"It's been a lost decade for many in Toronto," says Toronto's Vital Signs 2008 Report

    TORONTO, Oct. 7 /CNW/ - Torontonians should be proud of the city's status
as one of the world's most economically powerful cities. But Toronto's Vital
Signs 2008 report takes a close look at the 10 year trends since Amalgamation
and the findings reveal a city with many strengths but also struggling
mightily in important areas.
    "In many ways Toronto's Vital Signs 2008 shows encouraging stories: smog
alerts are down, more people are using public transit, overall crime rate is
down, arts and culture attendance is on the rise," explained Rahul Bhardwaj,
President and CEO of the Toronto Community Foundation. "But we are also facing
serious challenges that can't be ignored. Amalgamation held the promise of
creating one unified and prosperous Toronto. However what seems clear today is
that we have two Torontos: one for non-immigrants and one for immigrants or
the 'haves' and 'have nots'."
    The report reveals that one in four Torontonians have immigrated here
after 1990 and unlike any other city across Canada, nearly 50% of the
population identifies itself as a member of a visible minority.
    "We are a city of recent immigrants," says Bhardwaj, "Toronto has become
a 'majority of minorities'. And despite dramatic economic growth over the past
10 years, the number of families living in poverty has increased while
elsewhere in Ontario and across Canada, it has declined. It appears that in
Toronto, the last decade has been a 'lost decade' for many in Toronto."
    Toronto's Vital Signs was created to provide an integrated snapshot of
the vitality of our city. This annual Report looks at key indicators in 11
specific areas ranging from Work Opportunities and Housing Costs to the city's
record on Environment, Safety, Learning, Getting Around, Belonging, Getting
Started in Toronto and Gap between Rich and Poor.
    As a Community Foundation concerned with the vitality of Toronto, the
findings from this Report help increase the effectiveness of our grant making
while also informing our donors and Torontonians on the priority issues facing
our city. Toronto's Vital Signs has inspired similar studies in major cities
across Canada. This year Vital Signs will be published in 15 other cities as
the report is also considered a valuable tool for politicians, planners and
community groups.

    The Toronto Community Foundation is dedicated to making Toronto the best
place to live, work, learn and grow. The Foundation is one of Canada's largest
public Foundations; last year it granted in excess of $ 9 million. The
Foundation serves as a simple, effective and attractive alternative to
establishing a private foundation. By partnering with the Foundation, donors
support causes that matter to them while becoming engaged with a vital
organization that is dedicated to improving the quality of life in Toronto.

    The full report is available online at www.tcf.ca.

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/

For further information:

For further information: Carole Boivin, (416) 921-2035 ext. 212,
cboivin@tcf.ca; www.tcf.ca

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