With a dearth of affordable housing options in the city, municipal administrators have long known they need to do more to ensure that Toronto residents can actually afford to be Toronto residents. In 2009, City Council adopted Housing Opportunities Toronto—An Affordable Housing Action Plan 2010-2020 [PDF]. The ambitious plan called for the creation of 10,000 new affordable rental homes and 2,800 affordable ownership homes. The City has since fallen short of yearly targets several times and looks like to fall far short of its final targets as well.
When the City falls behind on its affordable housing policies, there are serious consequences for thousands of Torontonians. Around 88,000 households are on the waitlist for affordable housing right now, and with rents and property values only going up each year, that number is likely to continue growing.
In a buzzing city like Toronto, quality sleep (even if it’s usually a little shorter than we’d like) is key to keeping up with all the fun. While a great mattress is one of the most important purchases Torontonians make, shopping for one is an incredibly outdated experience, complete with tired product lines, inflated prices and high-pressure, commission-driven service.
Enter sleep startup Casper to turn the archaic industry on its head: the company has developed a patent-pending mattress that’s perfect for everyone—yes, even those weird sleepers who prefer extra-hard or extra-soft surfaces. It’s made with a carefully balanced combination of hypoallergenic latex foam, which keeps you cool and adds a bit of spring, and high-density memory foam, which provides just the right amount of pressure relief. Surrounding it all is a surprisingly chic cover woven from super-breathable, durable textiles. Keep reading: Why You Should Get a Casper
Joe Roberts is pushing a shopping cart across Canada to raise awareness about youth homelessness. Photo courtesy of The Push for Change.
It was a cold rainy day, when, on a park bench in Vancouver, I sold the boots off my feet to survive. I was desperate, lonely, and ashamed. I did not think I could go any lower.
That’s when a very compassionate man named Gus said to me, “Joe, there’s more to you than you can see.”
Growing up, I had a good mom, but my dad died when I was very young. My stepfather was a bully. “You’ll never amount to anything,” he would tell me. I started making poor choices and using drugs. At 15 years old, I left home and quit school. I never dreamed I would end up homeless, living under a bridge, and pushing a shopping cart.