Toronto’s Vital Signs – 2023 Special Report

Toronto Foundation

Raising the alarm bells in this 19th Toronto’s Vital Signs Report is not enough. The problems are persistent but not new. Let’s focus on the problem that underlies them all—restoring the connection between us and our city. It’s time to get involved and reignite our love for Toronto. ~ Toronto Foundation

Executive Summary:

Since the pandemic, Toronto residents interact and volunteer less, continuing at least a decade-long decline in donations and social ties, putting increasing strain on our social fabric and nonprofit sector.

The mental health of Toronto residents, many of whom feel socially isolated, has not improved over the past couple of years, after rapid deterioration during the pandemic, despite the lifting of pandemic restrictions.

Despite the increased mental health challenges and social isolation among teenaged students, graduation rates have increased, and more students are attending post-secondary institutions, even as learning loss lingers
as a major issue.

Participation in arts, culture and recreation has dropped significantly since the pandemic, and data suggests that lower rates of participation have continued at critical institutions well into 2023.

Access to Toronto parks and their related infrastructure remains unequal, meaning that not all residents benefit from the city’s natural air-filtering and cooling system and the relief that parks provide on the increasing number of sweltering summer days.

Employment has rebounded post-pandemic but Torontonians are feeling burnt out and precarious in their work while increased hybrid arrangements have led to the hollowing out of downtown offices.

Public transit, a critical link that connects Torontonians, faces dwindling ridership and service cuts while fewer people are returning to downtown than most other major North American cities.

Despite a recent uptick in the crime rate, Toronto remains one of the safest cities in the country, and yet certain groups face regular discrimination and feel less safe.

Toronto’s escalating housing crisis not only threatens individual health and wellbeing, but it also erodes the city’s social fabric.

The pandemic has intensified economic struggles, led to skyrocketed food bank usage and highlighted the link between financial stability and mental wellbeing.

Read The Power of Us: Toronto’s Vital Signs – 2023 Special Report (PDF)

Watch The Power of Us (YouTube)

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