Enviro Fact Sheet

Canadians and Nature: Parks and green spaces, 2013

Canadians and Nature: Parks and green spaces, 2013

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Parks and green spaces are more than simply a way to beautify neighbourhoods and cities. They provide places for people to relax and play outdoors, interact with nature, and are habitats for plants and animals. Ranging in size from small neighbourhood parks to large provincial or national parks, they are essential components in healthy environments and beneficial for physical, mental, spiritual, social and environmental health.Note 1,Note 2

The concept of “close to home” is subjective and often depends on the activity in question. In the Households and the Environment Survey, the definition of “close to home” was generally left to the respondent to decide. However, if they asked for a definition, respondents were asked to consider a destination within a 10-minute walk or drive.

Chart 1 Households that had a park or green space close to home, 2013

Description for Chart 1

More than 4 out of 5 households (85%) reported they lived close to a park or green space in 2013. Households in Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia were most likely to have a park or green space close to home (all 86%), while those in New Brunswick were least likely, with 72% having one close to home. Most households (85%) that lived close to a park visited it. Households in British Columbia were the most likely to have done so (89%), compared to those in Newfoundland and Labrador (78%).

Fifteen percent of households reported that there were no parks or green spaces close to their home. Households in New Brunswick (28%) and Newfoundland and Labrador (26%) were most likely to have reported this.

Regardless of whether they lived near a park or green space, about 1 in 10 households (11%) only visited such an area that was not close to home. Households in Newfoundland and Labrador (20%) were more likely than households in other provinces to have only visited parks and green spaces not near their homes.

Households living in doubles (side-by-side) were more likely to have been located close to parks and green spaces than households in other types of dwellings (89%), while those in high-rise apartments (82%) and mobile homes (64%) were less likely to be located close to one.

The likelihood a household will be located close to a park or green space increases as the household’s annual income increases. Seventy-nine percent of households with total annual incomes of less than $20,000 had a park or green space close to home, compared to 94% of households with annual incomes of $150,000 or more.

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About the Households and the Environment Survey

The Households and the Environment Survey asks Canadian households about their activities and behaviours with respect to the environment. It covers a wide variety of topics including water and energy consumption and conservation, hazardous products used in the home, and the household’s interactions with nature. Data from the survey are used by governments to guide policies and programs, by researchers to learn more about Canadians and by individuals to see how they compare to the rest of the country.

The target population of the 2013 Households and the Environment Survey consisted of households in Canada, excluding households located in Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut, households located on Indian Reserves or Crown lands, and households consisting entirely of full-time members of the Canadian Armed Forces. Institutions and households in certain remote regions were also excluded.

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Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number 3881. Available in CANSIM: tables 153-0148 to 153-0150. For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; or Media Relations (613-951-4636;

Related topics: Canadian Nature Survey, Environment Canada. []


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