toronto income

Toronto's median income is getting higher but not by enough to help affordability

Given that the cost of living in Toronto is more expensive than anywhere else in the country, residents need to earn a lot to get by here — way more than the provincial minimum wage — especially for young people and especially with inflation as brutal as it is right now.

But, how much is the typical income in a city that costs around $52,000 baseline per year at best (if you rent and take transit) to live in?

Statistics Canada's newly-released census data has provided some insight, showing, among other things, what people were getting paid across the country in 2020 — a year characterized by the pandemic, as well as pandemic benefits that impacted these figures.

In Toronto at the time, the median after-tax income (not the average) was actually decent at $85,000, which is still far less than the estimated $122,550 you need per year if you plan on owning a home and driving in the city but way more than the $37,200 median for all of Canada, which was a drop of 2.1 per cent in five years.

Comparatively, in 2015, the median pay in Toronto was $74,500, so salaries rose at something close to the cost of general inflation in those five years (before this year's chaotic price hikes).

And when looking at other parts of the province, people working in Toronto tend to make the most, albeit slightly: Ottawa-Gatineau's median income came in the second-highest at $84,000, Hamilton's was next at $80,000, followed by London with $71,000.

These places are all, of course, cheaper to rent, buy a home and generally live in than T.O.

Another interesting takeaway from the data was the more localized data, like the fact that people living in boujie Yorkville actually saw their average household income drop more than a staggering 46 per cent between 2015 and 2020, in large part due to an influx of new builds and more people to the neighbourhood.

In the financial district, this drop was 45 per cent. In other wealthy areas, like Hoggs Hollow and the Bridle Path, it was 39 and 30 per cent, respectively.

It is noteworthy when considering these declines, though, that the average income in Yorkville was still $230,200 in 2020, down from a $431,600 (must be nice).

StatsCan also noted that though the percentage of people receiving EI in Canada dropped between the two years due to COVID-related benefits, this was not the case for Ontario, where a higher proportion of people were claiming EI in 2020 than in 2015.

(Benefits like CERB also need to be taken into account when looking at incomes for the year.)

The disparity between what the richest and least wealthy residents make in the country also remains the highest in Ontario, Alberta and Nunavut, with Toronto among the top citiest for income inequality.

Lead photo by

A Great Capture


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