Skip to main content

Simcoe County nearly $4 below livable wage, report states


Simcoe County's livable wage ranks fourth in Ontario, according to recent data.

The Ontario Living Wage Network has been researching the livable wage in regions across the province, taking into account expenses such as housing, childcare, food and transportation. The results show that the livable wage in Simcoe County is $19.05 per hour.

"So what that means if someone is earning a minimum wage working full time, they will be short $124 a week trying to make ends meet, and that's the difference," said Craig Pickthorne, the communication coordinator for Ontario Living Wage Network.

The Toronto area tops its livable wage list at $22.08, followed by the Halton region at $20.75 and Peel Region at $19.80.

The network comprises over 500 employers in Ontario, including 21 in Simcoe County.

Humdinger Bicycle Tours in Oro-Medonte is one of those employers and has been paying its employees above the livable wage since 2019.

"A living wage at least allows people to cover their basic necessities and maybe spend a little money in the community and keep that cycle going," said Sara McEwen, the founder of Humdinger Bicycle Tours.

She said she managed to retain her staff throughout the pandemic and attributes it to the higher wages.

"I think the wage does help, and I think it's important," said McEwen. "It certainly is a commitment for small businesses to pay a living wage, it does impact the bottom line, but it's something I've been committed to from the beginning."

But not all small business owners can make the same commitment.

County of Simcoe Warden George Cornell said it would be challenging to pay employees an additional $3.55 for many small business owners and entrepreneurs still digging out of pandemic losses.

"We want to make sure people have an increase in their income to accommodate increases in inflation and cost of living, at the same time, we need to find that balance where small businesses can get back on their feet,"' said Cornell.

According to the province, the minimum wage will likely increase annually in October . If new rates are to take effect in Ontario next year, they could be announced on or before April 1, 2023. Top Stories

Stay Connected