Your browser is not supported. We do our best to optimize our websites to the most current web browsers. Please try another browser.
Skip to main content

Toronto’s Unaffordable Housing is Causing a Crisis Level of Food Bank Use

Toronto’s Unaffordable Housing is Causing a Crisis Level of Food Bank Use

Unaffordable housing is one of the leading causes of soaring food bank use rates in Canada’s largest city. A recent study by Daily Bread Food Bank and North York Harvest Food Bank reveals nearly two million visits to Toronto food banks in the past 12 months. It’s the city’s highest number of visits ever recorded. Last year there were 1.45 million visits to Toronto food banks in 2021. 


Low incomes, inflation and high housing costs are the city’s driving factors of crisis-level food bank use.  “Month after month, we keep seeing the impact of insufficient incomes, combined with inflation and rising costs of living, lead to record-breaking numbers,” says Neil Hetherington, the CEO of the Daily Bread Food Bank.

“The need for food banks is at crisis levels with no signs of slowing down. Food banks are seeing more new clients each month, and those visiting are experiencing severe levels of food insecurity. On average, they are also younger and more likely to be employed.” 

Related: How to Save for a Down Payment in These Canadian Provinces 

Unhappy woman eating a bowl of soup at home - Toronto food bank crisis

More Employed Folks Are Relying on Food Banks

The staggering cost of housing is a common issue for food bank clients. “87% of food bank clients live in unaffordable housing. As defined by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, this means they are paying 30% or more of their income on housing, compared to 45% of residents overall in Toronto.” 

The report also states that Toronto’s high rents absorb an unbearable percentage of people’s incomes. In fact, 33 % of food bank clients are employed, while 18% use all of their income on housing. 

Related: Canadians Will See the Biggest Drop in Net Worth On Record, RBC Reports

Toronto Rental Costs Continue to Soar

Meanwhile, rent prices in Toronto have continued to rise in 2022. As stated in the October 2022 National Rent Report from and Bullpen Research & Consulting, Torontonians are spending nearly 30%  more on rental costs than they did in 2021.

Currently, the average cost of a one-bedroom rental is $2,474, and $3,361 for a two-bedroom in Toronto. Moving outside the city limits, such as neighbouring Etobicoke, will offer people only slightly more savings. The average rental cost for a one-bedroom is $2,137 for a one-bedroom and $2,818 for a two-bedroom comparatively. 


Read More: What is Housing Inequality? And What Canadians Can Do About It

Images courtesy of Pexels. 

Latest News

Viva la Magenta! Pantone's colour of the year is here, and we're tickled pink.
December 6, 2022
Learn how to make the perfect holiday wreath that adds a lovely, cozy touch to your outdoor decor.
December 5, 2022
Filled with colour and whimsy, this retro Calgary home inspired by the 1960s and '70s is right on trend for 2023.
December 5, 2022
These chic and sweet Christmas decorations have caught our eye — and our holiday-loving hearts.
December 4, 2022
Surprise your guests at your holiday party with this festive winter wonderland centrepiece!
December 3, 2022
A serious plant lover like Pamela needs a potting shed as beautiful as her roses.
December 2, 2022
Celebrate the most wonderful time of the year without breaking the bank.
December 2, 2022
Beautiful antiques, simple furnishings, and accessories fill this influencer's cozy, coastal historic New Brunswick home.
December 1, 2022
We're sharing how to get Ellen's luxury look for less.
December 1, 2022
This content is restricted to adults of legal age.
Please enter your birthdate to confirm.
Date of Birth