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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Additional Info

Field Value
Last Updated February 12, 2024, 17:09 (UTC)
Created November 1, 2023, 03:47 (UTC)
Domain / Topic
Domain or topic of the dataset being cataloged.
Affordable Housing
Published Date
Published date of the dataset.
Time Span (start date)
Start date of the data in the dataset.
Time Span (end date)
End date of time data in the dataset.
GeoSpatial Area Span
A spatial region or named place the dataset covers.
Field Value
Unique identifier for the dataset.
Access category
Type of access granted for the dataset (open, closed, etc).
Location of the dataset.
Data Service
Data service for accessing a dataset.
Owner of the dataset.
City of Toronto
Contact Point
Who to contact regarding access.
Publisher of the dataset.
Social Development, Finance & Administration
Publisher Email
Email of the publisher
Author of the dataset.
Social Development, Finance & Administration
Author Email
Email of the author
Social Development, Finance & Administration
Accessed At
Date the data and metadata was accessed.
Field Value
Link to dataset description
A URL to an external document describing the dataset.
Language(s) of the dataset
Persistent Identifier
Data is identified by a persistent identifier.
Globally Unique Identifier
Data is identified by a persistent and globally unique identifier.
Format (CSV, XLS, TXT, PDF, etc)
Format of the dataset.
Source of the dataset.
Version of the datatset
Version notes
Version notes about the dataset.
Is version of another dataset
Link to dataset that it is a version of.
Other versions
Link to datasets that are versions of it.
Provenance Text
Provenance Text of the data.
Provenance URL
Provenance URL of the data.
Temporal resolution
Describes how granular the date/time data in the dataset is.
GeoSpatial resolution in meters
Describes how granular (in meters) geospatial data is in the dataset.
GeoSpatial resolution (in regions)
Describes how granular (in regions) geospatial data is in the dataset.
Field Value
Contains Individual Data
Does the data hold individualized data?
Contains Identifiable Data
Does the data hold identifiable individual data?
Contains Indigenous Data
Does the data hold data about Indigenous communities?
Limits on use
Limits on use of data.
This dataset is released under City of Toronto's Open Government Licence. For specific details, check:
Indigenous Community Permission
Who holds the Indigenous Community Permission. Who to contact regarding access to a dataset that has data about Indigenous communities.
The Indigenous communities the dataset is about
Indigenous communities from which data is derived.
Field Value
Data complies with a community standard (RDA-R1.3-01D)
This indicator requires that data complies with community standards. (FAIR ID = RDA-R1.3-01D).
Data uses knowledge representation expressed in standardised format (RDA-I1-01D)
The indicator serves to determine that an appropriate standard is used to express knowledge, in particular the data model and format (FAIR ID = RDA-I1-01D).
Data uses machine-understandable knowledge representation (RDA-I1-02D)
This indicator focuses on the machine-understandability aspect of the data. This means that data should be readable and thus interoperable for machines without any requirements such as specific translators or mappings (FAIR ID = RDA-I1-02D).
Data uses FAIR-compliant vocabularies (RDA-I2-01D)
The indicator requires the controlled vocabulary used for the data to conform to the FAIR principles, and at least be documented and resolvable using globally unique and persistent identifiers. The documentation needs to be easily findable and accessible (FAIR ID = RDA-I2-01D).
Data includes references to other data (RDA-I3-01D )
This indicator is about the way data is connected to other data, for example linking to previous or related research data that provides additional context to the data (FAIR ID = RDA-I3-01D).
Data is accessible through an access protocol that supports authentication and authorisation (RDA-A1.2-01D)
The indicator requires that if the data or local environment indicates a degree of additional protection then the access protocol must support authentication and authorisation of people and/or machines? (FARI ID = RDA-A1.2-01D)
Data can be accessed manually (RDA-A1-02D)
Data can be accessed manually (i.e., with human intervention, FAIR ID = RDA-A1-02D).
Data identifier resolves to a digital object (RDA-A1-03D)
Data identifier resolves to a digital object (FAIR ID = RDA-A1-03D)
Data is accessible through a standardised protocol (RDA-A1-04D)
The indicator refers to automated interactions between machines to access digital objects (FAIR ID = RDA-A1-04D).
Data can be accessed automatically (RDA-A1-05D)
Data can be accessed automatically (i.e. by a computer program, FAIR ID = RDA-A1-05D)
Data is accessible through a free access protocol (RDA-A1.1-01D)
The indicator requires that the protocol can be used free of charge which facilitates unfettered access (FAIR ID = RDA-A1.1-01D).
Field Value
Number of data rows
If tabular dataset, total number of rows.
Number of data columns
If tabular dataset, total number of unique columns.
Number of data cells
If tabular dataset, total number of cells with data.
Number of data relations
If RDF dataset, total number of triples.
Number of entities
If RDF dataset, total number of entities.
Number of data properties
If RDF dataset, total number of unique properties used by the triples.
Data quality
Describes the quality of the data in the dataset.
0% of cells are missing
Metric for data quality
A metric used to measure the quality of the data, such as missing values or invalid formats.