About The Team

We are a team that brings together the University of Ottawa, the City of Ottawa, local Community Health & Resource Centres, Ottawa Public Health, United Way East Ontario, Champlain Local Health Integration Network, and other community-based partners. Our goal is to better understand the neighbourhoods in which we live, work and play in order to offer evidence about the dimensions that are important for community health and well-being. We also provide the City of Ottawa, health service providers, social service agencies, community organizations and residents with information on neighbourhoods in Ottawa in order to help them to identify what is working well, and where community development is needed.

This project models ways that university, city, and community can collaborate effectively. Our multidisciplinary, multisectoral Steering Committee enables and supports the networking and knowledge exchange needed in this project. The ONS is composed of the following:

ONS Team

Elizabeth Kristjansson (she/her)

Lead Investigator

Glen Cairn – Kanata South Business Park

Dr. Elizabeth (Betsy) Kristjansson is a full Professor in the School of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Ottawa. She is a health measurement expert whose place-based research focuses on the socio-economic determinants of health. Her primary research interest is in systematic reviews on nutrition and food security interventions. Dr. Kristjansson is passionate about working, and sharing the results of her research, with others so that the knowledge can be applied to make a difference in the community. Dr. Kristjansson leads the Ottawa Neighbourhood Study (ONS), a strong intersectoral partnership that has produced one of the world’s largest datasets on contextual and compositional determinants of health, health behaviour, and health outcomes. She is also the lead university investigator on Food for All, a productive community-university research partnership with a focus on Community Food Security. Elizabeth is dedicated to her family. She is also a passionate cyclist, cross-country skier, and nature-lover.

Michael Sawada (he/him)

Principal Investigator

Orleans, North West

Michael Sawada is a full Professor in the Department of Geography and directs the Laboratory for Applied Geomatics and GIS Science (LAGGIS) at the University of Ottawa (www.geomatics.uottawa.ca). In 2005 he received the Julian M. Sciecz award from the Canadian Association of Geographers in recognition of early career accomplishments and the Young Researcher of the Year in 2007 from the Faculty of Arts. Prof. Sawada is a recognized expert in geomatics applications. His research encompasses spatial analysis and GIS applications and has over 15 years of research experience using GIS and optical remote sensing applied to a wide variety of urban, geomorphologic and agricultural questions. He also has considerable experience in development of GIS and spatial statistical software and mobile location-based services. Professor Sawada is member of the Hazard Mitigation and Disaster Management Research Center of the University of Ottawa and his transdisciplinary work has led to the development of new spatial analytical methods that address pressing social and environmental policy issues such as soil erosion and contaminant modeling and transport, disaster mitigation technologies, air quality and population health.

Kady Carr (they/them)



On the ONS team since 2012.  MBA from Telfer School of Management (2021), with certification in Management Consulting and Business Analytics. Has 11 years of experience supporting evidence-based decision making through research and the generation of data insights. Manages ONS team and projects. Facilitates the use of ONS data to community partners and stakeholders. Delivers presentations and workshops on data literacy and the use of ONS data as a tool for neighbourhood needs assessments. Interested in: data science, health equity, social determinants of health, geographical information system (GIS) mapping, data-driven decision making. Contact


José Diyamuga (he/him)

GIS Analyst

José Dimayuga is a GIS analyst at the Ottawa Neighbourhood Study. Some of his research interests include community-based indices, geoprocessing automation, and site suitability analysis. José has several years experience in both the private and public sector, and is currently teaching in the GIS Graduate Certifate program at Algonquin College.

Anzo Nguyen (he/him)

Research Coordinator


Anzo Nguyen is a Research Coordinator at the Ottawa Neighbourhood Study. Having started at ONS as a summer practicum student, he is a graduate of the University of Ottawa with a Master of Public Health. He is experienced in a wide variety of research methods involving statistical analysis, interviews, and data visualization. He applies these skills to better understand the social determinants of health in Ottawa through data analysis, visualization, and dissemination. Anzo is particularly interested in the roles that housing, transportation, and the built environment play on human health.

David Hole (he/him)

Knowledge Broker, Community Liaison

Riverside South – Leitrim

David Hole is the community liaison and knowledge broker for the Ottawa Neighbourhood Study. He has been involved with ONS since shortly after its inception in 2005, initially as a representative of the Coalition of Community Health & Resource Centres but more recently as a consultant. A social worker by profession, throughout his career David has been committed to social change through community development. His interest is finding ways and means for research to be both relevant and empowering to local residents committed to improving their quality of life and the health of their community. David is a graduate of the University of Southampton UK (Politics/Sociology) and Carleton University (Social Work) and worked in England and Jamaica before coming to Canada. He has experience in child welfare, family counselling, services for children with special needs, and within the education sector. After 24 years as Executive Director of South-East Ottawa Community Health Centre he “retired” in 2008 to work as a consultant, play with the grandkids, and travel (mostly in that order).

Varney, Elyse (they/them)

Research Assistant 

Elyse Varney is a student of the University of Ottawa in International Development. As a research assistant with the ONS, they work on data collection and analysis from neighbourhoods across Ottawa. Their work has covered themes of food and nutrition accessibility, access to greenspaces, homelessness and social housing, and early years and child care accessibility within Ottawa. Elyse is passionate about social and environmental issues and data-backed policy development.  

Christopher Belanger (he/him)

Data Scientist
Christopher Belanger is a data scientist, researcher, and policy expert who combines data-driven rigour with qualitative insights. His work and research interests include data science in support of the public good, qualitative investigations into consumers’ and workers’ experiences, and health policy with a focus on digital health and health-system governance.
Chris has five years’ experience in policy advisory roles with the Provincial and Federal governments, received his PhD from the University of Toronto in the Philosophy of Modern Physics, and is currently completing his MBA studies at the University of Ottawa.

Our Partners

City of Ottawa

Ottawa Police Logo

Ottawa Police Service

Ottawa Public Health Logo Santé Publique d'Ottawa OCHPP logo Parent Resource Centre Logo Centre de Ressources pour Parents
Open Data Ottawa Logo Données Ouvertes d'Ottawa Carleton University Logo Université de Carleton  Community Data Program
Coalition of Community Health and Resource Centres of Ottawa Logo- Coalition des Centres de Ressources et de Santé Communautaires d'Ottawa Champlain LHIN Logo RLISS de Champlain University of Ottawa Logo l'Université d'Ottawa
Ottawa Public Library Logo Bibliothèque d'Ottawa Federation of Citizens' Association of OttawaCA logo Fédération des associations civiques d'Ottawa Ottawa Insights Logo
Age Friendly Ottawa Logo Ottawa ville-amie des aînésThe Council on Aging of Ottawa Logo Le Conseil sur le vieillissement d'Ottawa Social Planning Council of Ottawa Logo Le Conseil de Planification Sociale d'Ottawa

Social Planning Council of Ottawa

Ottawa Food Bank Logo La Banque d'Alimentation d'Ottawa