Where will the people go?
This is a valuable paper. I’ve learned a tremendous amount from its overview of the history of Toronto-area postwar emergency housing.
You can access the paper at the above-noted link. The question mark in “Where will the people go?” is omitted in the title of the paper; I’ve copied the title as it is. Actually, from my perspective, the lack of a question mark works fine.
In this post, I’ve condensed the paper, in order to ensure that site visitors can readily acquaint themselves with its key contents.
You can access the PDF link to the article here
To read the original paper, by Kevin Brushett of the Royal Military College of Canada, please click on this link for the PDF version of it.
In my condensed overview, I’ve occasionally added comments of my own. For example, I’ve noted that the Long Branch emergency housing, which is discussed in the article, was located west of the Village of Long Branch, not east of it as the paper asserts (p. 381).
At the end of this post, I’ve included a sampling of the bibliographical notes for the paper.
A previous post about postwar emergency housing is entitled:
Association of Women Electors: Brief presented in 1954
The paper begins with an excerpt from an Oct. 12, 1954 brief, to the Board of Control and City Council (Toronto), from the Association of Women Electors (AWE).
The brief refers to families that are “unable to find decent housing because of low income, unemployment, number of children, disability or illness.”
“There is no justification,” the association asserts, “for further waste of public money on outworn army barracks that have become hovels conducive to every form of mental and moral degradation.”
The brief adds that the wartime emergency shelters were not necessarily the worst housing in Toronto. Even more residents, elsewhere in the city, experienced housing conditions “characterized by doubling up, overcrowding, substandard accommodation, and rents beyond their means to pay.”
Toronto’s emergency shelters were intended, according to the article, as a temporary solution to wartime housing shortages.
By 1954, however, they had become “the city’s ‘other’ public housing program, accommodating more than 450 families and nearly fifteen hundred children.” For a decade, many groups had appeared before city councillors, “to tell them to clean them up or close them down.”
The other public housing program, that the previous sentence refers to, is probably the Regent Park housing development.
Shelter program lasted until September 1958
The last family moved out from the wartime shelters (to be specific, the Long Branch shelters) on Sept. 1, 1958, but the problem of where people were going to go had not been solved, given that “more than a thousand Toronto families were effectively homeless during the 1950s.”
Brushett adds that “former army barracks housed more than five thousand people well into the early 1950s.”
The paper refers, as well, to emergency shelters in other Canadian cities including Vancouver, Halifax, and Quebec City.
History of Regent Park has been explored at previous posts at the Preserved Stories website
Toronto was the birthplace of Regent Park, which was set up in 1949. The paper describes Regent Park as “Canada’s first slum-clearance public housing project.”
The reference to a “first” brings to mind a reference to Regent Park in another study, namely Social Policy and Practice in Canada: A History (2006). It’s noted (p. 228), in the latter study, that the redevelopment of Regent Park “became the country’s first large-scale social housing program since Halifax’s Hydrostone project after the First World War.”
That is to say, when we speak of “firsts,” it’s good to keep in mind that what is first is often a matter of definition. For information regarding the Hydrostone development, a good resource is a CBC Digital Archives article entitled: “Halifax rebuilding after the explosion.”
I have explored the history of Regent Park in previous posts including:
Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto
Construction of new housing was slow in Toronto given a lack of land for building, and the inability of suburban municipalities to pay for servicing new housing developments, until the formation of the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto in 1953.
[To round out the discussion, we can add that, on Jan. 2, 1998, 19 years ago as of today’s date, the six previous municipalities that made up Metro Toronto – Etobicoke, Scarborough, York, East York, North York, and the City of Toronto – were amalgamated into a new singular City of Toronto, as a Jan. 1, 2017 Toronto Star article notes.]
Provincial and federal governments were reluctant, Brushett notes, to develop a significant social-housing program, instead preferring private solutions.
In addition, there were disputes between Toronto and the outlying municipalities where most of the housing projects were located:
“Suburban mayors demanded that the projects close, not only because these projects occupied valuable land awaiting development but also because of the additional costs the residents of the projects placed on lean municipal budgets. Suburban residents and officials refused to be burdened by Toronto’s poor and disadvantaged.”
Dominion Housing Act (1935)
Canada gave minimal state support for social housing during the interwar years, as compared to other Allied countries, according to the paper. Instead, governments were strongly committed to the private market to remedy housing shortages.
“Canada’s first housing act, the Dominion Housing Act (1935),” Brushett observes, “reflected this philosophy by working with financial institutions to reduce down payments on new houses and to amortize mortgages over longer terms.”
With financial institutions reluctant to lend during the Depression, few houses were built. Low-cost housing was not a significant feature of the Dominion Housing Act, given that the private sector was unwilling to build or finance it. With the approach of war, furthermore, the federal government curtailed the building of houses, in order to avoid diversion of labour and materials from the war
Wartime Housing Limited
As a consequence, the government body known as Wartime Housing Limited (later CMHC) was set up in February 1941, in order to alleviate the significant housing shortage that existed at the time.
Click here for additional background about Wartime Housing Limited.
[A 1986 Urban History Review article by Jill Wade is entitled: “Wartime Housing Limited, 1941-1947: Canadian Housing Policy at the Crossroads.” ]
Emergency Shelter Administration (1944)
Social-service organizations in the city noted that the housing shortage was responsible for the “breakdown of the family and of individual dignity.”
“Unable to cope with life in single rooms and basements,” the paper notes, “many families left children with relatives or turned them over to foster homes until they could find suitable housing.”
In December 1944, the federal government had set up the Emergency Shelter Administration (ESA) to address the acute shortage of housing across Canada. All cities were assigned administrators to address the shortages, but the supply of accommodations remained restricted. As a consequence, the ESA restricted people from moving to Canada’s major cities without prior authorization.
National Housing Act (1944)
Federal officials estimated 15,000 to 20,000 eviction notices would be given, in cities across Canada, nearly half of them in Toronto, before the fall of 1944. At least 60 percent of the evictions would affect families of servicemen still overseas. Citizen and veterans groups began to block evictions and called for veterans and public housing projects. In response, authorities froze all evictions in July 1945.Faced with a shortage of close to an estimated near-million habitable dwellings, the federal government promised to build at least 750,000 new homes by 1955. A new National Housing Act was enacted in 1944 and the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) was set up, with a focus on financing for private home building. Public housing was not a priority.
Given the ongoing shortage, veterans had begun to occupy abandoned buildings and barracks. In August 1945, the Emergency Shelter Administration sought out surplus army barracks and staff houses, which could be transferred to municipalities to create temporary shelter.
The federal-municipal partnership was pursued enthusiastically in Toronto, Halifax, and Vancouver but with less enthusiasm in Montreal and Quebec City. In Toronto, more than 1,600 units of emergency housing were found and converted.
The shelters were deemed a refuge of last resort. A family had to be homeless, or about to be, in order to qualify. The official CMHC policy was that the shelters were to provide minimal housing needs but not “all the comforts of home.” The expectation was that people would make it a priority to seek out housing on the private market.
Only $1,000 per unit was allocated for conversion, and the municipalities had to cover the administrative costs. “At best,” Brushett notes, “the projects provided four walls and a roof. Families were herded together, isolated from the larger community, and provided with few recreational facilities for their children.” The conditions were associated, the paper notes, with marriage breakdown among other effects.
Emergency housing in pre-Amalgamation City of Toronto
In Toronto, the first property in this category, acquired in 1944, was known as Little Norway, because the facility had been used in wartime to house and train Norwegian airmen.
Toronto also acquired Stanley Barracks, on the grounds of the Canadian National Exhibition.
The barracks were first built in 1841 to house British solders, and later to house soldiers before they went overseas.
[An article by Carl Benn in the Fall 1996 issue of Material Culture Review, entitled “British Army Officer Housing in Upper Canada, 1784-1841,” provides background related to the Stanley Barracks.]
Emergency shelters outside pre-Amalgamation City of Toronto
Just beyond the western edge of Toronto was the Small Arms Ltd. munitions plant in what is now Lakeview in Mississauga. The paper describes the plant, [originally known as the Small Arms Factory,] as “just east of the village [lowercase] of Long Branch.” In fact, it was just west of the Village [uppercase] of Long Branch, in what was then called Toronto Township.
[An interesting feature of the Long Branch emergency housing facility is that the housing did not, in fact, have a direct, geographical connection to the historic Village of Long Branch.
[As was the case with the Long Branch Rifle Ranges and the Long Branch Aerodrome, the Long Branch Barracks and Staff House were in fact located in Toronto Township, a community that existed to the west of Long Branch. Toronto Township is now called Mississauga; the rifle ranges, aerodrome, and emergency-housing buildings were never located inside the boundaries of Long Branch.
[As I’ve noted at a previous post about the history of Long Branch, nearby neighbourhoods, we can speculate, appeared to enjoy naming things after Long Branch. Brevity may have been a factor – “Long” and “Branch” is each a single-syllable word. The two words roll off the tongue easily.
[The name may also have given rise to visual imagery that appeals to people: One can picture a river; it has two branches; one is the short branch, the other is the long branch, of the river.]
“Since the latter three projects housed Torontonians outside the city limits,” the paper notes, “the city had to pay any education, health, and welfare costs to the suburban municipalities.”
Upwards of 1,000 families lived in the five former military installations
More than 1,000 families, of the nearly 1,500 families housed by the emergency programs, lived at the five above-noted former military installations.
The housing gave rise to complaints of overcrowding. In some cases, 10 to 12 family members occupied a three-bedroom unit. Walls were thin and often did not reach the ceiling. There were communal bathrooms and showers. Rats and cockroaches abounded. Recreational and school facilities, constructed for wartime workers, had been dismantled.
“Stagnant water on the grounds of the camps and damp apartments,” Brushett notes, “led to various health problems including an outbreak of polio at Stanley Barracks in the summer of 1947. As part of its response to the out-break, the city erected a twelve-foot-high fence topped with barbed wire to quarantine residents from the fair goers during the annual three-week Canadian National Exhibition.”
He adds that “residents, many of them veterans, did not appreciate the concentration camp-like conditions.”
The rents were low at about $30 a month [about $420 in 2016 dollars, according to a calculation at Bank of Canada – Inflation Calculator] but transportation and food costs could be high.
Only a small percentage of the residents were “on relief.” Many residents in Malton had jobs in aircraft manufacturing.
Veterans who lived in emergency shelters noted that the setting was reminiscent of army life. “The enemy was defeated,” one veteran noted. “We were welcomed home, but many of us were forced back to wartime shelters.”
In the summer of 1947, tenants at the shelters began to form tenant councils.
“The movement began,” the paper notes, “among resident veterans at Stanley Barracks who threatened a protest during the CNE unless the city cleaned up the conditions at the camp that had led to the out-break of polio. Encouraged by their initial success, tenant organizations from the other camps headed to City Hall to protest both the poor living conditions and the lack of recreational facilities for their children.”
Despite the protests, progress in repairs and cleanup did not follow.
Citizens’ Emergency Housing Council (1947)
In 1947, after the city proposed to raise rents by 25 percent, tenants at the camps formed the Citizens’ Emergency Housing Council.
The council demanded adequate recreational facilities, a 20-percent rent reduction, and prevention of evictions unless alternative accommodations were available. In 1948, rent strikes followed. The city tried to evict those in arrears, but the size of the protest and lack of alternative accommodations thwarted the effort.
H.V. Locke Realty takes over management of emergency housing (1949)
In 1949 the city, which had had incurred large deficits in running the shelters, withdrew from the emergency housing business.
“Many on the city council,” the paper notes, “believed that the city was doing these families a favor in providing them with cheap emergency shelter. Those who complained were labeled as ‘agitators,’ ‘troublemakers,’ and ‘reds.’ ”
The city received four bids to transfer management of the emergency housing program to a private firm. The winning bidder, H.V. Locke Realty, proposed that the city would make an estimate of its emergency shelter operating expenses for 1949, and that the private firm’s fee would be based on a 75-percent portion of any savings that would be realized on the expenses. The resulting agreement, the paper notes, was “controversial from the outset.”
Brushett describes the second decade of Toronto’s emergency housing program as the “dump estate” phase of the program’s history.
“Although the shelters continued to house some veterans,” the paper notes, “they soon became the last refuge for the ‘hard to house,’ large families, families on relief, female-led families, and ‘multiproblem’ families, or in other words, those deemed ‘unfit’ for public housing.”
The camps became stigmatized as “city-owned slums,” and the residents became stigmatized as “slum dwellers.”
“Media coverage helped to dramatize the situation and reinforce a ‘moral panic’ through the creation of sensational and often distorted stereotypes of residents. More important, the concentration of such families in these run-down cramped barracks produced nightmarish conditions for the residents and mocked the ideals of state assisted housing as a social service that could help families get back on their feet.”
Many people believed that families at the shelters were taking advantage of the cheap rents.
National housing boom in place by 1949
Toronto did not initially participate in the national housing boom that was in place by 1949.
The number of new dwellings built in Metropolitan Toronto between 1947 and 1954, the paper notes, represented only one-tenth of its population growth.
Toronto and its inner suburbs lacked room to build, while the outer suburbs (North York, Etobicoke, and Scarborough) had space but lacked service land, a challenge that played a key role in the founding of the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto in 1953.
In 1956, according to the CMHC, Toronto’s housing shortage was no better than it was in 1945, and overcrowding remained a major issue, in comparison with other Canadian cities.
Rising house prices and and difficulties with financing also remained a barrier for many families. In 1956, a suburban house in Toronto cost about $10,000, with new homes selling for $15,000 to $18,000 [in value that in 2016 would be about $131,900 to $158,300 – Source: Inflation Calculator – Bank of Canada].
Income required for a National Housing Act mortgage was $3,600 [$32,700 in 2016 dollars]. Average Toronto income was $3,120 [$27,440 in 2016 dollars].
“Previous strategies,” the paper notes, “of owner building in the suburbs – prevalent and popular in Toronto in the first half of the century, as historical geographer Richard Harris has shown – were largely closed down after the war because of more stringent building standards established by suburban municipalities and CMHC.”
Redlining of unserviced suburban land
The paper also notes that mortgage lenders redlined – [that is, refused mortgages within specific geographical areas] – unserviced suburban land, making it difficult to get NHA financing until the late 1950s, when services the outer suburbs were installed.
Brushett notes that the Veterans Land Act, which put home ownership within the reach of limited-income families, “had an antiurban bias that initially limited its use for veterans who lived and worked in or near urban centers.”
Home ownership, despite the barriers, went from 40 percent in 1941 to over 60 percent in 1951. In Scarborough, site of the GECO project, homes were reportedly available for as low as $1,200 down, with monthly payments of $48 to $55 a month.
Of the 827 families at the camps in August 1952, only one-quarter relied on some form of government assistance. Some government reports noted many families at the camps owned more than $3,600 annually, including a few earning over $6,000 [$54,640 in 2016 dollars]. Given these statistics, some councillors believed tenants were unable to move into private housing because they were mismanaging their resources.
Brushett notes, however, that a majority of shelter families earned combined incomes that were too low to make them eligible for NHA-backed mortgages. As well, more than two-thirds of the families had at least five members and another quarter had more than seven members.
In addition, a rent-geared-to-income policy, set up in 1954 (with provisions for family size), made it difficult for families to save for a down payment.
A 1952 survey of working families in the shelters in the shelters indicated over 70 percent wanted to become homeowners. However, only a minority believed they could come up with the down payment.
At the Malton camp, early in 1952, the aircraft manufacturer A.V. Roe bought the land on which the camp was located, in order to expand its production during the Korean War.
The company was concerned that a fire at the camp would disrupt employment, and thus hinder defence production. The tenants asked for a delay so they could explore formation of a co-operative to build prefabricated houses on nearby farmland. However, CMHC refused mortgage support, because it would not meet the CMHC’s building regulations, and, according to the paper, because CMHC “frowned on co-ops.”
The paper argues that local politicians had ingrained stereotypes about the “undeserving poor” and were ignorant of the barriers low-income families faced in finding housing.
Doors to private rentals were also closed, Brushett adds. In 1947, CMHC had recognized that rental housing was the most pressing need in Canadian cities, but did little to encourage private builders to enter the rental market. A shortage of apartment buildings led to rising rents. In the mid-1950s, a six-room house rented for $125 a month plus services; a five-bedroom apartment rented for $90 a month.
Hard to close the camps
Many landlords refused to rent to families with children. Low-income families consequently had “to accept high rents for substandard and cramped accommodations.”
For families on relief, 70 percent of budgets went to housing costs. For families not on relief, rents consumed 40 percent of monthly budgets.
For these reasons, it was hard to close the camps. To close some of them, such as the Stanley Barracks and Malton Staff House, tenants were moved from one housing project to another, while the city’s welfare department continued to place evicted families in the emergency shelters, given a lack of other options.
Local politicians, welfare workers, and social-housing activists argued, in the circumstances, that the solution would be the building of more public housing, such as Regent Park.
The paper notes, however, that although amendments in 1949 to the National Housing Act allowed the federal government to subsidize the operating losses of public housing, “other changes to the act were primarily responsible for ensuring that CMHC would be subsidizing as few units as possible.”
The amendments, Brushett adds, “virtually ensured that the housing market would remain in private hands.”
The units that were added in the Regent Park South and and suburban Lawrence Heights projects had minimal impact on the waiting list for public housing.
Among those with a hostile attitude toward public housing, the paper notes, were Ontario Premier Leslie Frost, Metropolitan Toronto Chairman Frederick Gardiner, and suburban mayors.
The paper also refers to an “unwritten rule that the number of welfare recipients admitted to the city’s public housing projects should be no more than 20 percent.”
The camps were used, Brushett adds, to keep certain families away from public housing, and “were also isolated in the least desirable units or locations within the camps.”
Conditions for other families, aside from the “problem” families, also deteriorated under the management of H.V. Locke Realty. The company saved money by curtailing maintenance, a strategy that coincided with the city’s lack of reinforcement of relevant health and building bylaws.
Condemnation of emergency housing projects by social reform groups
Between June and October 1959, social reform groups submitted reports condemning the projects as “city-owned slums” and a “public disgrace.”
The groups included the Community Planning Association, the Association of Women Electors, and the Welfare Committee of Peel County, which pointed to an increase in demoralization, break-ups, and deterioration in mental health.
The groups noted that in a decade, conditions had deteriorated despite the spending of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“The two largest camps, GECO and Long Branch,” the paper notes, were filthy, verminous, dangerously rundown, and seriously overcrowded. One of the huts at Long Branch, which had been claimed by fire, remained half demolished, while another building that had been condemned by local health officials still housed families. Although officials remarked that the conditions inside many the apartments bore little resemblance to the filth they found outside and in the communal areas, they were still grossly overcrowded; at times as many as eight children lived in two rooms with their parents.”
Many observers noted that “in spite of the conditions, the residents, especially the children, were clean, healthy, and well behaved.”
“Officials of the Greater Toronto Investment Corporation,” the paper adds, “which assumed control of the GECO properties on their closing, remarked that the residents were ‘far from the dirty, delinquent . . . very bad lot’ that they had been made out to be in the newspapers.”
That said, many commentators scorned the residents, Brushett notes:
“A report by Peel County social welfare workers on Long Branch camp tenants commented that ‘many residents lacked self-respect, honesty, respect for the rights of others, regard for law and the principles of good citizenship.’ ”
There were also comments regarding children.
“Although reminiscences of children who grew up in them sometimes recalled a great life of adventure,” the paper notes, “the camps did not provide safe or appropriate places to play. One child drowned at the Little Norway camp, while another couple of children had been killed or injured by explosives while wandering on the neighboring Long Branch rifle ranges formerly used for grenade practice. Most attention was paid to the problems of teenaged children.
“According to police and social workers, gangs of teenagers roamed the camps, vandalizing the property, tearing out screens, and painting graffiti on walls in the bathrooms and corridors. Others turned to petty, and in the case of an elaborate bicycle-stealing operation at the Long Branch camp, not so petty crime.
“Scores of teenagers had been hauled before the authorities in recent years, while dozens of others reported regularly to police or juvenile court officials. Skirmishes between gangs from the different projects were a regular enough occurrence that area police forces organized ‘flying squads’ to cope with the situation. Teenagers also reportedly consumed alcohol given to them by their parents.”
“Second only to concerns of juvenile delinquency,” the paper adds, “was the concern for the sexual morals of children. The lack of privacy both within the apartments and especially in the dark communal hallways and washrooms was most disturbing. Walls in the camp were paper-thin and often did not extend to the ceilings.”
There was also concern about “overcrowded units, which did not permit separate sleeping areas for girls and boys.”
Re-evaluation of the emergency shelter program
In time, the city re-evaluated its decision to pass the management of the emergency housing program to H.V. Locke Realty. In 1956, the Toronto Housing Authority assumed control over the Long Branch Staff House, Little Norway, and 166 temporary houses across the city. It also took responsibility for finding 424 families more permanent housing.
The Toronto Housing Authority reportedly tried to hide the existence of the shelters when it assumed management of them.
To help some of the families, the city developed an experimental rehabilitation program, seeking to house the families in city-owned housing Wartime Housing, away from the shelters. However, the Wartime Housing dwellings were not permanent destinations, as they did not meet the city’s building code.
A pilot project featured a duplex, built to be “fireproof, vermin-proof, and indestructible,” in a middle-class neighbourhood. The better housing would feature regular visits by social workers, who would engage in a form of “moral instruction.”
The last family left the Long Branch camp on Sept. 1, 1958.
In its conclusion, the paper notes that Toronto spoke of the need to ensure decent housing for all, but the need was not met. The senior levels of the Canadian state, the paper observes, were reluctant “to assume the responsibility for housing low-income Canadians.”
“The number of social-housing units in Canada is tiny,” the paper adds, “representing less than 5 percent of the total housing stock, much of it built in a brief flurry between 1964 and 1974. Before the 1960s, social housing in Canada was negligible at best, insignificant at worst.”
The 2007 paper concludes that the City of Toronto “reaps the seeds of Canada’s late and feeble entry into the field of social housing,” and that homelessness remains “the most visible failure of Canadian housing policies.”
Bibliographical notes: Following excerpt is a direct quotation from the end of the 2007 paper by Kevin Brushett
A person who’s keen about biographical notes can readily consult the online PDF of the 2007 paper.
Below are listed the first five, out of a total of 60 notes, from the paper.
[I have added links, to this sample of references.]
1. City of Toronto Archives (hereafter CTA), Brief to the Board of Control and City Council, October 12, 1954, Re: Emergency Housing Shelters, Papers of the Association of Women Electors (hereafter AWE Papers), SC 8, Box 7, File 2.
2. See Doug Owram, Born at the Right Time: A History of the Baby Boom Generation (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1996); and John R. Miron, Housing in Postwar Canada: Demographic Change, Household Formation, and Housing Demand (Montreal-Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1988). For a more critical appraisal of suburban development in the 1950s, see S. D. Clark, The Suburban Society (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1966); and more recently, Richard Harris, Creeping Conformity: How Canada Became Suburban, 1900-1960 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2004).
3. According to Jack Layton, a search of newspapers from the 1960s to the early 1980s reveals not one reference to homelessness. Jack Layton, Homelessness: The Making and Unmaking of a Crisis (Toronto: Penguin, 2000), 3.
[A 2008 edition of the book is also available.]
4. See J. Bacher and D. Hulchanski, “Keeping Warm and Dry: The Policy Response to the Struggle for Shelter among Canada’s Homeless, 1900-1960,” Urban History Review, 16 (1987) 147-63; J. Bacher, Keeping to the Marketplace: The Evolution of Canadian Housing Policy (Montreal-Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1993); Jill Wade, Houses for All: The Struggle for Social Housing in Vancouver, 1919–1950 (Vancouver: UBC Press, 1994); and Chantal Charron, “La Crise du Logement à Québec et le Village des ‘Cove Fields’: Ghettoïsation de la Misère et Stratégies de Survie sur les Plaines D’Abraham (1945-1951)” (master’s thesis, Université de Québec à Montréal, January 2004).
5. The most accepted definition of homelessness embodies not only those without a physical place of shelter but also those whose shelter is impermanent, temporary, or unstable, is generally not intended for permanent residential occupancy, or cannot fulfill the essential functions of shelter, including privacy, security, and personal control. Furthermore, most definitions also include those who are “doubled-up” with family, friends, and others involuntarily because of a lack of shelter for themselves and their family. The latter element of the definition would significantly expand the number of homeless people in Toronto during the first decade after World War II. See Layton, Homelessness, 19–35.
[The following is some additional background, which I have added to this post, highlighting the demographic changes that have occurred in the Toronto CMC (Census Metropolitan Area) since 1970. Toronto in the past had many people in the middle class. With the passage of time, the middle class has been steadily shrinking. The proportion of people living in poverty has been increasing.
The Three Cities Within Toronto (2010)
[A wide range of data visualizations Canadian cities are available online, showing demographic changes that have occurred since the Second World War, in cities across Canada. Among them is a 2010 study entitled: The Three Cities Within Toronto: Income Polarization Among Toronto’s Neighbourhoods, 1970-2005.
[Links to additional studies are available at the Neighbourhood Change website at http://neighbourhoodchange.ca]