New poverty report shines light on growing disparities between Toronto neighbourhoods

MISSISSAUGA, ON, March 27, 2013 /CNW/ - Today, World Vision and Citizens for Public Justice released a joint report, Poverty at Your Doorstep, featuring detailed snapshots of poverty in five Canadian cities. According to the research, Toronto is Canada's least equitable metropolitan region.

"In the St. Jamestown community in downtown Toronto thousands of new Canadians struggle to begin life in their new country. We work with these families every day and the support of the World Vision is helping them to make Canada their new home," says Kevin Moore, executive director of City Hope.

"World Vision is on the frontlines of poverty in nearly 100 countries, yet we can't ignore the situation in our own backyard. This report brings home the problem of poverty in Toronto where we're especially worried about the situation of newcomer children. Despite their hopes and dreams, immigrant and refugee families are now counted among those facing the sharpest limitations of poverty in Canada," says Hugh Brewster, World Vision Canada's national manager of Canadian programs.

"This report shows Canadians how much farther we need to go to end poverty. Citizens for Public Justice calls persistently for a life of dignity for all. An essential step in that direction is a federal poverty elimination plan that includes long-term solutions such as adequate housing, a fair taxation system and investment in social programs," says Joe Gunn, executive director of Citizens for Public Justice.

Poverty in Toronto

  • Between 1980 and 2005, Toronto's poorest neighbourhoods suffered a six per cent decline, while its wealthiest neighbourhoods saw incomes grow by 63 per cent.
  • Toronto's poverty and unemployment rates remain above national benchmarks.
  • Toronto's economy has picked up since 2010 and the number of jobs has been growing, but not fast enough to keep pace with population growth. Unemployment is stuck above eight per cent.
  • One in ten Torontonians now relies on social assistance for income support. The number of people using food banks has increased, reaching 946,000 in 2012.
  • Children of new immigrants are among the groups with the highest poverty rates in Canada. Young people and new immigrants struggle the hardest to find stable employment.
  • There has been considerable improvement in the situation of lone-parent families over the past decade, due to the fact that single mothers today tend to be older and have higher levels of education and employment.

Working with Toronto families
Well known for international development and humanitarian relief efforts, World Vision also works with 80 partner organizations to help Canadian children living in poverty. In Toronto, World Vision supports a range of activities including: refugee integration; youth leadership programs in Jane-Finch and Warden Woods neighborhoods; job skills for young teens in Weston & Lawrence; music/arts mentorship in Dixon Road community; and life skills and mentoring for single moms in Rexdale.

World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. Visit our News Centre at

Citizens for Public Justice (CPJ) is a national organization of members inspired by faith to seek justice in Canadian public policy.

SOURCE: World Vision Canada

For further information:

Interviews available:
For World Vision and City Hope, contact Tiffany Baggetta (mobile: 416-305-9612) or
At Citizens for Public Justice, contact Sarah Shepherd (613-232-0275 x225) or

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