About Toronto Homelessness

Homelessness is a complex, urgent and growing issue in Toronto. There are approximately 8,700 people in Toronto who are experiencing homelessness, many more are experiencing “hidden homelessness”, and thousands of others are on the wait list for supportive housing.

The chronically homeless, those who are homeless for six months or more within the past year, are the hardest to house as they are often also dealing with other issues such as addictions and mental health. A person of no fixed address faces major barriers to finding a primary physician, social support, or keeping in touch with family.

Toronto has a shortage of affordable housing. Many individuals experiencing homelessness rely on temporary shelters, emergency services or a friend’s hospitality. Others live “rough” in the city’s parks, ravines, and alleys.

Finding a safe, affordable place to live can be difficult. Homes First is here to help.

Statistics on Homelessness*

  • On any given day over 8,700 people in Toronto are experiencing homelessness.
  • For every 10,000 people in Toronto, 30 are homeless.
  • In 2018, nearly half of Toronto’s homeless population reported being homeless for over 6 months, which makes them chronically homeless.
  • Over 30 per cent of Toronto’s homeless live with a mental health issue, and over 25 per cent live with an addiction.
  • 94 per cent of those experiencing homelessness in Toronto want permanent housing, but face barriers in securing it.
  • 80 per cent said they need more affordable housing options.
  • In the past 10 years, average market rent for a one-bedroom has increased by 33 per cent. In that same time, Ontario Works shelter benefits have increased only 10 per cent.

Cost of Homelessness**



*2018 Streets Needs Assessment, City of Toronto. The Street Needs Assessment is a needs assessment survey and point-in time count of people experiencing homelessness in Toronto. The results provide a snapshot of the scope and profile of the City’s homeless population. During the course of the night, a 23 core question survey was completed with more than 2,000 individuals experiencing homelessness staying in shelters.

** Infographic taken from the Homes First 2019 Annual Report.

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Housing first is part of the solution to ending chronic homelessness.

Homes First Administration Office, 90 Shuter Street, Suite 206, Toronto, ON M5B 2K6
Phone: 416-214-1870 Fax: 416-214-1873

Registered Canadian Charitable Registration No. 118962182 RR 0001