A new report from the Toronto Foundation underscores just how widespread poverty is among working-age residents in the city.
The Vital Signs report says Toronto is Canada’s working-age poverty capital, meaning it has the country’s highest poverty rates for adults who are of working age — older than 18 but not yet retired. It’s not doing much better for other people either: it has the second highest poverty rate in Canada for both children and seniors. Only Winnipeg has higher child poverty rates, and Vancouver has higher senior poverty rates.
David Hulchanski, a professor at the University of Toronto’s Centre for Urban and Community Studies, had some of his research included in the report. He said Toronto’s working poor level has been increasing over the past 10 years.
The divide is also highly racial, and hits Black Torontonians particularly hard.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re an immigrant or Canadian-born when it comes to the Black population, but it does matter to other groups.
For working-age adults, Toronto has a lot of challenges. While unemployment rates are dropping and the city’s gross domestic product grew by 3.2 per cent annually between 2011 and 2016, income inequality is worse than ever. In fact, Toronto has the most income inequality in the country.
Over half a million people live in poverty in Toronto, and rates are higher in marginalized populations like Indigenous people, racialized communities, and newcomers.
The report says that in 2015, a racialized woman in Toronto had an average annual income of $39,861 while a white man had an average of $89,157.
As a consequence, Toronto is rapidly turning into a segregated city, owing to the disparity of wealth. -CINEWS