Toronto: A City of Startling Contradictions
For the fourth year in a row
Now here's the "but"!
The youth unemployment rate has surpassed 20%, which means a 5% climb in just one year. This puts
"We will not be able to count on young families and immigrants to support our declining population and workforce because life here is getting just too hard for those just starting out," said Rahul Bhardwaj, President and CEO of the
Toronto's Vital Signs(R) foresees young families choosing other cities where the cost of living is lower than
"Despite what the data suggests, demographics need not be Toronto's destiny.
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 and Housing, to the city's record on Environment, Safety, Learning, Getting Around, Belonging, Getting Started in
The Community Foundation is committed to the vitality of
Context: -------- - In 2008, Toronto ranked 13th worldwide and 3rd in North America (after New York and Chicago) on an index of 75 leading centres of commerce. Toronto placed 4th globally on the ease of doing business and 13th overall on liveability. - Toronto ranked 15th out of 215 global cities as having a highly desirable quality of life, for the fourth year in a row. - Toronto consistently ranks in the top 20 world cities for the number of patents registered each year (one of the most direct measures of innovation). What the indicators are saying by Vital Signs issue area: --------------------------------------------------------- Learning - Children risk scoring poorly on the Early Development Instrument (EDI) in 43% of Toronto neighbourhoods with low incomes, high immigrant populations and many lone-parent families. Arts and Culture - Toronto scores third among its peers (ahead of Seattle, Boston and Chicago) on the 'Bohemian' Index - a measure of a region's proportion of professionally creative people. Work - The youth unemployment rate in the Region surpassed 20% in June 2009, up 5% in just one year and 4% higher than the national rate (at 16%). Getting Around - Traffic congestion costs each Torontonian $555 annually in lost time, additional vehicle operating costs, accidents and emissions. Toronto is the second most congested among Ontario's 15 largest municipalities and regions. Getting Started - Recent immigrants are more than 3 times as likely to have lost jobs in the economic downturn than their Canadian-born colleagues. Health & Wellness - 1,316,000 people (58%) report that they are inactive during leisure time, including 38.9% of youth. Environment - Toronto diverted 44% of its residential waste in 2008. The 2% increase over 2007 was offset by an increase in total waste produced, so the amount going to landfills remained about the same (494,539 tonnes). The goal of 70% waste diversion by 2010 is still a long way from being met. Housing - The Toronto Region is rated "seriously unaffordable", ranking 190th internationally and 29th in Canada for housing affordability, with median housing prices of 4.8 times median household incomes. Safety - The Toronto Region's overall crime rate (3,998 per 100,000) was well below the national average as both the volume and overall severity of crime fell in 2008 for the fifth year in a row (6% over the year prior, and was the lowest of Canada's 33 large metropolitan centres). Gap Between Rich and Poor - In 1970, 66% of Toronto neighbourhoods were middle-income; in 2005, it dropped to 29%. Projections for 2025 erode them further to 20%. Belonging and Leadership - One indicator of a community's sense of civic engagement is the number of people who turn out to vote. Only 39% of all eligible voters turned out to vote in the last two civic elections in Toronto.For further information: Carole Boivin, VP Marketing, Communications and Donor Services, (416) 921-2035 No. 212, email@example.com or Michael Salem, Marketing and Communications, (416) 921-2035 No. 224, firstname.lastname@example.org