Grey Bruce is a vibrant community with stunning natural beauty, clean air and sparkling water. The area is rich in history and heritage; before European contact, the area now known as the Bruce Peninsula was inhabited by the Saugeen Ojibway Nations including the present-day Chippewas of Nawash, and the Saugeen First Nation.1 Natural resources were integral to the development and expansion of trade and commerce in the area, and today’s economy remains largely based on agriculture. In addition, with the discovery of the area as a holiday destination in the 1920s, tourism has become increasingly important. The proximity to Georgian Bay, Lake Huron, and other geographic features, such as the Niagara Escarpment, offers a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities for residents and visitors.
The Grey Bruce population totals 161,977 people living in the two upper tier municipalities of Grey and Bruce counties, which are themselves comprised of 17 lower tier municipalities, and two First Nation reserves located in Bruce County.2 There are many Indigenous peoples (First Nations, Métis, Inuit) living in communities throughout Grey Bruce, including the two First Nation Reserves. There are also several Mennonite and Amish communities. The entire population of Grey Bruce resides either in rural areas or small population centres. Our population is older than that of Ontario, and growing at a slower rate.
As residents of Grey Bruce, we feel a strong sense of belonging to the community and rate our overall health as very good. Yet some indicators of health, such as heavy drinking and injuries, reveal that we are not doing as well as the province of Ontario. To understand the health of our community, we must recognize the enormous impact of where people live, learn, work and play on their health and wellbeing. We know that higher social and economic status is associated with better health, and that, on average, the most vulnerable members of a population will experience an excess of negative health outcomes. The healthiest populations are those in societies that are not only prosperous, but that share their prosperity equitably.3 The more we see our health in this all-inclusive way, the more opportunities we have to improve the health of our entire community.
- Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre. (2010). Through the Arches of the Years. Retrieved January 4, 2010, from http://www.brucemuseum.ca/archives-and-research/bruce-county-history/#hide
- Statistics Canada. 2017. Various Geographies. Census Profile. 2016 Census. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 98-316-X2016001. Ottawa. Retrieved May 5, from http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2016/dp-pd/prof/index.cfm?Lang=E
- Public Health Agency of Canada. (n.d.). What Makes Canadians Healthy or Unhealthy? Retrieved May 14, 2014, from http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/ph-sp/determinants/determinants-eng.php#income