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The Need is Great

It is a sad fact that in the City of Toronto, with all its wealth and opportunity, one child in three lives in poverty. (1)

  • At least 37% or 156,548 of children 0-14 years of age living in the amalgamated City of Toronto live below LICO, the Low Income Cut-off. (1)
  • The incidence of child poverty is higher in Toronto than Ontario, Canada and the surrounding regions of the Greater Toronto Area. (1)
  • Immigrants make up one-half (48%) of Toronto's population, and a majority (57%) of the poor. (1)
  • Lone parent families are disproportionately affected by poverty. 45% of Toronto's low income children live in lone parent families. (1)

Children who grow up in poverty show almost three and one-half times the number of conduct disorders, almost twice the chronic illnesses and over twice the rate of school problems, hyperactivity and emotional disorders as children who are not poor. The evidence suggests, however, that it is inequity, marginalization, and powerlessness, rather than economic deprivation that aggravates poor families' distress. Dr. Paul Steinhauer, National Forum on Health, "What Determines Health" National Forum on Health, Developing Resiliency in Children in Disadvantaged Populations, 1996

"When children and youth participate in sports, cultural programs and other recreational activities, they have better psychological health, improved familial interactions and perform better academically. They also relate better to their peers and have a greater awareness of their community. Recreation provides children and youth with the opportunity to develop skills and build their self-esteem. This is particularly important for young people who are at risk for developing long-term health or social problems.” Canadian Council on Social Development, “The Progress of Canada's Children”, 1996.

The neighbourhoods we serve

Moorelands Wilderness Camp serves children from some of the poorest neighbourhoods across the City of Toronto.

Moorelands City Programs are delivered in the high needs, under-served, low-income neighbourhoods of Thorncliffe Park, Flemingdon Park, and Queen-Greenwood

  • Flemingdon Park and Thorncliffe Park, two communities on either side of Don Mills Road, south of Eglinton, are high density, over-crowded and low income neighborhoods with extremely limited resources for children. Almost one quarter of the population in Flemingdon Park and Thorncliffe Park is under the age of 14.(2) Thorncliffe Park is home to North America’s largest elementary school with more than 1,500 children in Kindergarten to grade 5.
  • The Queen-Greenwood neighborhood, compared to the City of Toronto as a whole, has a high percentage of lone parent families with children, more persons are on social assistance, and more persons with less than a grade nine education.(3)

Helpful Links

Link to the City of Toronto's, Report Card on Children

Link to Campaign 2000

Link to the United Way's, Poverty by Postal Code report.

Link to Neighbourhood Profiles, City of Toronto

Thorncliffe Park Area

Flemingdon Park Area

Queen-Greenwood Area

  1. Toronto Campaign 2000's Report Card on Child Poverty in Toronto. Poverty is defined using the Low Income Cut-Off Measurement (LICO). Statistics Canada identifies low income families as those that spend a significantly higher proportion of their income on food, shelter and clothing than an average Canadian family of comparable size and community of residence. In a large metropolitan area such as Toronto, the low income cut-off for a family of two is $21,760 and $32,759 for a family of four.
  2. Neighbourhood Profiles - Series 1 Age/Gender, City of Toronto, January, 2003.
  3. The People, Places and Priorities of Riverdale: A Health Promotion Approach to Understanding Communities, Findings from the Riverdale Community Quality of Life Project, January, 1998.

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