Cost of living in Toronto for low-income households

The City of Toronto monitors the affordability of food annually using the Nutritious Food Basket (NFB) costing tool. Food prices increased considerably in 2022. People with low incomes do not have enough money to cover the cost of basic expenses, including food. As such, NFB data is best viewed in relation to income, alongside other local basic expenses.

The dataset describes the affordability of food and other basic expenses relative to income for nine household scenarios.

Scenarios were selected to reflect household characteristics that increase the risk of being food insecure, including reliance on social assistance as the main source of income, single-parent households, and rental housing. A median income scenario has also been included as a comparator. Income, including federal and provincial tax benefits, and the cost of four basic living expenses - shelter, food, childcare, and transportation - are estimated for each scenario. Results show the amount of money remaining at the end of the month for each household. Three versions of the scenarios were created to describe:

Income scenarios with subsidies: Subsidies can substantially reduce a households’ monthly expenses. Local subsidies for rent (Rent-Geared-to-Income), childcare (Childcare Fee Subsidy), and transit (Fair Pass) are accounted for in this file. Income scenarios without subsidies + average rent: In this file, rental costs are based on average rent, as measured by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). Income scenarios without subsidies + market rent: Rental costs are based on average market rent (as of June 2022), as measured by the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB). Limitations Scenarios describe estimated values only, rounded to the nearest dollar. Income is estimated using a May/June 2022 reference period to align with Nutritious Food Basket data collection. Thus, tax year 2020 has been utilized in calculations. Income amounts include all entitlements available to Ontario residents; therefore, they are maximum amounts. Actual income amounts may be lower if residents do not file their income tax and/or do not apply for all available tax credits.

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Last Updated April 18, 2024, 17:01 (UTC)
Created November 1, 2023, 03:47 (UTC)
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This dataset is released under City of Toronto's Open Government Licence. For specific details, check:
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City of Toronto
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Social Development, Finance & Administration
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Social Development, Finance & Administration
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Social Development, Finance & Administration
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