Vancouver’s Duke of Data and Director of the City Program Andy Yan is interested in all things related to statistics.  Halloween in Metro Vancouver is a fine tradition-younger kids come early, seeing the darkening late afternoons as a signal to start the door to door trek. And think about that-in a big city when else can you disguise yourself, knock on any door, ask for candy, and best yet get it?
But where do those kids go, and what does their  selection of trick and treat places tell about the neighbourhoods? Why are some houses chock full of unserved  chocolate at the end of the evening, while other folks are cleaned out of treats, telling Sylvester the Cat and Minnie Mouse to come back in ten minutes while running out to the local grocery  store for sugary back up?
CBC and Andy Yan asked the  following questions on an online survey:

  • Where do you live?
  • How many trick or treaters did you have Halloween night?
  • What kind of candy were you handing out?
  • How decorated is your house?
  • Did your children trick or treat in your neighbourhood, and if not where did they go and why?

From these questions Andy and CBC Data Specialist Tara Carmen found that kids loved houses that were dressed appropriately for Halloween inviting trick-or-treaters. Douglas Park was in the “1,000-plus club” where some houses had more than 1,200 kids stop by. East Vancouver’s Trinity Street known for great seasonal decorations had houses report over 1,000 Halloween visitors, as did Surrey’s Clayton neighbourhood. The “money spots” places where full size candy bars were being given out were reported in Fairview Slopes, Ash Street in New Westminster and Joffre Avenue in Burnaby.
When asked whether kids stayed in their own neighbourhoods or went to other areas, 75 per cent of the kids stayed close to home. Reasons for going to other neighbourhoods were to meet friends or family. And for the rest of us who are left with piles of kid size candy and few visitors? The advice is clear-decorate your house up, or consider befriending a household in Vancouver’s Douglas Park or on Trinity Street. They could use your candy and your tactical support at answering an ever knocking door.


  1. My kids went out this Halloween. Their first order of business upon return was to separate the spoils between better unhealthy stuff (chocolate bars and chips) and absolute garbage like suckers, chewy sugar, and sugar powders – that junk, about 20%, went straight into the bin – of their own volition. Not worth eating. Junk not worth donating.
    That disturbs me. To think that these “goods” were manufactured and transported; bought by someone; given out to hopeful kids; brought home – to immediately go into the garbage. Variations on a theme of white flour, corn syrup, sugar, natural and artificial flavours. Natural, by the way, doesn’t mean good in these instances. Excrement is natural.
    Meanwhile, the CEOs of these massive venal corporations take home staggeringly large quantities of cash. It’s wrong.
    Or maybe it’s a good lesson for my kids – that adults can be so slimy. Like the way grocery stores line checkout areas with kids’ eye level rubbish. It’s depressing.

  2. My son, after tasting, also threw out Crispy Crunch, Wunderbar, and Oh Henry! bars. Didn’t like that stuff at all. Bit of a shock for me. Would not have dreamed of throwing out these “treats” as a kid. Looking at the ingredients now, I’m gratified by his discernment. He is used to eating the good stuff.
    The two billion dollars candy gorgefest known as Halloween is not going away – there’s so much money in it, but I wonder if there could be labelling that would alert consumers – like a kids thumbs up label for items like Aero bars and Jersey Milk bars. That’s what they want. They are not suckers and don’t want suckers.
    Wonder if Trump’s brood went trick or treating.

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