For low income neighbourhoods to increase from 9% of a place to 51% of a place is a pretty crap reality. Welcome to Brampton and Mississauga, once showpieces of growth and consumer choice. Really, if you know anything about social conditions here the update to a 2015 United Way report will not surprise you.
And oh boy, the reports are never in short supply for long. From late September: word about older citizens and others in food difficulty.
Who’s Hungry in Our City? 2017
North York Harvest & Daily Bread Food Bank
Not working isn’t the cause of all this. In case you were wondering about 60% of those in poverty in Canada are in work.
Toronto’s Edwardian past is still here in much of the street grid and through older built structures. Unfortunately, you could say the way many a Torontonian lives right now is Edwardian.
Minimum-wage earners in Toronto do not make enough money to thrive. Report finds that residents need more than double what they earn on minimum wage, and that social policies need to be adjusted to meet the needs to present-day society
image: Daniel Varas via Flickr/CC
Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle meets Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed in today’s Toronto Star. The paper sent a writer to work at a large industrial bakery in Toronto recently. Her findings should shock us.
Wages are low. The pace is fast. Safety is a hit-and-miss affair in a profitable establishment making bread products for corporate clients. There has been loss of life at the plant where most of the workers are female newcomers. Their employer has received grants, loans and praise from the government. The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board gives them rebates. Through their lawyer the owners say that safety is important.
Temps pick their wages up in cash at a payday lending office thirty-five minutes away by bus. Their employer drives a Bentley and lives in a mansion.
On Twitter alone, mentions of this feature have grown steadily all day. This feature deserves a wide audience and is exactly the kind of reportage the Star should be coming up with.
We went looking around online for articles about natural disasters and poverty, specifically Hurricane Harvey, earlier this week. A couple of strong feature articles appeared in due course. Yet, we were unexpectedly distracted and found a rather poignant feeling was created by a piece on survivors of a different kind of horror and disaster.
Survivors of the Holocaust have called Toronto home since immediately after World War II. Now, in the final years of their lives, it emerges that many have lived in poverty. Truncated family connections, disrupted life courses, multiple migrations, language difficulties and emotional problems seem to have exerted themselves to the detriment of Holocaust survivors. The Toronto Star took a look at their situation this month in the item below.
Three pieces about the big concrete buildings. Two practical, one more emotional, human. Important stuff.
Zoning changes give new life to Toronto’s ‘apartment neighbourhoods’: Hume. Hundreds of apartment highrises in Toronto were built with assumption that residents “would drive where they wanted to go, so services weren’t necessary”
More than just ‘neighbours’. As the seniors in her building begin to leave her life, Katarina Ohlsson tries to find the word that encapsulates their importance
image: Craig Sunter via Flickr/CC
Why don’t big biz bosses look on paying living wages as one of the challenges of being in business? You know, instead of something to carp about. Why can’t our corporate commanders set living wages as a high level objective, apply the needed thought, creativity and resources and, well, just do it? Or, is it that they just don’t like the idea of living wages to begin with?
Galen Weston knows paying a living wage is bad for capitalism. A full-time minimum wage worker takes home $25,877. In Toronto where rent averages $2,000 a month, that means living in poverty
image: vintage ad from Jamie via Flickr/CC
Temp agencies on rise as province seeks to protect vulnerable workers. Statistics obtained by the Star show a 20 per cent increase in temp agencies in Ontario over the past decade, with much of that growth driven by businesses registering in the Toronto area
image: Sonny Abesamis via Flickr/CC
Fighting reality usually makes its negative aspects worse. Yet, who doesn’t find the idea of a detached home with a few trees and some other bits of greenery surrounding it seductive? It does seem that the reality around that is way ahead of what just may be our biggest commonly held desire. Funnily enough, when reading Matt Elliot’s piece addressing our housing reality in today’s Metro banner ads popped up featuring a nice three-storey with big trees either side.
Why we should give up on the detached home dream.
Housing deserves a broader conversation. One that recognizes that Toronto must continue to move past its suburban roots
image: Bryan Siders via Flickr/CC