Vital Signs 2020

About the Vital Signs

Vital Signs is a community check-up conducted by community foundations across Canada that measures the vitality of our communities and identifies significant trends in a range of areas critical to quality of life. Vital Signs is coordinated nationally by Community Foundations of Canada and with special thanks to the Toronto Foundation for developing and sharing the Vital Signs concept.

Front page VSThe 2020 Vital Signs of Greater Montréal: 2000-2019 in Review

Read the short version of the 2020 Vital Signs report.

Read the complete version of the 2020 Vital Signs report.

Download the summary fact sheet

Watch the launch webcast with the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal

Read Yvan Gauthier's speech during the webcast

Read Yvan Gauthier's open letter, published in La Presse
(in French)

Watch the overview of the report's process and findings with Institut Mallet (in French)

As part of a series of initiatives coinciding with its 20th anniversary, the Foundation of Greater Montréal (FGM) presents a special edition in the Vital Signs of Greater Montréal series of reports. As a community foundation, FGM plays a role that goes beyond just promoting philanthropy; it also has a duty to inform, to unify, and to encourage collective action in our community. By publishing the Vital Signs, FGM brings forward its own contribution to public debate, and to the search for solutions, with regard to the challenges that Greater Montréal will have to take up today and in the future.

As was the case when we published the previous Vital Signs report in 2017, the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) are the matrix through which the report was created. The SDG framework, a positive, inspiring, and comprehensive program for human development, is also the North Star that guides FGM in its commitment to the community and in giving support to its donors.

What, then, does the picture look like when we use the SDGs to assess Greater Montréal’s current situation? Using the targets set in the SDG framework, we can certainly say that the metropolitan region has been economically vibrant over the last few years. The stagnation of the first decade of the 21st century has given way to vigorous economic growth and a significant drop in the unemployment rate. This is an impressive turnaround, proof of the diversity and dynamism of businesses in the metropolitan region. Unfortunately, this transformation has not benefited other vital sectors of our society; we see that major problems persist. Indeed, Montréal is, for example, the capital of child poverty in Quebec, and levels of food insecurity are higher here than anywhere else in the province. Despite substantial efforts, social exclusion, high numbers of young people dropping out of school, and mental health issues are still part of the landscape in Greater Montréal today. In all of these areas, we absolutely need a major shift in our way of doing things, so that we can build a community that is sustainable and resilient, as healthy socially as it is economically.

So as to offer as wide a perspective as possible on these issues, we have divided this year’s report into two parts. In the first part, you will not only discover how Montréal stands now in relation to the SDGs, but also how the city has evolved with regard to these barometers over the last two decades. There are limits to what the available data can tell us, but nonetheless, this longitudinal survey will help you take the measure of the successes and challenges that have marked the start of this 21st century in Greater Montréal. In the second part, we have asked several individuals who will be the leaders of tomorrow to lay out their vision of what Greater Montréal could be in 2030. Working in a multitude of sectors, these individuals will be at the forefront of the Decade of Action, a United Nations initiative that is meant to carry us through to the SDG deadline in 10 years. Through the missions their organizations pursue, and the projects they are bringing to fruition, these leaders will help us see what the Greater Montréal of tomorrow could look like.

I would like to thank the Institut du Québec, which was responsible for researching and writing this report. A thank you also goes to the Fondation Lucie et André Chagnon for its support for this initiative, and to the members of the Vital Signs strategic committee for giving of their time, their expertise, and their advice.

I hope this publication will be of use to anyone seeking to get a clearer picture of the health of our community. I hope that it will stimulate discussion, and serve as a tool to drive even stronger engagement by all to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Yvan Gauthier
President and CEO