Vital Signs

About Vital Signs

Connecting Vital Signs and community knowledge to philanthropy and grant making is what differentiates the Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough from others.

Greater Peterborough’s Vital Signs® is a snapshot of our community that measures the vitality of the City and County of Peterborough, identifies needs, strengths and trends, and supports action on issues that are critical to our quality of life.

Kind of like taking the pulse of our community to see how healthy we are, Vital Signs helps us understand where our community is at today, and how we’re growing and changing over time.

Vital Signs® is more than a simple report on our quality of life. It’s community knowledge in action, used by many people and organizations in our community to educate, champion important issues and bring people together to make positive change. You can use it too.

More than a third of our population is under the age of 30, and half of us are under the age of 45.

Many of us feel connected to our community, but there are big differences between age groups when it comes to who feels like they belong.

  • 12 TO 19 69% 69%
  • 20 TO 34 50% 50%
  • 35 TO 44 52.9% 52.9%
  • 45 TO 64 69.4% 69.4%
  • 65+ 80.4% 80.4%

Our community has a strong culture of entrepreneurship.

Greater Peterborough has a growing number of new businesses starting up every year and a high rate of immigrant self-employment. This means that people from all over the world are choosing Peterborough as a place to set up shop.

  • 2012 63% 63%
  • 2013 68% 68%
  • 2014 77% 77%
  • 2015 84% 84%

Top 3 Growing Occupations

The nature of our local economy is shifting, with more people working in service or creative occupations.

customer and information services representatives

food counter attendants and kitchen helpers

nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates

Low incomes are the most important factor in shaping quality of life in Peterborough.

Inadequate incomes create affordability issues for many people in our community, who aren’t able to access decent housing, healthy food or reliable transportation.


make less than $20,000/year


live in unaffordable housing


are food insecure

Our community is well known for its rich arts scene, but there’s room for investment if we want arts and culture to thrive.

Municipal spending on libraries, museums and cultural services per person in 2014:

Greater Peterborough

Kingston and Frontenac County

Guelph and Wellington County

Almost 2/3 of our population reports having good mental health, but that number has declined since 2003 and we’re below the provincial average on this issue.

  • PETERBOROUGH (2014) 67.1% 67.1%
  • ONTARIO (2014) 70.4% 70.4%

We are a very giving community

With higher than average levels of volunteerism and charitable donations, we care about Peterborough and we work hard to make our community a great place to live.

Join the Vital Community Movement

The Vital Community Fund is our community’s resource to support the people, ideas and activities that build community vitality in the Peterborough area. Grants from this fund will support charities in the City and County of Peterborough that are working on our community’s top priorities.

By giving together, we can meet today’s challenges and build for tomorrow. Whether you give $10.00 or 10% of your salary, every gift is combined and invested in the fund, building a permanent endowment that we can use to take action and make change, together.

Jennifer DeBues

Executive Director 

Have Questions? Get in Touch!

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