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Crisis Centre

Expert Centre


Precarious employment is a slippery slope that can lead to homelessness. In today’s shifting economic climate, affordable housing is becoming increasingly out of reach for many individuals and young families. An Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences (FSH), Toba Bryant, PhD, is passionate about tackling issues with the greatest community impact, including housing and employment. Her collaborative research with colleagues in the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities (FSSH) explores Pathways Into and Out of Homelessness in Durham Region. The aim is to examine the causes of homelessness, and find ways to improve housing policies, while drawing parallels between affected communities across the country. She is also collaborating with FHS and FHSS colleagues, Unifor Retirees’ Local 222 (Oshawa) and United Way Durham Region on a major community quality-of-life study in Oshawa, Ontario, following the automotive hub’s recent downturn. Her research examines the impact of precarious employment including a lack of job security and benefits on quality of life within the community. She intends to drive government and employer policy and program development to improve job stability and address community concerns for impacted families. A social scientist, Dr. Bryant encourages students to examine the role of social determinants in health outcomes and health policy. Author of Health Policy in Canada, and co-editor of Staying Alive: Critical Perspectives on Health, Illness, and Health Care, she has published book chapters and articles on policy change, housing and health, and women’s health; and serves as General Editor of Women’s Health and Urban Life. Growing up in a political family piqued her interest in public policy; and inspired her focus at university. At the University of Toronto (U of T), Dr. Bryant earned her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Political Science and her Master of Social Work. Early in her career she worked on urban health research and policy projects in the voluntary sector, before pursuing her Doctorate in Social Work at U of T. Before joining UOIT in 2012, Dr. Bryant was an Assistant Professor of Health Studies in the Department of Social Sciences at U of T, and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at York University in Toronto. She held post-doctoral fellowships with the Centre for Research on Inner City Health at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, and the Institute for Health Studies at York University.


General Editor, Women's Health and Urban Life

January 1, 2012

This critical, feminist, and social science, peer-reviewed journal addresses a wide range of topics that directly or indirectly affect both the physical and mental health of girls, teenage and adult women living in urban or urbanizing pockets of the world.

Post-Doctoral Fellow, Centre for Research on Inner City Health at St. Michael’s Hospital

September 1, 2005

Dr. Bryant was awarded a two-year post-doctoral fellowship to address the needs of a diverse, multi-ethnic, marginalized and disadvantaged population across the lifespan, from newborn to the elderly.

Post-Doctoral Fellow, York Institute for Health Research, York University

September 1, 2002

Formerly known as the Institute for Health Studies, this centre strives to mobilize community engaged and policy relevant health equity research across disciplines and around the world. Dr. Bryant's two-year post-doctoral fellowship focused on critical health research and social justice issues.

University of Toronto

PhD - Social Work

University of Toronto

MSW - Social Work

University of Toronto

BA (Honours) - Political Science
  • Job-Related Community Quality of Life in Oshawa

    $34466  | January 1, 2015

    Awarded by: Atkinson Foundation
    Dr. Bryant is the principal investigator on a major quality of life study in Oshawa, Ontario. Her research examines the impact of precarious employment including a lack of job security and benefits on quality of life within the community.

  • Singles at Risk: Issues of Housing and Pathways Out of Homelessness

    $4999  | January 1, 2015

    Awarded by: Region of Durham
    As a co-investigator, Dr. Bryant's research examines the causes of homelessness, and explores ways to improve housing policies, while examining similarities between other affected communities.

  • Needs Assessment for Central Etobicoke

    $3000  | January 1, 2017

    Awarded by: York University Faculty of Health
    Dr. Bryant is a co-investigator of this study to examine the quality of life and determine the needs of a diverse and underserved community in Central Etobicoke; then compare findings to those in Oshawa.


  • Media appearances

    A roof over your head
    The Oshawa Express print

    November 2, 2016

    Housing is something that many of us in Oshawa take for granted. The idea that we can come home to a warm house with a fridge full of food is something that a lot of people see as everyday life. However, for many, it is not. And based on escalating rental prices in Oshawa, more and more people could be seeing this as their new reality.

    How do job prospects affect quality of life in Oshawa? online

    May 30, 2015

    Recent news that General Motors will scrap 1,000 jobs at its Oshawa plant by December is yet another blow to the local employment landscape. There are plenty of statistics about how the latest round of layoffs might impact job numbers.

    UOIT researchers examining link between jobs, health and quality of life
    UOIT News online

    April 27, 2015

    Researchers from two faculties at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) are collaborating on a project examining the correlation between job prospects and quality of life in Oshawa, Ontario. Dr. Toba Bryant, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) is Principal Investigator on the Community Quality of Life in Oshawa project, which will examine employment, health and quality-of-life issues faced by local residents. Dr. Scott Aquanno, Lecturer, Faculty of Social Science and Humanities (FSSH), is also involved in the project.

    Good jobs equal good health: Oshawa forum speakers
    Oshawa This Week print

    April 5, 2015

    Good jobs, precarious jobs and how quality of work determines quality of life were addressed at an Oshawa Good Jobs Forum held at the Regent Theatre April 1.

    FHS researcher co-authors Toronto Star opinion piece on poverty and premature death
    The Toronto Star 

    January 8, 2015

    Dr. Toba Bryant, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), recently published an opinion piece for the Toronto Star on the connection between income level and health.

    Income inequality is killing thousands of Canadians every year
    The Toronto Star print

    November 23, 2014

    The crash of an airliner is a tragic disaster that triggers major investigations and quick action to make sure the same problem doesn’t occur again. As a result, these events are, thankfully, extremely rare. Imagine the response, from industry, government and the public, if a plane crashed every day.

  • Past speaking engagements
    • Reducing Food Insecurity in the Liberal Welfare State: What Can Be Done in the Absence of State Action?

      Toronto, Ontario
      November 18, 2016

      Advancing Food Insecurity Research in Canada, Toronto: PROOF – Research to Identify Policy Options to Reduce Food Insecurity

    • Immigration and the Politics of the Welfare State: A World Tour

      Oslo, Norway
      June 23, 2016

      European Public Health Association Section for Migrant and Ethnic Minority Health: Sixth European Conference on Migrant and Ethnic Minority Health

    • Placing the Social Determinants of Health on the Public Policy Agenda

      Toronto, Ontario
      June 14, 2016

      Canadian Public Health Association Annual Conference

    • Take a Sad Song and Make it Better: Promoting Health Equity Through Political Engagement and Policy Change

      Richmond Hill, Ontario
      June 2, 2015

      Association of Ontario Health Centres Conference: Shift the Conversation: Community Health

    • Relevance of Policy Change Models to Tackle Health Inequalities

      Université du Québec à Montréal, Montréal, Québec
      May 9, 2014

      Social Policy and Health Inequalities, Centre des sciences Pierre-Dansereau

    • Gender Dynamics in Globalization and Health

      University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario
      December 12, 2012

      Globalization and the Health of Canadians Colloquium

    • Economic Globalization and the Social Determinants of Urban Health: European Policy Approaches and Their Implications for Canada

      University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario
      December 12, 2012

      Globalization and the Health of Canadians Colloquium

    • How Can Theories of Public Policy Inform Our Health Promotion Activities?

      Trondheim, Norway
      August 9, 2012

      Health Promotion Research: An International Forum – State of the Art and Directions for the Future

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