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Fast Facts About Homelessness in Toronto

Estimating the number of homeless in Toronto is a difficult task. Every three to four years, the City arranges for teams of people to fan out and interview almost 2,000 people on the streets, in shelters and in health care and correctional facilities. This intensive survey was last conducted on April 17, 2013.

Below are some of those findings, as well as other relevant statistics and information, related to homelessness in Toronto.

    • Estimated number of homeless people sleeping outdoors and in emergency shelters, Violence Against Women shelters, and in health and correctional facilities in Toronto on the night of April 17, 2013: 5,253
    • Estimated number of people sleeping rough in April 2013: 447
    • Percentage increase in total homeless population since the previous assessment in 2009: 1.6
    • Percentage of all homeless who are men: 65
    • Percentage of outdoor homeless who are men: 85
    • Percentage of outdoor homeless who self-identify as Aboriginal: 33 (In comparison, 1% of the general population in Toronto identifies as Aboriginal.)
    • Percentage of homeless people reporting experience in the Canadian military: 7
    • Percentage of those staying in youth shelters identifying as part of the LGBTQ community: 21
    • Percentage of the homeless population aged 51 or older: 29
    • Number of shelter beds expected to be used on an average night in 2014: 3,941 (This is 5.3% higher than in 2013.)
    • Number of days of the average shelter stay in 2013: 72 (This is an increase from 63 in 2012 and 53 in 2011.)
    • Percentage of homeless people who want a permanent home: 93
    • Percentage of homeless people saying that what they really need to get out of homelessness is help paying Toronto’s high rents: 66
    • Percentage of Toronto renting households paying more than 30% of their income on rent: 43.5

*Statistics courtesy of City of Toronto.

For more information about Homelessness in Toronto:

Homeless Hub offers research, reports and articles on homelessness

Wellesley Institute offers news, analysis, publications and resources

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