By Ryan Saundercook
- The Toronto Comunity Foundation has released the Vitality Report for Toronto. COURTESY John Vetterli
The Toronto Community Foundation released its Vital Signs report on Tuesday for the city of Toronto, and the situation can apparently be summed up in three words: Not too bad.
“The big picture of the report that was released this morning is that we’re sound, we’re safe, but we are struggling,” Rahul Bhardwaj, President and CEO of the Toronto Community Foundation said in a radio interview with Humber News.
The massive annual assessment highlights successful endeavours within the city and brings attention to the issues that need to be addressed.
“We’re fifth in the world in prosperity, 12th in competetiveness, and, according to the economists, we’re fourth in terms of livability, right behind Vienna, Melbourne, and Vancouver, and just ahead of Calgary,” said Bhardwaj. “So we’ve actually got some really great things happening from our prospects at they relate to the economy and prosperity in the city.”
Apart from the positives, the report also highlighted numerous problems, including how Toronto has the greatest discrepancy between rich and poor in the nation.
“Although on a macro scale we’ve got some good things happening, we have some real issues of divide happening in this city at the same time,” said Bhardwaj.
- Toronto was the only city in the nation to receive a “C” grade on income distribution in the 2012 Toronto Board of Trade’s Scorecard on Prosperity.
- The price of consumer goods has increased more than 20 per cent since 2002, with staple items even higher. The price of home fuel has increased 140 per cent and bread by almost 80 per cent while prices for luxury items like hotels and recreational equipment are dropping.
- Between 1980 and 2005 median earnings for full-time workers in the bottom income group dropped 20.6 per cent, while those in the top income group increased 16.4 per cent.
- Toronto is the 15th most livable city in the world (out of 51 cities), and 12th in competitiveness (out of 120 cities).
- Personal bankruptcy rates dropped 24 per cent between 2010 and 2011. Currently at their lowest number since 2000.
- Toronto’s film, televison, digital media, and commercial production industry recovered in 2011, bringing it close to the 2001 peak. $1.13 billion was made from on location shooting in Toronto in 2011.
- Nearly 60 per cent of Toronto neighbourhoods could be low income by 2025.
- Research by the Universty of Toronto suggests that the middle class may all but disappear by 2025. Dropping from 66 per cent in 19570 to a projected 20 percent in 2025.
- While gun violence is on the rise, homocide rates were actually the lowest since 1999.
- People are becoming less healthy as they live in Canada. Studies show that changes in diet, stress, and finance can make newcomers to the city less healthy.