income toronto

It costs $39,000 more than most people earn for a Toronto household to be thriving

The factors it takes to live a good life in Toronto are as much as $39,000 above the median before-tax income for households with two earners. 

The Wellesley Institute has put together report on thriving in the city for families and what it costs to live a healthy life.

Cost estimates for "thriving" are broken down by the report into 10 categories: food and nutrition, shelter, physical activity, transportation, health care, personal care and hygiene, education and professional development, social participation, savings and debt, and child care.

The report concludes by estimating that $103,032 to $136,428 after-tax is considered the amount GTA families need to thrive, which is around $39,000 above median before-tax family income for couple families according to Stats Canada.

Reviewing health guidance and evidence-based recommendations and using national and local survey data were methods used to develop the report and its 1o components. The framework for the report is based on a family of four with two adults and two young children with no disabilities or chronic health conditions.

According to the report, a thriving family would have a yearly budget of $9,509 for food and nutrition, $23,583 to $47,020 for shelter, $11,706 to $16,099 for transportation and $10,035 for social participation including things like books, kids' toys, going to restaurants and traveling.

The report also found that to thrive, one or both parents need to earn substantially more than minimum wage with full-time hours. One parent working a full-time minimum wage job earns approximately $27,788 per year before tax, with two parents working minimum wage jobs earning $55,575 per year before tax.

That basically means a median-income family with two earners is over an entire yearly minimum wage salary away from "thriving."

According to a previous report from the Wellesley Institute, the costs for thriving in Toronto for a single working-age adult are a little lower: $46,186 to $55,432 after tax.

Some families are choosing to opt out of the Toronto rat race altogether in favour of greener pastures, and in the face of numbers like these, you can hardly blame them.

However, reports like these are also intended to serve as starting points for discussions on what can be done to ensure all GTA families have the opportunity to thrive and live healthy lives.

Lead photo by

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