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Community Foundation of Nova Scotia Allison Kouzovnikov Executive Director Wolfville Community Fund (WCF) Richard Groot Chair Macha MacKay Chair Public Relations Ron Stuart Chair Fundraising Ann Anderson Executive Secretary Nancy Brister Andrew Waterbury Erin Hennessey Kathy Reid

Vital Signs Sounding Board Aldara Carvajal Andrew Fry Bill Zimmerman Clarice Muntz Brian MacKenzie Brogan Anderson Gwen Phillips Janet Roberts John MacKay Kathy Schofield Lisa McKenzie Maggie Kenny Margot Bishop Peter Gillis Peter Herbin Tim Moore Vital Signs Project Team Lisanne Turner Project Manager Shannon MacLean Project Support

Contents Our Approach | 2 Report Highlights | 3

Indicators Getting Started & Belonging | 5 Economy | 9 Getting Around | 13 Housing | 15 Health & Wellness | 16 Learning | 18 Arts and Recreation | 21 Safety | 23 Environment | 24

Endnotes | 26 Acknowledgements & Contributors | 27

Vital Signs is an annual community check-up conducted by community foundations across Canada that measures the vitality of our communities, identifies significant trends, and assigns grades in at least ten areas critical to quality of life. Wolfville’s Vital Signs is an initiative of the Wolfville Community Fund in partnership with the Community Foundation of Nova Scotia and is coordinated nationally by Community Foundations of Canada. Our goal is to use Vital Signs to identify what the people of Wolfville are most concerned about; what we are doing well and where we need to improve. The answers to these questions should, in turn, tell us where we should put our energy if we want to ensure our community is as socially and economically prosperous as it can be.

Community Engagement Goals  Highlight areas of need to encourage further dialogue and response from citizens, institutions, public leaders and charitable organizations  Encourage cross-sector, holistic thinking on the overall vitality of our community and provide a push for cross-sector initiatives  Build community capacity through shared knowledge and understanding Sounding Board 16 representatives from the community provided advice and recommendations to ensure that Wolfville’s Vital Signs report is relevant to Wolfville. Index of Grading Very good: stay the course Good: but some improvements could be made

Our Approach There were two main challenges to the production of this Vital Signs report: Community Participation First, how do we make the report a community report – one with broad input that reflects the community’s perspective on the relevance of the issues and indicators to Wolfville? Then, once all the data has been gathered, how do we get the community’s feedback on what that data tells us about our quality of life here in Wolfville? To ensure that a variety of opinions shaped the Issues and Indicators addressed in this report, the Wolfville Community Fund decided to rely on a group of people from all walks of life: men, women, young and old, newcomer and old timer, materially secure and insecure, private sector and public sector, etc., collectively known as our Sounding Board. These individuals have in common a deep knowledge of, and passion for, our community. We presented them with a draft of Issue Areas and Indicators which they commented upon in terms of relevance to Wolfville. Their comments shaped the final set of Indicators. Then we began to collect and analyze the data and write a report for each Issue Area. Once the data collection was complete, we mailed postcards to the entire Town, inviting everyone to attend a “Wolfville’s Report Card” event. This event was also promoted in local newspapers and through various email lists. Approximately 80 citizens participated. The grades given that night form part of this report and are identified by the number of chimney swifts (our popular local birds) located next to each indicator. Community Data The second challenge we faced was the data collection. The Community Foundations of Canada and the Centre for the Study of Living Standards supplied us with data from Statistics Canada and other national sources. However, as Wolfville has such a small population, data for the Town was not always available and we had to find other sources of information. For instance, local economic data tends to be collected on the basis of the Annapolis Valley Economic Region. This contains about 124,500 people and Wolfville represents only about 3% of that total. In addition, Wolfville has several economic characteristics that set it apart from the rest of the Valley which means that we could not reduce the data from the Valley to Wolfville on the basis of population alone. Similarly, health-related data is recorded on the basis of health regions and districts. So, for several indicators, we provide the Valley numbers, which give some indication, but do not directly reflect Wolfville. Hence the report has many strengths, but also some methodological weaknesses that could not be avoided, but will be explored in future Vital Signs Projects.

Poor: substantial additional work is required Fail: immediate action is crucial



Introduction & Report Highlights This is Wolfville’s Vital Signs Report, a factual story to add to the many that form the mythology of a small town. Wolfville has 3,772 permanent residents and expands to over 6,000 during Acadia University’s academic year. The town lies at the Eastern part of the Annapolis Valley on the shore of Minas Basin – an arm of the Bay of Fundy where, twice a day, 11-18 meter tides move an amount of water that equals the daily discharge of all the major rivers of the world together. On the inland side, the town is dominated by the classical white main building of Acadia University – towering about the same 18 meters above Main Street at the apex of a beautiful lawn. In the national media, Wolfville has been declared one of the top three best small towns to live in Canada, or better still “it is cute as a button”. Citizens of Wolfville gracefully acknowledge those accolades. We are Canada’s first Fair Trade town and the first town to have a by-law that forbids smoking in cars when children are present. In 2004, we made the local and national news with our mysterious stick people, a wonderful form of street art, now succeeded by “Uncommon Common Art”. To top it off, our slogan is “Wonderful Welcoming Wolfville”. This can be a siren’s song because the saying here goes: “Visit a day, stay a week and come back for a lifetime”, which is exactly what many do. Our Vital Signs project gives the Wolfville Community Fund (WCF) an opportunity to go beyond the mystique and find out what citizens really think of our town. How do our perceptions measure up to reality? What are the people of Wolfville most concerned about? What are we doing well and where do we need to improve? Where should we put our energy if we want to ensure our community is as socially and economically prosperous as it can be? What should we be doing better to share a high quality of life with more of our fellow citizens? Through the Vital Signs process, we believe that we have succeeded in bringing a more factual perspective to the things we are doing and the services the Wolfville community provides and enjoys. These include, for example, Kings Transit and the Valley Regional Hospital that are based in Kentville, but provide services to the Annapolis Valley. Wolfville is blessed with a vibrant cultural life of music, drama, the visual arts and a variety of theatre and music festivals. We have 5 live stages and a classical repertoire movie theatre. We also have terrific sports facilities including an indoor swimming pool. We have good bookshops, a very busy public library and Acadia’s Lifelong Learning (ALL) program. All of this is largely due to the close association of the town with Acadia University. Wolfville has a rich tradition of volunteerism. It is also a vocal community with many concerns, such as the public transportation system (it costs too much, we have to wait too long, there are too many transfers and not enough bus shelters). Despite these complaints, our research has established that King’s Transit is used a quarter of a million times a year on an hourly service between Wolfville and Greenwood. This area has an approximate population of 36,766. That’s not a bad record in a culture that is wedded to the automobile. But yes, it can also be improved, and now we know there are 250,000 reasons to do so.



All is not well within our community. Our economic growth rate between 2001 and 2006 was 1.9%, which is far below the national (9%) and provincial (7.5%) levels, while Wolfville’s unemployment rate in 2006 (9.4%) exceeded both the provincial (9.1%) and the national (6.6%) levels. In 2006, the overall poverty rate in Wolfville, as measured by the Low Income Measure (LIM), was 26.4%, which exceeded both the provincial (23.3%) and national (21.3%) levels. Women and children appear to bear the brunt of this: the child (18 years and under) pre-tax poverty rate (based on the Low Income Cut Off Index) was 20.7% in Wolfville. This is about 25% higher than the provincial (16.6%) and national (17.7%) rates. In addition, the difference in the median income (2006) of males ($ 33,723) and females ($ 17,235) is alarming, with males making 1.96 times the income of their female counterparts. In 2001 this factor was 1.91. In essence we are a one-industry town, which relies on Acadia University for about 68% of its total economic activity. During the age of sail, Wolfville’s other economy was shipping and shipbuilding. These parts of our economy have gone and they have not been replaced by significant others. To reduce the economic dependence on the university, new vision and initiatives need to be created. We must build on the knowledge resources of Acadia and maximize the opportunities offered by green technology, localization, globalization, web technology, and the attractiveness of our town. This will bring new businesses whose owners and employees want to live in this magical place with its incredible geography and cultural environment. As you browse through the report you’ll find statistics and stories which converge and evolve into a picture of a town where the human dimension in our daily interactions continues to trump other considerations; where it is considered impolite to pass someone on the street without exchanging some words of greeting, a little bit of gossip, and discuss the latest in local politics. And yes, where you can still safely cross the streets without having to possess serious athletic capabilities. But the economic inequality that has been so clearly identified in this report is well hidden from our daily lives and sufficiently disturbing that it warrants more in depth analysis and public attention. I asked a visiting friend, after her 5th visit, if she could sum up Wolfville in 5 words. Her answer: Food, knowledge, wine, culture and the bay. That is what Wolfville is all about for many people. But increasing the quality of life in this town goes beyond this to a reduction in the identified inequalities. The challenge is: how can we use Wolfville’s obvious assets to reduce the inequalities identified in this report and thus increase the quality of life in this town for everyone. Richard Groot, Wolfville Community Fund Chair

WOLFVILLE AT A GLANCE… Pop. 3772 Median age 41.2 1,685 households


Getting Started and Belonging What do newcomers need to know about getting started in Wolfville?

Access to primary health care

In 2008, 74.4% of the population aged 12 years and over in the Annapolis Valley Health Region1 (which includes Wolfville) reported a strong or somewhat strong sense of community belonging. This is 14.5% higher than the national level (65.0%) and just slightly higher than the provincial level (73.3%).

Sixteen general practitioners are registered to practice in Wolfville. There are four practicing pediatricians available in Kings County (all located in Kentville).

Source: Statistics Canada (Cansim)

From April 1, 2008 to March 31, 2009, the Eastern Kings Memorial Community Health Centre was accessed 28,376 times. In 2007, there were 17.3 active physicians per 10,000 in the Annapolis Valley District Health Region1. Sources: College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia (, Canadian Institute for Health Information – Health Indicator Reports, Annapolis Valley Health

Child care facilities

Recreation and sport facilities There are approximately 15 recreation and/or sport facilities in Wolfville. These range from outdoor fields to a competition-sized indoor swimming pool to a skateboard park. In 2006, 45% of the Annapolis Valley Economic Region reported that they used a recreation facility, compared to 41% of Nova Scotia. Source: Canadian Council of Learning based on data from Statistics Canada, Survey of Household Spending


There are six child care facilities in Wolfville. These facilities serve approximately 150 children from the ages of 2 months to 12 years. There are waiting lists for most facilities, and, at the last update, there was one vacancy overall.

In 2006, 6.9% of the population of Wolfville (250 persons) had lived outside the province during the previous year, compared to 2.1% for Nova Scotia and 1.9% for Canada. During the previous 5 years, 18.4% of the population had lived outside the province.

There are approximately 440 children under the age of 14 living in Wolfville. Of these, 143 of them are under the age of 5.

Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Community Profiles

Source: Child Care Connection NS (, Statistics Canada Census 2006 Community Profile

5 4

Sense of belonging

There are two primary health care facilities available in Wolfville: Mud Creek Medical Co-op and Eastern Kings Memorial Community Health Centre. There is also a clinic on the Acadia University campus that serves students, faculty and staff. The Valley Regional Hospital is also available in Kentville.

Getting Started and Belonging Proportion of taxpayers making charitable donations The proportion of taxpayers that declared charitable donations in Wolfville in 2007 was 24.9%, which is slightly above both the national (24.0%) and provincial (23.0%) rates. The number of citizens making charitable donations in Wolfville has decreased from 25.2% in 2001. Source: Statistics Canada, Small Area and Administrative Data Division According to the Wolfville Community Fund’s Local Living Survey3, almost all respondents (95.0%) give to charity and nearly half of those that do (48.7%) typically give between $100 and $999 annually, followed by 27.7% who give less than $100, 21% who give between $1,000 and $9,999 and 2.5% who give more than $10,000 annually. A majority of respondents (67.8%) give to local charities, while roughly a third of respondents give to provincial, national and international charities.

Volunteer Involvement The Wolfville Community Fund’s Local Living Survey3 also explored local volunteer involvement. Approximately 75% of respondents to that survey indicated that non-profit groups are important to the community while about 71% of respondents indicated that they are members of local community organizations. Of those respondents who are members of community organizations, about 30% are members of one organization, while about 20% are members of two organizations, about 25% are members of 3 organizations and another 25% are members of 4 or more organizations. Of the respondents who are active in community organizations, 60% of those spend more than 4 hours a month volunteering their time with those groups while approximately 30% spend 2-4 hours per month and about 10% spend less than 2 hours per month. According to the 2007 National Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating, the volunteer rate in Nova Scotia was 55.3%. This is an increase from 48% in 2004. Sources: Wolfville Community Fund’s Local Living Survey3 (2009), National Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating 2004, 2007 (

Source: Wolfville Community Fund’s Local Living Survey3


Getting Started and Belonging Principal employers Employer Acadia University Wolfville Nursing Homes Annapolis Valley District Health Authority (Eastern Kings Memorial Community Health Centre) Wolfville School Landmark East School

Approximate # of employees 575 90 80

60 35

Sources: Human Resources Development Canada (, Acadia University, Landmark East School (, Wolfville School (,, EKMCHC

Voter turnout Federal electoral districts (also known as ridings) are constituencies that elect Members of Parliament to Canada's House of Commons every election. Provincial ridings are constituencies that elect Members of the Legislative Assembly to Nova Scotia's House of Assembly every election. The Provincial ridings may have names similar to the Federal ridings with different geographic boundaries, as in Kings South. Federal Election There are eleven federal electoral districts or ridings in Nova Scotia. Wolfville is located in the federal riding of Kings- Hants which represents approximately 81,531 people (2006) who live in the East Hants and West Hants districts, and the towns of Kentville, Windsor, and Wolfville. Voter turnout for the 2008 Federal Election in the Kings-Hants electoral riding was 58.6%. This turnout was approximately equal to the national average (58.8%), but lower than the provincial average (60.3%). The Kings-Hants turnout in 2008 was about 10% lower than the turnout for the 2006 election (65.2%). Provincial Election There are fifty-two provincial ridings in Nova Scotia. Wolfville is located in the provincial riding of Kings South. Not including advance polls, voter turnout at Wolfville polling stations for the 2006 provincial election in Kings South was 49.1%. This turnout is about 15% lower than the total turnout (57.7%) of the Kings South riding, and about 18% lower than the total turnout for the province (59.9%). Sources: Elections Canada, Elections Nova Scotia



Getting Started and Belonging Places of worship In 2001, 77.4% of the total reporting population (4,053 people) in Wolfville identified with some religion while 22.6% cited they had no religion. There are approximately 10 official places of worship in Wolfville. These places include Christian-based churches and facilities that can be used for multi-faith and multi-denominational worship (i.e. Manning Memorial Chapel). Source: Nova Scotia Community Counts web page - data modeled from Statistics Canada, Census of Population, 2001

Visible Minorities In 2006, 7.5% of the Wolfville population was classified as a visible minority. This is higher than the provincial proportion (4.2%) and lower than the national proportion (16.2%). The visible minority proportion of the population was 6.2% in 1996 and 3.7% in 2001. Source: Statistics Canada, Census 1996, 2001, 2006

Business bankruptcies In the Annapolis Valley Economic Region2, (which includes Wolfville) there were 2.9 business bankruptcies per 1000 businesses in 2008, down from 19.1 in 1997. The rate was higher than the national rate (2.6) and equal to the provincial rate (2.9). Source: Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada

Did you know…  Nova Scotia’s House of Assembly is the oldest in Canada, having first sat in 1758, and in 1848 was the site of the first responsible government in the colonies of the British Empire.

Vital Action  Vote!

 Take advantage of free workshops through the Valley  The Manning Memorial Chapel on Acadia’s campus Volunteer Coalition and find can be used for multi-faith purposes! There is a out how you can give back to multipurpose space below the traditional chapel your community! area. Just call the Chaplain to arrange a booking – 585-1203


Economy What is Wolfville's current economic situation? Industry diversity by gender

Unemployment rate

Wolfville – 2006 (most common industries) Industry

Male % of labour force 7.0 6.5 11.5 20.5 5.2 9.8

Public administration Professional, scientific and technical services Retail trade Educational services Health care and social assistance Accommodation and food services

Female % of labour force 1.4 6.2 14.2 21.7 18.1 11.6

Source: Nova Scotia Community Counts web page - data modeled from Statistics Canada, Census of Population, 2006

Median and average income9 Average income (per individual) Total Male Female

Median Income (per individual) Total Male Female



$27,140 $36,498 $19,535

$33,934 $46,988 $23,945



$17,243 $26,303 $13,777

$22,003 $33,723 $17,235

% change +25.0% +28.7% +22.6%

% change +27.6% +28.2% +25.1%

Source: Community Counts – data modeled from Statistics Canada, census of population

Employment growth rate In 2006, Wolfville had an employment level4 of 1,635 people. This represented an increase from the 2001 employment level (1,605 people). The national level and provincial levels also increased over the same period. The employment growth rate for Wolfville between 2001-2006 was 1.9%, less than both the national (9%) and provincial (7.5%) rates. Source: Census 2001 & 2006, Community Profile


In 2006, the unemployment rate in Wolfville was 9.4%. This was lower than the 2001 rate (11.6%) but higher than both the national (6.6%) and provincial (9.1%) levels. Source: Statistics Canada, census 2001 and 2006, Community Profiles

Overall poverty rate In 2006, the overall poverty rate in Wolfville, based on the LIM (Low Income Measure)5, was 26.4%, down from 27.6% in 2000. However, the 2006 figure was higher than the provincial average (23.3%) and higher than the national average (21.3%). Source: Statistics Canada, Small area administrative data

Poverty rate for persons aged 65 and over In 2006, the pre-tax poverty rate in Wolfville (based on the LIM)5 for persons aged 65 and over was 14.1%. This is the lowest the rate has been since 2000 (it peaked at 16.5% in 2004). Wolfville’s rate is lower than the provincial rate (15.6%) but higher than the national rate (13.5%). Source: Statistics Canada. Small Area Administrative Data

Child poverty rate In 2005, the child (18 years and under) pre-tax poverty rate in Wolfville (based on the Low Income Cut Off)6 was 20.7%. This is approximately 25% higher than the provincial rate (16.6%) and approximately 17% higher than the national (17.7%) rate for 2005. Source: Statistics Canada, Census 2006

Economy Use of food bank The Wolfville Area Food Bank has recently experienced a 40% increase in its activity: In 2007 (February to December), the Wolfville Area Food Bank was accessed 477 times compared to 669 times during the same period in 2008. This is in contrast to the provincial trend which has seen Food Bank usage decline: in March 2007, food banks in the entire province of Nova Scotia assisted 18,417 people compared to 16,915 in March 2008, a decline of 8.2%. Source: Wolfville Area Food Bank


It must be noted that the Visitor Information Centre was not open in April of 2005, and there was a kiosk in Grand Pre from 2004-2007, and the Grand Pre figures are included below. Year (April –Dec) 2005 2006 2007 2008

# of visitors 14,565 13,378 13,832 10,239

Between 2005 and 2008, approximately 52,014 people visited the Wolfville Visitor Information Centre. Source: Wolfville Visitor Information Centre


Where does Wolfville shop?


The Wolfville Community Fund’s Local Living Survey3 explored where residents in Wolfville shop for grocery and non-grocery items. Grocery Shopping Survey respondents tend to shop in one of two places for their groceries: Wolfville (50.3%) or New Minas (46.8%), while the remaining 3% tend to shop for groceries elsewhere in the Annapolis Valley (2.2%), or in Halifax (0.7%). In keeping with the trend above, there was a roughly equal split between those who shop most frequently at large supermarket chains like Sobeys or Atlantic Superstore, which are found in New Minas (36.6%), and at a locally-owned grocery store like Save Easy11 (35.4%), which is found in Wolfville. This was followed by farmer’s markets, or other areas where shoppers can buy direct from producers (16.8%), while equally smaller groups (5.6%) indicated they grocery shop most frequently at cooperatives or small specialty shops. Other Shopping (e.g., clothes, shoes, home/personal needs, gifts) In terms of other types of shopping, respondents to the Local Living survey indicated that they tend to shop in one of three places: New Minas (35.2%), Wolfville (32.4%), or Halifax (24.3%). The remaining respondents indicated that they tend to shop either elsewhere in the Annapolis Valley (4.4%) or elsewhere in Nova Scotia (3.7%). In addition, respondents tend to shop most often at either big box stores like Wal-Mart or Zellers (27%), or at second-hand or consignment stores like Frenchy’s (27%). This was followed by shopping at local independent retailers (18%), directly from producers (15%) and smaller chain stores (13%). Source: Wolfville Community Fund’s Local Living Survey (2009)3


Economy Composition of workforce by gender Labour Force Activity for Wolfville – males 25 yrs and older 2001 - # 2001 - % Total Reporting In the labour force Employed Unemployed Not in the labour force

2006 - #

2006 - %





















Unemployment rate



Labour Force Activity for Wolfville – females 25 years and over 2001 - # 2001 - % 2006 - # Total Reporting In the labour force Employed Unemployed Not in the labour force

2006 - %





















Unemployment rate



Source: Nova Scotia Community Counts web page - data modeled from Statistics Canada, Census of Population, 2001, 2006

Source: Nova Scotia Community Counts web page - data modeled from Statistics Canada, Census of Population, 1991, 1996, 2001, 2006

Vital Action  Support local producers and business owners!

Did you know…

The Wolfville Farmers' Market has created a "Buy Local Challenge", where participants make individual commitments to buy locally. Four seasonal workshops were hosted to help participants live locally throughout the year.


Getting Around How do we get from here to there?

Access to and use of public transportation Kings Transit: Kings Transit is a public transit system operating in the Annapolis Valley and Hants County. Ridership on the Wolfville-Greenwood route, which serves a population of about 36,766, is increasing with a total ridership of 266,625 in 2007 compared to 275,753 in 2008. Adult fare is $3.50 per ride to any location. Kings Para-Transit: Kings Para-Transit is a charitable organization which provides point-topoint transportation for Kings County residents with disabilities; seniors, and others in need. It too is experiencing an increase in its total ridership: 8,621 in 2007 compared to 9,036 in 2008 Fare is based on distance traveled, and starts at $6.50 for 0-7 km. Sources: Kings Transit and Kings Para-Transit


Getting Around Access to Halifax international

Transportation for disabled


and seniors

Acadian Lines bus: $22.60 (adult) Acadian Lines runs to and from the Halifax Airport twice a day, every day. Limousine service: $110 (economy) Taxi: $120

Kings Para-Transit – services persons with disabilities, seniors and others in need. Service: Kings County (east of Kingston to the Hants border) Fleet: 2 wheelchair accessible minibuses, 1 wheelchair accessible minivan, 2 regular minivans for physically able clients. Kings Transit – all buses are accessible. Some are kneeling buses and others have lifts. All have designated wheelchair seating.

Sources: Acadian Lines, Woods Limousine, CJ’s Taxi

Streets with sidewalks Of the 82 streets in Wolfville, 33 (40%) have at least partial sidewalks on at least one side of the street.

Sources: Kings Transit and Kings Para-Transit

Source: Town of Wolfville

Did you know? Although it is not officially designated as a bikeway, the main thoroughfare in Wolfville is bicycle-friendly.

Vital Action  Make use of Kings Transit’s bike racks and explore parts of the Valley you have yet to see…for $7 return!  Volunteer as a driver with Kings ParaTransit Society!


Housing How much does housing cost in Wolfville?

Housing for seniors

Average housing sales price (Annapolis Valley)

In 2006, there were 760 people aged 65 and over living in Wolfville.

According to the Annapolis Valley Real Estate Board’s MLS (Multiple Listing Service) system, 116 home sales were recorded in the Annapolis Valley region in April 2009. These sales totaled $19 million, which reflects an average price of $163,793 per home. This is a 17% decline from the previous year. Source: The Burnside News

There are approximately 55 independent living apartments earmarked for seniors in Wolfville. These are managed by the Annapolis Valley Housing Authority which provides low-income housing. There is an application process and a waiting list of 6 months to 2 years. Source: Annapolis Valley Housing Authority

Average housing sales price (Wolfville) The average housing price in Wolfville, between July 2008 and July 2009, for a single family dwelling, was $229,600. Source: Annapolis Valley Real Estate Board

Low rent housing There are 7 low rental family units in Wolfville (where rent is based on a percentage of income) and 9 subsidized units in a Wolfville Court facility. Source: Annapolis Valley Housing Authority

Vital Action  Sign up to help build houses with Halifax Habitat for Humanity at


Affordable Housing According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the cost of adequate shelter should not exceed 30% of household income. Housing which costs less than this is considered affordable. In 2006, of 1,675 households in Wolfville, 1,100 of them (65.7%) spent less than 30% of their income on housing costs. While 575 (34.3%) spent 30% or more of their income on housing costs. Source: Statistics Canada, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Did you know… 

Along with other great resources, features a "Housing" section with property and rental listings, as well as information for buyers and sellers.

Health and Wellness How healthy are we? Hospital discharges for those 19 years and younger In 2009, 13 youth aged 19 and under from Wolfville were discharged from the Valley Regional Hospital. This is lower than the number for 2007 (15 youth). Source: Annapolis Valley Health

Teen pregnancies

Incidence of obesity In 2008, the obesity rate for the population aged 18 and over in the Annapolis Valley District Health Region1, (which includes Wolfville) was 22.7%, which is higher than the national average (17.2%) and lower than the provincial average (24.8%). The rate was up from 2007 (19%). Source: Canadian Community Health Survey

The teen pregnancy rate in Wolfville is very low: fewer than 5 annually for the years 2004 – 2008. Sources: Reproductive Care Program Nova Scotia

Access to teen health centres The Red Door is a non profit organization which provides confidential access to clinical services, counseling, health education, and workshops to youth from 13-30. It is located in Kentville.

Incidence of low birth weight The proportion of newborn babies who were of low birth weight in the Annapolis Valley District Health Region1, was 7.2% in 2005-2006, up from 2004-2005 (5.6%). The 2005-2006 rate was higher than both the provincial and national rate (both 6.1%). Source: Canadian Institute for Health Information

Source: The Red Door (

Smoking rates Smoking rates are on the decline with 23% of the Annapolis Valley District Health Region1 population aged 12 and older identifying as current smokers in 2008, compared to 24.5% in 2007. Yet, we still have work to do as the 2008 rate is above the national rate (21.4%) and just below the provincial rate (23.5%). Source: Canadian Community Health Survey


Health and Wellness Mental health In 2007, 69.6% of respondents in the Annapolis Valley District Health Region1 rated their mental health status as “excellent” or “very good.” This represented a decrease from 2005 (71%). By comparison, the proportion of respondents rating their own mental health as "excellent" or "very good" in 2007 was 71.4% in Nova Scotia and 72.7% Canadawide.

Physical activity About half of us are physically active: The physical activity rate for the Annapolis Valley District Health Region1 (50.2%) is roughly at par with provincial (48.4%) and national rates (50.6%) collected in 2008. There has been a 10% decrease in reported activity compared to 2007 (55.6%). The 2008 figure represents a 10% decrease. Source: Canadian Community Health Survey

Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Community Health Survey

Wait times for surgery In the Annapolis Valley District Health Region, as of the last data period (March 31, 2009), the following percentage of patients who required a procedure received the following surgeries within the specified number of days: 7 days Hip replacements Cataract extractions Tissue shifts for malignancy Mastectomies Groin hernia repairs

15 days

30 days

60 days 5%

180 days


540 days 91%


50% 5%

360 days

100% 81%



Source: Government of Nova Scotia (

Did you know… 


EKM Community Health Centre facilitates groups such as the Nicotine Addiction Treatment Group and the Addiction Discussion Group, and is a part of the Nova Scotia Telehealth Network, where patients can connect with health care providers through video conferencing.

Vital Action  Take advantage of Wolfville’s Millennium Trail. It stretches from Cherry Lane to the Reservoir!  Get involved with the Eastern Kings Community Health Board – 542-1244

Learning Public library use There are two libraries in Wolfville - the Annapolis Valley Regional Library and the Acadia University Vaughan Memorial Library. Library use is on the rise: 6.0 items per capita were circulated through the Annapolis Valley Regional Library, which includes Wolfville, in 2007, up from 5.6 items in 2006 and 5.2 items in 2000. Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Public Library Statistics

Acadia Lifelong Learning membership The Acadia Lifelong Learning (ALL) Centre was established in 2000 as a way of sharing the intellectual and cultural resources of Acadia University with the growing population of senior adults in the Wolfville area. Membership to this program has been increasing each year over the past three years: 300 in 2007, 326 in 2008 and 354 in 2009. Source: Open Acadia

Literacy score The average adult literacy score7 for prose in the Annapolis Valley economic region, which includes Wolfville, was 272 in 2003. This score was lower than the provincial average (277) and equal to the national average (272).

High school non-completion rates Wolfville has an exceptional high school completion rate. Less than 13% of the population had not completed high school in 2006. This is significantly lower than the national (23.8%) and provincial (26.8%) rates, as well as the rate for the Annapolis Valley Economic Region (29.0%). The aboriginal high school completion rate for those aged 15 and over in Wolfville was 100% in 2006 (the total reported Aboriginal population 15 years and older is 40 individuals). Clearly this was much higher than the national and provincial rates of 56.3% and 63.6%, respectively. Source: Statistics Canada, census 2001 and 2006

Canadian Council on Learning composite learning index The Composite Learning Index (CLI) is an annual measure of Canada’s progress in lifelong learning. It is based on statistical indicators that reflect the many ways Canadians learn, whether in school, in the home, at work or within the community. In 2009, Wolfville’s Composite Learning Index (CLI) score was 71, down from 79 in 2008. The 2009 score was lower than the national score (75) and equal to the Nova Scotia score (71). Source: Canadian Council on Learning (CCL)

Source: Canadian Council on Learning, based on International Adult Literacy and Skills Survey 2003

Adult education In 2008, 383 people were enrolled in at least one program with the Valley Community Learning Association (VCLA), a nonprofit organization that helps adults achieve their personal learning goals in Kings and Annapolis counties. Approximately 280 of these (73%) were new to the program, and of that 280, 26 or 9% were from Wolfville. VCLA also ran a corrections project8 that served people from the Wolfville/Gaspereau area. On average, VCLA works with 40-50 people from Wolfville per year in their programs. Source: Valley Community Learning Association

Proportion of the population with post-secondary education Wolfville is a highly educated town with 63.5% of its population having completed postsecondary education (university degree, post-secondary certificate or diploma) in 2006. This rate is about 25% higher than the national (50.7%) and provincial (50.4%) averages. Source: Statistics Canada, Census 2006


Learning Landmark East School enrolment and tuition 2001-2009 Landmark East School is a private co-ed international school for students diagnosed with learning disabilities in grades 6 through 12. In 2001-2002, the school had 66 students. This is higher than the 2008-2009 enrolment (41 students). Since 2001, enrolment peaked in 2002-2003, with 76 registered students. Landmark East School Tuition (2001-2002) MIDDLE SCHOOL



Tuition and Boarding fees (7d/wk)



Tuition and Boarding fees (5d/wk)


Tuition fee only (day students)


HIGH SCHOOL Tuition and Boarding fees (7d/wk)


Tuition and Boarding fees (5d/wk)


Tuition fee only (day students)


Source: Landmark East School



Learning Acadia University enrolment and tuition (20012009) Acadia University is a predominantly undergraduate university with a total enrolment of 3,952 students representing some 50 different countries in 2008-2009. Acadia University had a total enrolment of 4543 students in 2001-2002. This is higher than the 2008-2009 enrolment (3952 students). Since 2001, enrolment peaked in 2003-2004, with 5143 registered students. Canadian full-time tuition for Acadia University was $6182 in 2001-2002. Its tuition is typically higher than the average Canadian university ($8,062 compared to the Canadian average of $4,347 in 20062007). For the 2008-2009 school year, Acadia’s tuition was $6,652. Source: Acadia University, Statistics Canada – The Daily

Did you know…  

Vital Action

From 2004-2006, Landmark East School hosted students from 12 different countries. nd

Horton High School ranked 22 (with a final grade of B-) out of 55 Nova th Scotia high schools in the 7 AIMS High School Report Card. It had the th second highest ranking for a Valley high school (Middleton was 7 ) and rd was followed closely by Central Kings Rural High School at 23 . For the full report card, visit

 Get a library card  Join Acadia Lifelong Learning  Become a tutor


Arts and Recreation How do we spend our leisure time? Public participation in community events

Employment related to arts, culture, recreation and sport

According to the Centre for Rural Sustainability Household Survey10, in 2007, the top three events attended by respondents in Wolfville were the Farmer’s Market (70%), the Cinema (53%) and live entertainment (51%). Close to 40% of respondents said they attended local community events one to three times a month.

In 2006, of the 2,087 people in Wolfville that reported in all industries of the labour force, 62 (3%) worked in information and cultural industries, while 48 (2.3%) worked in arts, entertainment and recreation industries.

Source: Centre for Rural Sustainability Household Survey10

Household spending on cultural events In 2006, 24.2% of households in the Annapolis Valley Economic Region2 reported they paid dues for social clubs and other organizations. This is higher than both the national (18.7%) and provincial (20.0%) rates. Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Council of Learning, based on data from the Survey of Household Spending


Source: Community Counts – data modeled from Statistics Canada, census of population

Arts and Recreation Contribution of the Town of Wolfville to culture and recreation The Town of Wolfville has increased both its Recreation Services Budget and its Cultural Services Budget each year over the past five years. The 2009-2010 Recreation Services Budget is up about 86% from its 2005-2006 level ($276,101 vs. $148,400) while the Cultural Services Budget is up about 33% for the same time period ($160,439 vs. $120,300). The Recreation Services Budget represents about 3.89% of the Town’s total budget in 2009-2010, up from 2.20% in 2005-2006. The Cultural Services Budget represents about 2.26% of the Town’s budget in 2009-2010, up from 1.78% in 2005-2006.

Budget year

Recreation Services Budget

Recreation Services Budget (% of total budget)

Cultural Services Budget

Cultural Services Budget (% of total budget)

Total Budget


$ 276,101


$ 160,439


$ 7,091,487


$ 281,076


$ 161,015


$ 7,081,967


$ 201,350


$ 152,000


$ 6,964,732


$ 156,390


$ 129,300


$ 6,503,670


$ 148,400


$ 120,300


$ 6,740,211

Source: Town of Wolfville

Did you know… During the summer of 2009, the Wolfville Memorial Library hosted a podcast camp, where teens learned to create podcasts. These "C@pcasts" became live internet radio! The Gunn Baldursson Memorial Soccer Tournament brings thousands of visitors to the town every July

Vital Action  Check out the Fundy Film Society’s features and special presentations –  Express your creativity at the Clayground! Paint pottery, design a bear or book a party – 542-2169


Safety Fire protection The Wolfville Volunteer Fire Department responds to an average of 185 emergencies and has an average of 40-42 volunteer members per year. The Department has seven pieces of apparatus: 2- 1500 igpm pumpers 1- 2500 igal tanker 1- light rescue 1- 1250 igpm Heavy Rescue Pumper 1- 85’ ladder tower 1- Hazardous Materials response tower

Perception of safety According to the 2007 Centre for Rural Sustainability Wolfville Household Living survey10, 77% of respondents felt reasonably or very safe walking alone after dark in their neighbourhood, 17% felt somewhat or very unsafe and 7% did not walk alone after dark in their neighbourhoods. Source: Centre for Rural Sustainability Wolfville Household Survey10

Source: Wolfville Volunteer Fire Department

Crime January – December 2007 and 2008 Offence Impaired driving Drugs Traffic Offences Disturbing the peace Sexual assaults Assaults Property crimes Break and enters Property damage Total calls for service

2007 (# of offences) 35 16 689 31 5 59 195 50 127 3362

2008 (# of offences) 30 17 1278 29 8 65 196 69 93 3968

Change -5 +1 +589 -2 +3 +6 +1 +19 -34 +606

Source: Wolfville RCMP Advisory

Did you know… The Wolfville Fire Department gives annual fire prevention presentations to schools and seniors' complexes in the area.

Vital Action  Become involved in your local neighbourhood watch through Kings County Neighbourhood Watch – call 538-3374 for more information  Volunteer with the Wolfville Fire Department


Environment How green is my Valley?

Number of households that have had an energy evaluation According to the Centre for Rural Sustainability Wolfville Household Survey10, just over half of respondents own energy efficient home appliances (i.e. refrigerators, dishwashers, microwaves, washing machines, etc.) while another 12% have had their homes audited for energy efficiency. Source: Centre for Rural Sustainability Wolfville Household Survey10

Number of kilowatt hours of electricity used (per household per year) According to the Centre for Rural Sustainability Wolfville Household Survey10, the average electricity consumption per year was 10,640 kilowatt hours (KWH), with a maximum report of 34,514 kilowatt hours. Source: Centre Rural Sustainability Wolfville Household Survey10

Air quality According to Environment Canada’s Air Quality Health Index, the average daily air quality in Kentville for eight days between July 22 and August 4 was 1.8, which is considered a low risk rating. Source: Environment Canada (

Water quality The Town of Wolfville Water Utility presents annual reports to the Nova Scotia Department of Environment on drinking water supplies. The water is checked regularly (in accordance with Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines) for chlorine residual, pH levels and various organic and in-organic materials. As of April 2008, all drinking water parameters met the Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines. Source: Town of Wolfville Water Utility


Environment Public, open spaces Public, open spaces (631,932 sq. metres) make up 9.74% of the total town area (6,672,828 sq. metres). Source: Town of Wolfville

Waste management Valley Waste Resource Management statistics 2008-2009 (Municipalities of Annapolis, Kings, Berwick, Bridgetown, Hantsport, Kentville, Middleton and Wolfville) Waste: 20,000 tonnes (17% decrease from 2007-2008) Recyclables: 6,300 tonnes (14% increase from 2007-2008) Organics: 9,900 tonnes (18% increase from 2007-2008) Source: Valley Waste Resource Management

Did you know… You can save hundreds of dollars each year by turning off lights, TVs and computers when they’re not in use, lowering thermostat settings when away and washing clothes in cold water. In an effort to reduce food waste and water use, Acadia University’s Wheelock Dining Hall has eliminated the use of meal trays. .


Vital Action  Check out Nova Scotia Power’s advice on energy efficiency for your home:  Take part in a gardening workshop at the Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens and learn how to work with native plants!

Endnotes 1. Annapolis Valley District Health Region (Zone 2): In 2006, Wolfville (population 3,772) was 4.6% of the Annapolis Valley District Health Region (population 81,473). 2. Annapolis Valley Economic Region: In 2006, Wolfville (population 3,772) was 3.0% of the Annapolis Valley Economic Region (population 124,574). 3. Wolfville Community Fund Local Living Survey:  Conducted in July, 2009 to determine the buying, shopping and giving habits of the citizens of Wolfville  129 respondents completed the survey  Please visit the Wolfville Community Fund website for the full survey report 4. Employment level: Persons who, during the week (Sunday to Saturday) prior to Census Day (May 16, 2006): a. did any work at all for pay or in self-employment or without pay in a family farm, business or professional practice b. were absent from their job or business, with or without pay, for the entire week because of a vacation, an illness, a labour dispute at their place of work, or any other reason. (Statistics Canada) 5. LIM: Low Income Measures (LIMs) are a relative measure of low income. LIMs a fixed percentage (50%) of adjusted median family income where adjusted indicates a consideration of family needs. The family size adjustment used in calculating the Low Income Measures reflects the precept that family needs increase with family size. A census family is considered to be low income when their income is below the Low Income Measure for their family type and size. 6. LICO: Income levels at which families or persons not in economic families spend 20% more than average of their before tax income on food, shelter and clothing. 7. Literacy Score: The 2003 International Adult Literacy and Skills Survey (IALSS) tested more than 23,000 Canadians on their proficiency in four domains: prose literacy, document literacy, numeracy and problem-solving. Proficiency was rated on the basis of levels one to five, that is, lowest to highest. The 2003 IALSS conceptualized proficiency along a continuum that denoted how well adults use information to function in society and the economy. The IALSS did not measure the absence of competence. Rather it measured knowledge and skills in the four domains across a range of abilities. 8. Corrections Project: This VCLA project works with individuals who have been involved with the criminal justice system. Among its programming are literacy upgrading and development of employment skills. 9. Average/median income: An average income is figured by selecting a group of people, adding up their incomes, then dividing this number by the total number of people in the group. A median is also known as the 50th percentile. Exactly 50% of people make less than the median and 50% make more. 10. Centre for Rural Sustainability Wolfville Household Survey:  conducted in 2007  379 respondents  For more information, please visit the Town of Wolfville website 11. Although Save Easy is a Loblaws franchise, the Wolfville Save Easy is locally-owned.


Acknowledgements THANK YOU!



Community Foundations of Canada

Valley Waste Resource Management

Photo and Image Credits:

The Community Foundation of Nova Scotia

The Advertiser

Ron Stuart – front cover, pgs. 8, 10, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 26

Town of Wolfville

Valley Community Learning Association

Macha MacKay – pgs. 4, 7, 9, 12, 15, 24

Wolfville Business Development Corporation

Waste Check

Colin Buhariwalla – pgs. 3, 4, 6, 12, 24, 25

Business Alliance for Local Living Economies – Nova Scotia

Wolfville Area Inter-Church Council

Richard Groot – pgs. 7, 8, 15, 19, 21, 23

Open Acadia

Lisanne Turner – pgs. 14, 19, 27

Kings County Adult School

Town of Wolfville – back cover, pgs. 5, 7, 11, 16, 22, 23

Acadia Centre for Small Business and Entrepreneurship

Kings Transit – pg. 14

Crossbow International The Coffee News

Landmark East School

Aged to Perfection Magazine

Manning Memorial Chapel

Kings Transit

Annapolis Valley Health

Wolfville Area Food Bank

Wolfville Farmers’ Market

Kings Para-Transit Society

Deep Roots Music Festival

The Grapevine

l’Arche Homefires

Kings RDA

Annapolis Valley Housing Authority

Centre for Rural Sustainability

Annapolis Valley Real Estate Board

AVH Addictions Services

Nova Scotia Association of Realtors

Acadia University Accounts

Wolfville and Area Lions Club

Acadia University Registrar’s Office

Bill O’Brien

Acadia University Human Resources

Dr. Michael Rudd

Vaughan Memorial Library

Peter Little

Eastern Kings Memorial Community Health Centre

Mary MacLeod

B&B Printing Inkspot

Kings Para-Transit – pg. 13

Editors: Scott Campbell Andrew Sharpe Centre for the Study of Living Standards Allison Kouzovnikov

A special thank you to everyone at Public Works for their daily support!



Community Foundation of Nova Scotia

Le Caveau Restaurant

Town of Wolfville

Burnt Out Solutions

Wolfville Business Development Corporation

Macha MacKay

Vital Signs is a community check-up conducted by community foundations across Canada that measures the vitality of our communities, identifies significant trends, and shares opportunities for action in at least ten areas critical to quality of life. Vital Signs is coordinated nationally by Community Foundations of Canada.

The Vital Signs trademark is used with permission from Community Foundations of Canada.


Wolfville Community Fund Phone 902-542-6125 Email /wolfville_vitalsigns.html

Wolfville, N.S. - 2009  
Wolfville, N.S. - 2009