Research & Reports
Family income is one of the most powerful factors a ecting 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 owed 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 nance 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 eld 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 bene t from the resources that they are entitled to – about $61 million worth of resources each year.
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.
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.
Next 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.
The 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.
Toronto is one of North America’s most multicultural urban centres and is home to over 65,000 newcomer youth. The settlement process can be a particularly stressful experience for youth who are already making the important transition from childhood to young adulthood. Newcomer youth in Toronto face additional challenges as most live in low-income households, do not speak English as their first language, and are members of racialized groups. Recreation is an important tool in supporting the healthy development of youth and the successful settlement of newcomer youth into Canadian society.
A frequent argument made against an increase to Ontario’s minimum wage is the potential impact on small businesses. However, increasingly, it is large firms that have been benefiting from a lowwage workforce. Using data from Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey (LFS), the following document provides an overview of the distribution of minimum wage workers in Ontario by firm1 size between 1998 and 2013, in order to gain a better understanding of the type of establishments who rely on a minimum wage workforce.
November 2014 marks the 25th anniversary of the House of Commons’ unanimous resolution “to seek to achieve the goal of eliminating poverty among Canadian children by the year 2000,”2 and five years since the entire House of Commons voted to “develop an immediate plan to end poverty for all in Canada.”3 Neither the promised poverty eradication nor any comprehensive Canada-wide plan for its eradication has materialized. Only minimal progress on reducing child poverty has been achieved.
However, there are signs of hope for progress. In September 2014, the Government of Ontario released its second five-year poverty reduction strategy (its first strategy helped to stem the rise in child poverty in the province and lift 47,000 children out of poverty between 2008 and 2011).4
Building Toronto, Creating Community The City of Toronto’s Investment in Nonprofit Community Services
The City of Toronto makes a vital, and often unrecognized, investment in critical community services delivered by hundreds of nonprofit organizations across the city. From after-school programs, crisis counselling and seniors’ health programs to youth leadership, newcomer civic literacy and community food programs, nonprofit community organizations-with the financial support of the City of Toronto-are building Toronto and creating communities. Through the City’s investment, community services make Toronto more liveable, equitable and inclusive.Organizations are able to stretch those dollars, and leverage City funding to bring new investments from other orders of government, foundations and private fundraising to expand programs and services in local communities.
In 2008, the global financial crisis resulted in the restructuring of markets and prompted unemployment, income inequality and poverty rates to increase both worldwide and in Toronto. In the context of the “Great Recession” what are the implications for addressing newcomer labour market access through entrepreneurship in Toronto? Moreover, what should policymakers and service providers consider to ensure new Canadians succeed and prosper in their new home?
To understand the experiences of newcomer entrepreneurs, Social Planning Toronto (SPT) and Newcomer Women’s Services Toronto (NEW) embarked on a research project, The Economy and Resilience of Newcomers (EARN). Both organizations wanted to explore whether entrepreneurship is a concrete solution to the high rates of newcomer unemployment within the City of Toronto.