Over the last two years, The Spectator compiled demographic information on more than 450 religious institutions — including mosques, temples, churches and non-denominational organizations — across Hamilton. We then cross-referenced this data with information from National Household Surveys administered by Statistics Canada since 1961 to uncover broad trends for religious identification and church attendance in the city.
One of the largest challenges in carrying out this project is that few religious institutions maintained historic records of church attendance (we requested the congregation size 30 years ago and today, as well as information about changes of address, church mergers, major renovations and partnerships). There’s also no independent organization that tracks such information at a local level.
The consequence is that much of our data is self-reported. That means there was no way to independently verify the accuracy of some numbers and events.
On top of that, there were some areas in which institutions either didn’t respond or drew a blank.
If you think you can help fill in some of the missing pieces, please contact: