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DIVIDED CITY: Life in Canada’s Child Poverty Capital

2016 Toronto Child and Family Poverty Report Card

DIVIDED CITY:

Life in Canada’s Child Poverty Capital

2016 Toronto Child and Family Poverty Report Card

November 2016

1


DIVIDED CITY: Life in Canada’s Child Poverty Capital

2016 Toronto Child and Family Poverty Report Card

Acknowledgements

This report was researched and written by a working group that included:

Michael Polanyi

Community Development and Prevention Program,

Children’s Aid Society of Toronto

Jessica Mustachi

Family Service Toronto (Ontario Campaign 2000)

michael kerr

Colour of Poverty – Colour of Change

Sean Meagher

Social Planning Toronto

Research and data analysis support provided by the City of Toronto is gratefully

acknowledged. Financial support was provided by the Children’s Aid Society

of Toronto and the Children’s Aid Foundation. Design support was provided

by Peter Grecco. We thank Ann Fitzpatrick, Said Dirie, Sharon Parsaud and

Beth Wilson for their assistance with, and review of, the report. Data and mapping

support for the transit section of the report from Steve Farber and Jeff Allen,

Department of Human Geography, University of Toronto, Scarborough,

is gratefully acknowledged. Data support for housing provided by Scott Leon,

Wellesley Institute.

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DIVIDED CITY: Life in Canada’s Child Poverty Capital

2016 Toronto Child and Family Poverty Report Card

Contents

Executive Summary 4

1. Introduction 6

2. Unequal Child and Family Incomes 8

3. Unequal Educational and Recreational Opportunities 14

4. Unequal Access to Housing 18

5. Unequal Access to Food and Nutrition 21

6. Unequal Access to Transit 23

7. Conclusions 27

APPENDIX A: City of Toronto Neighbourhoods 29

Notes 30

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DIVIDED CITY: Life in Canada’s Child Poverty Capital

2016 Toronto Child and Family Poverty Report Card

Executive Summary

Purpose of Report:

• This report draws from new data to update the 2014 report, The Hidden

Epidemic: A Report on Child and Family Poverty in Toronto. 1 It is the result of a

collaboration between CAS of Toronto, Family Service Toronto, Social Planning

Toronto, and Colour of Poverty – Colour of Change.

• It describes the level – and unequal distribution – of poverty and deprivation

among children and families in Toronto, and explores how living in poverty

affects access to housing, food, recreation, education and transit.

• By monitoring and reporting on poverty in Toronto, we hope this report will

encourage the government of Toronto, with support from provincial and federal

governments, to renew and fulfil its commitment to reduce and eliminate child

and family poverty in our city.

Key Findings:

• Toronto continues to be the child poverty capital of Canada: it has the highest

rate of low-income children among large urban centres 2 (26.8%).

• There were 10,000 fewer Toronto children living in low-income families in 2014

compared to 2013; however, 133,000 children continue to live in poverty.

• Toronto is a deeply divided city in terms of the living conditions and life

opportunities for children and youth.

• Families with members who are racialized, newcomers, or living with

disabilities, or families led by a single parent, are much more likely

to be living on low incomes compared with all other families.

• Recreation and early learning participation levels of Toronto children are highly

dependent on family income: half of children in families with annual incomes

under $30,000 do not regularly participate in out-of-school arts or sports

programs (in contrast, only 7% of children in families with incomes over

$100,000 don’t participate in these programs).

• Children in families with incomes in the lowest quintile 3 are almost twice as

likely as children in families with the highest quintile of incomes (17% vs 9%)

to have two or more vulnerabilities related to physical development (such as fine

and gross motor skills, energy levels, independence and daily living skills) when

entering Kindergarten.

• Children in schools with families in the top quartile 4 of incomes are 1.5 to

2 times more likely to meet or exceed Grade 3 provincial standards for reading,

writing and math (compared to children in schools in the lowest-income

quartile).

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DIVIDED CITY: Life in Canada’s Child Poverty Capital

2016 Toronto Child and Family Poverty Report Card

• One-third of families with children under age 18 in Toronto are living in

unaffordable housing, and 27% of families with children age 12 or under are

living in housing that is unaffordable, overcrowded, or in poor state of repair.

• There has been a 48% increase in food bank use in Toronto’s inner suburbs since

2008, and children across Toronto appear to be at increased risk of going hungry.

• Toronto transit users pay the highest proportion of local transit costs of any

Canadian city, lack income-based fare reductions, and – especially in ethnoracially

diverse suburban neighbourhoods – lack equitable access to service.

Key Recommendations

• City Council should honour its commitment to reduce and eliminate poverty

and deprivation in Toronto. It should adhere to the work plan of its poverty

reduction strategy, ensure that the strategy is shaped by people with experience

of poverty, and put in place clear short- and longer-term progress targets

for ensuring fair and equitable access to adequate incomes, housing, transit,

child care, food and other supports.

• To reduce child and family poverty, it is imperative that the City address its

ongoing fiscal shortfall, which puts city services and programs at ongoing risk

of cut-backs and prevents adequate investment to improve access to services.

To achieve this, the City must approve and implement a financial plan that

includes fair and adequate revenue generation (taxation) and sustainable

spending that is focused on improving the lives of children, adults and families

most in need.

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DIVIDED CITY: Life in Canada’s Child Poverty Capital

2016 Toronto Child and Family Poverty Report Card

1. Introduction

Two years ago, our organizations released The Hidden

Epidemic: A Report on Child and Family Poverty in

Toronto, which documented the high level of child and

family poverty in the City of Toronto and the widespread

lack of access by children to decent housing, food,

recreation and learning opportunities.

The Hidden Epidemic – and its depiction of widespread

child poverty in a wealthy city – made headlines across

the country.

In response to the report, newly elected Mayor John Tory

issued a call to action to address poverty. He said, “None

of us can rest easy. We can’t put our heads down on the

pillow at night and go to sleep, knowing that 150,000

Toronto kids are growing up in poverty.” 6

City Council heeded his call, and in November, 2015,

approved the city’s first-ever poverty reduction strategy

(TO Prosperity). 7

We believe The Hidden Epidemic struck a chord, in part,

because it showed that our city is failing to uphold a key

Canadian value: that people of all backgrounds should

have a fair chance to succeed in life.

If ever there was

a wakeup call,

this would be it.

Mayor-elect John Tory, in response to

The Hidden Epidemic: A Report on Child and

Family Poverty in Toronto, November, 2014. 5

This new report constitutes our first comprehensive update of The Hidden Epidemic.

It reflects our ongoing commitment to monitor the level of poverty among children

and families in Toronto, which we consider to be crucial given the importance

of adequate income to the health and development – and success – of children. 8

Drawing from newly released (Statistics Canada) tax filer income data, as well as

other local and national data, we describe the level and distribution of child poverty

in Toronto. We also explore how low-income children are faring in terms of

accessing essentials like housing, food, social and recreational opportunities

and transit (the key action areas of TO Prosperity).

As a whole, this report shows that Toronto is a deeply divided city with continuing

and unacceptably high levels of child and family poverty and deprivation.

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DIVIDED CITY: Life in Canada’s Child Poverty Capital

2016 Toronto Child and Family Poverty Report Card

Indeed, more than half of children in some (mostly ethno-racially diverse)

neighbourhoods lack access to basics such as an adequate family income,

affordable housing, decent transit, recreational opportunities, and licensed

child care – supports children need to survive and flourish.

This cannot be allowed to continue.

The Hidden Epidemic helped spark the city’s first poverty reduction strategy.

We hope that this report will spur a renewed commitment by Mayor Tory and

City Council (with the support of the provincial and federal governments) to move

forward with Toronto’s poverty reduction strategy. This will require bold targets

and timelines to reduce poverty and to make the needed investments to ensure that

all children and families have access to the services, infrastructure and supports they

need to thrive and succeed.

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DIVIDED CITY: Life in Canada’s Child Poverty Capital

2016 Toronto Child and Family Poverty Report Card

2. Unequal Child and Family Incomes

Toronto remains the child poverty capital of Canada. Based on the newest

available tax filer data, it continues to have the highest percentage of children living

in low-income families among large urban centres across Canada, at 26.8%

(Figure 1).

Figure 1: Percentage of Children Age 0-17 Living Below the Low-Income Measure

After Tax (LIM-AT) in Large Canadian Urban Areas (>500,000 residents), 2014

Toronto

Montréal

Winnipeg

Hamilton

20.6%

Greater Vancouver

19.3%

Peel

19.2%

Ottawa

16.0%

Edmonton

15.9%

Waterloo

14.8%

Durham

14.5%

York

14.4%

Calgary

13.3%

Halton

10.0%

Québec City

9.6%

Source: City of Toronto, Statistics Canada, T1 Family File (T1FF), 2014.

26.8%

25.5%

24.1%

However, for the first time since 2010, there was a drop in the overall number

of Toronto children living in low-income families, with the percentage of children

(under 18) living below the Low-Income Measure After Tax (LIM-AT) falling

slightly from 28.6% in 2013 to 26.8% in 2014 (Figure 2). The absolute number

of low-income children fell from 143,700 in 2013 to 133,500 in 2014. 9

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DIVIDED CITY: Life in Canada’s Child Poverty Capital

2016 Toronto Child and Family Poverty Report Card

Figure 2: Number and Percentage of Children in Toronto Living Below the Low-Income Measure After Tax (LIM-AT), 1997-2014

180,000

160,000

140,000

120,000

100,000

80,000

60,000

40,000

20,000

0

28% 27% 28% 29% 29% 29% 31% 32% 31% 30% 29% 29% 29% 27% 28% 29% 29% 27%

1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014

Source: City of Toronto, Statistics Canada, T1 Family File (T1FF), 1997-2014.

35%

30%

25%

20%

15%

10%

5%

0%

Toronto, despite its significant wealth, 10 also retains the alarming distinction of

having the highest low-income rate amongst its overall population (21.8%), and

among working-age adults (23.1%). The rate of poverty amongst seniors has

increased slightly in Toronto, and is the fifth highest amongst large urban areas

in Canada, after Peel, York, Vancouver and Montreal.

The overall population (all ages) in Toronto living below the LIM-AT also dropped

slightly from 22.6% in 2013 to 21.8% in 2014. Children under 18 continue to be

the age group in Toronto most likely to live in poverty (Figure 3).

Figure 3: Percentage of Toronto residents living below Low-Income Measure After Tax

(LIM-AT), by Age, 2014

All age groups

21.8%

Children (Age 0-17)

26.8%

Adults (Age 18-64)

23.1%

Seniors (Age 65+)

10.6%

Source: City of Toronto, Statistics Canada, T1 Family File (T1FF), 2014.

While the slight decline in low-income rates is welcome, the continued, stark

divide in family incomes – and opportunities and experiences – across Toronto

neighbourhoods is deeply troubling.

For instance, while there are relatively few children living in low-income families

in some Toronto neighbourhoods, in other neighbourhoods child low-income rates

remain at epidemic levels.

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DIVIDED CITY: Life in Canada’s Child Poverty Capital

2016 Toronto Child and Family Poverty Report Card

Specifically, less than 5% of children live in low-income families in Leaside-

Bennington (4.2%), Lawrence Park South (4.4%) and Lawrence Park North (4.6%).

On the other hand, more than half of children are living on low incomes in Regent

Park (58.1%) and Thorncliffe Park (52.4%) (Figure 4). All told, over 40% of

children in 14 Toronto neighbourhoods – mostly in the inner city or in the diverse

inner suburbs – are living in low-income families.

In general, neighbourhood levels of child and family poverty have not changed

greatly (Figure 5). However, significant 5-year declines in low-income rates did

take place in some neighbourhoods, such as the downtown east neighbourhoods of

Blake-Jones and South Riverdale (12.7 and 9.6 percentage point drops). The largest

5-year increase in the child and family low-income rate was observed in the diverse

north-west neighbourhood of Elms-Old Rexdale (a 9 percentage point increase).

The stark inequality in family incomes in different neighbourhoods closely

mirrors the neighbourhood hierarchy in the City of Toronto’s “Neighbourhood

Equity Scores”, released in 2014, which rank neighbourhoods’ social, economic,

and physical conditions. 11

All told, over 40%

of children in

14 Toronto

neighbourhoods –

mostly in the inner

city or in diverse

inner suburbs –

are living in

low-income

families.

Figure 4: Percentage of Children Age 0-17 Under Low-Income Measure After Tax Living in each of Toronto’s

140 Neighbourhoods, 2014

38

27

32

33

44

29 31 27

27

32

19

19

40 32 28

27

29

24

31

33

34

31

32

19

12

25

27

15

39

16

18

17

28

39

10

42 23

5

37

28 28

7 15

23

26

35

4

37 41 22 16

10

23

24

20

6

44

15

9 13

21 11 8

4 52

32

29 21

11

16

13

15

25

16

5 6

9 25

24

23

16

15

17

10 12

23

21 14 16 46

13

23 10 33

13

18 19 20 41 49 29

46

58

24

15

34

25

22 25

11

22

28

17

32

29

27

29

32

28 29

15

42

50

19

17

7

N

33

30

38

30

33

37

24

36

44

13

33

38

22

4% – 12%

13% – 21%

22% – 30%

31% – 40%

41% – 58%

12

0 1 2 3 4

Km

Source: Statistics Canada, 2014 T1FF Family File Table 18,

Community Data Program; City of Toronto, Social Policy Analysis & Research.

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DIVIDED CITY: Life in Canada’s Child Poverty Capital

2016 Toronto Child and Family Poverty Report Card

Figure 5: Change in Percentage of Low-Income Measure After Tax Rate for Children Age 0-17 Between 2009 and 2014

1.6

4.9

-2.6 -1.1 -7.8 -0.9

3.3

-1.1

-7.2

-8.3

0.7 -0.3

0.2

-2.5 1.8

-4.5 2.2

-3.8

-1.4

-0.5

-2.9

-1.4

9

-1.8

-2.3

-0.9

-1.9

-5.9

-2.5

-2.3

4.3 -0.3

-1.3

2.5

-6.9 -2.2

-1.1 -3.8

-2.5

0.4

-1.9

-4.6

2.6 1 -2.6 -3.1

-2.3

0.1

-0.6 -2.2 2.1

-6.4 -5.2

-3.7 -1.5

-2.2

-5.6

1

-1.5

0.6

-1.2 0.7

-2 -1

1.1

-2.6

-1.4

-3.9 -6.7

-4.4 -2.7

3.5

-1.8

-1.4 -6.8

3.1

-3.7

-3.5 -1.1

-1.5

-2.1

-1.9

-4.2

-2.7

-6.3

5.9

-7.5 -8 -4.8 -1

5.2

-3.4 -12.7

2.8

-2.9

1.7

-5.1

-4.5

-8.9

1.3 -3.9 -4.4 -4.1 -6.4

-5.7

-3.7

-7.1 -9.6

-3.1

-7.3 -4.3

-2.6

-2.3

-3.7

-1.7

N

-1.4

0.4

-4.7

-3.2

0.3

-0.9

0.8 3.9

-8.7

-1.3

1.4

3.4

-2.4

1.5

-1.8

0.7

1.5

-1.4

-0.7

-2.1

-2.6

3.4

1.6

0.5

-3.9

-12.7% – -6.3%

-6.2% – -3.1%

-3% – -0.5%

-0.4% – 2.6%

2.7% – 9%

0 1 2 3 4

Km

Children in the

Source: Statistics Canada, 2009 & 2014 T1FF Family File Table 18,

Community Data Program; City of Toronto, Social Policy Analysis & Research.

Neighbourhood-level income inequality also reflects the racial inequities in our

city. Racialized 12 individuals and families are more likely to live in inner suburban

neighbourhoods where housing is somewhat more affordable, but where

neighbourhoods – according to the City’s equity index – tend to have higher

unemployment rates, lower educational success rates and less desirable physical

environments (for example, lack of meeting spaces and green space, and a less

walkable environment).

Indeed, children in the city’s ten most “linguistically diverse” neighbourhoods 13

(e.g., Flemingdon Park, Don Valley Village, Newtonbrook West) experience lowincome

rates almost four times higher than children living in the city’s least diverse

neighbourhoods (e.g., Beaches, Leaside-Bennington, Lawrence Park South).

city’s ten most

“linguistically

diverse”

neighbourhoods

income rates almost

four times higher

than children living

in the city’s

least diverse

neighbourhoods.

11


DIVIDED CITY: Life in Canada’s Child Poverty Capital

2016 Toronto Child and Family Poverty Report Card

Figure 6 shows further that racialization, immigration status – and also the presence

of a disability or lone-parent family structure – increases the likelihood of living in

low income.

Figure 6: Family Low-Income Rates (LIM-AT) by Sub-Category, 2010

61.5%

52.0%

54.7%

47.1%

33.1%

14.4%

25.2%

8.3%

Couple family with

no children under 18

9.8%

23.5%

19.0%

Couple family with

children under 18

18.0%

Lone-parent family

with children under 18

17.1%

The total percentage

of economic families below

the Low-Income Measure

(After Tax)

At least one family member is from a visible minority group

At least one family member immigrated from 2006-2011

At least one family member reported difficulty with daily activities

All economic families

Source: National Household Survey - Statistics Canada, 2011, Custom Tabulation access through the Community Data Program.

For example, lone-parent families with children are more than twice as likely to

have a low income compared to two-parent families (about one in five families in

Toronto is a lone-parent family, the vast majority led by a female parent).

Moreover, children in newcomer families, families with a member from a racialized

group, and families with a member who has difficulty with daily activities are all

more likely to be living on low incomes.

As reported in The Hidden Epidemic, indigenous people – in Toronto and across

Canada – are also are disproportionately affected by poverty. However, it is widely

agreed that the National Household Survey understates the level of indigenous

poverty due to low and skewed response rates. Recently, Toronto’s Indigenous

Health Advisory Circle conducted a “Health Counts” survey of which an interim

analysis found that 90% of indigenous people in Toronto are living below the

Low Income Cut Off (before taxes). 14

12


DIVIDED CITY: Life in Canada’s Child Poverty Capital

2016 Toronto Child and Family Poverty Report Card

Data Note: Statistics Canada has no official, government-mandated poverty

line. The Low-Income Measure After Tax (LIM-AT) employed in this report

was chosen as it is considered the best available statistic, collected annually

at the local level from tax filer data. Tax filer data operates on the concept

of the census family rather than a household. LIM-AT is calculated as 50% of

median after-tax income of family or household incomes, allowing for size

of the family unit. In 2014, the LIM-AT threshold for a family with two adults

and two children under age 16 was $35,648. According to Statistics Canada, tax

filer data provide a useful way of looking at trends over time and comparing

and contrasting low-income rates of different geographies. For further notes

and limitations on use of tax filer data, see The Hidden Epidemic 15 , or Statistics

Canada’s webpage on the T1 Family File 16 .

LIM-AT is one way of understanding the extent of poverty experienced in

a community. Other ways of measuring low income can produce different

perspectives.

A recent report from the Caledon Institute 17 compared an income-based

approach to defining a poverty line with a material deprivation approach to

poverty used in Europe. The material deprivation approach instead surveys

households to ask whether there are any basic goods or services that they want

but cannot afford. The Caledon study found that when these two approaches

were applied to Ontario children, the measures identified very different groups

in poverty, with not a lot of overlap.

Ultimately, neither low-income lines nor material deprivation approaches can

provide the whole picture on their own, and it remains important to consider

a broader range of issues, such as equitable access to health care, education,

child care, and early childhood education when considering the level of poverty

in a community.

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DIVIDED CITY: Life in Canada’s Child Poverty Capital

2016 Toronto Child and Family Poverty Report Card

3. Unequal Educational and Recreational Opportunities

A key determinant of child development and well-being – and a central component of the city’s poverty

reduction strategy – is good access to high quality early learning and recreational opportunities.

Much research now shows that access to child care and early learning programs supports early child development,

prepares children for school success, and provides an essential support for many working parents. 18

Individuals and families face a range of barriers to accessing recreation programs, including lack of

appropriate programming, lack of transportation, user fees, and stigma or complexity of fee subsidies. 19

Toronto District School Board data shows that children from lower income families are less likely to be

accessing these programs. Forty-eight percent of children in families with an income below $30,000 do not

participate regularly in out-of-school sports and arts activities (only 7% of children in families with

an income of $100,000 or more do not participate).

Figure 7 shows the breakdown of this disparity by neighbourhood: in some neighbourhoods only 3% of

children do not participate regularly in arts or sports programs; in other neighbourhoods more than half of

children are not partaking in this important learning and growth opportunity. Children in diverse Etobicoke

and Scarborough neighbourhoods are much less likely to be participating than those in the central core.

Figure 8 shows a similar geographic disparity in participation in early learning and care programs: with

the percentage of students not participating in early learning programs ranging from a low of 5% in some

wealthy neighbourhoods to a high of 65% in lower-income neighbourhoods.

Figure 7: Percentage of Students Who Did NOT Regularly Participate in Arts or Sports Outside of School,

TDSB, Grades K to 6, 2012

12.3

26.1

38.4

46.6

25.1

25.0

51.3

46.8

30.9

48.2

40.3

49.0

10.9

29.3

48.7

28.0

53.2

17.8

2.8

31.7

13.9

53.2

46.4

42.0

48.6

50.4

7.6

20.2

50.2

9.3

50.7

49.2

11.6

54.3 29.0

13.8 13.9

43.3

47.9

54.0

45.2

25.3

21.3

26.6

51.5 29.0 14.4

51.6

40.2

22.9

11.9

51.9

20.7

26.6

20.1

18.3

35.0

37.6

12.2

20.6

13.7

15.1

23.8

29.3

9.0

4.4

10.9

8.3

27.3

10.8

3.6

5.4

5.4

23.3

8.9

5.4

5.8

24.8 20.8

29.2

40.3 26

44.8

27.4

21.9

15.0

12.5

6.8

16.4

15.3

18.6

22.8

20.2

34.4

32.5

42.8

37.9

49.9

5.1

26.3

17.7

26.7

7.4

22.9

19.2

22.4 40.4

7.5 31.4

21.2

27.2 15.7

47.3

30.9

38.6

42.4

29.5

32.1

41.4

41.1

42.8

32.7 2.8 - 16.4%

20.0

16.5 - 27.2%

24.7

6.1

27.3 - 41.4%

41.5 - 54.3%

N

37.8

42.8

30.2

42.9

28.7

36.0

46.7

48.0

43.4

18.0

42.2

41.4

34.7

29.2

21.3

0 1 2 3 4

Km

Source: Toronto District School Board (TDSB), Parent Census, Grades K to 6, 2012.

14


DIVIDED CITY: Life in Canada’s Child Poverty Capital

2016 Toronto Child and Family Poverty Report Card

Figure 8: Percentage of Students Who Did NOT Participate in an Early Learning or Care Program,

TDSB, Grades K to 6, 2012

51.5

66.6

48.0

26.4

25.8 20.6

49.7

13.5

32.2

37.3

47.4

26.4

21.5 22.5

56.8

19.5

23.7

52.7 45.5

9.6

36.5

37.3

43.9

36.2

14.3

43.3

23.2

8.0

41.6

30.0

44.9

33.5 47.9

42.1

42.6

45.9 49.0

40.2

28.7

6.0

15.5

37.5

7.4

43.5

43.6

5.4

42.5

36.6 37.1 31.1 19.7

36.2

36.8

32.6

6.9

29.0 14.8 22.5

54.0 38.8 11.4

7.0 40.9

39.7

19.3 9.7 25.3

52.9

49.5

6.4

45.6 40.4

36.2

20.7

6.6

31.0

33.4

7.4 22.7 33.3 14.3 10.7

25.9

7.1

4.9

14.1

29.4

27.9

30.2 22.0

14.6

14.1

12.1

5.8

45.4

21.7

47.8

26.7

21.6 11.5 11.9

23.1

10.7

24.2 12.4 30.8

14.3

22.2

13.6

23.7

19.5

23.8

19.5 27.0

18.1

34.0

33.6

10.4

21.5

25.4

18.9

25.5

11.3

25.7

16.9

27.2

23.7

45.9

24.0

16.7

31.0

31.7 5.0 - 17.7%

17.8 - 26.3%

26.4 - 37.7%

37.8 - 65.4%

N

38.0

40.2

22.9

36.1

37.0

34.6

39.2

21.6

Source: Toronto District School Board (TDSB), Parent Census, Grades K to 6, 2012.

0 1 2 3 4

Km

One of the most important paths out of poverty is helping low-income families

access full-time employment, which requires access to quality and affordable care

arrangements for their children. However, the costs of child care in Toronto are

extremely high. The City of Toronto recently released a research study 20 showing

that three-quarters of families would have to pay more than 10% of their family

income (after tax and benefits) to access licensed child care. While this is an

affordability benchmark that many jurisdictions around the world have used, 10%

of family income represents a significant burden for Toronto’s lower-income families.

There were over

18,000 children

on the wait list

for child care

fee subsidy.

Clearly, lower income families need to access subsidies to afford child care. However, as of October 2016,

there were over 18,000 children on the wait list for child care fee subsidy. The lack of fee subsidies available to

meet the needs of Toronto’s families means that low-income families face significant barriers to accessing high

quality child care for their children, forcing parents to either choose less reliable, lower quality care options,

go into debt to pay for child care, or choose not to work full-time or at all.

The impacts of poverty, combined with lack of access to basic supports and services, is evident. The most

recent cycle (2014-2015) of the Early Development Instrument survey shows that children living in lowincome

families are already at a developmental disadvantage when entering school (Figure 9). The Early

Development Instrument (EDI) assesses children in Kindergarten against age-appropriate milestones

in five key areas of development – physical, emotional, social, cognitive and communication skills.

15


DIVIDED CITY: Life in Canada’s Child Poverty Capital

2016 Toronto Child and Family Poverty Report Card

Children in the lowest quintile of families are twice as likely as the children in the wealthiest families to

be vulnerable in two or more of these areas of development. Neighbourhood-level rates of children with such

vulnerabilities vary widely, from 2% to 26% (Figure 10). Research on early years has shown evidence that

children who are vulnerable in these early years are more likely to face challenges in school achievement,

health and overall well-being later in life. 21

Figure 9: Percentage of Children Who are Vulnerable on Two or More Domains by Income Quintile,

Kindergarten, 2014-15

30%

20%

10%

17%

15% 15%

12%

8%

0%

Lowest income

Highest income

Source: Offord Centre, Early Development Instrument, 2014/2015.

Figure 10: Percentage of Children who are Vulnerable on Two or More Domains by Income Quintile,

Kindergarten, 2014-15, by Neighbourhood

19.5

9.8

19.3

24.1

16.5

15.2

12.9

24.4

18.0

10.6

11.4

15.3 7.9

15.6

14.7

11.0 4.7

19.0

8.1

14.2

13.8

12.6

10.4

9.2

15.1

9.3

20.8

14.0

12.0 13.4

15.0

16.0

9.9

11.2

8.7

9.8

9.7

13.1

15.5

9.8

14.0

15.8

13.1 9.0

7.6

15.1

24.6

19.3

9.0

13.6

6.2 17.4

9.7

21.2 19.1 11.3 11.1

14.1

2.3

7.0

19.6 11.7 15.1 12.2

10.2

22.8

10.2

15.9

14.2

20.5

13.3

14.8

8.3

9.8

4.4 7.6

7.0 8.7

9.5

4.8 14.2

9.8 22.2

19.3

11.6 4.9

7.1

5.1

3.1

16.9

7.1

18.5 11.0

16.2

13.6

7.5

5.9

19.4

13.3

12.9 18.0

10.3

10.9

6.0 10.0

5.9

25.9

11.3 10.8

7.9

17.5

19.2 7.6

13.6 17.8

12.1

12.9

12.0

10.9

12.0

13.6

N

16.8

8.7

7.8

12.3

17.8

16.6

20.3

18.2

15.2

19.5

11.1

10.7

11.4

19.4

14.8

13.4

10.4

2.3 - 8.3%

8.4 - 12.3%

12.4 - 16.9%

17.0 - 25.9%

Data unavailable

0 1 2 3 4

Km

Source: Offord Centre, Early Development Instrument, 2014/2015.

16


DIVIDED CITY: Life in Canada’s Child Poverty Capital

2016 Toronto Child and Family Poverty Report Card

Schools with more students living in low-income neighbourhoods had more students falling below the

provincial standard in math, reading and writing (Figure 11). Similarly, Figure 12 shows that schools with

a higher percentage of students falling below the provincial standard in math are distributed around the city

in a U-shape pattern, in neighbourhoods that tend to have higher rates of poverty and racialized populations.

Figure 11: Percentage of Students Below Provincial Standard by Income Quartile, Grade 3, 2014

(Math, Reading, Writing)

40%

35%

30%

25%

20%

15%

10%

5%

0%

37.6

34.4

22.4

Lowest income

34.6

33.3

22.5

30.7

28.4

19.7

20.8 20.1

15.4

Highest income

Source: Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO), Grade 3 and Grade 6 Assesments, 2013/2014.

Math

Reading

Writing

Figure 12: Percentage of Students Scoring Below Provincial Standard in Math, Grade 3, 2014, by Neighbourhood

N

0 - 29%

30 - 35%

36 - 42%

43 - 53%

54 - 74%

0 1 2 3 4

Km

Source: Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO), Grade 3 and Grade 6 Assesments, 2013/2014.

17


DIVIDED CITY: Life in Canada’s Child Poverty Capital

2016 Toronto Child and Family Poverty Report Card

4. Unequal Access to Housing

Good housing is critical for the health, development and well-being of children

and youth. Children in inadequate housing are more likely to face developmental,

health and educational challenges. 22 One of the key planks in the city’s new poverty

reduction strategy is to improve access to affordable housing.

Indeed, increased attention is being paid to the extraordinarily rapid rise in the costs

of housing in Toronto, which is pushing lower-income families onto wait lists for

subsidized housing or into unsafe housing because they simply don’t have other

options (almost 100,000 Toronto households are stuck on the wait list for subsidized

housing). 23

Rental and ownership housing prices in Toronto are among the highest in Canada,

and have been rising well above the rate of inflation. Toronto is the second most

expensive city in Canada to buy a home, with an annual income of $87,000 needed

to afford an average home. 24 In 2015, the average rent in Toronto (across all

apartment sizes) was over $1,200 per month. 25

Overall, 34% of families with children aged 17 and under are paying more than 30%

of their income on rent (the threshold of “affordability”) (Figure 13). Twenty-seven

percent of families with children age 12 or under are living in core housing need

(i.e., living in housing that is either overcrowded, unaffordable or in poor repair)

(Figure 14). The percentage of lone-parent families living in unaffordable or

deficient housing is about twice as high as the rate for two-parent families.

Figure 13: Percentage of Tenant Economic Families with Children Under Age 18

Spending More Than 30% of Household Income on Shelter, 2011

60%

50%

40%

30%

20%

10%

0%

51 52 52

Tenant Lone-Parent

Families

35

26

29

Tenant Couple

Families

Source: National Household Survey - Statistics Canada, 2011,

Custom Tabulation access through the Community Data Program.

41

29

34

All Tenant

Families

Renter

Owner

Both

Overall, 34%

of families with

children aged 17

and under are

paying more than

30% of their income

on rent.

18


DIVIDED CITY: Life in Canada’s Child Poverty Capital

2016 Toronto Child and Family Poverty Report Card

Figures 15 and 16 also show the extent to which housing costs are unaffordable.

Figure 15 shows that the hourly full-time wage required to afford an average

one-bedroom apartment ranges from $17.70/hour in south Etobicoke to $26.14

in the downtown core – far above the current Ontario minimum wage of $11.40

per hour. Figure 16 shows that the percentage of income that a lone parent with one

child receiving Ontario Works (including child and other benefits) would have to

pay for an average two-bedroom apartment ranges from 61% in east Scarborough

to 107% downtown.

Clearly far too many children in Toronto are growing up in unhealthy, unsafe

and inadequate housing situations, which causes family stress and hinders child

development and well-being. 26

Figure 14: Percentage of Economic Families with Children Under Age 13

in Core Housing Need, 2011

60%

50%

40%

51%

30%

20%

10%

20%

27%

0%

Lone parent

families

Couple

families

Both lone parent and

couple families

Source: 2011 National Household Survey – Statistics Canada,

Custom Tabulation provided by Children's Services Division, City of Toronto.

19


DIVIDED CITY: Life in Canada’s Child Poverty Capital

2016 Toronto Child and Family Poverty Report Card

Figure 15: Hourly Full-Time Wage Required to Afford Average Rent for 1-Bedroom Apartment, Toronto, 2014

$18.06/hr

$17.70/hr

$21.00/hr

$23.64/hr

$19.74/hr

$19.24/hr

$19.72/hr

$18.44/hr

$22.06/hr

$19.36/hr

$24.50/hr

$18.32/hr

$19.32/hr

$17.78/hr

$21.60/hr

$26.14/hr

$20.82/hr

N

$17.00-17.99/hr

$18.00-19.99/hr

$20.00-22.99/hr

$23.00-24.99/hr

$25.00/hr or more

0 1 2 3 4

Km

Source: Leon, Scott. (2016) “Tall Order: Understanding Change in Toronto’s Inner-Suburban Rental Towers.” Wellesley Institute.

Figure 16: Percentage of Income for Lone Parents on Ontario Works to Pay for Average 2-Bedroom Apartment, Toronto, 2014

63%

62%

73%

80%

66%

68%

70%

61%

75%

69%

96%

62%

72%

63%

82%

107%

74%

N

61% or lower

62-73%

74-89%

90-99%

More than 100%

0 1 2 3 4

Km

Source: Leon, Scott. (2016) “Tall Order: Understanding Change in Toronto’s Inner-Suburban Rental Towers.” Wellesley Institute.

20


DIVIDED CITY: Life in Canada’s Child Poverty Capital

2016 Toronto Child and Family Poverty Report Card

5. Unequal Access to Food and Nutrition

Access to good quality, nutritious and culturally appropriate food is a key factor

in the health of children. Food security is crucial to physical development,

emotional health and child success at school. 27 However, many children across

the City of Toronto experience food insecurity (insecure and/or inadequate access

to food) due to the financial circumstances of their families.

In 2013-14, 12.6% of Toronto households experienced food insecurity, an increase

from the 2011-2012 rate of 12.0%. 28 Since 2008, there has been a 13% increase in

overall food bank usage across Toronto, with a 48% increase in the ethno-racially

diverse former municipalities of Etobicoke, North York and Scarborough. 29

In a city of 2.6 million people, there were over 900,000 visits to food banks

in 2016 (Figure 17). 30

Figure 17: Number of Annual Food Bank Visits (2008 and 2016)

1,000,000

905,970

900,000

799,320

800,000

700,000

600,000

500,000

400,000

300,000

200,000

Since 2008,

100,000

0

2008

2016

Visits by children Visits total

Source: Daily Bread Food Bank, Count of Client Visits.

Children continue to be a large and overrepresented segment of food bank users:

29% of food bank users in Toronto are under the age of 18 (children only make up

20% of the total population). 31

There has also been a steady increase since 2014 in the percentage of children in

households using food banks who haven’t eaten for an entire day in the last year

due to lack of money (from 28% in 2014 to 37% in 2016, Figure 18). 32 In addition,

17% of children in Toronto using food banks reported going hungry at least once

per week. 33

there has been

a 13% increase in

overall food bank

usage across

Toronto.

Children continue

to be a large and

overrepresented

segment of food

bank users.

21


DIVIDED CITY: Life in Canada’s Child Poverty Capital

2016 Toronto Child and Family Poverty Report Card

Figure 18: Percent of Households With Children Using a Food Bank Who Haven’t Eaten

for an Entire Day in the Last Year Due to Lack of Money, (2008-2016)

45%

40%

35%

30%

25%

20%

15%

10%

5%

0%

38 38 38

37

35

35 33

30

28

2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016

Source: Daily Bread Food Bank, Annual Survey of Food Bank Clients, 2008-2015.

There is also stark neighbourhood-level disparity in the percentage of children who are eating breakfast every

day. Figure 19 shows that children from the inner-city core and the east and west inner suburbs are less likely

to be eating breakfast. While it is unclear why some children do not eat breakfast regularly, at a population

level this could indicate some aspects of food insecurity. 34

Hunger and food insecurity is increasing as a result of high housing costs, the rising cost of food, increases in

unemployment rates, and low and stagnating incomes. 35 In order to end child hunger and provide all children

in Toronto with a healthy start, the key causes of food insecurity must be addressed.

Figure 19: Percent of Students Who Eat Breakfast or a Snack Daily Before School by Neighbourhood, TDSB, Grades 7 and 8, 2011

48.6 59.1

74.1

59.2

70.8

66.7 73.1 73.5

64.7

52.3

73.3

65.2

83.8 73.0

64.1

68.4

51.4

68.7

67.4 60.4

71.1

65.2

54.2

70.2

57.7

59.6

84.6

50.0

59.0

63.0

65.0 75.0

64.1

60.6

56.9 58.2

67.6 71.9

62.5

81.9

67.7

56.7

56.1 68.9 62.0 75.4

66.7

62.4

65.7 77.5 77.2

54.0 54.2

84.0

71.9

62.6

55.3

69.7 74.3

68.8

57.8

68.5

66.7

61.7

69.9

57.1

78.4 64.5

63.1 66.7 73.9

79.2

75.4 72.5

80.4 56.5

59.7

78.3 67.6

74.1

79.8

80.0

84.9

64.2

66.7

65.0

76.9 73.9 66.7 55.0

76.4 65.5

64.1

62.7

70.4

63.2

46.7 75.6

70.8 65.1

57.1

58.8

53.7

58.3

59.6

65.2

51.0

50.0 48.8

73.9

75.0 62.3

65.7

56.3

69.2

76.6

63.5

62.8

62.1

66.5

59.5

69.2

N

60.5

59.4

54.1

65.5

77.6

64.0

59.7

58.4

66.9

60.3

63.1

61.9

61.7

68.9

58.4

59.7

62.4

80.7

46.7 - 60.0%

60.1 - 65.1%

65.2 - 71.9%

72.0 - 85.0%

0 1 2 3 4

Km

Source: Toronto District School Board (TDSB), Student Census, Grades 7 and 8, 2011.

22


DIVIDED CITY: Life in Canada’s Child Poverty Capital

2016 Toronto Child and Family Poverty Report Card

6. Unequal Access to Transit

A further key commitment in the city’s poverty reduction strategy is to improve

access to, and affordability of, transit. Without access to transit, parents, children

and youth face barriers to conducting the activities of daily life (going to school, jobs,

social-recreational activities, shopping, medical appointments, etc.). Toronto took

a significant step forward on this front in 2015 by making transit free for children

aged 12 and under. This improved access to transit – and educational, health and

recreational opportunities – for approximately 90,000 low-income children and their

families. It also helped daycares, schools, community groups and agencies to increase

provision of children’s field trips and outings to the city’s free spaces and attractions.

However, adults in Toronto – including parents living on lower incomes and young

people age 13 and older – still face serious challenges in affording and accessing

transit.

While transit fares in Toronto are about average in the region (Figure 20), fares

could be much lower given the lower per-ride system cost of transit in Toronto

compared to less densely populated municipalities and regions. Indeed, Toronto

transit riders receive the lowest government per-ride subsidy – and hence pay

the highest percentage of transit costs of any city (Figure 21).

Toronto transit

riders receive the

lowest government

per-ride subsidy.

Figure 20: Undiscounted Adult Cash Fares, Selected Canadian Cities, 2016

$4.50

$4.00

$3.50

$3.00

$2.50

$2.00

$1.50

$1.00

$0.50

$0.00

$4.00

$3.50 $3.50 $3.50 $3.50

$3.65 $3.75

$3.15 $3.25 $3.25 $3.25 $3.25 $3.25

$2.65 $2.75 $2.75

$2.90

Source: Online review of transit fares conducted by authors.

Winnipeg

Vancouver

Hamilton

Mississauga

Calgary

Toronto

Montreal

Edmonton

Waterloo

Milton

Durham

Burlington

Quebec

Halton

Ottawa

Brampton

York Region

23


DIVIDED CITY: Life in Canada’s Child Poverty Capital

2016 Toronto Child and Family Poverty Report Card

Figure 21: Total Government Subsidy Per Ride, Selected Canadian Cities, 2014

$5.00

$4.50

$4.00

$3.50

$3.00

$2.50

$2.00

$1.50

$1.00

$0.50

$0.00

$0.89

Toronto

$1.11

Montreal

$1.63 $1.70 $1.75 $1.76

Calgary

Ottawa

Edmonton

Vancouver

$2.26

Mississauga

$2.99

Brampton

Source: Report to TTC Board, Impact of TTC Budget Committee Recommendations,

November 23, 2015, p. 30.

$4.02

Durham

$4.44

York

Additionally, an increasing number of Canadian cities are offering a reduced

fare for lower-income riders. Toronto currently does not offer a reduced fare,

however a Fare Equity Strategy is being developed and a geared-to-income transit

fare is recommended as part of the city’s anti-poverty plan (see Figure 22).

Figure 22: Percentage Discount on Adult Monthly Transit Pass for Low-Income

Transit Riders, Selected Canadian Cities, 2016

60%

50%

40%

30%

20%

10%

0%

0%

Toronto

Durham

Source: City of Toronto

40%

44%

Calgary

Waterloo

49% 50% 50% 50% 50%

Hamilton

Mississauga

Halton

York Region

The burden of funding that Toronto transit riders are bearing has increased at a rate

above and beyond inflation over recent years (36% increase over six years). In stark

contrast, property taxes increases paid by homeowners – who have seen vast rises in

the values of their properties and who tend to be wealthier, on average, than transit

riders – have fallen behind the rate of inflation.

An increasing

number of

Canadian cities are

offering a reduced

fare for lowerincome

riders,

whereas Toronto

does not.

The burden of

funding that

Toronto transit

riders are bearing

has increased at

a rate above and

beyond inflation

over recent years.

24


DIVIDED CITY: Life in Canada’s Child Poverty Capital

2016 Toronto Child and Family Poverty Report Card

In terms of geographic access to timely and reliable transit, serious inequities exist. Figure 23 shows the

number of available TTC trips per hour (subway, bus, streetcar) within walking distance for each census

dissemination block in Toronto. Clearly, downtown neighbourhoods (which on average tend to be wealthier)

have a much higher frequency of nearby transit service than more ethno-racially diverse, lower-income

suburban neighbourhoods.

Suburban residents also have much longer commutes, on average, to jobs. Figure 24 shows the number

of jobs that can be accessed within a one hour morning transit ride from different areas of the city. 36

Again, residents in the core of Toronto have easier access to many more employment opportunities.

Long commutes, we know, put added strain on families and can result in parents being away from

home and their children for more time.

Figure 23: Frequency of Available Transit Trips (Subway, Streetcar, Bus) by Census Division Block, Toronto, 2016

N

Available TTC trips/hour

within an 8-12 minute walk

0 - 5

6 - 15

16 - 30

31- 60

61 +

0 1 2 3 4

Km

Sources: TTC General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) package (2016);

Census Dissemination Block Boundaries (2011); City of Toronto Neighbourhood Boundaries (2016);

OpenStreetMap (OSM) pedestrian network (2016).

25


DIVIDED CITY: Life in Canada’s Child Poverty Capital

2016 Toronto Child and Family Poverty Report Card

Figure 24: Number of Jobs Accessible by One-Hour Morning Transit Ride by Area of City

N

Access to Jobs

< 400,000

400,000 to 600,000

600,001 to 800,000

800,001 to 1,000,000

> 1,000,000

0 1 2 3 4

Km

Sources: TTC General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) package (2016);

Census Dissemination Block Boundaries (2011); City of Toronto Neighbourhood Boundaries (2016);

OpenStreetMap (OSM) pedestrian network (2016); Transportation Tomorrow Survey job counts by TAZ (2011).

26


DIVIDED CITY: Life in Canada’s Child Poverty Capital

2016 Toronto Child and Family Poverty Report Card

7. Conclusions

Toronto is a divided city with dramatically unequal opportunities and living conditions

for children, youth and their families. In Canada’s child poverty capital, some children

and families are thriving. But many other families, particularly from equity-seeking and

historically disadvantaged groups and communities, lack access to the basic supports

and resources they need, like adequate incomes, affordable housing, food security,

affordable transit, child care, and arts and social-recreational programs. In addition,

there is a significant disparity in school results and learning success by income level,

which is troubling in a country that subscribes to the belief in a fair and equitable

chance for all.

Child poverty is not inevitable. As shown in The Hidden Epidemic, child and family

poverty rates vary widely across countries in the industrialized world – or “global

north”. UNICEF and others have indicated that government policy choices strongly

affect low-income rates. 37 Specifically, governments that invest more in services, and

put in place policies encouraging decent paying jobs, have lower rates of poverty.

Two years ago Toronto’s incoming Mayor John Tory announced his commitment

to address Toronto’s record-high rate of urban child poverty. He called tackling

poverty “one of the fundamental litmus tests of whether this city wants to be great.” 38

When Toronto City Council unanimously approved the City’s first-ever poverty

reduction strategy in 2015, the plan included a statement from Mayor Tory. It said:

“A snapshot has emerged in recent years of a city unfairly and unjustly divided by

income, class and geography. This cannot be allowed to continue. As a city, we must

work to address these disparities.” 39

The strategy promised – by 2035 – to create a city “where everyone has access to good

jobs, adequate income, stable housing, affordable transportation, nutritious food, and

supportive services.” 40

Not enough time has passed to adequately assess the impact of Toronto’s poverty

reduction strategy; however, this report suggests that the city has to take urgent

action to address the ongoing, vast inequities and disparities in income levels,

housing conditions and access to programs and services.

27


DIVIDED CITY: Life in Canada’s Child Poverty Capital

2016 Toronto Child and Family Poverty Report Card

Today, at the mid-point of Mayor Tory’s term, the city faces key decisions on poverty

reduction actions. Actions taken now will influence whether or not progress will

be made over the next two years to improve the lives of the 133,000 children living

in poverty.

It is alarming that Mayor Tory and City Council are considering cutting hundreds

of millions of dollars in spending on the very services and supports that the

City’s anti-poverty strategy seeks to enhance (housing, transit, child care, student

nutrition).

There is a better way forward. After years of knowing about the growing fiscal

gap between costs and revenues, Toronto Council is finally starting to discuss

and deliberate on whether to implement new fees or taxes, to fund – and improve

access to – the programs and services that are crucial to an equitable and inclusive

city. The future of Toronto’s children will be greatly affected by the direction

Council chooses.

The choice before Council, and before all of us, is, fundamentally, about whether

to undertake the task of building a city where all children have the opportunity

to succeed – or whether we are willing to allow the well-being of tens of thousands

of children and youth to be chronically compromised.

The continued epidemic of poverty and deprivation in Toronto – which has the

highest level of urban poverty in Canada for children, youth and working-age

adults – calls for immediate action. Now is not the time for backtracking on the

commitment to build a city of prosperity for all. Now is not the time to reduce

services or raise fees for already unaffordable or inaccessible housing, transit

and child care. Rather, now is the time to move forward with fair and equitable

taxation measures to fund the investments in affordable housing, transit, child care

and recreation to ensure that every child has the chance to succeed.

28


DIVIDED CITY: Life in Canada’s Child Poverty Capital

2016 Toronto Child and Family Poverty Report Card

APPENDIX A: City of Toronto Neighbourhoods

116

130

21

36

49 48

2

24

35

50

27

37

117

129

131

22

3

25

34

51 52 47 46

132

1 4

38

53

118

128

5

40

26

33

135 134

23

45

39

6

28 29

105

119 126 127 137

113

31 32

41 42

30

103

136

7 8

115 112 108 102

43

125 138

100

140

99 56

11 10 9

110 109 107 106 101 104

55 44

139

111

120 124

91 92

97

54

123

13 90

94 96

58

15 89

98 57

114

93

59 60

12

88

95

61

67 66

121

14

83 80 79 74

62

122

71 68 69

16 87

65 64

86 84 81 78 76 75

73 72

63

85

70

82 77

0 1 2 3 4

20

17

Km

N

133

19

18

1 West Humber-Clairville

2 Mount Olive-Silverstone-Jamestown

3 Thistletown-Beaumond Heights

4 Rexdale-Kipling

5 Elms-Old Rexdale

6 Kingsview Village-The Westway

7 Willowridge-Martingrove-Richview

8 Humber Heights-Westmount

9 Edenbridge-Humber Valley

10 Princess-Rosethorn

11 Eringate-Centennial-West Deane

12 Markland Wood

13 Etobicoke West Mall

14 Islington-City Centre West

15 Kingsway South

16 Stonegate-Queensway

17 Mimico (includes Humber Bay Shores)

18 New Toronto

19 Long Branch

20 Alderwood

21 Humber Summit

22 Humbermede

23 Pelmo Park-Humberlea

24 Black Creek

25 Glenfield-Jane Heights

26 Downsview-Roding-CFB

27 York University Heights

28 Rustic

29 Maple Leaf

30 Brookhaven-Amesbury

31 Yorkdale-Glen Park

32 Englemount-Lawrence

33 Clanton Park

34 Bathurst Manor

35 Westminster-Branson

36 Newtonbrook West

37 Willowdale West

38 Lansing-Westgate

39 Bedford Park-Nortown

40 St. Andrew-Windfields

41 Bridle Path-Sunnybrook-York Mills

42 Banbury-Don Mills

43 Victoria Village

44 Flemingdon Park

45 Parkwoods-Donalda

46 Pleasant View

47 Don Valley Village

48 Hillcrest Village

49 Bayview Woods-Steeles

50 Newtonbrook East

51 Willowdale East

52 Bayview Village

53 Henry Farm

54 O’Connor-Parkview

55 Thorncliffe Park

56 Leaside-Bennington

57 Broadview North

58 Old East York

59 Danforth-East York

60 Woodbine-Lumsden

61 Taylor-Massey

62 East End-Danforth

63 The Beaches

64 Woodbine Corridor

65 Greenwood-Coxwell

66 Danforth

67 Playter Estates-Danforth

68 North Riverdale

69 Blake-Jones

70 South Riverdale

71 Cabbagetown-South St. James Town

72 Regent Park

73 Moss Park

74 North St. James Town

75 Church-Yonge Corridor

76 Bay Street Corridor

77 Waterfront Communities-The Island

78 Kensington-Chinatown

79 University

80 Palmerston-Little Italy

81 Trinity-Bellwoods

82 Niagara

83 Dufferin Grove

84 Little Portugal

85 South Parkdale

86 Roncesvalles

87 High Park-Swansea

88 High Park North

89 Runnymede-Bloor West Village

90 Junction Area

91 Weston-Pellam Park

92 Corso Italia-Davenport

93 Dovercourt-Wallace Emerson-Junction

94 Wychwood

95 Annex

96 Casa Loma

97 Yonge-St. Clair

98 Rosedale-Moore Park

99 Mount Pleasant East

100 Yonge-Eglinton

101 Forest Hill South

102 Forest Hill North

103 Lawrence Park South

104 Mount Pleasant West

105 Lawrence Park North

106 Humewood-Cedarvale

107 Oakwood Village

108 Briar Hill-Belgravia

109 Caledonia-Fairbank

110 Keelesdale-Eglinton West

111 Rockcliffe-Smythe

112 Beechborough-Greenbrook

113 Weston

114 Lambton Baby Point

115 Mount Dennis

116 Steeles

117 L’Amoreaux

118 Tam O’Shanter-Sullivan

119 Wexford/Maryvale

120 Clairlea-Birchmount

121 Oakridge

122 Birchcliffe-Cliffside

123 Cliffcrest

124 Kennedy Park

125 Ionview

126 Dorset Park

127 Bendale

128 Agincourt South-Malvern West

129 Agincourt North

130 Milliken

131 Rouge

132 Malvern

133 Centennial Scarborough

134 Highland Creek

135 Morningside

136 West Hill

137 Woburn

138 Eglinton East

139 Scarborough Village

140 Guildwood

Source: Social Policy Analysis & Research

unit , City of Toronto. Copyright City of

Toronto 2008 All Rights Reserved. Publication

Date: May 2008. Contact spar@

toronto.ca for additional information.

29


DIVIDED CITY: Life in Canada’s Child Poverty Capital

2016 Toronto Child and Family Poverty Report Card

Notes

1 Hidden Epidemic: A report on child and family poverty in

Toronto, 2014. Accessed at http://www.torontocas.ca/app/Uploads/

documents/cast-report2014-final-web71.pdf

2 “Urban areas” refers to Census Divisions as identified by Statistics

Canada. While their composition varies somewhat between

provinces, Census Divisions typically reflect “Upper Tier”

municipalities. The Census Divisions listed are all those with

a 2011 census population of 500,000 or greater.

3 Lowest quintile refers to the average income of the lowest one-fifth

of families. Highest quintile refers to the top fifth.

4 Quartile is like quintile, but refers to the top fourth of families.

5 Pagliaro, J. (2014). The Toronto Star. “John Tory pledges to work

at reducing child poverty in Toronto”. Accessed at https://www.

thestar.com/news/city_hall/2014/11/14/john_tory_pledges_to_

work_at_reducing_child_poverty_in_toronto.html

6 News Staff. (2014). City News. “9 memorable moments & quotes

from Tory’s inaugural speech”. Accessed at http://www.citynews.

ca/2014/12/02/9-memorable-moments-quotes-from-torysinaugural-speech/

7 TO Prosperity: Toronto Poverty Reduction Strategy. Accessed

at http://www1.toronto.ca/City%20Of%20Toronto/Social%20

Development,%20Finance%20&%20Administration/Strategies/

Poverty%20Reduction%20Strategy/PDF/TO_Prosperity_

Final2015-reduced.pdf

8 Low income groups in Toronto fare worse on 20 of 34 health status

indicators, including Low Birth Weight, Readiness to Learn, Youth

Chlamydia, Youth Gonorrhea and Teen Pregnancy. Toronto Public

Health. (2015). The Unequal City 2015: Income and Health

Inequities in Toronto -Technical Report. Accessed at http://www1.

toronto.ca/City%20Of%20Toronto/Toronto%20Public%20Health/

Performance%20&%20Standards/Health%20Surveillance%20

and%20Epidemiology/Files/pdf/Technical%20Report%20

FINAL%20PRINT_AODA.pdf

9 While it is difficult to say definitively what contributed to this

decline, the reduction coincides with the final $100 per month

increase to the Ontario Child Benefit (OCB). Indeed, most

municipalities in Ontario saw slight reductions in the rate

of child poverty in 2014. Projecting ahead, there is hope that the

implementation of the (Federal) Canada Child Benefit in 2016 will

lead to a further reduction child poverty levels. This will be assessed

when newer data is available.

10 As reported in The Hidden Epidemic, in 2013 there were 118,000

millionaires in Toronto. Accessed at https://www.thestar.com/news/

gta/2013/05/09/toronto_has_118000_millionaires.html.

11 City of Toronto, Social Policy Analysis & Research. (2014). TSNS

2020 Neighbourhood Equity index: Methodological

Documentation. Accessed at http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/

mmis/2014/cd/bgrd/backgroundfile-67350.pdf

12 In societies dominated by people of white, Caucasian or European

backgrounds, First Peoples and peoples of colour have long

been targets of discrimination and social exclusion in legal,

socio-economic and political spheres. Such groups are said to

be racialized or marked, by the dominant group, as inferior.

Racialization doesn’t just refer to individual beliefs and attitudes

toward specific First Peoples or peoples of colour in society, it also

includes the institutional, structural and systemic built-in features

of society, the way that institutions in areas like education, health,

social services and the justice system function – day in and day out.

13 City of Toronto, Social Policy Analysis & Research. (2011).

The Linguistic Diversity Index (LDI) is the probability that any

two people selected at random would have different mother

tongues. Calculated using Greenberg’s Linguistic Diversity Index.

14 Toronto Indigenous Health Advisory Circle. (2016). A Reclamation

of Well Being: Visioning a Thriving and Healthy Urban Indigenous

Community. Toronto’s First Indigenous Health Strategy 2016-2021

Accessed at http://www1.toronto.ca/City%20Of%20Toronto/

Toronto%20Public%20Health/Healthy%20Communities/Access%20

and%20Equity/TIHAC_%20Report_AODA.pdf. Though we look

forward to the release of the 2016 Census data to further explore the

Indigenous reality when it comes to poverty in the city of Toronto,

we recognize that the value of such data may once again be limited

due to the fact that many First Peoples find it difficult to, or choose

not to, participate in such surveys.

15 The Hidden Epidemic, p30-1. Accessed at http://www.torontocas.

ca/app/Uploads/documents/cast-report2014-final-web71.pdf

16 http://www23.statcan.gc.ca/imdb/p2SV.pl?Function=

getSurvey&SDDS=4105

17 Notten, G and M. Mendelson. (2016). Caledon Institute of Social

Policy. Using low income and material deprivation to monitor

poverty reduction. Accessed at http://www.caledoninst.org/

Publications/PDF/1103ENG.pdf

18 Cleveland, G and Krashinsky, M. (1998). The Benefits and Costs

of Good Child Care:The Economic Rationale for Public Investment

in Young Children – A Policy Study, University of Toronto at

Scarborough, March 1998. Accessed at http://childcarecanada.org/

sites/default/files/bc.pdf.

19 Ontario Task Group on Affordable Access to Recreation for

Ontarians (2010). Affordable Access to Recreation for Ontarians.

Affordable Access Policy Development and Implementation Guide.

Accessed at http://www.prontario.org/index.php/ci_id/index.php/

ci_id/3721.htm

20 Cleveland, Krashinsky, Colley and Avery-Nunez. (2016). City of

Toronto Licensed Child Care Demand and Affordability Study.

City of Toronto. Accessed at http://www1.toronto.ca/City%20

Of%20Toronto/Children’s%20Services/Files/pdf/T/Toronto%20

Demand%20&%20Affordability%20Study%202016.pdf

21 Dyson A., et al. (2010). Childhood Development, Education and

Health Inequalities. London: Institute for Health Equity. Accessed

at http://www.bing.com/search?q=dyson+childhood+develop-

ment+education+and+health+inequalities&src=IE-TopResult&-

FORM=IETR02&conversationid=

30


DIVIDED CITY: Life in Canada’s Child Poverty Capital

2016 Toronto Child and Family Poverty Report Card

22 Waterson, W, Grueger, B, Samson, L. (2015). Housing need in

Canada: Heathy lives start at home. Pediatric Child Health 20(7):

403-407.

23 Kershaw, P and Minh, A. (2016) Generation Squeeze, Code Red:

Rethinking Canadian housing policy. Accessed at

http://bit.ly/GSCodeRed; See also http://homelesshub.ca/sites/

default/files/Affordability-of-Housing-Kneebone-Wilkins%20

%281%29.pdf

24 Rent Seeker. (2016). Toronto Vital Signs. Accessed at

http://torontosvitalsigns.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/

WEB-OP-TorontosVitalSignsReport2016FINAL.pdf

25 CMHC, cited in Vital Signs 2016. Accessed at

http://torontosvitalsigns.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/

WEB-OP-TorontosVitalSignsReport2016FINAL.pdf

26 Antwi-Boasiako, K, et al. (2016). Ethno-racial Categories and

Child Welfare Decisions: Exploring the Relationship with Poverty.

CWRP Information Sheet #178E. Toronto, ON: Canadian Child

Welfare Research Portal. Inadequate or unaffordable housing, and

poverty in general, is also associated with increased likelihood of

child involvement in the child protection system, and entering into

the care of the state. A recent study found that, in Ontario, that

children in families that ran out of money for food, housing

or utilities are approximately twice as likely to come into the care

of the child protection system. Accessed at http://cwrp.ca/

publications/3144.

27 See, for example, Kirkpatrick, S. and McIntyre, L. (2010). Child

Hunger and Long-term Adverse Consequences for Health.

Accessed at http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/

fullarticle/383613

28 Tarasuk, V, Mitchell, A, Dachner, N. (2016). Toronto: Research

to identify policy options to reduce food insecurity (PROOF),

p. 28. Household food insecurity in Canada, 2014. Accessed at

http://proof.utoronto.ca/resources/proof-annual-reports/

annual-report-2014/. Food security is defined as experiences

of anxiety that food will run out before household members have

money to buy more, modifying the amount of food consumed,

experiencing hunger, or going a whole day without eating.

29 Daily Bread Food Bank. (2016). Who’s Hungry: 2016 Profile

of Hunger in Toronto, p.6. Accessed at http://www.dailybread.ca/

wp-content/uploads/2016/09/WH_2016_FINAL.pdf?

pdf=Whos-Hungry

30 Ibid.

31 Tarasuk, V, Mitchell, A, Dachner, N. (2016). Toronto: Research

to identify policy options to reduce food insecurity (PROOF), p.28.

Household food insecurity in Canada, 2014. http://proof.utoronto.

ca/resources/proof-annual-reports/annual-report-2014/

32 Toronto Child and Family Network. (Forthcoming).

Raising the Village.

33 Daily Bread Food Bank. (2016). Who’s Hungry: 2016 Profile

of Hunger in Toronto, p. 7. Accessed at http://www.dailybread.ca/

wp-content/uploads/2016/09/WH_2016_FINAL.pdf?

pdf=Whos-Hungry

34 Toronto Child and Family Network. (Forthcoming).

Raising the Village.

35 Daily Bread Food Bank. (2016). Who’s Hungry: 2016 Profile

of Hunger in Toronto, p. 7. Accessed at http://www.dailybread.ca/

wp-content/uploads/2016/09/WH_2016_FINAL.pdf?

pdf=Whos-Hungry. Tarasuk, V, Mitchell, A, Dachner, N. (2016).

Toronto: Research to identify policy options to reduce food

insecurity (PROOF), p. 18. Household food insecurity in Canada,

2014. Accessed at http://proof.utoronto.ca/resources/proofannual-reports/annual-report-2014/

36 Number of trips per hour was calculated by adding the number

of subway trips within 1,000 meters (approximately a 12 minute)

plus the number of bus/streetcar trips within 650 meters

(an 8 minute walk).

37 UNICEF Office of Research. (2012). UNICEF Innocenti Report

Card 9: The Children Left Behind: A League Table of Inequality

in Child Wellbeing in the World’s Rich Countries. Accessed at

https://www.unicef-irc.org/publications/pdf/rc9_eng.pdf

38 Monsebraaten, L. (2015). The Toronto Star. Tackling poverty

a ’litmus test’ for city’s greatness, Tory says. Accessed at

https://www.thestar.com/news/city_hall/2015/06/23/tacklingpoverty-a-litmus-test-for-citys-greatness-tory-says.html

39 TO Prosperity: Toronto Poverty Reduction Strategy, p. 1. Accessed

at http://www1.toronto.ca/City%20Of%20Toronto/Social%20

Development,%20Finance%20&%20Administration/Strategies/

Poverty%20Reduction%20Strategy/PDF/TO_Prosperity_

Final2015-reduced.pdf

40 Ibid, p. 11.

31


A JOINT REPORT OF

the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, Colour of Poverty – Colour of Change,

Family Service Toronto/Ontario Campaign 2000 and

Social Planning Toronto with the support of the Children’s Aid Foundation

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