The Hidden Epidemic: A Report on Child and Family Poverty in Toronto

This study reveals 29% cent of Toronto children (145,890 of 507,810) are part of low-income families — an increase of over 10,000 between 2010 and 2012.

People of colour, newcomers, children of lone parents, children from Indigenous communities, children in families living with disability – are much more likely to suffer the physical and psychological degradations of growing up in poverty.

The statistics also show 15 Toronto neighbourhoods have child poverty rates of 40% or more, which includes Regent Park, Moss Park, Thorncliffe Park and Oakridge.

Despite being home to five of the 10 richest neighbourhoods in Canada, Toronto has the shameful record of leading all major cities in Canada when it comes to child poverty,” the report states.

Almost one out of every five Canadian children lived in poverty in 2013. To put that into perspective, that’s 1,334,930 Canadian children in need.

The poverty “report card” paints a bleak picture:

  • The rate of child poverty in Canada has increased from 15.8% in 1989 to 19% in 2013,
  • Child poverty rates are nearly double for Indigenous children, at 40%
  • More than one third of children living in poverty are in a household with a family member who has full-time, year-round employment,
  • One in seven Canadians using homeless shelters are children, an environment that can lead to higher rates of mental and physical health issues.