Data Products & Visualization

At Youthful Cities, we know data is so much more than just numbers. We create a variety of web apps, data visualizations, and interactive data stories to activate the data we work so hard to capture.

Mockups of the Real Affordability Index Scrollytelling site and SettleIn, an app to help refugees learn more about secondary cities in Canada.

What is a data product?

A data product is anything we create to transform raw numbers into something helpful and readily consumable. The possibilities are nearly endless. Some examples include:

  • PDF summaries & infographics
  • Live dashboards
  • Curated maps to display location-based data
  • Apps to help users determine which city is best for them
  • Interactive web-based data stories
  • Data portals

Below are some select products that Youthful Cities has created.


Real Affordability Index

The Real Affordability Index got people talking all across the country. To keep the conversation going, we designed an interactive story with compelling visual elements that change as the user scrolls through. It combines animated graphs, charming illustrations, and hard-hitting facts that take the data to the next level. This style of webpage is referred to as “scrollytelling” because it combines scrolling, one of the major ways we now consume content, with long-format storytelling.


Graph of inflation rates from the Scrollytelling site.
Budget with expenses; screenshot from the Real Affordability Index Scrollytelling site.

Tuition Fees Across Canada

This interactive map shows graduate and undergraduate tuition fees based on the Real Affordability Index 2022. Larger circles indicate higher fees. Explore the map on the Scrollytelling page for a better experience. This map was built using Mapbox and integrates data from

More data products based on the Real Affordability Index:
Screenshots from the SettleIn app


A web app to help refugees settle in secondary cities

Youthful Cities worked with young refugees to determine what kind of information would be most helpful for people who may not know much about Canadian cities outside of Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal. Using the data we collected, we created a simple algorithm to determine what cities might be best for refugees depending on their needs. The app allows users to learn more about any selected city, including basic facts and resources that can help them succeed when they get there.

This beta app was developed in about 3 months from start to finish as a proof of concept. The majority of the app has been translated into Dari.


Screenshot of the "Suggested Cities" screen from SettleIn
Screenshot of the "Quick Facts" section of SettleIn
Screenshot of the map section of SettleIn


Open Data Portal

THE GRID stores all the data Youthful Cities collects in an easy-to-access format. It provides helpful built-in options for data visualization, including a data playground to explore our indexes.

Youthful Cities has partnered with the Tamarack Institute to create a dedicated Communities Building Youth Futures (CBYF) area within THE GRID. We are also in the process of building a data observatory with curated city-specific dashboards.  You can check out the beta version here.

If you would like to add a dataset to THE GRID or are interested in setting up a custom data portal, get in touch with us.

Screenshot of the homepage of THE GRID


Screenshot of the CBYF page on THE GRID
Screenshot of a cost of living dashboard on THE GRID.

Basic Grocery Items Across Canada

This interactive graph is based on the Real Affordability Index 2022 and was created using the THE GRID.