StatsCan: Urban poverty highest in Toronto

The expenses of living in the GTA are rising at a rate most Canadian households can't keep up with

StatsCan: Urban poverty highest in Toronto

Data from Statistics Canada indicated that Toronto had the highest rate of poverty among major cities, while Atlantic Canadian markets saw significant declines in this measure.

Using the market basket measure – which StatsCan defined as the basic standard of living that includes food, shelter, clothing, transportation, and other essentials – the national level of poverty as of 2018 stood at 11%, lower by 0.7% annually.

However, Toronto overtook Vancouver as the urban market with the highest poverty incidence, which was at 13.9% in 2018 (down 0.3% annually).

“This smaller-than-average decline puts Toronto at the top of the list for people in poverty,” according to an analysis by Better Dwelling. “Vancouver, which had the former top spot, had a ratio of 12.4%, down 2.5% from a year before. Even though these were the top two regions, they both saw falling rates.”

This dovetailed with another recent analysis by Fong and Partners Inc., which found that a “middle-class” one-child household living in a modest condo in Toronto’s downtown core will need to spend around $123,388 annually after taxes – an income level currently accessible to only the top 10% of earners.

Even singles, who would need to make around $74,000 annually after taxes, will find a life in the area nearly impossible to sustain, as a one-bedroom condo with one parking spot in Toronto’s core will cost approximately $2,540 a month in mortgages alone.

Meanwhile, the largest provincial declines in poverty incidence were seen in New Brunswick, which had a rate of 10% in 2018 (down 2.1% annually), and Nova Scotia, which posted a rate of 13.3% (down 1.7%).

“The rate of declines are at least double the rate of Canada. However, very few whole provinces are seeing increases,” Better Dwelling said.