It takes $18.52 an hour to make ends meet in Toronto: study

April 10, 2015

TORONTO – Two working parents with two children need to each earn a minimum of $18.52 an hour just to make ends meet in Toronto, says a new study from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ Ontario office (CCPA-Ontario).

Making Ends Meet, written by CCPA-Ontario economist Kaylie Tiessen, draws on a national living wage methodological framework to reflect what a living wage in Toronto is in 2015.

“When you take into account what it actually costs to rent an apartment, pay hydro, own a vehicle, pay for a TTC pass, buy groceries, and pay for child care, it means two working parents need to bring in a total of $72,242 a year in order to make ends meet for their family of four,” says Tiessen. “There are 70,000 working poor in the City of Toronto – 113,000 in the overall region. A living wage would be a real game-changer for those workers.”

The 2015 Toronto living wage updates the CCPA’s 2008 calculation and is published as a guide to employers, like DUCA Credit Union, who have committed to pay their workers a living wage.

“Toronto is joining an international movement:already, employers in Ontario, Canada, and around the world are adopting living wage policies,” says CCPA-Ontario Director Trish Hennessy. “In the U.K., more than 1,200 employers have signed living wage declarations; in 2014, the mayor of New York expanded living wages to thousands of city workers by requiring companies that do over $1 million in business with the city to pay a living wage; and in Ontario there is a growing number of living wage employers in Hamilton and Waterloo.”

 Keith Taylor, assistant vice-president of Strategic Social Impact for DUCA Credit Union in Toronto, not only participated in the working group that updated the city’s living wage calculation – his credit union has begun adopting the living wage rate and is continuing to move forward as a living wage employer and champion.

“Our employees have made a significant investment of their time and effort in making our business a success. In exchange, it’s only fair that all employees experience at least a reasonable standard of living and have the opportunity to fully participate in their communities,” says Taylor. 

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For more information please contact: Trish Hennessy (416) 525-4927 or [email protected]