In 1970, about two-thirds of the City of Toronto’s neighborhoods were middle income. Now, that number is less than a third (29%). Two maps, one from 1970 and one from 2005, show the difference. The blue represents high income, the yellow represents middle income, and the darker color represents low income. First, 1970:
Look at the difference in 2005:
There’s a lot less of the middle income levels, and a lot more of the lower income areas, especially in the inner suburbs like Etobicoke and Scarborough. The bottom line: the gap between rich and poor is growing, and the middle is disappearing.
- Poverty is not just a downtown issue.
- Many of our Toronto churches were started in neighborhoods that were more middle-income than they are now, and need to adapt to a community that is completely different.
- The inner suburbs are increasingly areas of great need and great opportunity.
- Churches have an opportunity to break through socio-economic barriers. For instance, they can choose not to flee from areas with lower-than-average income.