Minimum wage in Ontario is not enough to live in any city in the province: report

Nov 1 2021, 4:28 pm

It may not come as much of a surprise to some, but minimum wage in Ontario is not enough to live on in virtually any city in the province.

Ontario Living Wage Network has released what is considered a living wage in 23 regions in the province, and Ontario’s $14.35 per hour is simply not enough.

According to OLWN, a living wage is: “The hourly wage a worker needs to earn to cover their basic expenses and participate in their community.”

Not surprisingly, Toronto has the highest living wage at $22.08, or $7.73 more than the current minimum wage. That additional $7.73 per hour in a 40 hour week would work out to add $16,078 to their annual income.

OLWN emphasizes that a living wage does not cover debt repayment, savings, homeownership, savings for education, or any other savings outside of a small safety net.

Living wage does include food, clothing, shelter, childcare, transportation, medical expenses, recreation and a modest vacation.

They calculate living wages “based on the needs of a family of four with two parents each working full-time, full-year,” according to the OLWN website.

Sault Ste. Marie has the lowest reported living wage at $16.20, or $1.90 above the current minimum wage. Even that additional $1.90 per hour would work out to more than $3,900 annually at 40 hours per week ā€” a life-changing difference for many minimum wage earners.

Brooke TaylorBrooke Taylor

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