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Social Locations – Poverty

Equity Framework > Social Locations > Poverty

In Toronto, one in four children and one in five adults live in poverty [1]. Poverty can be associated with income but also has complex structural and systemic roots and wide-ranging consequences on child development, health, education, and other outcomes [2][3]. Poverty in Toronto is gendered, racialized, and geographically concentrated. Child poverty affects families in every single part of Toronto, but the highest rates of child poverty are among Indigenous, racialized, and newcomer families [4]. The impacts of poverty are seen across a spectrum including food insecurity, employment precarity, poor health outcomes, and housing instability. Poverty occurs on a wide scale across race, gender, ability, citizenship status and space [3].


  1. Wilson, B., Maddox, R., Polanyi, M., kerr, m., Ekra, M. & Khanna, A. (2018). 2018 Toronto Child & Family Report: Municipal Election Edition. Toronto, Ontario: Social Planning Toronto, Well Living House, St. Michael’s Hospital, Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, Colour of Poverty, Colour of Change, OCASI, Family Service Toronto, and Ontario Campaign 2000. Retrieved February 19, 2020, from
  2. Homeless Hub: Poverty. Retrieved February 19, 2020, from
  3. Moore, T. G., Mcdonald, M., Carlon, L., & Orourke, K. (2015). Early childhood development and the social determinants of health inequities. Health Promotion International, 30(suppl 2), ii102–ii115. Retrieved February 19, 2020, from
  4. City of Toronto. (2018, December 3). 2018 Poverty Reduction. Retrieved February 19, 2020, from