Toronto Community Foundation’s annual report on Toronto
(Column written for Town Crier Oct.7)
If we took the city’s pulse, what would it tell us?
Would we get a healthy, hopeful prognosis for Toronto’s future or would we hear a faint heartbeat indicating the city is a mere shadow of its former self.
In some ways, it depends on who you ask. Pricewaterhouse Cooper has chosen Toronto among its top international cities. However, the Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey ranked us 215th out of 272 as the least affordable city.
These are just two of the findings highlighted in Toronto Community Foundation’s Toronto Vital Signs report released just 20 days before Torontonians go to the polls to elect a new mayor and council.
The charity tells a good news, bad news story of this city.
Good news: Crime is down and has been declining for a decade and most of us feel safer in our neighbourhoods.
Bad news: This June, there were 160,000 people on social assistance representing a 12 percent rise compared to the same time last year. Continue reading →
Posted in Toronto Politics
Tagged community, election, Foundation, Kris Scheuer, Mayor, Rahul Bhardwaj, report, signs, Toronto, Town Crier, vital
Low-income business hopefuls look to prosper from loan initiative
(Town Crier column written July 9.)
Fatima Ali got laid off from her job as a personal chef, but don’t think it’s getting her down — she’s applying for a loan to start up her own catering business.
The 23-year-old is one of several youth hoping to qualify for a one-year pilot project geared to helping would-be entrepreneurs start their own business venture.
The initiative was spearheaded by financial institution Alterna Savings, who has partnered with the Toronto Community Foundation and the City of Toronto.
It is geared to unemployed, out of school 18-24 year olds living in low income, west end neighbourhoods, including Bathurst-Finch, and Lawrence Heights.
“I was a private chef catering clientele meetings,” the bubbly Ali tells me at the July 8 launch of the micro loan initiative.
“When I’m cooking or baking, I’m in a positive vibe.” Continue reading →
Posted in Toronto News
Tagged Ali, Alterna Savings, catering, community, David, Fatima, Faustin, Foundation, Kris Scheuer, loans, Lozandieu, Mayor, micro, Miller, RAW, Robert, Toronto, Town Crier, Xamuel, youth
By Kris Scheuer
(Column written Oct 16.08 for Town Crier.)
Toronto the Good is not perfect.
The Toronto Community Foundation’s Oct. 7 report Toronto’s Vital Signs paints a mixed picture of how our city is faring 10 years after amalgamation.
Sure we are producing less waste, consuming less water, our beaches are cleaner, transit usage is up, arts
are doing well, but some disturbing trends muddy this rosy picture.
For example food bank use is up and wait times for subsidized daycare and housing are on the rise. Our
city’s debt load is also increasing.
But two of the most disturbing aspects of the report are 40 percent of residents don’t feel a sense of
belonging in this city. And there’s an increasing gap between rich and poor, especially for new
So this begs the question — Just how livable is our city? Continue reading →