Toronto saw an average of more than three deaths per week among people experiencing homelessness last year, totalling 187 deaths in 2022 according to new city data.
Toronto Public Health’s newly released data shows the number of deaths among people experiencing homelessness went down from 223 in 2021, but remained higher than yearly totals between 2017 and 2020.
The city’s data shows that drug toxicity is by far the leading cause of death for people experiencing homelessness in Toronto, resulting in nearly half — or 47 per cent — of reported deaths in the population.
The next leading cause of death is the unknown or pending category at 29 per cent, followed by cardiovascular disease at 10 per cent and cancer at five per cent.
Men accounted for 77 per cent of homeless deaths in 2022 and the age group with the highest percentage of deaths was people aged 40 to 59, at 34 per cent.
The city says in a release that people experiencing homelessness face an increased risk of premature death, with the population’s median age being 55 for men and 42 for women in 2022, compared to 79 for men and 84 for women in the general population.