VITALSIGNS - REPORT 2017/18 - Toronto Foundation

VITALSIGNS - REPORT 2017/18 - Toronto Foundation
REPORT 2017/18


VITALSIGNS - REPORT 2017/18 - Toronto Foundation





VITALSIGNS - REPORT 2017/18 - Toronto Foundation
14                 44
     ARTS &             INCOME &
     CULTURE            WEALTH

20                 50
                        CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
                        & BELONGING

26                 56
     GETTING            LEARNING

32                 62
     HEALTH &           SAFETY

38                 68
     HOUSING            WORK


VITALSIGNS - REPORT 2017/18 - Toronto Foundation
                               Established in 1981, Toronto Foundation is a community
                               foundation and registered charity. We pool philanthropic
                               dollars and facilitate charitable donations for maximum
                               community impact. Our individual, family and organizational
                               funds number more than 500, and we administer close to
                               $500 million in assets. Through strategic granting, thought
                               leadership and convening, we engage in city-building to
                               strengthen the quality of life in Toronto.

                               Philanthropists come to us to help simplify and enhance their
                               charitable giving in Toronto and across Canada. We also offer
                               a community of like-minded people for those who want
                               to make connections, learn and amplify their impact by
                               collaborating with others.

                               THE REPORT
                               Toronto’s Vital Signs Report is compiled from current statistics
                               and studies, serving as an annual consolidated snapshot of the
                               trends and issues affecting the quality of life in our city. For the
                               first time this year, Toronto Foundation has used an equity lens
                               to identify data for inclusion and analysis. This new framing aims
                               to surface the gaps and opportunities for improvement and
                               make the report a more actionable tool for policy-makers,
                               practitioners and philanthropists.

4 | About Toronto Foundation                                                VITAL SIGNS REPORT 2017/ 18
VITALSIGNS - REPORT 2017/18 - Toronto Foundation
Toronto Foundation would             Finally, a sincere thank you is    Roger Keil
like to thank Public Interest        also extended to the Advisory      Chair in Global Sub/Urban
Strategy and Communications,         Group of Toronto’s Vital Signs     Studies, Faculty of
Social Planning Toronto’s social     Report 2017-18:                    Environmental Studies,
enterprise, who served as the                                           York University
report’s principal writer, and          Paul Bedford
George Brown College, our lead          Chair, Waterfront Toronto       Robert Luke
research partner.                       Design Review Panel;            Vice-President, Research and
                                        Principal, Paul Bedford &       Innovation, OCAD University
We are also grateful to the             Associates; former City of
founders of Toronto’s Vital Signs       Toronto Chief Planner           Patricia McCarney
Report, Maytree and Laidlaw                                             President and CEO, World
Foundation, and in particular           Shauna Brail                    Council on City Data; Professor
Alan Broadbent and Nathan               Presidential Advisor on Urban   and Director, Global Cities
Gilbert, who created the model          Engagement and Associate        Institute, University of Toronto
in 2001 to monitor quality of life      Professor, Teaching Stream,
in Toronto. The report found its        Urban Studies Program, Innis    Sean Meagher
home at Toronto Foundation in           College, University             Executive Director, Social
2003, to allow for the report’s         of Toronto                      Planning Toronto
long-term stewardship and to
catalyze the findings. Since            Elliott Cappell                 Ceta Ramkhalawansingh
2006, Community Foundations             Chief Resilience Officer,       Director, Toronto Foundation;
of Canada has co-ordinated              City of Toronto                 City of Toronto Corporate
the national and international                                          Equity and Diversity Manager
replication of Vital Signs, which       Dawn Davidson                   (Retired)
is now used by 32 Canadian              Associate Vice-President,
communities and 80 globally.            Research and Innovation,        Ted Wong
                                        George Brown College            Management Consultant,
Toronto Foundation is also                                              City Manager’s Office,
indebted to the many                    Suzanne Dwyer                   City of Toronto
individuals, institutions and           Director, Institutional
organizations who contributed           Research and Planning,
information, statistics and             George Brown College
advice for the report. This
includes the people who shared          Joe Greenwood
with us their expertise on the          Lead Executive, Data —
issues and whose perspectives,          MaRS Discovery District
stories and photos are directly         and Program Director —
featured throughout this report.        MaRS Data Catalyst

VITAL SIGNS REPORT 2017/ 18                                                 Acknowledgements | 5
VITALSIGNS - REPORT 2017/18 - Toronto Foundation

What is a “just” city?
It’s a place where everyone has the opportunity      And when you’re finished, ask yourself:
to thrive. And where everyone has the ability to     Have I done enough? What more can I do?
contribute too, with time, talent and treasure.
                                                     Consider using this report as your giving guide.
Since you’re reading this, you likely call Toronto   Decide what issues matter most to you. Set a
home. I’ll bet you also care deeply about its        personal target for your charitable giving and
future – for your own self-interest but mostly       focus your contributions on bringing about change.
for the benefit of all – your neighbours and
those you may never meet. It’s people like you       Give what you can but if you’re looking for a reason
who make this city not just a pulsing metropolis     to give more, here are some things to consider:
but a community with heart.
                                                        he top 1 per cent bring home about
I’m not going to tell you what to think.               $250,000 or more in income (are you in the
The data in this report and the voices of              one per cent?);
those we’ve engaged in writing it speak for
themselves. I do have an agenda, however.              
                                                       People with incomes of less than $50,000 per
                                                       year are giving 2.3 per cent of their gross
I want you to care that the infant mortality           income to charity each year; those with incomes
rate for low income Torontonians is 50 per cent        of $100,000 are giving 1.6 per cent and those
higher than it is for the most affluent. Or that       earning $800,000 give at a rate of two per cent.
91 per cent of Indigenous people in Toronto
are living below the low-income cut-off.             I believe that philanthropy has an essential role
                                                     to play in making Toronto a kinder and more
Even more, I want you to do something                equitable city.
about it.
                                                     We have a lot to be proud of. And a lot to give.
Read this report from cover to cover. Talk
about it. Share it with your family, friends,        Thanks for reading.
colleagues and neighbours, maybe by hosting
a “Vital Conversation” over dinner (see the
conclusion section for more information). Ask
your elected officials and candidates what they
think about the growing inequities in our city.

6 | A Note from President & CEO                                               VITAL SIGNS REPORT 2017/ 18
VITALSIGNS - REPORT 2017/18 - Toronto Foundation
In many ways, Toronto is one                     — few global cities* have the                    we are a wealthy city, we are
of the best places to live in                    combination of a burgeoning                      also a city where too many
the world. Our population is                     skyline nestled within an expanse                are being left behind. And
growing, our skyline is rising,                  of ravines, rivers and a vast tree               we have a long road ahead
our economy is booming                           canopy, situated next to one of                  to meaningfully address the
and the vibrancy, diversity                      the Great Lakes and with a long                  systemic biases in our society
and richness of our cultural                     and lively waterfront its residents              rooted in racism, colonization
communities continue to                          can benefit from and enjoy.                      and oppression. As we move
expand. The population of                                                                         forward in a world of change
the City of Toronto has                          As one of the 100 Resilient Cities               and uncertainty, we need to
increased to 2,731,571 people,                   identified by the Rockefeller                    work together to build a city
according to the 2016 census,                    Foundation, Toronto has                          that not only celebrates, but
which is up 4.5 per cent over                    carved a path toward building                    also lives up to its commitment
2011.1 The economy of the                        physical, social and economic                    to fairness.
Toronto Census Metropolitan                      well-being for all of its residents.
Area (CMA), or the Toronto                       Resiliency is the ability to                     Building fairness and greater
Region, is now roughly the size                  adapt to and manage change                       equity means ensuring all
of Quebec’s. 2 Our technology                    successfully in rapidly evolving                 Torontonians have access to
startups are gaining recognition                 circumstances. From the                          and can capitalize on the
around the world, the city’s                     strength of our economy, to                      positive opportunities on offer
“Discovery District” at University               our strong neighbourhoods                        in our city. To do so, we need
Avenue and College Street is a                   and community connections,                       to be thoughtful stewards
national leader in biotechnology                 we have a lot to be proud of.                    of what makes our city an
and we remain an international                   But to achieve our potential,                    excellent place to live.
banking leader and a global                      it is vital that we build on the
figure in film and television.                   assets we have worked so                         EQUITY
                                                 hard to achieve.
                                                                                                  This year, Toronto Foundation
The richness and diversity of
                                                 However, divisiveness is still                   chose to look specifically
our economy is matched by
                                                 a threat in a city that celebrates               at equity: we wanted to
the diversity of our communities.
                                                 diversity. While Toronto has a                   explore the ways in which our
As Canada’s top immigration
                                                 wealth of opportunity, we are                    culture, systems, institutions,
destination, Toronto and the
                                                 seeing a growing divide in                       behaviours, mindsets and
Greater Toronto Area (GTA)
                                                 terms of who has access to                       frames of reference may
are a magnet for people from
                                                 those opportunities. Enclaves                    be putting up barriers that
around the world who seek a
                                                 are deepening, as is income                      block some populations from
place to apply their skills, raise
                                                 inequality. Increasingly,                        accessing Toronto’s immense
their families or find a safe home
                                                 neighbourhoods are divided                       opportunities and where
in a caring nation. Not only is
                                                 into rich and poor, with fewer                   government, the corporate
Toronto rich with opportunity,
                                                 mixed communities. Though                        sector, philanthropy and
but it is also a beautiful city

* The term “global cities” refers to the most economically influential cities across the globe.

VITAL SIGNS REPORT 2017/ 18                                                                                      Introduction | 7
VITALSIGNS - REPORT 2017/18 - Toronto Foundation
everyday citizens can direct                    differences among us and seeing                  These three dimensions of
their attention and resources                   the gaps in equity are the best                  equity are used to explore
to help level the playing field.                ways to determine where to                       the issues that Toronto’s Vital
The data on equity points to                    focus the attention and resources                Signs Report has always
many areas of concern — not as                  of policy-makers, everyday                       tracked, to see if, in each
an indictment of our city, but                  residents and philanthropists.                   of those areas, we see the
to help us build a road map for                                                                  same starting points, access
what needs to be addressed.                     FOR THIS PUBLICATION, WE                         and outcomes for Toronto’s
                                                HAVE FOUND IT HELPFUL TO                         residents. What we found tells
Toronto has seen enormous                       LOOK AT EQUITY IN THREE                          us a lot about what work we
growth and progress over the                    DISTINCT WAYS:                                   still have to do as a city.
years. We often take pride
                                                     hat are we starting with?
in its economic, social and                                                                      METHODOLOGY
cultural successes, but many                        Are we starting out with the
continue to be left behind.                         same tools and opportunities?                AND LIMITATIONS
The opportunities and assets                        Do we get enough to eat?                     To understand how inequity
our city offers do not reach                        Do we speak the predominant                  is playing out in Toronto, we
everyone, and the gap between                       language? Do we have access                  analyzed how subgroups of
the haves and have-nots has                         to clean air and water?                      people were doing, compared
been growing.                                                                                    to city averages, and we also
                                                   hat do we experience?                        looked at trends among specific
Our continued well-being                          What access do we have to                      populations. These differences
depends on building a Toronto                     the tools and opportunities                    are easiest to identify by using
where all communities can                         that support success, and                      disaggregated data to examine
share in emerging opportunities                   what exposure do we have to                    different subgroups separately.
and improved quality of life.                     harmful environments? Can                      When we disaggregate data by
To do this, we need to look at                    we get health care? Do we                      gender, race, income, geography
our differences. We need to                       have adequate opportunities                    and immigration status, we can
intently study the disparities                    to learn? Are we protected                     see if women earn the same
in opportunity and access,                        from violence or disruption?                   as men, or if racialized* people
and reflect on where we are                                                                      get the same employment
succeeding and where we are                          hat are our outcomes?
                                                    W                                            opportunities as non-racialized
failing to bridge those gaps.                       Do we achieve the same                       people, or if refugees have the
We can achieve that by applying                     results, regardless of                       same educational outcomes
an equity lens — reflecting on                      background or geography?                     as others. In some cases, the
the variations and disparities                      Do we have the same life                     results were predictable, but
among our circumstances,                            expectancies, graduation                     at other times, they revealed
rather than erasing them with                       rates or wealth?                             unanticipated outcomes that
averages. Understanding the                                                                      haven’t previously been captured
                                                                                                 or recognized in any analyses.

  he term “racialized” refers to the process of ascribing racial identities to a relationship, social practice or group by another. It’s a
 sociological term that has gained popularity in everyday discourse to better understand identity. Racialization is the complex process
 through which people and groups come to be designated as being of a particular “race” based on social, economic and political forces
 and on that basis subjected to differential and/or unequal treatment. It emphasizes how racial categories are constructed, but are also
 socially and culturally very real.

8 | Introduction                                                                                         VITAL SIGNS REPORT 2017/ 18
VITALSIGNS - REPORT 2017/18 - Toronto Foundation
Unfortunately, there is limited       under-represents Indigenous             Torontonians experience a good
access to disaggregated data.         communities, we decided                 quality of life.
One of the major challenges           not to include it in this report.
that we face as researchers is        Well Living House, located              As a result, disaggregated
the inability to link different       at the Centre for Research              data is used from years previous
data sets, or to break down data      on Inner City Health at St.             to 2017 and 2016, where no
according to different groups         Michael’s Hospital, is currently        more recent data was available
of people or characteristics, to      in the process of undertaking           at time of writing. Where
paint a more detailed picture         statistically inclusive community       disaggregated data is not
of the lived realities of different   action research on health               available for the City of Toronto
populations. For example,             and well-being outcomes for             specifically, data is used from
there are extensive statistics        Indigenous infants, children and        larger geographies such as the
on health that often show data        their families in our city, and it is   Greater Toronto Area or the
by age and gender, but they           expected to be publicly released        Toronto CMA, Statistics Canada
rarely include related variables      in 2018. We recommend readers           boundaries that describe the
according to income group,            keep an eye out for this crucial        Toronto Region.
immigration status, sexual            data once it becomes available.
orientation or race. While some
educational institutions and          Intersectionality, or the impact
government bodies gather              of intersecting interwoven
data showing variations by race       factors such as gender, race
or immigration status, many           and sexual orientation, is
do not. The data presented in         also critically important to
this year’s Vital Signs Report        understanding the complex
reflects those constraints. We        realities of equity, but is also
have decided to only publish          particularly hard to track.
data that provides credible,          Thanks to the sharing of and
disaggregated information,            directing toward hard-to-find
but we acknowledge that our           data by multiple research
findings have been limited based      partners and colleagues, we
on what we could obtain, rather       have been able to source and
than all we would like to know.       cite intersectional data in some
                                      cases. However, availability
One major gap pertains                and access are limited. And
to the lack of reliable data          far more work needs to be done
on Toronto’s Indigenous               to gather, monitor and share
communities. Because the              disaggregated and intersectional
sampling methodology utilized         data, so that we can use that
through Statistics Canada’s           information and continue to
Census Program often seriously        work together to help all

VITAL SIGNS REPORT 2017/ 18                                                                  Introduction | 9
VITALSIGNS - REPORT 2017/18 - Toronto Foundation

Toronto, like many parts               and that diversity continues       Punjabi, once less spoken,
of Canada, is experiencing             to grow and change. In 2016,       are now prominent through
significant demographic                47 per cent of the population      much of the northeast
change. Family structures              was immigrants, much higher        and northwest of our city,
in particular are changing             than the national rate of 21.9     respectively. Dozens of other
dramatically in Toronto. 3             per cent.9 And as Toronto’s        spoken languages, from
According to Statistics Canada,        immigration patterns shift, so     Persian to Serbian to Gujarati,
couples with children have             does its population base. Over     are predominant and ever-
historically been the most             the last 20 years, South Asian     growing in smaller local
common family constellation,           populations have grown rapidly,    enclaves.13
but they have slipped from             while East Asian communities
almost one-third of households         have grown steadily and            While linguistic diversity is
to just above one-quarter.4            European backgrounds have          considerable in Toronto, its
People living alone now make           remained far more fixed,           intensity varies. Older enclaves,
up the most common household           keeping less pace with our         such as the Chinatowns
type by far. 5 Almost 70,000           growing city.10 In 2016, over      in north Scarborough and
homes in Toronto are made              half of Torontonians (51.5 per     downtown and the Portuguese
up of unrelated people,                cent) identified as belonging      and Italian neighbourhoods
and almost one-third of all            to a visible minority group,       on the west side of the city,
families with children are             the first time this figure has     show some of the densest
lone-parent families. 6                ever surpassed 50 per cent.11      populations who speak neither
                                                                          of Canada’s official languages.14
The aging population has               Appreciating the full diversity    For example, in some parts
also created a stark shift in          of Toronto can be difficult, but   of north Scarborough, over
the social makeup of the city.         mapping the kaleidoscope of        25 per cent of residents do
For the first time in history,         languages that make up our         not speak English or French.15
there are more seniors in              city is one way to do it. More
Toronto than children.7 The            than 20 languages comprise         Toronto’s population also
youth population continues to          the top languages spoken in        continues to shift geographically,
grow for now, but the steady           each Toronto neighbourhood,        with rapid growth in the urban
decline in the number of               thanks to ongoing shifting         centre and gradual declines
young children will soon be            immigration patterns.12            in north Scarborough, North
even more noticeable. 8                Mandarin, Spanish, Italian and     York and north Etobicoke.
                                       Portuguese are widespread,         Condominium development is
Toronto’s diverse population           well-established languages         a key driver in this process, as
has always been a strength,            across Toronto. Tamil and          much of the growth matches

10 | Toronto's Changing Demographics                                            VITAL SIGNS REPORT 2017/ 18
larger-scale condominium                             barely one person in 30 lives                         one in two for newcomers
developments on the central                          below Statistics Canada’s                             and for some ethno-cultural
waterfront, in south Etobicoke                       poverty line (the Low Income                          groups.17 The patterns of
and along the Yonge Street,                          Measure), while in others, two                        poverty continue to reflect the
Bay Street and Sheppard                              out of every three residents                          worrying divide that faces our
Avenue corridors.                                    live in poverty.16 The situation                      city, with far more people living
                                                     is even starker for children:                         with low incomes in the inner
While Toronto is a wealthy city,                     more than one in four children                        suburbs than in the city’s core.18
the level of wealth inequality                       live in poverty in Toronto, and
can be striking. In some areas,                      that number rises to almost

Census Metropolitan Area (Toronto Region)
and the Greater Toronto Area                                                         Lake Simcoe

                                                                                       Georgina             Brock
                       Mono                     Beeton
                                               Tottenham                  East Gwillimbury


                                                      King       Aurora
                          Caledon                                              Whitchurch
                                                                                Stouffville                 Durham
                              Peel                             Richmond
                                                    Vaughan                    Markham        Pickering   Whitby

                                                                                                                   Oshawa        Clarington
                              Brampton                                                             Ajax
          Halton Hills

         Halton                  Mississauga                                                      Lake Ontario

                                                      Census Metropolitan Area Boundary                            Greater Toronto Area Boundary

VITAL SIGNS REPORT 2017/ 18                                                                         Toronto's Changing Demographics | 11
(as recognized by the City of Toronto)
                                                                                                                                               STEELES AVE.
                                               Mount                                                                                              Branson
                                                Olive-                                                                                                          Newtonbrook         Newtonbrook
                                            Silverstone-          Humber Summit                 Black Creek                                                        West                East
                                            Jamestown                                                              York University

                                                                           Humbermede                                                                           Willowdale
                                                                                                                                             Bathurst             West
                                                         Beaumond                                                                                                                   Willowdale
                                                          Heights                          Glenfield-Jane                                     Manor                                    East

                                                     Rexdale-                                                                                                  Lansing-
                       West Humber-Clairville
                                                      Kipling                                                                                                  Westgate
                                                                 Rexdale                                                                      Clanton                                  St. Andrew
                                                                                                     Downsview-Roding-CFB                      Park

                                                                                   Pelmo                                                                    Park-Nortown
                                                                                                              Maple                        Englemount-
                                                             Kingsview                             Rustic                                   Lawrence               Lawrence Park
                                                             Village-The                                                                                              North
                                                              Westway                  Weston                               Yorkdale-                                                  Bridle Pat
                                                                                                                            Glen Park                                                  Sunnybroo
                                                                            Humber                   Brookhaven-                                                Lawrence Park           York Mill
                                                                            Heights-                  Amesbury                                                     South
       HWY 401
                                                  -Richview                               Mount                               Briar
                                                                             mount                    Beechborough-                           Forest Hill
                                                                                          Dennis       Greenbrook        Hill-Belgravia         North
                                                   Princess-        Edenbridge-                                                                    Yonge-      West
                                                   Rosethorn       Humber Valley                    Keelesdale- Caledonia- Oakwood                Eglinton
                                                                                                     Eglinton    Fairbank Village          Forest                   Mount
             Eringate-Centennial-                                                                      West                              Hill South                Pleasant
                 West Deane                                                            Smythe                                   Humewood-                             East Leaside
                                                                                                          Weston-                Cedarvale                                Benningto
                                                                                                          Pelham Corso Italia-                      Yonge-
                          Etobicoke                                                                                                          Casa   St.Clair
                            West                                                                 Junction Park Davenport Wychwood           Loma
                             Mall                                                                  Area                                                        Rosedale-     Broad
                                                                      Kingsway   Lambton                                                                      Moore Park       Nor
                                      HWY 427

                                                                                   Baby           High Park     Dovercourt-Wallace
                      Markland                                                     Point                         Emerson-Junction          Annex
                                                                                                                          Dufferin   Palmerston- University
       BLOOR AVE.                               Islington-City
                                                                                                                           Grove      Little Italy
                                                                       Queensway                                             Little
                                                 Centre West                                                                          Trinity- Kensington-
                                                                                                                            Portugal Bellwoods Chinatown
                                                                                                                                                                             Moss             S
                                                                                                                        South                                                Park            Riv
                                                                                                                       Parkdale                     Waterfront
                                                           Mimico (includes Humber                                                        Niagara   Communities
                                                                 Bay Shores)                                                                        –The Island

                                                       New Toronto                               Runnymede-
                                                                                                 Bloor West           Roncesvalles
                                    Long Branch                                                  Village

                                                                                                                                                                              St. James Town


                                                                                                                                                                  Bay Street

   12 | Toronto's Changing Demographics
Steeles                       Milliken
k      Bayview              Hillcrest
     Woods-Steeles          Village

                                                                    L'Amoreaux                   Agincourt                                               Rouge
      Bayview          Don Valley                                                                 North
       Village          Village
                          Henry Farm                                Tam O'Shanter-               Agincourt
                                                                       Sullivan                South-Malvern
                                                                                                   West                                                      401

                                                                                                                                                 Highland Creek
                                                                                  Dorset       Bendale         Woburn                                             Centennial
              Banbury-                                                             Park                                                                          Scarborough
th-           Don Mills                                         Wexford-
ok-                                                             Maryvale
ls                                  Victoria                                                                                                 West Hill

                                                                                               Eglinton East

                    Park                                                                                       Scarborough
                                                                                                                                             EGLINTON AVE.
       Park                                                    Clairlea-             Kennedy
e                                                                                                                 Village
                                                              Birchmount               Park
on                          O'Connor-
          Old East York
rth         Danforth–     Woodbine-
            East York     Lumsden Taylor-
            Danforth               Massey                  Oakridge

    Blake-         Woodbine     East
                   Corridor End-Danforth
ale Jones                                                   Birchcliffe-
                            The Beaches
                                               VICTORIA PARK AVE.

                     Playter Estates-
                     Danforth                                                                                                                              Lake

              South St.
              James Town

              Regent Park

                                                                                                                      Halton                                      Lake

                                                                                                                                               Toronto's Changing Demographics | 13
                      ARTS &
                      Too often people think of art narrowly — as a personal activity, as
                      experiences for individual artists or as audience members. But arts
                      and culture industries are important driving forces behind Toronto’s
                      economy. The economic benefits generated through theatre, film,
                      music, visual arts and community arts industries are a significant
                      contributor to Ontario’s gross domestic product (GDP).19,20,21

                      Additionally, the arts enhance our sense of well-being, connectedness
                      and civic pride. 22 Engaging people actively in art and creation is a
                      key part of sharing and fostering culturally vibrant communities. The
                      arts have a positive impact on social integration, as well as personal
                      and community development. And in a multicultural city, those
                      benefits should be a part of everyone’s lives.

                      Toronto is the powerhouse              to artists per capita. Toronto
                      of Ontario’s arts and culture          ranks third, compared to other
                      industries, contributing $11.3         major Canadian cities in terms
                      billion to Ontario’s GDP in 2011. 23   of concentration of artists, with
                      Based on the 2011 National             1.76 per cent of the population
                      Household Survey, Toronto is           deriving their income from the
                      home to 23,700 professional            arts, compared to Victoria at
                      artists — more than any other          2.36 per cent and Vancouver
                      city in Canada. 24                     at 2.32 per cent. 25

                      However, Toronto trails behind         Recent analysis on arts and
                      other major cities when it comes       culture spending reveals that

14 | Arts & Culture                                                VITAL SIGNS REPORT 2017/ 18
“Investment in the arts is good for
investments in Toronto’s arts
sector show positive returns             quality of life in Toronto, and it is a
for the city’s economy overall.
For every dollar Toronto invests
                                         source of significant economic growth.”
in its arts, the city brings back
$8.26 in earned revenue. 26
Investment in the arts is good
for quality of life in Toronto,
and it is a source of significant
economic growth.                        Participating in arts and cultural   Participation in the arts varies
                                        events provides many benefits        widely by geography. According
Despite this, Toronto has one of        to Torontonians: it brings family    to a survey commissioned by
the lowest rates of municipal arts      and friends together, it is          the Toronto Arts Foundation in
funding per capita, compared to         entertaining and intellectually      2015, almost 60 per cent of
other cities. While per capita          stimulating and it can be            downtown residents reported
funding reached $22.38 in 2014, 27      inspiring and motivational.          attending arts performances,
city council must increase the          Attending or participating in        and 50.5 per cent reported
2018 budget by $2 million in order      cultural activities is associated    visiting cultural locations such as
to reach the long-standing goal of      with many major indicators of        museums, galleries and concert
$25 per capita. 28 Even so, Toronto     health and well-being, including     halls. 31 Residents in Scarborough
will continue to lag behind the         better overall heath, mental         (36.8 per cent) and Etobicoke
2009 per-capita arts funding            health and life satisfaction. 30     (36.4 per cent) were far less
levels of other major cities such as    However, not all Torontonians        likely to attend cultural events,
Montreal ($55), Vancouver ($47),        have equitable access to the         compared to other regions
Calgary ($42) and Ottawa ($28). 29      arts and their benefits.             within the City of Toronto. 32

VITAL SIGNS REPORT 2017/ 18                                                               Arts & Culture | 15
Arts Events Attendance by Demographic Group, 2015                             Other socio-demographic
                                                                              characteristics are also shown
 100                                                                          to have a significant impact
                                                                              on participation in the arts.
                                                                              Over 85 per cent of households
  80                                                                          with incomes above $100,000
                                                                              attend arts events, compared
                                                                              to 70 per cent of households
  60                                                                          with incomes below $100,000.
                                                                              Women (73.9 per cent) are
                                                                              significantly more likely than
  40                                                                          men (68.2 per cent) to attend.
                                                                              Immigrants (72.3 per cent)
                                                                              are slightly more likely than
  20                                                                          Canadian-born Torontonians
                                                                              (70.8 per cent) to visit arts
                                                                              events. 33
         Household Household        Immigrant    Canadian     Male   Female
          Income      Income                       Born                       Unfortunately, there are several
        under $100K over $100K                                                issues that affect who can

UNITY Charity uses hip hop to improve young people’s lives.

16 | Arts & Culture                                                                 VITAL SIGNS REPORT 2017/ 18
participate in the arts in Toronto.
Nearly nine in 10 Torontonians
experience barriers to attending
arts events (88 per cent). Most
cite cost (55 per cent), lack of
information (37 per cent) and
lack of time to participate (34
per cent) as the major barriers. 34
                                      CITY VOICES
Proximity also plays a major
role in whether people attend                                              Faduma Mohamed
arts and cultural events. In 2016,                                         at Jane and Falstaff
31 per cent of Torontonians                                             While there is a noticeable
indicated that they do not                                              amount of funding that goes
attend cultural events because                                          to promoting and supporting
they are too far from where they                                        the arts in Toronto, artists
live, and 26 per cent said it was                                       themselves face many
because they lacked quality                                             challenges when compared
events in their neighbourhood. 35                                       to other professions. Growing
                                      up at Jane Street and Falstaff Avenue without a TV or computer,
While there are consistent            Faduma had no choice but to get creative. “I began writing out
inequities in terms of who            of sheer boredom. There was really nothing else to do.” Faduma
                                      credits her brother, who lives with autism, with deepening her
can afford the time and
                                      empathy and teaching her how to put emotions into her writing.
money to participate in the
                                      “He’s non-verbal,” she explains. “You have to learn new methods
arts, Toronto is home to many
                                      of communicating, but more importantly, you have to learn new
strong community-based arts           methods of understanding.” By her late teens, Faduma was
organizations that are working        regularly sharing her writing at school, and in her first year of
hard to reduce these barriers.        university, she began performing spoken word poetry with RISE
Toronto Arts Foundation’s Arts        Edutainment, a Scarborough-based performing arts collective.
in the Parks is a good example
of how location and cost              Since then, Faduma has worked with Unity Charity and performs
can help overcome barriers            throughout the city. At age 24, Faduma feels fortunate to make
to participation in the arts.         a living through spoken word poetry, but still faces challenges.
                                      Like many artists, she is sometimes asked to perform for less
Arts in the Parks is a partnership    than the fee she charges, or for free in exchange for exposure.
                                      “Exposure won’t help me put food on the table,” she says. She
initiative with the Toronto Arts
                                      also feels that increasing awareness of existing resources would
Council, City of Toronto and
                                      help up-and-coming Toronto artists thrive. “I know that there
the non-profit group Park
                                      are supports available for artists, but my questions are: ‘Where
People, which helps volunteers        are the opportunities, and how do people get access?’” Adds
animate and improve parks.            Faduma: “Just not knowing is a barrier in and of itself.”
The program encourages
community-building, enjoyment
of local parks and offers arts
events throughout the city.

VITAL SIGNS REPORT 2017/ 18                                                    Arts & Culture | 17
“Our biggest challenge is lack of access to
  the arts, including available and affordable
  spaces and the need for more arts and culture
  opportunities outside the downtown core.”

 In 2016, 34,000 Torontonians      of the city where the arts event   and collectives, and 25 per cent
 enjoyed free arts events in       was being held. 38                 of applications from individuals.41
 their local parks. 36 With the                                       TAC investments in community-
 support of approximately 250      The City of Toronto flows 60       based arts grew by $1.4 million
 volunteers, more than 55 parks    per cent of its cultural funding   in the last four years, topping
 hosted dance, music, film and     through the Toronto Arts           $2.2 million in 2016.42
 theatre performances, as well     Council (TAC), which then
 as temporary installations. 37    administers it to artists and      The City of Toronto’s Arts and
 Offering arts events in parks     arts organizations. 39 In 2016,    Cultural Services also delivers
 brings people together and        TAC awarded approximately          some grant programs directly.
 fosters a stronger sense of       $12.5 million to organizations     In 2017, 10 organizations
 community. It also brings the     and collectives, and another       received a total of $7.9 million
 arts closer to communities        $2 million to individual           in funding through the Major
 with less access, increasing      artists.40 While TAC is able       Cultural Organizations program.
 attendance in those areas.        to prioritize and fund the         Grants were awarded to many
                                   vast majority of operational       major institutions such as the
 There are higher participation    funding requests across            Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada’s
 rates in inner-suburban           Toronto, smaller organizations     National Ballet School and
 communities such as Rexdale       and individual artists face        the Toronto International Film
 and Fairview when local arts      a much more competitive            Festival and also to community
 events are held nearby. A         funding environment. In 2016,      arts programs such as Pride
 survey of 725 attendees at        TAC supported 97 per cent          Toronto, Luminato and the
 30 events in 23 different parks   of applications for operating      Toronto Caribbean Carnival.43
 found that the majority (79       funds, but only 47 per cent        Another $1.7 million was
 per cent) of attendees live in    of applications for projects       allocated through the Local
 the neighbourhood or region       supported by organizations         Arts Service Organizations

 18 | Arts & Culture                                                        VITAL SIGNS REPORT 2017/ 18
                                                          Claire Hopkinson
                                                          Director and CEO,
                                                          Toronto Arts Council

                                      Our biggest challenge is lack of access to
                                      the arts, including available and affordable
                                      spaces and the need for more arts and culture
In addition to providing grants       opportunities outside the downtown core.
                                      More resources are needed to support arts
for arts and culture, the city
                                      initiatives at a local level, as well as more
spends $47.8 million producing
                                      incentives to create arts hubs, including
festivals and events, delivering
                                      supportive changes to municipal tax policy.
and supporting community
activities, classes, events and       We need to recognize the contribution arts
exhibits, and managing art venues     make to city-building and better understand
and public art.45                     how investment in the arts creates a more
                                      connected and dynamic city.
While there is a noticeable
amount of funding that goes           Arts organizations and artists living and
to promoting and supporting the       working throughout Toronto contribute to an
arts in Toronto, artists themselves   important diversity of arts practices in our city.
face many challenges when             Many areas outside the downtown core are
                                      arrival communities and home to newcomers
compared to other professions.
                                      and refugees, many of whom bring their arts
On average, Canadian artists
                                      practices with them, further enriching our city.
made 32 per cent less than the
                                      The Toronto Arts Council, Toronto Arts
average income of all working         Foundation and the City of Toronto value the
people in Canada in 2011. They        power of the arts and develop policies in
are also more than twice as likely    response to the sector’s needs and to support
to work two jobs and more than        arts in every neighbourhood.
three times as likely to be
self-employed.46                      Overall, I would give us high marks for support
                                      for arts access and programming throughout the
                                      city, but a mediocre grade for lack of affordable
                                      arts and culture spaces.

VITAL SIGNS REPORT 2017/ 18                                      Arts & Culture | 19
                    Residents and visitors alike celebrate Toronto’s green spaces. Our
                    abundant parks, rivers, ravines, and our glorious Great Lake and
                    tree canopy all contribute to a green and natural setting that makes
                    Toronto a uniquely welcoming city. However, with worrisome levels
                    of air pollution and rapidly accelerating climate change, the physical
                    environment is increasingly under stress, and we risk reducing its
                    capacity to serve as a positive and important determinant of health.

                    Climate change in particular is a major challenging reality we face
                    in Toronto. In addition to the devastating storms we see on the news,
                    changing weather patterns also causes more frequent extreme
                    temperatures, ice storms, heavy rains and flooding, all of which
                    pose risks for the immediate and long-term health and well-being
                    of Torontonians.

                    Toronto has seen some                 while Toronto has seen progress
                    significant progress in air quality   over the past decade with
                    over the past few years. In 2014,     smog, air quality is still a
                    Toronto experienced the first         concern in Toronto, compared
                    year without any smog advisory        to other parts of Canada. Fine
                    days in over a decade. This is a      particulate matter is a core
                    stark comparison to just nine         component of smog and is
                    years earlier, where 14 smog          associated with higher rates of
                    advisories were issued over           cardiovascular and respiratory
                    48 days in 2005.47 However,           disease. Based on 2014 data,

20 | Environment                                                VITAL SIGNS REPORT 2017/ 18
                                                                                 and those without cooling
                                                                                 systems to prevent health-
                                                                                 threatening temperatures.
                                                                                 Intense rainfall can cause
      DAILY                                                            DAILY
   TEMPERATURE                                 EXTENDED               RAINFALL   pollution levels to rise, as it
                          HOT DAYS
     MAXIMUM                                  HEAT WAVES              MAXIMUM    overwhelms the sewer system

      44o                   66                  2.5                   166        and pushes contaminants into
                                                                                 our lakes and rivers.
       celsius           above 30o             per year           millimetres
     2040-50              2040-50              2040-50                2040-50    Toronto is seeing some
                                                                                 improvements in the amount
      37o                   20                  0.6                    66        of household waste being
     2000-09              2000-09             2000-09                 2000-09    produced and sent to landfill.
                                                                                 Toronto’s overall residential
   *Source: Toronto's Future Weather and Climate Driver Study, 2011
                                                                                 diversion increased to 52
                                                                                 per cent from 44 per cent
                                                                                 between 2008 and 2016, and
                                                                                 it was projected to remain at
annual averages for Toronto                  Toronto’s analysis of the impact    52 per cent in 2017. 51 The City
areas ranged from 8.7 to 9.8                 of climate change predicts          of Toronto passed the Long-
micrograms of fine particulate               significant risks to health, with   Term Waste Management
matter per cubic metre.48 This               a four-fold spike in heatwaves,     strategy in July 2016, which
is considerably higher than the              a tripling of high temperature      sets long-term targets for
Canadian national average of                 days and more than a doubling       waste diversion, prevention
7.7 micrograms per cubic metre.              of rainfall volumes over the next   and recycling. The plan expects
These figures also come close to             20–30 years. 50 Extreme heat        that by 2026, 70 per cent of
Environment Canada’s national                can be dangerous for seniors,       the waste generated by
standard limit of 10 micrograms              young children, people              households will be diverted
per cubic metre.49                           experiencing homelessness           from landfills. 52

VITAL SIGNS REPORT 2017/ 18                                                                   Environment | 21
“Green space is                   One of the many assets that       energy use and make urban
                                   makes Toronto a liveable city     environments esthetically
  an important                     is the amount of green space      pleasing. Tree canopies have
                                   and natural environments          been associated with reducing
  component                        for residents to enjoy.           blood pressure and stress
  of building a                    Several studies show that         levels56,57 and promoting active
                                   exposure to green spaces          living. 58 One Toronto-based
  healthy natural                  can be psychologically and        study found that the benefits
  environment in                   physiologically restorative,
                                   promoting mental health53,54
                                                                     of planting 10 more trees per
                                                                     city block are comparable to
  Toronto.”                        and reducing illness and          the positive health effects of
                                   mortality rates. 55               increasing the income of every
                                                                     household in that city block
                                   Green space is also an            by $10,000. 59
                                   important component of
                                   building a healthy natural        In 2013, Toronto had about
                                   environment in Toronto.           one-quarter of forest cover60,
                                   City trees improve air quality,   but the distribution is not
                                   reduce cooling and heating        equal. There is wide variation

 Distribution of Forest Cover, City of Toronto, 2009

                                                                                      7% – 18%

                                                                                      19% – 29%

                                                                                      30% – 40%

                                                                                      41% – 51%

                                                                                      52% – 62%

22 | Environment                                                           VITAL SIGNS REPORT 2017/ 18
in the amount of tree cover
in Toronto neighbourhoods.
Based on data from 2009,
the Rosedale-Moore Park
neighbourhood had the highest
percentage of forest cover at
61.8 per cent, while the Bay
                                                 CITY VOICES
Street Corridor and Junction
Area neighbourhoods had the
                                                                                Since Bob moved from
lowest, both at 6.7 per cent.61
                                                                                Uganda to Jane Street
On average, the neighbourhoods                                                  and Wilson Avenue,
that had the highest percent                                                    known as “Chalkfarm,”
of tree coverage also have                                                      as a refugee in 2016, he
higher average real estate                                                      has witnessed economic
value and incomes.62                                                            despair and violent
                                                                                crime first-hand. Yet,
                                                                                he has empathy for
                                                 Bob Muwanguzi                  those who turn to crime
                                                 in Chalkfarm                   due to lack of economic
                                                                                opportunities. “These
                                                 are youth. These are people who’ve been working for
                                                 themselves, aiming for a good future to see their lives
 Estimated Forest and Land Cover                 better,” says Bob. Like many people in the area, Bob
 in the City of Toronto, 2009                    knows the frustration of unemployment, as he struggles
                                                 to find work despite a wealth of experience. “I feel like
                                                 my hands are cut off. I want to do something,” he says.

                                                 For Bob, Toronto’s trees are a missed economic and
                                                 environmental opportunity. In Uganda, mango trees
                                                 and other fruit-bearing plants grow everywhere, and
                                                 their fruit is available to everyone. Bob envisions a
                                                 Toronto where public land is used to grow fresh fruits
                                                 and vegetables, economically marginalized people are
                                                 hired to harvest the food, and all Torontonians have
                                                 access to fresh, healthy foods. Despite not yet being
                                                 able to work, it is Bob’s love for Canada that drives his
                                                 vision. “I can still be someone who will make an impact
                                                 on my community.”
    Forest cover 26.6%        Road 9.3%

    Grass 21.3%               Water 1.6%

    Building 20.1%            Soil 1.4%

    Impervious other 18.5%    Agriculture 1.3%

VITAL SIGNS REPORT 2017/ 18                                                        Environment | 23
Toronto’s beaches are a widely        A 2015 study found that living        One way people are adapting
appreciated feature of our city,63    near multiple roads can expose        to the effects of climate change
especially for those who don’t        a person to up to 10 times            in Toronto is through consistent
have the means to leave the           more pollutants than not living       and effective home cooling
city in the summer, as they are       near major roads.66 Traffic-          systems. Yet, those most
a vital public asset for recreation   related air pollution has many        vulnerable to experiencing
and keeping cool. Yet, in 2017,       negative health effects. It can       health issues from extreme
there were a total of 91 warnings     worsen asthma symptoms and            heat — isolated seniors, people
issued on 52 different days           result in the onset of asthma in      with chronic and pre-existing
because of high levels of E. coli     children, in addition to negatively   illnesses, children and the
at all 11 of our beaches.64 This is   affecting the heart and lungs.67      marginally housed or homeless69
compared to 57 warnings on            According to a 2014–15 analysis,      — are the groups who are less
36 different days across 10 of        residents with asthma were more       likely to have access to adequate
our 11 beaches in 2016.65             concentrated in the eastern and       housing (let alone housing with
                                      western parts of the city.68          reliable cooling systems),

24 | Environment                                                                  VITAL SIGNS REPORT 2017/ 18
                                                    Dr. Faisal Moola
                                                    Associate Professor,
                                                    Conservation Leadership &
                                                    Policy, University of Guelph

                                     Despite a marked decrease in the number of
                                     smog days (due to the closure of the coal-fired
“Toronto residents                  electricity plants and investment in transit

  continue to be exposed             and active transportation), Toronto residents
                                     continue to be exposed to unacceptable levels
  to unacceptable levels             of air pollution, including fine particulates.
                                     We need to: 1. get people out of cars, by
  of air pollution, including        providing safe, reliable and accessible transit
                                     and infrastructure to promote active forms of
  fine particulates.”                transportation; and 2. move quickly to fulfill
                                     earlier policy commitments to increase the
                                     forest canopy cover in Toronto to 40 per cent
                                     (it’s currently 26 per cent). Trees help to
                                     mitigate air pollution, thereby reducing the
                                     exposure of local residents to a major driver
                                     of poor health.

 either because of family income     The distribution of nature in the city is
 or due to a lack of affordable      not equitable. While Toronto overall is the
 housing. Torontonians who live      most-forested city in the country, many
 in older apartment buildings are    neighbourhoods, especially racialized and
                                     lower-income areas, lack a well-developed
 also at greater risk due to the
                                     urban tree canopy.
 lack of air conditioning. These
 buildings are often home to low-
                                     Residents across the city can replace
 income residents and those who
                                     impermeable surfaces around their homes
 are new to Canada.70 In 2016,       with gardens, rain gardens, trees and other
 Toronto Public Health issued        greening interventions at the local scale.
 14 heat alerts and eight extreme    Philanthropists can fund community-led
 heat alerts, making it one of the   urban-greening programs, particularly in
 worst years on record.71            those neighbourhoods that lack a well-
                                     developed forest canopy.

 VITAL SIGNS REPORT 2017/ 18                                 Environment | 25
                      Effective, efficient and accessible transportation is essential
                      for any major city’s economic productivity and liveability. From
                      an economic perspective, having a fast, reliable and efficient
                      transportation system means that goods, services and resources
                      reach their destinations and their markets more quickly, which
                      has a positive impact on productivity and growth.

                      Access to good transit can also have positive upstream effects
                      on a city’s health and well-being. When people spend less time
                      travelling to and from their daily commitments, they can invest
                      more time in their families, their friends, their neighbourhoods
                      and themselves.72 This can mean having more time to eat well,
                      exercise and use healthier modes of transportation such as
                      biking or walking.

                      In 2017, the Toronto Transit         as compared to other transit
                      Commission (TTC) won                 systems in North America.”73
                      the American Public                  Despite our award-winning
                      Transportation Association           public transit system, Toronto
                      Award for Outstanding Public         still struggles with traffic
                      Transportation System, due           congestion, equitable transit
                      to “demonstrated efficiency,         access and long commuting
                      effectiveness, and system            times, especially for inner-
                      improvements and investments,        suburban residents.

26 | Getting Around                                              VITAL SIGNS REPORT 2017/ 18

                                              Most Common Means of Daily Transportation
         “On average,                        for Torontonians, 2016

           spend 34 minutes
           commuting to                                                           Private motor vehicle 50.6%

                                                                                  Public transit 37%
           work, longer than                                                      Walking or cycling 11.35%
           residents in any                                                       Other 4%

           other major city
           in Canada.”
          Toronto is certainly to some       On average, Torontonians spend     17.4 per cent who rely on
          extent a transit-riding city,      34 minutes commuting to work,      public transit. 80 Yet, 30.2 per
          with only one-in-five residents    longer than residents in any       cent of public transit commuters
          reporting that they never          other major city in Canada and     in Toronto spend an hour or
          use public transit, and 52 per     well above the national average    more getting to work every day,
          cent reporting using it at least   of 26.2 minutes.77 Toronto also    compared to only 7.2 per cent
          once a month.74 In 2016, the       has the highest proportion (16.2   of drivers. Individuals who
          TTC provided 538,079,000           per cent) of people who spend      rely on active transportation
          passenger trips on 161 passenger   more than 60 minutes travelling    (walking, cycling, etc.) enjoy
          lines, including bus, streetcar    to work,78 the majority (75.9      the lowest commuting times
          and subway lines and the           per cent) of whom are public       by far, with 80.95 per cent
          Scarborough RT.75                  transit users.79                   spending 29 minutes or fewer
                                                                                on their daily commute. 81
          However, car culture dominates.    Those who travel by car enjoy
          Use of a private motor vehicle     much shorter commute times,        Despite a heavy reliance
          (50.6 per cent), is the most       compared to those who rely         on personal vehicles overall,
          commonly reported means of         on public transit. For those       Toronto is also a very accessible
          daily transportation in Toronto,   travelling by car, truck or van,   city for those who can rely on
          followed by public transit (37     51.5 per cent spend 29 minutes     active transportation. Walk
          per cent) and walking or cycling   or fewer getting to work on a      Score — which measures
          (11.35 per cent).76                daily basis, compared to only      walkability on a scale from

          VITAL SIGNS REPORT 2017/ 18                                                        Getting Around | 27
zero to 100 based on walking                                               widely by income. Of those
routes to destinations such as                                             with an annual income of less
schools, parks, restaurants and                                            than $50,000, 24 per cent
retail businesses — rates            Traffic congestion also has a big     reported taking public transit
Toronto as “very walkable”           impact on overall productivity.       every day. 87 This compares to
overall, with a score of 71.         Toronto’s congestion level            only 12 per cent of people with
Toronto is also “the 2nd most        results in 30 per cent extra          incomes between $50,000
walkable large city in Canada,”      travel time, when compared            and $99,000 and 11 per cent
after Vancouver. 82                  with an uncongested situation.        of those who earn more than
                                     On average, this results in 34        $100,000 annually. 88 Moreover,
According to the TomTom              extra minutes of travel time per      the majority (53 per cent) in
Traffic index, which uses real-      day or 130 hours per year. 86         the highest income bracket
time GPS data to measure                                                   reported using public transit
congestion, Toronto ranked           Affordable and efficient              less than once a month or never.
73rd out of 390 cities worldwide     transportation is a key factor        The same poll found similar
in 2016 for the most congestion      in the liveability of a city or       patterns among age groups:
amongst cities with populations      neighbourhood. Accessing              26 per cent of those 18–34 rely
greater than 800,000. 83 When        reliable and cost-effective           on public transit, compared to
compared to other global             transportation is necessary           12 per cent of those between
cities, 84 Toronto ranked 17th out   for all residents of Toronto,         35–54 and 9 per cent of people
of 23. Toronto ranked eighth in      regardless of income or               over the age of 55. 89 Given that
North America and second in          geography, but a 2015 public          commute times are longer on
Canada, behind Vancouver. 85         survey of GTA adults suggested        average for public transit than
Montreal ranked third in Canada,     that transportation options vary      travel by car, this data suggests
while Calgary came in fifth.

Reported Transit Use by Income Group, 2015

that those with lower incomes
are the ones spending more of
their time commuting.

While more people with lower

                                   CITY VOICES
incomes are opting for public
transit, affordability of public
transit in Toronto is a concern.
Fares have risen every year
between 2015 and 2017.

According to a City of Toronto
staff report, a monthly adult
transit pass for a low-income
family of four may cost them
between 19 per cent and 35
per cent of their after-tax/
after-rent income.90
                                      Edith Usiobaifo
While the TTC does currently          in Kingston-Galloway-Orton Park
issue discounts for seniors and
students, and children aged 12     In order to get to work every day, Edith must stick
and younger now travel for free,   to a razor-sharp schedule. She wakes up at 4:30
many adults on low incomes         a.m. and is out the door by 6:00 a.m., first dropping
struggle to afford paying for      off her son, 8, at daycare. She then walks 20
                                   minutes to the GO station and takes the train to
public transit. Because there
                                   Ajax. Finally, the bus takes to her workplace. On the
is no discounted rate for low-
                                   best days, she travels for a total of six hours —
income working age adults
                                   three hours in the morning, and three to get back
(between the ages of 20 and
                                   home in the evening. But when the weather is bad,
64), those individuals end up      or when the trains are delayed, Edith’s commutes
paying a higher proportion of      take nightmarishly long and cuts drastically into
                                   her workday. Since she is paid hourly, she earns less
                                   income on these days. Even worse is when Edith’s
                                   son is sick. No matter how quickly she leaves work,
                                   Edith is never able to rush to her son’s side, as she
                                   must commute for hours to get to him. Edith’s long
                                   journey stresses her out, and that daily grind has an

“Toronto’s congestion             effect on her health. “Sometimes I feel tired and I
                                   just want to go to bed early,” she says. “Why?
  level results in 30 per          Because I need to wake up at 4:30 again.”

  cent extra travel time,
  when compared with an
  uncongested situation.”

VITAL SIGNS REPORT 2017/ 18                                Getting Around | 29
their overall income on transit,    individuals who need to travel      public transit trips at 40 per cent,
compared to middle- and high-       from Toronto to York Region         followed by Parkdale-High Park
income earners. Toronto city        would have to pay additional        (Ward 14) at 37 per cent.93 These
council adopted a low-income        fares in order to reach their       findings are unsurprising, as
transit pass policy in principle    destination.91 However, beginning   public transit is highly accessible
in 2017, but we await the results   January 2018, commuters who         in terms of both proximity and
of the 2018 budget to see if        transfer between GO Transit         frequency of service in these
funding will be available to        and the TTC receive $1.50 break     communities.
make it a reality.                  on their fares, thanks to a
                                    provincially subsidized co-fare     A true understanding of
High fares are especially           agreement that will allow riders    transportation patterns requires
problematic, considering that       who use both agencies on a          not only a breakdown of how
those who are living on low         single trip to avoid paying two     people are travelling, but also
incomes are the ones who rely       full-price fares, if using their    where they are travelling to
on affordable, accessible and       Presto fare card.92                 and from. Overall, the greatest
reliable public transit the most,                                       single destination is downtown
especially the working poor.        Public transit (either TTC or GO)   Toronto, but in the regions
Affordable public transit is an     use is more heavily concentrated    of North York, Etobicoke and
even bigger issue for individuals   in the downtown wards. Based        Scarborough, most trips are
who rely on multiple regional       on the 2011 Transportation          taken locally.94 Toronto’s existing
transit systems in the GTA,         Tomorrow Survey, Toronto            transportation infrastructure is
where fares are not widely          Centre-Rosedale (Ward 28)           often seen as a subway system
integrated. For example,            had the highest proportion of       that funnels travellers

30 | Getting Around                                                           VITAL SIGNS REPORT 2017/ 18
into the core, but the
majority of riders are                      Leslie Woo
travelling locally on buses                 Chief Planning Officer,
that connect them to                        Metrolinx
destinations within their
own inner suburb.                    Toronto does not sit as an island in terms of where
Improvements to surface              people need to get to and from. Interconnectivity to
routes and designated lanes          employment inside and outside of Toronto needs to
would improve travel for             be better physically connected, and the fare system
more riders.                         needs to be more consistent across transit operators.

                                     Our biggest opportunities include regional fare
Active transportation is
                                     integration and a community benefits program linked
a key way that people can
                                     to all transit construction projects, facilitating more
incorporate regular physical
                                     apprenticeships and training in the rapid transit
activity into their daily routines   expansion build underway by Metrolinx.
and enjoy the resulting health
benefits. 95 Opting to use           Overall, there are four key things residents, policy-
active transportation also has       makers and philanthropists can do to improve how
environmental benefits by            we get around: 1. Recognize that fare integration is
reducing road congestion and         one of the best ways to leverage the multibillion-dollar
vehicle- related greenhouse          rapid transit infrastructure build currently underway;
gas emissions. 96 Active             2. Work better at collaboration so that integration of
transportation is far more           all modes — walking, cycling, transit car-sharing and
                                     auto use — are treated as a hierarchy of uses, and that
prevalent in the downtown
                                     investments should support that; 3. Recognize that
wards. 97 The vast majority of
                                     evidence-based decision-making that takes the long
Toronto’s most walkable
                                     view allows us to think about future generations and
neighbourhoods are in the            the transportation legacy we need to invest in; and 4.
downtown core and along              Realize Vision-Zero, a plan to eradicate road fatalities
major east-end roadways.             with concrete measures to ensure safer streets.
The neighbourhoods with
the lowest walkability scores
tend to be in inner-suburban
neighbourhoods in Etobicoke
and Scarborough. 98

VITAL SIGNS REPORT 2017/ 18                                        Getting Around | 31
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