Research & Reports

Still Streamed: How High Impact Decisions Are Shaping Students’ Futures

Across Ontario, grade 8 students are required to register for high school courses which are classified into three levels: academic, applied, and locally developed/essentials. Typically, students take the majority of their courses at the same level, constituting a stream or pathway. Not only do these decisions impact students’ educational pathways through high school, they can have significant bearing on their post-secondary and career options.

While our education system strives to level the playing field for marginalized students, children of colour and lower income students are over-represented in lower streams which can limit their future opportunities and may not reflect their goals or potential.

Central Etobicoke Hub Preliminary Report

Central Etobicoke is a large geographic area composed primarily of wards 3 and 4, located in the west-end of Toronto. The boundaries stretch north to the 401, south to Burnamthorpe Road (with some parts reaching Dundas), west to include Centennial park and east just beyond Royal York Road. The area includes smaller neighbourhoods like The West Mall, the East Mall, Kingsview village, Mabelle, Scarlettwood court, Willowridge and Capri.

Historically central Etobicoke has been perceived as a well-to-do middle-class community. However, the City of Toronto is seeing major changes in its socio-economic geography. According to University of Toronto Professor David Hulchanski’s 2010 study: The Three Cities within Toronto: Income Polarization Among Toronto’s Neighbourhoods, this transformation entails high levels of wealth emerging increasingly in the downtown core and increasing pockets of low-income in the surrounding inner suburbs1. Hulchanski states that many smaller communities have become parts of “City three” — areas where income levels have decreased 20% or more since the 1970’s.

Demographic Change In Toronto’s Neighbourhoods: Meeting community needs across the life span

Throughout 2017, Social Planning Toronto will be producing a series of reports highlighting newly released 2016 Census data from Statistics Canada and its significance for Toronto and its communities. Our first report, Growth and Change in Toronto’s Neighbourhoods, released in February focused on population growth and density in Toronto over the past five years and the implications for creating inclusive communities across the city. Demographic Change in Toronto’s Neighbourhoods looks at the shifting age and sex makeup of Toronto and what it means for the programs, services and priorities of the city. 

The Union Advantage: Unions and the Response to Precarious Work Series

The Union Advantage is the first in our Unions and the Response to Precarious Work series. Social Planning Toronto has produced this series to inform public debate and provincial policy-making as the Ontario government considers its plan of action in response to the Changing Workplaces Review.

 

Growth and Change in Toronto's Neighbourhoods: The challenges of planning for growth and density in the downtown and inner suburbs

This page now links to an updated report, with adjustments to the table legends. (February 15, 2017 at 2:30pm)

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This report provides an overview of changes to the population and dwelling counts in Toronto, a review of the implications of those changes and recommendations on how to accommodate those changes. This report describes the changing landscape of Toronto as described by the census and the implications for our future priorities as a city. 

Missing Opportunities: How budget policies continue to leave behind low-income students

LOGreportpreview.jpgFamily income is one of the most powerful factors affecting student success. Students from economically and socially marginalized conditions face greater external challenges and consequently require the system to adapt to meet their needs. In recognition of this, the Ontario Ministry of Education provides all school boards with the Learning Opportunities Grant of which the largest portion is flowed through the Demographic Allocation (LOG-DA). Toronto remains the child poverty capital of Canada and yet the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) only spends about half of the LOG-DA on programs and supports for students living in poverty, according to data they published earlier this year.

The LOG-DA is intended to finance programs such as breakfast programs, homework clubs, reading recovery, and one-on-one support within the classroom, all of which help to level the playing field for marginalized students. However, because of chronic underfunding of the education system by the Province, the Toronto District School Board, like other school boards in Ontario, uses the LOG-DA to balance budget lines not related to the grant’s purpose. This means that the students with the greatest need are failing to benefit from the resources that they are entitled to – about $61 million worth of resources each year.

Divided City: Life in Canada’s Child Poverty Capital

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. 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. 

The Cost Of Poverty In Toronto

This report estimates the price of inaction. Regardless of the strategy used to address poverty, it asks, “What does it cost us to allow poverty to persist in Toronto?” It estimates how much more we may be spending in the health care and justice systems simply because poverty exists, and how much we lose in tax revenue, simply because poverty exists.

SPT releases new report on girls’ experiences at City-run enhanced youth spaces


Report-Cover.pngNext week high school will officially let out for summer vacation and many students will find themselves with a considerable amount of free time. How they spend this time, and whether they have adult supervision and productive outlets, will play an important role in determining their outcomes.

In the past two years the City of Toronto introduced seven enhanced youth spaces and will be opening three more this year. These spaces, which emerged as the result of community outcry, are founded on three pillars: dedicated space, dedicated staff, and responsive programming.

TOcore Community Services & Facilities Study - Phase One: Taking Stock

TOCore.jpgThe Community Services & Facilities (CS&F) Report, Phase One - Taking Stock is an assessment of community services and facilities in the 16 defined neighbourhoods comprising Toronto’s Downtown. This study engaged key internal and external stakeholders to examine needs and gaps in the community services and facilities sector, including: recreation, child care, libraries, schools, human services and public health. It identifies 13 strategic actions to increase capacity, innovation and collaboration and 27 opportunities to secure new facilities or improvements to existing facilities. A summary table and map of these identified opportunities can be found in Sections 8 and 9 of this report.

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