Michelynn Laflèche—Vice-President, Strategy, Research & Policy, United Way Greater Toronto—talks about groundbreaking research that you helped to make possible.

The Opportunity Equation

Your support made important research possible.

The Opportunity Equation showed just how much the Toronto region is changing. We used to be a collection of middle-income neighbourhoods. Now, we’re a collection of high- and low-income neighbourhoods separated by wealth.

The Toronto region really is the income-inequality capital of Canada. It used to be that “hard work plus access to opportunities would lead to success.” That equation is broken.

Our research really does drive systemic change. Change in creating job opportunities, economic development, affordable housing, and ensuring that background and circumstances don’t hold people back.

Our research is a great example of how the whole region can work together to fight local poverty in all its forms.

York Region
had no low-income neighbourhoods in the 1980s. Today, 16% are low-income.

Peel Region
neighbourhoods are now, on the majority, low-income.

is the income-inequality capital of Canada.

1,500+ identifying as Black or of African heritage were able to voice their challenges with life in the GTA, thanks to the BLACK EXPERIENCE research that you helped to fund. See this CBC feature.

In April, as mandated by the Province of Ontario, the Regional Municipality of York—in partnership with United Way, under requirements of the federal government’s Homelessness Partnering Strategy—led I COUNT, the enumeration of persons experiencing homelessness (including hidden). Thanks to your support, 226 individuals with lived experience agreed to be surveyed—giving true meaning to the term “I Count.” Results of I Count will be reported in early 2019.

In Peel, 230,000+ people face poverty and struggle to afford housing, often using their cars for shelter. Kudos to all the community leaders who joined Daniele Zanotti (with merger pending) for the LONGEST NIGHT PEEL, which raised awareness for this issue.

Us & Them, a documentary from Vancouver’s Krista Loughton, was aired as two special screenings (with in-depth panel discussions) in Toronto and York Region. This example of meaningful ENGAGEMENT—for 500+ United Way agency representatives, partners and supporters like you—threw a new lens on chronic homelessness here at home. Read a Q&A with filmmaker Krista.