Toronto’s Indigenous Peoples
Agencies serving the Indigenous community in Toronto estimate that there are 70,000 residents from this community.
- Toronto has the largest Indigenous population in Ontario and the 4th largest in Canada.
- According to Canada’s 2016 Census Metropolitan Area statistics, the Indigenous population in Toronto went from 36,995 to 46,315, an increase of 25 per cent.
Indigenous identity refers to those persons who reported identifying with at least one Indigenous group (North American Indian, Métis or Inuit), or those who reported being a Treaty Indian or a Registered Indian as defined by the Indian Act of Canada, or those who reported they were members of an Indian band or First Nation.
Census counts for Indigenous identity include persons living in private households only. Individuals who lived in collective residences, institutions or were homeless at the time of the enumeration are not reflected. The number of urban Indigenous persons reported by the Census has historically been sharply lower than estimates from agencies serving this community.
Note: Agencies serving the Indigenous community in Toronto estimate that there are 70,000 residents who belong to this community.
According to Canada’s 2016 Census Metropolitan Area statistics, the Indigenous population in Toronto went from 36,995 to 46,315, an increase of 25 per cent.
However, other research has shown that Indigenous peoples are undercounted by the national census. The census often relies on a fixed address and many Indigenous peoples move frequently or are homeless. There is also a reluctance among Indigenous peoples to fill out censuses.
In the Our Health Counts Study (2016), the largest urban Indigenous population health study in Canada, where Indigenous organizations owned and controlled the data, the total Indigenous population in Toronto was 69,000. Our Health Counts also reported that over 90 per cent of Toronto’s Indigenous population lives below the (before tax) low income cut-off.
One in five Indigenous people in Canada live in Ontario.
- Numbering 309,845, 22 per cent of the Indigenous identity population in Canada lived in Ontario in 2011. They made up 2.4 per cent of the total population of that province.
- Just over one in ten Indigenous people in Ontario resided in Toronto, although they represented less than 1 per cent of the total population living there.
- Ontario was home to 209,510 First Nations people, 86,020 Métis, and 3,360 Inuit, with the rest reporting other Aboriginal identities (8,050) or more than one Aboriginal identity (2,910).
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Indigenous people in Canada number 1.4 million.
- Representing 4 per cent of the total Canadian population, 1,409,100 people in Canada had an Indigenous identity in 2011.
- About one in five (22 per cent) Indigenous people in Canada resided in Ontario with an additional 58 per cent living in one of the four western provinces. In addition, 10 per cent of the Indigenous population lived in Quebec, another 7 per cent lived in the Atlantic provinces and 4 per cent resided in Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
- Canada was home to 859,970 First Nations people, 451,795 Métis, and 59,445 Inuit, with the rest reporting other Aboriginal identities (26,485) or more than one Aboriginal identity (11,415).
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