Child poverty report damns Weston

While the business world is a-tizzy with the minimum wage and the city consults on the budget in this election year, you should cast a glance today at the kids walking home from school. Four in ten of them are desperately poor. They are your neighbours.

40% of Weston children live in poverty; 37% of Mount Dennis children do, a number that has not budged in the last 5 years, according to a report done in November by Social Planning Toronto and other social agencies.

Map of child povertyAnd make no mistake: children in poverty are very poor indeed: their families make between $25,498 (one parent, one child) and $36,426 (two adults, two children). They are more likely to be Indigenous, visible minorities, recent immigrants or refugees, and members of single-parent families, according to the report.

% of racialized children in low-income families
Weston’s poverty rate is much higher than the rate in the city as a whole, which is, in turn, much higher than in the rest of the country. Toronto has the highest child-poverty rate of any city in Canada: roughly 25%—more than double the rate in Calgary or the Halton region.

Even in Toronto, though, child poverty is unequally distributed. North and north-central Toronto are rich because the poor are pushed to the margins, generally in the inner, older suburbs.

Unequal City has one simple recommendation: pay for all the things we’ve already promised:

In recent years the City has developed, and City Council has overwhelmingly approved, a range of strategies to improve access to training and good jobs, as well as key supports and services, by those who face the most barriers to success. However, many of these strategies have not been implemented because they have not been fully funded.

Doing so would be cheap: $66 million a year, if we don’t include housing, which “may be partly supported at the provincial level”. That, as the report points out, is less than 1% of the city’s budget.

 

Author: Adam Norman

I am raising my two children in Weston.

3 thoughts on “Child poverty report damns Weston”

  1. Not good.

    And obviously, it shines a little more light on the importance of a decent place to live & raise your kids. And, who respectfully shares the community with those good folks.

    Quick glance at the map provides a small mercy for our challenged area, I suppose.

    The shade of blue for our area is not quite as dark as #55, 58 & 60 – the Regent Park, Don Mills & Scarborough’s Malvern areas?

    But, that’s hair splitting, isn’t it.
    Dark enough.

  2. This is what’s visible on Weston Road, and our neighbours deserve better. Council needs to act. We need to listen to anti-poverty and affordable housing advocates to help families escape the immediate and long-term effects of poverty.

    Please take this information and the suggestions on board, Ms Nunziata. Your constituents need your action.

  3. This is what happens when you dump.all low income rental units, no jobs, no decent stores, no plan, crappy leadership all in one area……..

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