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(Moe Doiron/The Globe and Mail)
(Moe Doiron/The Globe and Mail)

Website seeks louder voice for citizens' opinions Add to ...

A new website is aiming to put Torontonians’ opinions about city services at the fingertips of citizens and civic leaders.

What Toronto Said is an interactive site based on the responses of more than 8,800 Toronto residents to an online survey conducted earlier this year as part of the city’s review of core services.

Local Web developer Brian Gilham said he created the site – which goes live Tuesday – in order to provide a “louder voice” for the opinions of citizens.

“I wanted to create a site to allow people to see what their neighbours are saying,” said the 25-year-old, who lives in the Yonge and Sheppard area.

The site does just that, letting users plug in the first half of their postal code to see responses from their area to the survey’s open-ended questions. Users also can search by subject or can click through to see the demographic profile of each respondent.

Mr. Gilham, who says he is not a member of a political party or interest group, decided to create the site in his spare time as a way to promote open data from governments. If members of the public do not use data such as the survey results, there will be less incentive for them to be made public, he argued.

“There is a kind of bargain that happens,” he said. “If no one is using data, why go through the effort of making it public? I’m hoping to encourage the city to keep releasing data in this way.”

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