Facts about Poverty in Toronto

At Moorelands Kids, we empower Toronto kids facing financial challenges.

Children and youth living in lower-income neighbourhoods face barriers that other kids don’t. Toronto has the third-highest child poverty rate among large cities in Canada, at nearly 15%. Our out-of-school programs following a positive youth development framework, empower kids to overcome the intersecting challenges they face.

Moorelands Camp and Moorelands Kids’ family programs serve children from all the low-income neighbourhoods across the City of Toronto.

Moorelands Kids’ after-school programs are delivered in the high needs, under-served, Neighbourhood Improvement Areas of Thorncliffe Park, Flemingdon ParkHumber Summit and Humbermede.

QUICK FACTS

  • Toronto has the third-highest child poverty rate among large cities in Canada, at nearly 15%. [1]
  • Around 1.8 million children under the age of 18 are affected by food insecurity.  [2]
  • In Canada, 15.6% of children and youth aged 0-17 live in low-income homes. [3]
  • In 2021, 38% of teenage students in Ontario reported fair or poor mental health, an increase of more than 10% since 2019. [4]
  • Participation in cultural, educational and hobby groups dropped by 39% between 2018 and 2022, representing a significant decrease in community involvement among youth. [5]
  • Income inequality is at an all-time high, with a rise in reported income insufficiency from 21% in 2018 to 33% in 2023. There was also a notable surge in food bank visits, surging by 295% between 2019 and 2023. [6]
  • A 2022 poll of Toronto residents revealed that 22% of people are reporting eating less than they should due to lack of funds and high grocery prices. [7]

HOW POVERTY AFFECTS CHILDREN AND YOUTH

  • Child poverty drives health inequalities. The many adverse effects of poverty on children, which may include poor hygiene, inadequate nutrition, psychological distress, discrimination, bullyinh and disruptions to education and home life can have cumulative effects on childhood development. [8]
  • Additionally, poverty impacts accessibility to health care in Canada, which can lead to a heightened risk of illness and long-term conditions in youth. [8]
  • Youth homelessness also contributes to heightened risks of emotional and psychological problems, as well as external symptoms such as inattention, hyperactivity and behavioural problems. [7]
  • In 2022, 1 in 4 children in Canada lacked access to food due to household financial strain. [7]
  • Insufficient access to nutritious food can affect physical and mental health in children; increase the risk of lifelong chronic diseases; disrupt school attendance and performance; and impact self-esteem, development and well-being. [7]
  • These heightened risk factors can lead to the prevalence of youth unemployment and educational attainment. [7]

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