City or Suburbs?

"City or Suburbs?" is an interactive infographic that compares Toronto's city demographics to suburban demographics separating areas based on Ontario's regional transit system, Go Transit.

With the dozens of cities surrounding Toronto, choosing where to live is a decision that impacts the amount of time and money spent commuting to and from Toronto. While doing research online, most of the information on Toronto's surrounding cities were separated into different news articles and spreadsheets; making it hard to understand, compare, and gather research on multiple cities. 

This map displays livability, housing, and transit statistics in one screen that helps introduce areas to users by comparing areas that surround Toronto.
Since the population relies on Go Transit to commute to downtown, the map uses stations as anchor points to represent different areas, which will help users identify with a station closest to their (potential) home. 


2017, Information Design


2017 – Merit Award
Advertising and Design Club of Canada Student Awards

2017 – Honourable Mention
"Cineplex Digital Solutions Award for Information Design" RGD Student Awards


Process Work

Visually presenting the distance between the stations and cities was important as distance directly impacted how the information on the map changed.

I created the map and kept the distance to scale by tracing the stations and train lines on Google Maps. From this, I created a grid following the coordinates where each square represented 10km (10km roughly equals to a 10-minute train ride). 

Final Screens

The final map is broken down into three sections: livability, housing, and transit. 
When users interact with the left sidebar, the information changes accordingly. Colour is used to represent the data and the extremes of each category is highlighted in a chart. 


Section One: Livability

How accessible is the area to sidewalks, transportation, and entertainment options? The livability section highlights an area's Walk Score as the walkability of an area would impact if a car is needed to live. This section also includes the population of each area since a higher population often indicates more developed areas. 


Section Two: Housing Costs

How much does it cost to purchase a home in each area? The housing section shows the average price of a home (single family detached) and the average price per square inch. 


Section One: Livability

How do different train stations compare with one another? This section compares the services of different Go Transit stations.  

walk Score Copy 11

Individual Lines

Curious about a specific train line? Users have the opportunity to get a more in-depth look by clicking the train line or station point. 

Final Takeaways

This project challenged me in how I could visually represent statistics in a system that works across multiple categories and different types of information.

Across each category, I wanted to keep the styling and structure of the map consistent to keep it easy for the user to learn how to navigate without instructions. I think that the map is successful by using colour as an element to show how stations are similar and which ones differ.

Though look backing on this project a year later, I think this map could be improved if there was an onboarding process to greet users who are not familiar with the geography of Toronto. I also think giving more context of geography in its relation to the layout of Go Transit stations would help people understand this specific layout.