Ontario's minimum wage just went up. Here's what you need to know
Nearly a million minimum wage earners in Ontario got a pay bump today.
On Oct. 1, Ontario's minimum wage, the lowest wage employers are permitted to pay their workers per hour, rose from $15.50 to $16.55, a 6.8 per cent increase.
For a person earning the general minimum wage and working 40 hours a week, that equates to an annual raise of about $2,200.
Here's what you need to know about the new minimum wage:
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR THE PAY BUMP?
Almost all workers in Ontario are eligible for minimum wage.
An estimated 900,000 employees received the increase Sunday, according to Ontario's Ministry of Labour, spanning a number of employment types. Full-time, part-time, and casual employees are all eligible, alongside those paid an hourly rate, a piece rate, a flat rate, by commission, or by salary.
A list of select jobs exempt from the minimum wage provisions can be found on the Ontario government’s website.
WHAT IF I’M MID-WAY THROUGH A PAY PERIOD ON OCT. 1?
If a pay increase occurs partway through your pay period, the province says that “the pay period will be treated as if it were two separate pay periods and the employee will be entitled to at least the minimum wage that applies in each of those periods.”
WHAT ABOUT SPECIAL MINIMUM WAGES?
The student minimum wage, which applies to people under the age of 18 who work 28 hours a week or less when school is in session or during summer holidays, will see an hourly increase of $1, from $14.60 to $15.60.
Homeworkers, who do paid work out of their own homes for employers, will see a minimum wage increase of $1.15, from $17.05 to $18.20.
Hunting, fishing, and wilderness guides will go from $77.60 to $82.85 per day when working less than five consecutive hours in a day, and $155.25 to $165.75 per day when working five or more hours in a day.
HOW HAS THE MINIMUM WAGE CHANGED IN RECENT YEARS?
A $15 minimum wage was to take effect by 2019 in a plan developed by the previous Liberal government but Premier Doug Ford suspended that when he took office.
The province announced in 2021 that it would be boosting the minimum wage from $14.35 to $15 in January 2022. It was further bumped from $15 to $15.50 in October 2022.
Some labour advocates have called for the province to introduce a $20 minimum wage in Ontario.
“If Premier Ford had not canceled both the increase to $15 that was set for January 2019 and the cost of living adjustments for two years, we’d be much closer with a $17.95 minimum wage this year,” the Workers Action Centre wrote in a post back in March, when Sunday’s increase was first announced.
WILL ONTARIO’S MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE IN 2024?
According to the province, minimum wage rates stand to increase annually on Oct. 1. The province says that if new rates are to come into effect on Oct. 1, 2024, they will publicly announce so on or before April 1, 2024.
WHAT DOES THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY THINK?
The Ontario Chamber of Commerce said it is supportive of scheduled minimum wage increases tied to inflation rates as it “allows businesses time to prepare.”
“We support the principle of fair compensation and scheduled wage increases that are planned and done in close consultation with the business community so that businesses have time to plan and implement the changes,” Daniel Safayeni, the chamber’s vice-president of policy said in a written statement.
“We acutely recognize the affordability challenges faced by many workers who are struggling with the escalating cost of living. Ensuring the minimum wage keeps pace with rising inflation will help, in part, address affordability challenges at a time when Ontario is experiencing a record pace of net interprovincial migration losses.”
The statement went on to say that “amidst declining productivity,” wage increases must be accompanied by “greater investments from both the public and private sectors” to boost “productive capacity” and improve living standards for the residents of the province.
WHAT IS THE MINIMUM WAGE IN OTHER PARTS OF CANADA?
One province and one territory have higher minimum wage rates than Ontario. In B.C., the minimum wage is now $16.75 per hour and in the Yukon, it is $16.77.
Saskatchewan and New Brunswick have the lowest minimum wage rates at $14 and $14.75 respectively. Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Alberta, and Newfoundland and Labrador have all set the minimum wage at $15 per hour.
In Quebec, the lowest amount of money workers can be paid is $15.25 per hour, $0.05 lower than Manitoba’s minimum wage of $15.30. Nunavut has set its minimum wage at $16 per hour and in the Northwest Territories, the minimum wage is $16.05.
The federal minimum wage, which applies to federally regulated private sectors, including banks, postal and courier services, as well as interprovincial air, rail, road, and marine transportation, rose to $16.65 per hour on April 1, up from $15.55.
WHAT IS A LIVING WAGE?
Each year, the Ontario Living Wage Network analyzes the hourly earnings residents in the province would need to make in order to have an income that covers their cost of living. It found that the minimum wage in Ontario is significantly out of step with what is actually required to afford to live in the province.
In its latest report, the group discovered that in most regions of Ontario, the living wage was more than $19 an hour and more than $23 an hour in the Greater Toronto Area.
They noted that the calculations were made amid “a backdrop of record–breaking inflation and Consumer Price Index increases,” adding that “workers at the bottom end of the wage scale are most vulnerable to these kinds of fluctuations.”
“A living wage is an effective tool to combat working poverty by making sure that employees can make ends meet where they live,” the report stated.
“By incorporating expenses that a worker must cover, such as shelter, food, transportation and more, our living wages are much closer to reality than a politically set minimum wage.”
Another report published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives this summer found that two minimum wage workers in Toronto would not earn enough to reasonably afford a one-bedroom apartment in the city.
“The discrepancy between the rental wage and the minimum wage is such that, in most Canadian cities, minimum-wage earners are extremely unlikely to escape core housing need,” the report read. “They are likely spending too much on rent, living in units that are too small, or, in many cases, both.”
With files from CP24's Codi Wilson.
The Shopping Trends team is independent of the journalists at CTV News. We may earn a commission when you use our links to shop. Read about us.
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
'I'm so broken': Grieving family speaks out after B.C. cancer patient awaiting treatment chooses MAID
A devastated family says long waits for cancer treatment led a beloved father and grandfather to choose medically assisted death 13 days ago.
Members of Parliament appear poised to pass a Conservative motion calling for a probe into House of Commons Speaker Greg Fergus' conduct after days of acrimony in Ottawa over what he says was unintentional participation in a partisan event.
Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre is threatening to delay MPs' holidays by throwing up thousands of procedural motions seeking to block Liberal legislation until Prime Minister Justin Trudeau backs off his carbon tax. It's a move Government House Leader Karina Gould was quick to condemn, warning the Official Opposition leader's 'temper tantrum' tactics will impact Canadians.
Canada is poised to outline a federal emissions cap on the oil and gas sector using a cap-and-trade framework that would begin as early as 2026, says a federal government source.
Norman Lear, the writer, director and producer who revolutionized prime time television with 'All in the Family' and 'Maude,' propelling political and social turmoil into the once-insulated world of sitcoms, has died. He was 101.
A Regina man has made himself the real life Clark Griswold by going beyond the limits of a standard Christmas lights display.
Andy Hoang was excited about attending a November practice session on how to respond to someone in cardiac arrest. But as things were getting under way at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Hoang, 23, started to feel dizzy and nauseated. She felt she needed to sit down.
A 44-year-old American visiting the Bahamas from Boston was killed in a shark attack while paddleboarding near a beach resort Monday, according to local authorities.
The Bank of Canada once again held its key interest rate steady at five per cent Wednesday, encouraged by evidence that higher rates are helping bring inflation down.
Quebec will table a new offer to public sector unions on Wednesday afternoon, the Common Front has confirmed.
Quebec provincial police are investigating the death of a toddler who was found injured at a home daycare near Montreal.
As it does every year, Polytechnique Montréal will be paying tribute on Dec. 6 to the 14 young women who were murdered 34 years ago in 1989.
The organization has surpassed 86 per cent of the funding required to build its new Old Oak Animal Campus, currently being constructed at 1414 Dundas St.
Sarah Jones was well-known in the city as the managing editor of Business London Magazine and described as big-hearted, with a smile that would light up a room.
No injuries are reported after a vehicle struck a building just west of downtown London. According to police, it happened at 6:53 a.m. at the corner of Oxford Street west and Wharncliffe Road.
A man who barricaded himself inside an Ohsweken home and shot at police has now been charged with attempted murder.
A Kitchener man is still grappling with what he witnessed on Monday morning when an alleged sexual assault happened right outside his home.
Hillside Kennels Animal Control near Woodstock, Ont. is desperately seeking homes for the dogs -- before it's too late.
An Ontario woman said she was shocked and angry after handing over $80,000 to a roofing company that claimed she had problems with her roof that didn't exist.
Poor planning and project management led to a $10 million increase in Science North’s Go Deeper project, Ontario’s acting auditor general says.
The effectiveness of northern Ontario hospital care is the focus of one of the Auditor General's annual value-for-money reports released Wednesday.
Ottawa police say two people have been arrested after a seizure of more than 40 kilograms of cocaine and four kilograms of crack cocaine in the nation's capital.
A new report by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) has found Ottawa is the only region in the province where tequila has not cracked the top spot for alcohol sales growth this year.
An OC Transpo bus with 16 passengers on board collided with a pickup truck on Highway 417 Wednesday morning.
It's back to the drawing board for the former Grace Hospital site as excitement around the planned “global village” has been brought to a screeching halt.
The Ontario government will be holding an inquest into the death of a 34-year-old man who died while being detained by Windsor police.
An elderly woman was taken to hospital by air ambulance Tuesday after a serious crash in Tilbury.
Dust off your spurs, polish those buckles, and grab your cowboy hats because the 2024 Boots and Hearts Music Festival lineup is here.
A federal offender wanted on a Canada-wide warrant for breaching day parole could be in Simcoe County.
Police are looking into a possible link between a Collingwood jewelry store robbery and an attempted robbery in Barrie that both took place on Monday afternoon.
The mayor of a New Brunswick municipality that declared a state of emergency due to unprecedented levels of homelessness says he was taken aback by the dismissive comments on the matter from a provincial minister.
The family of late April Wine lead singer Myles Goodwyn has issued a statement following his death over the weekend.
After nearly 40 years in business, Brenda and Mel Bryden are saying goodbye to their customers and their store.
Calgary police say charges have been laid against a man they say made several threatening statements to staff at a local Islamic community centre.
An Inuk content creator is one of two Calgarians being recognized in TikTok's annual report for his viral videos on Indigenous culture.
Though we're just two weeks away from the first official day of winter, seven communities in Alberta set new weather records on Tuesday thanks to the balmy temperatures.
Two more adults have been charged in connection with the stabbing death of a 15-year-old boy in Kinosao Sipi on Saturday.
Residents of Morden, Man., are being urged to reduce their water usage after the city declared a moderate drought stage on Tuesday.
The cost of living and inflation are leading to more people using charities this holiday season, but it might also be impacting those who give to organizations in Manitoba.
Vancouver Mayor Ken Sim is moving to abolish the city's park board – the only elected body of its kind in Canada.
A new transient orca calf has been spotted in the waters off British Columbia, adding to what's already been a record-breaking year for sightings of the Bigg's killer whales.
A sea of Christine Sinclair jerseys filled BC Place stadium Tuesday night to celebrate the Burnaby native's final game wearing a Canadian jersey.
A man is in custody following a shooting outside Kingsway Mall, the Edmonton Police Service said Tuesday night.
A shelter-in-place order in a northern Alberta community has now become a homicide investigation.
Strathcona County will host the 25th Alberta Summer Games in 2026, the province announced Wednesday.