Mapping Toronto’s dogs

We’ve wound up a nice integrated broadcast/digital package on dog ownership in Toronto. It was based, mostly, on a version of the dog licence database showing the breed and name of the dog and the first three characters of the postal code of the owner. I’ve done this sort of thing before, but never thought to ask for the names. Having asked for the data before makes it possible to do time-based comparisons this time around.

The digital components were:

  • How dog names differ between breeds (they do, a lot)
  • Maps of nine different breeds by postal code, showing how patterns change across the city
  • Top breeds and trends (compared to 2008 data). This is about as close as I ever get to a trends story – I even used the phrase ‘who’s hot, who’s not,’ just because I could
  • A look at the vexed subject of Ontario’s pit bull ban and whether it worked in cutting dog bites. At least in Toronto, where we had bite data by breed of dog and year and also data on how the numbers of pit bulls, Staffs and so forth have dropped over the last few years, the answer seems to be clearly yes. This is not what I was expecting, but it is what the data shows.
  • We’ve also open-sourced the data (thanks, BuzzData!) so feel free to create your own projects with it.
  • Global Toronto reporter Laura Zilke did three TV pieces based on the data, which aired Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

    Cross-posted from

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