Ontario's Living Wages 2022: What You Need To Make To Afford A Basic Life In 13 Regions

It's looking bleak.

Toronto Staff Writer
The CN tower. Right: Downtown Sault Ste. Marie

The CN tower. Right: Downtown Sault Ste. Marie

Trying to survive on minimum wage anywhere has always been challenging. However, according to the Ontario Living Wage Network (OLWN), 2022's "record-breaking" inflation has made getting by on $15.50 an hour in the province nearly impossible.

The organization's latest calculations show a significant shift in what residents needed to make in 2021 compared to 2022 to avoid living paycheck to paycheck.

"This year's living wage calculations emerge from a backdrop of record–breaking inflation and Consumer Price Index increases, and workers at the bottom end of the wage scale are most vulnerable to these kinds of fluctuations," the report reads.

For example, people living in the Greater Toronto Area now need to make $23.15 an hour to thrive daily, a sizeable bump up from the $22.08 residents needed back in 2021.

In fact, several regions are expected to see a notable increase in living wage rates. The largest will be Sault Ste. Marie's, which will see rates increase by 21.6%, going from $16.20 to $19.70 per hour.

A total of 13 areas saw an increase of 10% or more:

  • Chatham-Kent - $18.15
  • Grey and Bruce - $20.70
  • Guelph and Wellington - $19.95
  • Haldimand–Norfolk - $19.80
  • Halton - $23.15
  • Hamilton - $19.05
  • Peel - $23.15
  • Perth and Huron - $20.70
  • Sault Ste. Marie - $19.70
  • Sudbury - $19.70
  • Thunder Bay - $19.70
  • United Counties of Prescott and Russell - $19.05
  • Waterloo - $19.95

"Because our calculations have always been made reflecting real local costs — which have all gone up by unprecedented levels — it is a natural outcome that the local rate would follow, regardless of the boundaries used," the report adds.

There are currently over 500 certified living wage employers, around half of them certified after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Patrick John Gilson
Toronto Staff Writer
Patrick John Gilson is a Staff Writer for Narcity Canada’s Ontario Desk focused on Ontario gas prices and is based in Toronto, Ontario.
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