Updated Calculation for Waterloo Region

Announcing the 2018 Living Wage Rate: $16.10 an hour

The living wage rate is the hourly wage a worker needs to earn to cover their basic expenses and participate in community life. The calculation includes actual costs in local communities. So the Waterloo Region living wage rate reflects the actual cost for things like rent, food, transportation, hydro, child care, etc. in Waterloo region. The calculation also takes into account taxes and government transfers.

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Niagara This Week: Let's talk about Living Wage

To kick off #LivingWageWeek, Glen Walker, chair Niagara Poverty Reduction Network has a great op-ed in Niagara This Week:

Nov. 5-11 is Living Wage Week.Initiatives around the world in countries like New Zealand, the United Kingdom and even right here in Ontario are discussing Living Wage and its significance in our society.As part of its ongoing work, the Niagara Poverty Reduction Network’s (NPRN) Wages and Work Task Group has been involved in the calculation of the local living wage, as well as prompting discussions about this important benchmark and what it means to our community.There is much confusion regarding the differences between living wage and the legislated minimum wage.Minimum wage is a standard set by the provincial government that employers must legally adhere to. It is based on a historic standard that gets adjusted based on the policies of the current Ontario government. It is an arbitrary and, some might say, inadequate number...

Read the full piece here.

Kingston Recognizes First Two Living Wage Employers

Well done Cam Jay and Tara Kainer of Kingston Living Wage on a successful employer recognition event Thursday August 3rd.

The first two of many to come: Brunet Plumbing Kitchen & Bath and King's Town Dental

Living wage employers are leaders among their peers, and deserve to be recognized for their commitment to decent work. For that reason it was great to see this event receive so much coverage from the local media... 

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The 2017 Living Wage Calculation for Niagara Region

Despite an increase in cost of living expenses, the 2017 living wage for the Niagara Region has risen only modestly from last year’s calculation of $17.47, thanks in part to the recently introduced federal Canada Child Benefit (CCB).

“Providing wages that allow a family to meet its basic household needs is one important tool to address cost of living challenges in Niagara region and should be top of mind of all employers,” says Walker. “However, the reality is that many Niagara region businesses are struggling themselves to stay afloat, so other solutions must also be considered to help make life more affordable, such as improved public transit and access to more affordable child care.”


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Kindred Credit Union, More Than Just a Living Wage Employer...


I am pleased to announce the continued support of the Kindred Credit Union to the Ontario Living Wage Network. Not only is this financial institution a living wage employer, they are now leading the way by funding our first ever Employer Program Manager in order to extend the reach of this important initiative

Since we first started the Ontario Living Wage Network in 2014, our core mission has been to help businesses and organizations become certified living wage employers. Every business and organization is different and the process can take several months, but it is always gratifying to present the plaque and decals to the proud and latest certified living wage employers. 

Until now it has been a side-of-the-desk type job. The dedicated people across the province who make up the OLWN all have positions and responsibilities at other organizations. We take time from those commitments to travel to communities, organize launches and do the work of the OLWN.

Happily, processing the influx of requests and inquiries from prospective living wage employers is so great the need for an Employer Program Manager has become clear. Anne Coleman, who has experience with the Waterloo Region LW program, will be dedicating one full day a week making sure all employers are engaged and the communities have the support they need. 

The introduction of an Employer Program Manager is a significant step and extending the work and influence of OLWN wouldn’t be possible without Kindred Credit Union and their commitment to the values of decent work and community building. 

Thank you.



St. Thomas-Elgin Releases Updated Number


After yesterday's provincial government announcement of the increase to the minimum wage to $15 over the next few years, everyone is talking about the value of #decentwork.

So with a great sense of timing the living wage community of St. Thomas-Elgin has released it's latest calculation at $16.03. This is the hourly rate needed for two income earners, working 37.5 hours per week year round to support a family of four with two children aged 3 and 7.

One storyline not to be missed here is the impact of the Canada Child Benefit. Not present for the last calculation in 2015, this federal program lowered the cost of raising children in 2017. And so the living wage for St. Thomas-Elgin is $0.44 per hour lower. The living wage is a live calculation, and it demonstrates the value of public services.

The Living Wage for St. Thomas-Elgin is calculated to reflect the current reality and build awareness about the true cost to live and participate in our communities.

LivingWageBrochure-2017-final-web_Page_1-768x994.jpg  LivingWageFullReport_Page_01-620x802.png

Click to view the PDF report and brochure from Living Wage St. Thomas-Elgin.

For any questions and inquiries, please contact:

Kellie Coelho

519-631-9800 ext. 238

[email protected]


Fifteen Employers for $15 Minimum Wage

Today fifteen certified living wage employers signed, sealed and delivered a letter to Premier Wynne, the leader of the Official Opposition Mr. Brown, and Leader of the NDP Ms. Horwarth. 

The letter urges Ontario to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour with annual cost-of-living increases for workers. 

Until recently, any discussion about raising the minimum wage included business leaders and pundits speculating about job loss and other unproven effects on the markets. 

But something is shifting. More often we are hearing from responsible business leaders who see the value in paying a decent wage.

Please share this page far and wide. We need to prove to our political leadership that Ontario is ready to do better. 


Download the PDF here...


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Toronto's Freshest Living Wage Employer: Fresh from the Farm

Toronto can add one more living wage employer to the list: Fresh From the Farm meat and produce market. They carry local farm-fresh meats, raised without hormones or drugs from Ontario Amish and Mennonite farmers. They also carry eggs, dairy, produce and more.

Honestly if I wasn't loaded down with a camera bag, I would have walked out with two armfuls of groceries. Everything looked amazing. It's the kind of place you boast about having in your neighbourhood. And if you live in Toronto's east end, you can now boast that you shop at a local market that pays a living wage. 

Fresh from the Farm is Located at 350 Donlands Avenue, one block south of O'Connor, and is open Monday-Friday 10 am – 7 pm;  Saturday 9 am – 5 pm.