Black people may be at a higher risk of eviction in Toronto: report

A study finds that Toronto neighbourhoods with a significant Black population have twice the eviction filing rates as areas where Black residents are scarce

Black people may be at a higher risk of eviction in Toronto, according to a new study from the Wellesley Institute.

Scott Leon and James Iveniuk prepared the report, Forced Out: Evictions, Race And Poverty In Toronto. Their analysis is based on eviction filings at the Landlord and Tenant Board from 2010 to 2018. The study found that eviction filing rates increase in areas with a higher Black population, more poverty and less subsidized housing. Unaffordable housing continues to be a plague in Toronto.

Eighty-seven per cent among the 122,250 low-income tenant households in Toronto pay over 30 per cent of their income on rent. Half of them pay over 50 per cent of their income on rent. The report points out that such precarious situations means an unexpected job loss or illness can trigger an eviction filing.

Evictions by neighbourhood

Eviction filing rates are double in neighbourhoods with 36 per cent Black renter households over those with two per cent.

Most Toronto areas have an eviction application rate between two and six per cent. However, the Weston area has 13 per cent, which is the highest in the city.

Woodbine-Lumsden, York University Heights, Black Creek, Mount Olive-Silverstone-Jamestown, Morningside, and Beechborough-Greenbrook also have eviction application rates above 10 per cent.

Areas with high eviction applications and filing rates include Jane-Finch, Downsview, Rexdale, Weston-Mount Dennis, Woburn, Morningside, Scarborough Village, Malvern and Parkdale.

The report explains these neighbourhoods have more low-income renter households. The report also points out that the eviction rate doubled for areas without subsidized housing over those with 36 per cent subsidized housing.

Evictions across Toronto

There were 190,000 eviction applications in Toronto between 2010 and 2018. Seventy-five per cent were linked to late or delinquent rent payments, the report states. However, official eviction applications have subsided over the years: there were 21,000 L1 applications in 2012 and just over 13,000 in 2018.

The report can’t square those findings with the fact that there are more renter households in Toronto than ever. The study’s authors consider the possibility that among the growing renter population few are low-income households. They also consider that more low-income tenants that cannot afford an entire apartment in the Toronto market are renting rooms or sharing apartments.

The Wellesley Institute report arrives just as tenants in Toronto could potentially face swifter evictions after the Ontario government introduced Bill 184.


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