How COVID-19 affects communities differently: Tools to track changes over time

In Progress


Neighbourhoods and Health

New online tool explores the unequal burden of COVID-19

COVID-19 has affected Ontario communities, urban and rural, in different and — in many cases — unequal ways. The Mobility Changes in Ontario online tool uses real-time Google Mobility reports along with policy information from the Government of Ontario to answer questions such as:

  • How and where have policy changes correlated with changes in people’s movements in Ontario?
  • How do changes in mobility differ between public health units, and by type of mobility?

The Ontario COVID-19 Heterogeneity Project

This project is examining the trajectory and development of the COVID-19 pandemic through measures of mobility (i.e. movement of people at certain times); socioeconomic determinants of health (e.g. household income); transmission-related structural factors (e.g. household size); and geography.

To understand the unequal impact that COVID-19 has had on communities in Ontario, we created an interactive tool that provides real-time data on the impact of COVID-19 on communities and those that live in them. The Mobility Changes in Ontario online tool allows users to generate graphs displaying overall mobility changes in Ontario during the COVID-19 pandemic (March 2020 to present) as well as policy changes implemented through various waves of the pandemic in Ontario.

Mobility Changes in Ontario can be used for:

  • Planning and needs assessment: E.g. to investigate the extent to which regions were able to adapt mobility in response to mobility-restriction policies
  • Monitoring of mobility changes: E.g. to compare mobility patterns between regions experiencing a significant disease outbreak, and those that are not, to better understand the factors underlying the outbreak
  • Research: E.g. to help researchers formulate hypotheses for investigation

The tool is the result of a unique collaboration between researchers at MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions and partners. The multi-disciplinary team includes the Research Group in Mathematical Modeling and Program Science led by Dr. Sharmistha Mishra (modeling expertise), the Ontario Community Health Profiles Partnership led by Dr. Rick Glazier (geo-spatial and population health expertise), and the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, Professor Kustra’s Lab (statistical analysis and programming) at the University of Toronto.

A companion tool, in development, will show the concentration of COVID-19 cases by geography, social and structural factors over time in Toronto.


Neighbourhoods and Health

Dr. Sharmistha Mishra

An infectious diseases physician and Canada Research Chair in Mathematical Modeling and Program Science, Dr. Sharmistha Mishra is an international leader in mathematical modelling and epidemiology of HIV and other STIs.



  • Ontario Community Health Profiles Partnership

Contact Info

Ontario Community Health Profiles Partnership