A standing invitation to employers

who want to pay a living wage.


A standing ovation to those who do.

The Ontario Living Wage Network is a project of the Atkinson Foundation's Decent Work Grant Fund

Living wage newsfeed

Ontario living wage developments

CTV Barrie: Living Wage Brewery

About the living

 wage in Ontario

About this


The living wage is different than the provincially mandated minimum wage.


The living wage is based on a calculation that draws on community-specific data to determine actual expenses that a family of two working parents raising two children face. Living wage employers voluntarily decide that it's the right thing to do.



We're championing and showcasing the growing wave of living wage initiatives in Ontario.


Four communities have started a local employer recognition program:



Waterloo region






CTV Barrie

Ontario Living Wage Network

Muskoka Brewery becomes the first brewery in Canada to adopt a living wage for its employees.




Peterborough's latest living wage calculation

Peterborough Social Planning Council

The recent PSPC's living wage report found that the living wage for Peterborough is $17.65 per hour. This is the amount each of two adults living together with two dependent children must earn. This amount is higher than the living wage calculated in 2012 which was $16.47.



Expert panel says London's living wage is $15.53/h, Londoners need $30,284 to meet basic needs

London Free Press

If you live in London, you need to a make $15.53 an hour or $30,284 a year to meet your basic needs, according to a “living wage” report released Friday by a coalition of businesses and private agencies.




‘Living wage’ far higher than Ontario’s minimum wage

Niagara This Week

The so-called ‘living wage’ for Niagara families to realistically be able to pay their bills has been pegged at $17.47 by the Niagara Poverty Reduction Network.




New in Alternate Routes: 'Illegalized' Migrant Workers and the Struggle for a Living Wage

Alternate Routes: A Journal of Social Research

In a new issue of Alternate Routes: A Journal of Social Research, Charity-Ann Hannan, Harald Bauder, and John Shields write about living wage campaigns and their effect on "illigalized" migrant workers, and what can be done to improve their working and living conditions.




Alternate Routes: New issue on Precarious Work and the Struggle for Living Wages

Alternate Routes: A Journal of Social Research

The latest issue of Alternate Routes: A Journal of Social Research tackles the issue of low-wage work.




Living Wage Waterloo Region: What we learned in one year

Living Wage Waterloo Region

Living Wage Waterloo reflects on a year of working towards living wages in the region.




The Living Wage Movement: Responding to the Low-Wage Economy

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives' Ontario office

York University Global Labour Research Centre

The York University Global Labour Research Centre’s opening session in the 2015-16 speaker series assembled a panel of leading researchers focused on the living wage movement in Ontario, including CCPA-Ontario economist Kaylie Tiessen.




CTV Northern Ontario: A Living Wage

CTV Northern Ontario

In Northern Ontario, a campaign is underway to bring attention to challenges faced by the working poor.




Cambridge becomes first in Ontario to endorse living wage policy

Waterloo Region Record - November 17 2015

Cambridge city council voted to become Ontario's first municipality to pay their employees a living wage on Tuesday night.


The city is officially a supporter of Waterloo Region Living Wage who calculated the living wage in this region is $16.05 an hour.




Guelph and Wellington employers make commitment to paying living wage to employees

Guelph Mercury - November 6 2015

The Guelph and Wellington Task Force for Poverty Elimination launched the living wage employer recognition program at Innovation Guelph and congratulated 11 Guelph and Wellington employers who committed to paying their employees at least a living wage. The announcement was made  in front of a crowd of around 40 people.




CTV Kitchener: Small raise in living wage

CTV Kitchener

On the first anniversary of Waterloo Region's Living Wage movement came the news that the magic number for 2016 is $16.05 per hour.




More Windsor businesses commit to paying a living wage

Windsor Star - November 6 2015

Several Windsor businesses, unions and charities have committed to paying workers a living wage.


“Right now in Windsor-Essex about 18,000 people are considered working poor,” said Adam Vasey, director of Pathway to Potential. “The living wage is designed to address people who are working but because of circumstances, whether that’s having one miniumum wage job, a couple of part-time jobs, they’re not able to make ends meet.”




Windsor-Essex has launched its employer recognition program.


“At Suede Productions we pay a living wage because it just makes better business sense. It’s what you should do if you value and honour your employees.”


Nicholas Shields, Founder and Partner

Suede Productions


Ontario’s newest trend:
living wage employers

Trish Hennessy - November 1, 2015

When it came to raising the minimum wage in this province, for the longest time the typical small business owner would serve as the penultimate elephant in the room. You could make the case for a higher minimum wage until you were blue in the face. It keeps workers below…




How much is the living wage in Toronto?

Read the report here.


"Not paying a living wage, for us that's not fair"

Richard Senechal, President and CEO
DUCA Credit Union



The Ontario Living Wage Network is made up of the people in communities all across Ontario.


Visit the Ontario Living Wage Network's flickr account to see more:

Living wage initiatives: going global and keeping it local

Tom Cooper - November 3, 2015

It was a misunderstanding on Twitter that made me realize just how global the living wage movement has become. In Hamilton, a group of us were busy engaging local officials and the public on the benefits of a living wage when I saw a tweet from colleagues in British Columbia…




"So this is what I love about the living wage movement: It helps change the conversation about the role of pay in low-waged workers' lives.


It humanizes the discussion about the inadequacy of the legislated minimum wage."



Trish Hennessy

Director, CCPA-Ontario

How to talk about the living wage in 7 minutes


"Paying a living wage is about recognizing your community is only as resilient as the people working within it."

Walrus TV • by Trish Hennessy

The Walrus Talks - Resilience


Businesses seek a poverty solution - Hamilton Spectator

Deirdre Pike - September 20, 2014

Remember the good ol' days when, as students, we worked minimum-wage jobs to earn some extra cash to buy the stuff we wanted that our parents either wouldn't or couldn't purchase for us?


Although I never picked high-paying careers — working as a reporter, then for the Catholic Church and now for a not-for-profit — once I finished school I was lucky to always have jobs in which I earned more than minimum wage...




In one minute or less: 30 reasons for a living wage. Click and share.

Working for a Living

More in-depth info about the living wage in Ontario:

Living wage champions in Ontario: