About the Community Data Program

A unique program in Canada

The CDP offers a combination of data products, analytical tools, and services that are unique in Canada and exclusive to members of the CDP. These products, tools and services have been developed over more than 20 years by and for non-profit sector and municipal practitioners. Created by CCSD in the mid-1990s to track poverty at the local level, the Community Data Program now serves as a gateway to over $1 million worth of customized data tables from a variety of. The CDP is Canada’s one-stop source for community data, based on the principle of building a repository that reflects the needs and priorities of members, and is accessible to all CDP users.

Who’s a Member?

Canada’s largest and only national network of community data consortia brings together over 300 non-profit sector and municipal organizations in over 30 urban and rural regions, representing municipal governments, local United Ways, social planning councils, library, school and police boards, public health authorities, community health centres, and economic development agencies, among others. Communities represented by these consortia account for more than 60 percent the Canadian population.

See Member Consortium (to be updated).

What do Member Organizations get?

Access to Data: Half the challenge is getting the data you need- CDP takes care of the hard part. Members benefit from direct access to over $1 million worth of relevant and credible community data products capturing trends and conditions related to hundreds of topics at the smallest geographies available across the country. The entire CDP data repository is available from a members-only online catalogue. The program has built a unique compendium of over 800 data products from 20 public and private sector data providers offering data at municipal and neighbourhood geographies.

Training & Capacity Building: Data can be intimidating. That’s why CDP’s services are designed for members with a range of skills and knowledge, from power data users to data novices. Services include customized training, email and phone support, access to web-based data access and analysis tools, and webinars connecting members to a Canada-wide network of like-minded community data users. The CDP team is committed to building the capacity of members to access and use data to tell their stories and make evidence-backed decisions.

Cross-Canada Networking: The CDP connects a growing and dynamic network of over 1,600 individuals, working in over 350 municipal and community sector organizations across the country. An annual meeting, newsletters, community data stories, and live and recorded webinar events all contribute to raising awareness about evidence-based social development.

See the value-added of the Community Data Program.

Meet the CDP Team and get in touch.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Community Data Consortium Model

The CDP’s consortium model is an innovative tool for fostering multi-sector collaboration and strengthening local networks and relationships. The consortium model attracts diverse organizations interested in reducing the costs of acquiring credible and timely customized information to tell their communities’ stories. These organizations share a common mandate to identify, address and track community-based social development priorities.

Lead representatives (Leads) serve as the liaison between their Data Consortium and the Community Data Program management team. Leads meet quarterly for discussion and program feedback. Many members are involved in working groups that help the management team in program development and outreach.

The Data Purchase and Access Working Group (DPAWG) identifies data needs, improves data access, acquires data, and addresses related technical concerns.

The Training and Capacity Building Working Group (TCBWG) reviews and submits ideas to improve training and learning tools, increase the capacity of the membership to make use of the data and to produce research products, and to improve the website to support the work of the membership.

The Community Data Consortium model enables CDP to negotiate with Statistics Canada and other data providers for the preparation and lower-cost purchase of a wide variety of geographically specific data for planning local programs and services, and includes a replication of income and demographic data bought in previous years (see Data Purchase Schedule B). Tables are acquired from a variety of sources, both survey and administrative, down to the smallest scale possible. The Program can also acquire Statistics Canada data for custom boundaries.

Join the Community Data Program

Already part of a Data Consortium?

If you are already part of a Data Consortium but have not signed up for access to communitydata.ca, you can register as a user. You will receive an email within one business day confirming that your account has been activated. Note that if you haven't been pre-approved by your Consortium Lead, we will get in touch with you and your Lead to confirm your status.

Register as a user

Join an existing Data Consortium as a Member Organization

If a Consortium already exists in your community, you can join them as a Member Organization.


To be eligible, your organization must:

  • Not be a for-profit organisation; and
  • Have a local (sub-provincial) mandate.

The cost to join a Consortium varies by community. At a minimum, it requires a $125 Membership Fee to CCSD per year per organization.

Join an existing Consortium


 Start a Data Consortium in your community

If there's no Consortium in your community, we encourage you to start one! It's a great way to access small-area data, bring together local groups, and join the Canada-wide CDP network.


The annual Consortium Fee is based on your community's underlying population and can be shared among an unlimited number of Member Organizations. Each Member Organizations is required to pay a $125 Program Membership Fee per year.


Each Consortium has a Lead Organization, usually the largest member municipality, although a community organization may also be a Lead. To create a Consortium, the Lead Organization enters into an agreement with the CCSD.

Learn more about the Community Data Program

Check out a Memorandum of Agreement template

Establish a new Consortium in your community

Get in touch


Community Data Program
C/O Canadian Council on Social Development
P.O. Box 13713
Kanata, ON  K2K 1X6

t. 1-888-717-2919

The Community Data Program is led by the Canadian Council on Social Development. CCSD is a non-governmental, not-for-profit organization, which was founded in 1920. CCSD’s mission is to develop and promote progressive social policies inspired by social justice, equality and the empowerment of individuals and communities. CCSD does this through research, consultation, public education and advocacy. Its main product is information. Its sources of funding include research contracts, the sale of publications and memberships, and donations.