2010 in review: WordPress blog mail and more

This is the new year’s message I got from WordPress and some of my own thoughts on the year in More.

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is on fire!

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A helper monkey made this abstract painting, inspired by your stats.

The average container ship can carry about 4,500 containers. This blog was viewed about 16,000 times in 2010. If each view were a shipping container, your blog would have filled about 4 fully loaded ships.

In 2010, there were 34 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 107 posts. There were 5 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 846kb.

The busiest day of the year was January 19th with 121 views. The most popular post that day was Toronto Community Partnership Strategy: Priority Neighbourhood Areas revised.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were atwork.settlement.org, facebook.com, twitter.com, networkedblogs.com, and google.ca.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for high crime areas in toronto, toronto neighbourhood crime rates, diane dyson, crime in toronto neighbourhoods, and tdsb loi.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Toronto Community Partnership Strategy: Priority Neighbourhood Areas revised January 2010


Crime hotspots across Toronto neighbourhoods September 2009


About me April 2009


Community Partnership Strategy: Neighbourhood Well-being Index April 2010


Ethnic enclaves in Toronto, 2001 – 2006 February 2009

Some of your most popular posts were written before 2010. Your writing has staying power! Consider writing about those topics again.

A few of my own reflections on 2010:

The topic of crime continues to be one of the top draws to this blog. It’s a basic concern, whether warranted or not, for all Torontonians. It is also one of the areas where it is hardest to find good data. However, what we do know is that demographics drives a good chunk of it – older populations are more fearful, but also less likely to engage in criminal (violent) activities.

The Toronto District School Board has turned an important corner since the appointment of Director Chris Spence. Issues of race and equity are now openly named, discussed and planned for. All students are expected to do well, and where they don’t, the system is held more to account for these failures.

While Director Spence was completing his first year, many other of Toronto’s civic leaders changed this year:

  • Mayor Miller (pushed or jumped, still being debated)
  • United Way President & CEO Frances Lankin for Susan McIsaac, an internal candidate with deep community support. Lankin returns with former Chief Statistician Munir Sheikh to look at Ontario’s social assistance programs.
  • Charles Pascal left the Atkinson Foundation to make way for Toronto newcomer Olivia Nuamah.
  • John Tory was appointed Voluntary Chair of the Toronto City Summit Alliance (now the Greater Toronto Civic Action Alliance) after the gap left by the death of David Pecaut.
  • Bruce Davis, former Chair of the Toronto District School Board, missed making it into City Hall with George Smitherman and so is detached from the school system for the first time in a decade.

Even at lesser levels of senior leadership, 2010 led to the announcements of other, if temporary, disappearances. (Apologies to those I’ve forgotten – it’s been a long year.)

  • Susan MacDonnell, United Way’s former Director of Research & Public Policy, who led the Strong Neighbourhood Strategy and wrote most of United Way’s reports over the past 10 years.
  • Maureen Fair (Executive Director of St. Christopher House; co-investigator with David Hulchanski’s Three Cities work; Key lead in the MISWAA reports on income supports) is taking a well-earned year-long sabbatical.
  • Lloyd McKell, TDSB’s former Executive Officer of Student and Community Equity, is leaving the school board after more than 30 years of balancing between the urgent and difficult demands of parents and communities with the staid bureaucratic/meritocratic tendencies of the public education system.

The number of blog posts I produced this year declined as my good friend and neighbour, Cynthia Brouse, died of breast cancer in June and my own father fights metastasized prostate cancer. I have appreciated the comments and supports you have provided and enjoyed more time breathing in the shade-cooled air of my front porch.

2011 (twenty-eleven) promises to be a year laden with civic movement, the fruit of many years work:

United Way will be bringing out another research report (on poverty, housing & vertical neighbourhoods) in January 2011.

The Greater Toronto Civic Action Alliance will host another summit in February, the last being in 2007.

“Left-wing commie pinkos” have been roused to make Toronto City Council meetings a spectator, nay — participatory — sport again.

The national voluntary census will ostensibly roll out in May – unless lobbying can change the cover letter before that.

The City will launch a beta-version of the Neighbourhood Well-being Index which will open data at a geographic level to anyone interested this spring.

It promised to be interesting times.

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