The challenge

Toronto’s population is aging. Our city currently has more residents over the age of 65 than children aged 15 and under — and by 2041, the number of seniors is expected to double. While the pandemic drew public attention to the lack of adequate care for vulnerable seniors, many were experiencing significant challenges long before COVID-19 emerged.


Toronto has one of the highest rates of senior poverty in Canada. The poverty rate is particularly high among Indigenous, racialized and immigrant seniors, with women in these communities at a greater disadvantage. Seniors living on low incomes face a range of issues, from food insecurity to social isolation to having to manage health problems without access to home care.Housing affordability is a key concern among senior renters. One in five senior tenant households spends 50% or more of their income on housing, which puts them at risk of homelessness in the event of a health crisis, loss of a partner, and the rising cost of living.


How WoodGreen helps

WoodGreen has piloted a series of innovative programs supporting seniors and individuals with developmental or cognitive issues to lead full and independent lives. Working in partnership with the local health sector, we provide an integrated approach to care to improve our clients’ physical, social and mental wellbeing, and help them avoid hospital stays and long-term care settings.

We offer specialized programs including meal delivery, friendly visiting, medical escorts, personal support services, income tax assistance and crisis outreach, all with the goal of helping clients age at home with dignity. As one of the largest non-municipal affordable housing providers in Toronto, WoodGreen provides seniors with critically needed affordable housing, where tenants can access a wide range of support services. Looking ahead, we are working to expand our assisted living programs in Toronto, with plans to develop 1,000 new housing units for seniors. Additional cluster care units will meet the need for complex care and alleviate pressure on the health and long-term care sectors.