Toronto Public Health (TPH) is responsible for assessing the health of Toronto’s population by measuring, monitoring, and reporting health determinants and risks, health outcomes and related health inequities.

The Rapid Risk Factor Surveillance System (RRFSS) supports this mandate by providing timely, local data on the health of Toronto residents. The RRFSS is a voluntary telephone survey that includes questions about chronic diseases, nutrition, physical activity, tobacco use and other health issues.

In 2016, a random sample of about 2,400 Toronto residents 18 years and older were included. In 2017, about 1,800 Torontonians were interviewed. In 2018, about 1,800 will be included in the survey.

RRFS is conducted by the Institute for Social Research (ISR) at York University on behalf of TPH and other areas of Ontario. ISR has extensive expertise in survey research.

Toronto Public Health delivers health promotion and disease prevention services, and develops policies to keep Toronto healthy. Timely and local data on the health of Toronto’s adult population is needed to effectively plan, monitor and evaluate our efforts.

A scientific process is used to select a random sample of telephone numbers within Toronto. Surveyors from the Institute for Social Research (ISR) at York University will then send letters to those selected households seeking their participation in the survey.  An ISR surveyor will phone that household and ask to interview the household member who is at least 18 years of age with the next birthday. This helps to ensure that the sample is random and reflects the entire population of Toronto.

All data is stored securely and only a limited number of TPH researchers will have access. No identifying information is ever attached to the survey answers. The results are grouped and reported in such a way that no individual respondent can be identified.

The survey takes about 15 to 20 minutes to complete. If an interviewer calls at an inconvenient time, an appointment can be made for a day and time that is better for you.

Respondents may refuse to answer any question and/or exit the survey at any time. Just let the interviewer know.