There are several direct mentions to Niagara College throughout the report.

Under ‘Happening Now!’ on page 23 of the Economic Prosperity section (in the summary document), the report points to the variety of resources that support growth and increased productivity for small- to medium-sized enterprises, including work spaces for companies at NC’s Walker Advanced manufacturing Centre in Welland. In addition to what is mentioned in the report, the College’s Research & Innovation division has been working with SMEs in the region to help them grow, innovate, and expand their product lines.

The section also shows the top five sectors in Niagara by employment numbers – including retail trade, accommodation and food service, health care and social services, manufacturing, and construction. Niagara College’s programming offers skilled training in all of these areas.

In the Environment section, Niagara College is mentioned twice on the ‘What’s Emerging’ (page 29, summary document). As an example of how greenhouse cannabis production is increasing in the region, it points to NC’s launch of a graduate certificate program in Commercial Cannabis Production in 2018 which will prepare graduates to work in the licensed production of cannabis. It also discusses the role of pollinators in a vibrant food system, being addressed in NC’s new Commercial Beekeeping program.

In the Learning and Education section, Niagara College is mentioned on page 43 (summary document) for its experiential education and work-integrated learning opportunities for students, in partnership with employers. Niagara College is well recognized for the work-integrated learning experience that it has been offering its students for decades. Through its Learning Enterprises – such as Canada’s first commercial Teaching Winery, first Teaching Brewery, as well as its teaching spa, hair salon, and greenhouse – the College has demonstrated its leadership in providing real-world learning experiences for students and developing a highly skilled labour force for key and emerging sectors of the economy.

NC’s increased international enrolment is highlighted on page 44 (summary document):

NC experienced its largest ever intake of international students in September 2017, welcoming 1,500 to campus.

The report highlights several suggested action steps pertaining to learning and education on page 48. Many of these are already prominent within Niagara College, such as promoting lifelong learning and mental wellness.

The College is listed among the report’s community partners in building a Niagara-wide culture of gathering, sharing and learning from date, information and knowledge, which supports evidence-informed planning for a stronger future (on page 67, summary document).

About the Living in Niagara Report

The 2017 edition is the fourth Living in Niagara report; the first was released in 2008.  The report, its 12 Sectors, and its companion tool, (NKE) are described, built and owned by the Niagara-wide community.  These tools are cornerstones in building a culture in Niagara of using Niagara-focused data, information and knowledge to plan for a stronger future.

Niagara Connects is a Niagara-wide network of people working together to plan, learn, innovate and lead community action toward a stronger future for Niagara. The Living in Niagara – 2017 report and supporting data can be found at

For more information, view the online report at:

View the summary version of the report here:



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