Toronto region becoming more divided along income lines

November 3, 2017
Article Source
Toronto Star

Toronto, long celebrated as a city of neighbourhoods, has become a collection of islands segregated by income, according to a new analysis of the latest census data.

Equally troubling is that this 40-year trend for Toronto has spread beyond the city's boundaries into areas such as Peel where for the first time a majority of neighbourhoods are low-income, says a report by United Way Toronto and York Region being released Wednesday.

"The data shows that the challenge of growing income inequality and polarization is now widespread throughout the region," says the study, an update of the agency's 2015 Opportunity Equation report that dubbed Toronto the "inequality capital" of Canada.

"What's sobering is that the majority of all the neighbourhoods in the GTA are segregated into either high- or low-income and the middle is vanishing. This is no longer just a Toronto or city issue," said United Way President and CEO Daniele Zanotti.

"This report gives us pause on the region we are and the region we risk becoming if we don't double down on good jobs, make sure our young people connect to the pipeline to those good jobs, and ensure that background and circumstance are not conditions for success," he added.

According to the 2016 Census, the average individual income before taxes in the GTA in 2015 was $50,479. Using data released last week, the report maps individual incomes by "census tract," or small, relatively stable areas with between 2,500 and 8,000 people, to tell the story.

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