We Torontonians may live in the “Big Smoke,” but we’re still a healthy bunch.
Newly released data from Toronto Public Health that compared the city’s health with the rest of Ontario found that Toronto outperforms the province in a majority of health areas.
Regardless of gender, both men and women in Toronto have a longer life expectancy than the rest of the province.
Ontario’s capital city also has a lower teen pregnancy rate, less smokers, and exceeded the low-risk drinking guidelines less frequently (despite the many great patio spots to tempt you in Toronto).
The data also showed that Torontonians were less overweight, less obese, and had less incidences of colorectal, lung or breast cancer.
Toronto Public Health spokesman Paul Fleiszer put this down to a number of factors including access to healthcare, education, income and even the large population of recent immigrants – who tend to bring a good health status with them.
And although slightly lower rates of physical activity during leisure time were the exception when it came to Toronto performing less favourably, Nancy Smith, the director of the Toronto Centre for Active Transportation, noted that transportation options had contributed to the overall health of the city’s inhabitants.
“It makes complete sense. People are just getting more activity and living healthier lifestyles in large urban centres where you have more transportation options,” she said.
Interestingly, downtown dwellers were actually healthier than those in the suburbs – a word that’s often synonymous with open spaces and cleaner air. But because of a growing cycling network and closer proximity to work, it all adds up to a lower BMI for those in the city centre.
While we may not always be working out in our down time, residents of Toronto are more likely to fit some exercise in during our commutes courtesy of an improved system for cyclists and the option to walk to the office.
So next time your parents worriedly ask how life in the big city is treating you, assure them that it’s nothing but clean living down here in Toronto.