A third of Toronto’s young adults live with their parents. Here’s how Bloor West compares to the Bridle Path, and more


Twenty-six-year-old Ian Sinclair has found the perfect basement apartment in the west end.

It’s close to transit, with its own entrance. He even gets along well with his landlords, who happen to be his parents.

“Essentially I’m their basement tenant but not paying rent,” says Sinclair, who works full-time in the public sector. He moved back into the house he grew up in near Runnymede Station after graduating university in 2017.

“I definitely feel fortunate and privileged,” he says of his situation. “I have many friends from school whose parents aren’t from the city so they didn’t have a choice.”

As Toronto’s housing crisis continues, experts are seeing a new divide taking hold among the younger generation: those who can live with their parents — and save for a down payment — and those who can’t.

The highest percentage is found in one of the city’s wealthiest communities, Bridle Path-Sunnybrook-York Mills, where a whopping 75 per cent of young adults are sticking with mom and dad.

“I see living with parents as a form of privilege,” says University of Waterloo assistant professor Nancy Worth, who studied the issue in a 2017 report called GenY at Home.

Worth said living at home is also increasingly being seen as a smart financial move that sets younger people up for success, rather than the old stereotype of the “lazy millennial” trapped in their parent’s basement delaying adulthood.

“It’s sort of introducing a kind of inequality within a generation, rather than just across a generation.”

The trend is not only about money, Worth says, as many boomer parents and millennial kids have a closer relationship than previous generations. Precarious work also pushes people back home, as it’s hard to lock into a 30-year mortgage or even a yearlong lease on a six month contract.

But without affordable housing options for younger people, it’s the family who steps up, and that impacts who is able to then save and buy future real estate, she says.

“If you can’t give your kids $50,000 but you can give them their room back, especially in your large single family home, you’re essentially giving them a savings of rent which can be quite significant in a place like Toronto.”

In the Bridle Path, notoriously one of Toronto’s toniest addresses, adult children living with their parents just makes sense in terms of “pure square footage,” says Barry Cohen, owner of ReMax Barry Cohen Homes Inc., who sells homes in the area.

“It’s quite common through the Bridle Path because the homes are so large and extravagant,” he said, noting there are even a few multi-generational homes in the neighbourhood, with features such as separate entrances, designed for grandma and grandpa as well as mom and dad and adult kids, Cohen notes.

“Why not live in the lap of luxury?”

The lowest rates of young adults living at home are in neighbourhoods along the waterfront and financial district, like Niagara (4 per cent), and the Bay Street corridor (7 per cent), where smaller, newer, condo units make multi-generational living crowded.

“You’re in 450, 500 square feet, you don’t have room for parents, you don’t have room for a cat,” says Nora Spinks, chief executive officer at the Vanier Institute of the Family, with a laugh.

In a city where the average detached home costs about $1.3 million, according to the Toronto Real Estate Board, and the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is now more than $2,000, say figures from market research firm Urbanation, cost is the biggest factor for many.

It certainly was for Sinclair, who’s saving the “tens of thousands of dollars a year on rent, at least,” for a future down payment, by living with his parents in the west end.

But there are other reasons for living with mom and dad, such as taking care of a sick parent, or coming from a culture where it’s more accepted, says Spinks.

Amani Tarud, 24, who grew up in Chile and has Middle Eastern heritage, says it’s normal and even encouraged for young single people to live with their parents there.

“It’s a very North American ideal that you have to leave once you turn 18,” she says.

Tarud lives in a two-bedroom apartment near Yonge and Eglinton with her mom, twin teenage sisters and the family dog. She graduated from the University of Toronto last June but is sticking around as long as she can to save a nest egg for rent and work on paying off her student loan. Even though it means sharing a bedroom with her mom.

“Does it get in the way of social and romantic life a little bit? Yeah sure, but it’s not terrible by any means at all.”

Tarud, who is working in child and respite care, says a place of her own would be way out of reach financially. And there are perks such as being able to take care of each other when they get sick.

“If I have to live with a roommate it might as well be here, because at least it’s someone that I get along with,” she says.

Urban planner Cheryll Case lived with her parents in the Etobicoke neighbourhood of Kingsview Village The Westway (where 49 per cent of single adults aged 20 to 34 do the same) for a year after graduating from Ryerson University.

She too feels lucky she was able to save up “a good cushion” for rent before moving into a townhouse with her boyfriend and a roommate.

But, she notes, there are many neighbourhoods where if you want to remain in the area the only real choice is to stay in the house you grew up in, because of a lack of affordable housing.

Building more “missing middle” units across the city, lowrise apartments and townhomes that are a more affordable alternative to the two extremes of highrises and single detached homes, would help with supply issues, she says.

“It’s a great privilege to live with your parents and you save money, but it’s a great privilege to be able to live on your own if you so choose,” she says.

May Warren is a breaking news reporter based in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter: @maywarren11


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How Ron Taverner’s resumé compares with the last four OPP commissioners’


Premier Doug Ford is facing criticism for the appointment of his friend, Toronto police Supt. Ron Taverner, as the next commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police.

Ford has said he had “zero influence”in the appointment. But he admitted earlier this week he did not recuse himself from cabinet when Taverner, 72, was approved as commissioner.

The appointment of Ron Taverner, seen here in an Aug. 14, 2015, file photo, as commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police has raised questions due to his longtime relationship with Premier Doug Ford’s family.
The appointment of Ron Taverner, seen here in an Aug. 14, 2015, file photo, as commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police has raised questions due to his longtime relationship with Premier Doug Ford’s family.  (Bernard Weil / Toronto Star)

Questions have been raised about why the police superintendent was chosen for the position, given that he has never headed a police force nor held a high-ranking position with the OPP.

Earlier this week iPolitics revealed that the government quietly modified the posting for the position, a move that helped Taverner meet the criteria for the job, despite the fact his position — superintendent — fell two ranks below the initial threshold.

The posting had called for applicants to hold, at minimum, a rank of deputy chief or assistant commissioner.

Ron Taverner, the next commissioner

Taverner has been a police officer in the Toronto force since 1967. He has worked in various divisions and units, including intelligence, organized crime enforcement, outlaw motorcycle gangs and community policing.

His current rank of superintendent is three below that of chief (although one of those ranks — staff superintendent — is being phased out).

As unit commander of 12, 23 and 31 Divisions, he is responsible for more than 700 uniformed officers and civilian staff.

The official announcement of his appointment as incoming OPP commissioner from the Ontario Government does not say whether Taverner holds a university degree or any other certifications.

Vince Hawkes, commissioner from 2014 to 2018

Vince Hawkes, seen here in a Sept. 13 file photo.
Vince Hawkes, seen here in a Sept. 13 file photo.  (Frank Matys/Metroland)

Hawkes joined the OPP as a constable in 1984. He has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Ottawa and is a graduate of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.

His roles within the OPP included general law enforcement, traffic, crime and the technical identification services unit. He spent 11 years as a forensic identification officer and was the first member of the OPP to be certified as a bloodstain pattern analyst.

Hawkes was appointed deputy commissioner in 2006, serving as provincial commander of investigations and organized crime. In 2010 he became deputy commissioner for field operations, making him responsible for five OPP regions, as well as what was then known as the Aboriginal Policing Bureau — in charge of about 4,500 personnel.

Chris Lewis, commissioner from 2010 to 2014

Chris Lewis at his change of command ceremony in Toronto in an Aug. 31, 2010 file photo.
Chris Lewis at his change of command ceremony in Toronto in an Aug. 31, 2010 file photo.  (ANDREW WALLACE/Toronto Star)

Lewis joined the OPP as a constable in 1978 and served as commander of the emergency management bureau, the Eastern region, information technologies bureau and investigation bureau.

He was seconded to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police from 1993 to 1994, studied Aboriginal government and law at Athabasca University, applied management at Northwood University and completed the FBI National Academy Program.

Before his appointment Lewis served as deputy commissioner of field operations, where he was responsible for thousands of personnel.

Julian Fantino, commissioner from 2006 to 2010

Julian Fantino at his outgoing change of command ceremony in Toronto in an Aug. 31, 2010, file photo.
Julian Fantino at his outgoing change of command ceremony in Toronto in an Aug. 31, 2010, file photo.  (Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press)

Fantino joined Toronto police in 1964 and served in the drug, intelligence and homicide squads.

He left to serve as the chief of police in London, Ont., and, later, York Region before returning as chief of Toronto police from 2000 to 2005.

At time of Fantino’s appointment to head the OPP, he was serving as the province’s emergency management commissioner, a role created in 2004 to ensure a co-ordinated response to emergency situations.

Gwen Boniface, commissioner from 1998 to 2006

Then Premier Mike Harris, right, congratulates Gwen Boniface at her change of command ceremony in Orillia in a May 28, 1998, file photo.
Then Premier Mike Harris, right, congratulates Gwen Boniface at her change of command ceremony in Orillia in a May 28, 1998, file photo.  (FRANK GUNN/CP PHOTO)

Boniface joined the OPP as a constable in 1977. She held a number of positions, including superintendent in the First Nations and contract policing branch, and chief superintendent in the organizational development bureau.

Boniface had a bachelor of arts degree from York University and took a leave from the OPP to earn a bachelor of laws degree from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1988.

At the time of her appointment, she was a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada and an adjunct law professor at the University of Western Ontario.

Her last post before being named commissioner was chief superintendent, and regional commander of the Western Ontario branches, a rank below deputy commissioner.

Sources: Toronto Star files, The Canadian Press, Government of Ontario, Ontario Provincial Police, iPolitics

May Warren is a breaking news reporter based in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter: @maywarren11


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Fact Check: Scheer compares Trudeau debt to parents leaving ‘unpaid credit card bill’ to children


In a speech at an Ontario Progressive Conservative Party Convention Saturday morning, Conservative Party of Canada leader Andrew Scheer criticized the spending practices of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party.

“He has increased Canada’s debt faster than any peacetime prime minister in Canadian history,” Scheer asserted. While the debt-to-GDP ratio throughout Canadian history isn’t entirely clear, spending by the Canadian government has notably increased since Trudeau took office.

WATCH: Carbon tax ‘not a price’ on pollution: Scheer

Global News previously assembled a database to track government spending, which revealed that the Liberals have made nearly 9,000 spending announcements since Trudeau took office two years ago, far surpassing the 7,300 spending announcements made during the four years of the Harper majority government.

The combined value of the Liberals’ spending announcements has reached CAD$34.27 billion so far, versus the $45.15 billion combined value for four years of Harper spending announcements.

“No one would leave an unpaid credit card bill to their children, but that’s exactly what Trudeau is doing,” Scheer continued during his speech.

When it comes to cheque hand-outs, the Trudeau government easily tops Harper’s record

Scheer’s comments seem to stem from a report published by the Fraser Institute in 2017, stating that Trudeau is on track to be the be the largest accumulator of debt among prime ministers who took office in times of economic stability and minimal global conflict.

On the flip side, however, some experts have noted that many estimates regarding Canada’s federal debt do not take into account the government’s current assets. Global News reported in March that while our federal market debt hit $1 trillion this year, this number is offset by almost $380 billion in assets, bringing the total of the country’s net debt to a more manageable $651 billion.

WATCH: Federal government’s market debt tops $1 trillion

According to documents prepared by RBC based on government projections, Canada’s net debt is expected to rise to $730 billion by 2023. Between 2016, the first full year Trudeau held office, and 2023, the year RBC’s projections end, the federal net debt will have increased by a potential $1 billion over that seven-year period.

The seven-year-period prior to 2016 saw a comparable net debt accumulation of approximately $1 billion as well. It’s important to note that Conservative leader Stephen Harper took office in 2011, and held office for three terms.

Trudeau government reveals the 2018 federal budget

In addition to discussing the spending practices of the Trudeau government, Scheer pledged to do away with Trudeau’s carbon tax, pledged to continue challenging the prime minister during Question Period in the House of Commons, and encouraged Ontario Conservatives to make Trudeau a “one-term prime minister.”

The next federal election will take place in November 2019.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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Calgary lawyer challenging gay-straight alliance bill compares pride flags to swastikas


The United Conservative Party needs to remove a member that compared rainbow pride flags to swastikas, says an LGBTQ advocate.

On Saturday, Calgary lawyer John Carpay with the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms spoke at a conference organized by Rebel Media, a far-right media organization that has been criticized for sympathetic coverage of white supremacy.

« How do we defeat today’s totalitarianism? You’ve got to think about the common characteristics. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a hammer and sickle for communism, or whether it’s the swastika for Nazi Germany or whether it’s a rainbow flag, the underlying thing is a hostility to individual freedoms, » Carpay said. 

CBC News has reached out to Carpay to ask him to clarify his comments.

Other speakers at the event included Conservative Saskatoon MP Brad Trost and People’s Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier.

Carpay is the lawyer behind a lawsuit challenging the Alberta government’s bill that protects students from being outed by teachers if they join a gay-straight alliance.

The claim states that gay-straight alliances — peer-support groups that are meant to tackle bullying and provide supportive environments for LGBTQ students — are « ideological sexual clubs. »

« I thought the comments were absolutely offensive and require immediate action, » said Kristopher Wells, an LGBTQ advocate and associate professor at MacEwan University specializing in sexual and gender minority youth.

« The true motivations are crystal-clear now of the kind of hate and homophobia behind this kind of opposition. I think Jason Kenney needs to immediately suspend this person from the UCP party and denounce this kind of homophobic hatred. »

UCP is ‘big-tent party’: Kenney

Christine Myatt, a spokesperson for UCP leader Jason Kenney provided the following emailed statement in response to Carpay’s comments: 

« Of course we do not believe the rainbow flag has any equivalency to fascism and communism — ideologies that have been responsible for the deaths of well over 100 million people.

« The UCP is a big-tent party that supports the rule of law, equality of all before the law, and protection of the fundamental rights and freedoms of all. In that light, the UCP hosted Pride breakfasts in both Edmonton and Calgary this year. »

Carpay is a UCP member who spoke to resolutions at the party’s policy convention this spring.

In 2017, Kenney spoke at a Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms event, comparing Carpay’s work to that of civil-rights activist Rosa Parks and asking people to donate to Carpay’s organization.

Last month, Kenney disavowed a former campaign worker with ties to white supremacy and cancelled his UCP membership.

The leader said at the time he was looking to create a database to screen out extremists from seeking party memberships.

Kenney’s spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether or not Carpay’s views about the LGBTQ flag would qualify him as an extremist member of the party.

« To equate the Nazis with the movement for equality for LGBTQ people is abhorrent, » said Duncan Kinney, the executive director of left-leaning advocacy group Progress Alberta.

« Jason Kenney was just in the media last week talking about how he’s going to create a database to keep extremists out of the UCP. This is an extremist in his ranks … Kenney has spoken warmly about the human rights work Carpay has done. »

Wells said he’s worried homophobia is on the rise, and called on all parties to denounce anti-LGBTQ hate speech.

« I think all parties and leaders should be denouncing this kind of homophobia, it just has no place in our society, in fact I believe the Alberta bar association should look at revoking this individual’s membership to practice law in Alberta with these kind of hateful and discriminatory attitudes, » Wells said. 

« Some of the rhetoric we’re hearing from UCP party members and candidates, it emboldens people to come out with these hateful attitudes and start to dehumanize and attack minority groups who are very vulnerable in our society. »


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