The EnRiCH Project uses a community-based participatory approach which involves close collaborative partnerships with organizations in the communities where the project is taking place. Organizations from the following communities have partnered with our research team to engage in activities to promote resilience and preparedness among high risk populations: Gatineau, Quebec; Truro, Nova Scotia; The Region of Waterloo, Ontario; Quebec City, Quebec; and Calgary, Alberta.
Truro is a town located in central Nova Scotia with a population of approximately 12,000. It is often referred to as the 'Hub of Nova Scotia' due to the fact that it lies at the intersection of some of the province's largest highway and railway lines. Truro is the third largest urban center in the province, and is situated approximately 95km north of Halifax. The town of Truro experiences a tidal bore when waves from the Bay of Fundy rush up the Salmon River. In fact, Truro's surrounding areas boast one of the largest changes in tidal wave height in the world. Furthermore, the fact that the town itself is situated in a flood plain makes it especially susceptible to such events, especially following heavy downpours and the spring thaw.
Being situated in a Maritime province, the climate in Truro is quite temperate. The town also experiences above average precipitation and is prone to hurricanes. Truro has experienced notable storms such as Hurricane Juan in 2003, and a severe snow storm nicknamed 'White Juan' which occurred in February of 2004.
The City of Québec is located in the province of Québec and has a population of approximately 491,000. It is the 10th largest city in Canada and also one of the oldest in North America. Founded in 1608, Québec is located on the banks of the St Laurence River. The word 'Québec' is actually derived from the Algonquin word 'Kébec' which means 'where the river narrows.'
Québec City has a low-lying and flat physical geography. Upper town, however, is located on the Cape Diamond promontory, an elevated region of the city which is still surrounded by fortified stone walls dating back hundreds of years. It is also known for its many museums and historic sites. The city is the capital of the province of Québec and houses the provincial parliament buildings. Québec City's population is predominantly French speaking. Anglophones make up only 1.5% in both the city and the Metropolitan Area. Québec is the first city in the province to implement the 211 directory service, and the first French-language 211 service in North America.
REGION OF WATERLOO
Located approximately 100 kilometres west of Toronto, Waterloo Region is a flourishing area in southern Ontario that is accessible by air, rail, car and bus. Waterloo Region is one of the fastest growing cities in Ontario with a population of over 534,900 spread across its three urban municipalities (Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo), and four rural townships (North Dumfries, Wellesley, Wilmot and Woolwich).
The region is recognized for its quality health services, cultural and recreational facilities, and its exceptional post-secondary educational institutions, including the University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University, and Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning. The region's success is widely attributed to its balance of urban and rural settings, its skilled labour force, its continued commercial expansions, and its increasingly diverse population.
Gatineau, Québec, is a city that rests on the banks of the Ottawa River. It is situated directly across from Ottawa, Ontario, and together, these two cities make up the National Capital Region of Canada. Contemporary Gatineau was formed when the provincial government amalgamated five smaller communities in 2002. Today, it has a population of approximately 260,000 in the city itself, but when combined with Ottawa, the metropolitan area is comprised of roughly 1,150,000 people.
Like Ottawa, Gatineau is a government town which contains the workplaces of many civil servants. Many residents travel daily between Ottawa and Gatineau for work, using the various bridges that connect the two cities. Given that it is situated in Québec, Gatineau has a large proportion of French-speaking residents. While 80% of its citizens reported French as being their mother tongue, approximately 63% of the population is bilingual.
Located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Calgary is also the gateway to the Prairies to the east. Calgary is situated 80 kilometers east of the Rocky Mountains, and is a prime destination for winter and summer recreation enthusiasts. Only an hour's drive away is Canada's first and most famous national park, Banff National Park. The Banff Springs Hotel and Chateau Lake Louise are among the best known mountain hotels in the world. World-class ski areas like Lake Louise are often home to World Cup events. Calgary's economic activity has revolved around the petroleum industry, but high-tech and agricultural industries, tourism, warehousing and shipping are also big contributors to the city's growth.
Chinook winds, warm winds that rush down from the mountains, create a distinctive cloud "arch" in the sky, and can raise the temperature from -20 ⁰C to above 20 ⁰C in a matter of hours. "Ch'nooks," as Calgarians call them, can last hours or days. Calgary is Canada's sunniest major city, with over 2400 hours of sunshine spread over 333 days.