Race and income contribute to COVID rates, but questions remain

Weston, and the rest of the northwest part of the city, was disproportionately hurt by COVID. The city has released data that explain this a little: we are a poorer, browner neighbourhood. This explanation, though, doesn’t go nearly far enough.

Torontonians who identify as East Asian or white are affected at about one-sixth the rate of those who identify as any other race.

In York South–Weston, 55% of residents are a visible minority. About a quarter are Black, and another tenth are South- or Southeast Asian, all groups hit hard by COVID.


From the city


Income also plays a role. Poorer households are disproportionately affected—in fact, the poorest are affected at almost 7 times the rate of the richest. Weston is quite poor. The median income here is $53,000, compared to $74,000 for the province as a whole, and 60% of those in our riding make less than $40,000 a year.

From the city

But these charts miss the mark, of course. Unless a pale shade or thick wallet somehow repels a virus like garlic repels vampires, there is a crucial missing question: what about low income or being a visible minority leads to exposure? Our riding also has cheaper parking, more rivers, and worse takeout than most. Correlation is not causation. In this case, correlation cannot be causation. What is the cause?

There are many unanswered and more pointed questions:

  • Are Westonians living in smaller homes at higher densities?
  • Are elder care homes more common in the suburbs? Are they of a lower standard?
  • Did commuting workers on transit catch the bug on a bus?
  • Are workers here at jobs more likely to expose them to the virus? Why?

And if so, what are we going to do about it?

MDCA looking for new members

The Mount Dennis Community Association is looking for new members, either as contributors to their many projects or as board members.

They say, the

MDCA has been severely curtailed by COVID restrictions, but that hasn’t stopped us from considering how to move forward on

Systemic racism
Code of Conduct
Economic Development working group
Eglinton West LRT Extension
Community Benefits
ecoNeighbourhood Climate Action Plan
G-Suite for Non Profits
Website Upgrades

If you wish to get involved, we are slowly moving ahead. We are looking tor people wanting to support our efforts, either on a particular topic, or as a Board member. Drop us a line, [email protected]

Drama in the park

Shakespeare in Action has announced that Alphonse, by Wajdi Mouawad, will be coming to Little Avenue Memorial Park later this summer. Among many other rave reviews, the play was called a “lovely piece of writing” and “a runaway theatrical success by the Globe and Mail.

SIA says it’s a story of “Alphonse [who] is lost and walking along a country road, weaving an intricate web of stories, while everyone is searching for him: parents, friends, teachers, the police. What they find is the thing we often give up in order to grow up.

They also say it is Toronto’s “first outdoor theatrical production of the new COVID-19 era”.  All the safety protocols will be followed.

The play will run August 20 to August 23, starting at 7 pm. It’s general admission, but tickets ($0–$50) are being sold in advance.

Promotional photo
Photo by SIA