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Avocado Economics - Oversimplfying the Housing Market

A recent interview with Australian millionaire Tim Gurner has gained traction – particularly on social media – after TIME reported his comments that millennials cannot afford to buy homes because they insist on buying “smashed avocado for $19 and four coffees at $4 each”.  Obviously this is hyperbole and the point he is using food spending to make an argument that millennials are spending too much money on frivolous purchases.  I don’t know about you, but I’m bored with inflammatory rhetoric – I want data.  I went looking to see how much validity is behind his argument.  After an evening on the Statistics Canada website I’ve crunched the numbers.
Full disclosure, I am a millennial; I can’t afford to buy a house; I don’t like avocado; and I believe that –  perhaps – the discrepancy between millennial budgets and housing prices results from a combination of complex economic factors – not avocado toast spending.
Food Spending [i][ii] We should start with the direct claim that Mr. Gurner is …
Recent posts

Growing Healthy Communities Through Food Literacy and Education

One of the many community positions I am lucky enough to volunteer in is Chair of the Board at Growing Chefs! Ontario.  At Growing Chefs, we have programming that tailored for classrooms to teach the elementary school curriculum through food knowledge and cooking skills.  We work with local growers and food producers to deliver our programming which helps children learn about healthy eating and gain an understanding of where food comes from.

Recently, I had the pleasure of being able to write a column about the importance of food education to families and the community.  While on the surface it may seem like learning to cook has little impacts outside of the kitchen, food literacy has an important role ranging in local economic development, poverty reduction, and community health.

This column was published in The Londoner on the Growing Chefs! Ontario website and if you haven't had a chance to read it, I encourage you to give it a read and if you like it, take a look at some of th…

Series: Argyle Community Association

Argyle Community Association The Argyle community association evolved out of the City of London Strengthening Neighbourhoods Strategy.  This initiative was started by former Mayor Fontana early in his mandate.  The Strengthening Neighbourhoods committee and Argyle Community committee amalgamates to form the Association. The Argyle Community Association has been active since 2010, although they have several members who have been community activists since 1990.
Programming, Initiatives and Partnerships
The Argyle Community Association is working to improve their neighbourhood including improving the economic prospects and  erasing the sigma of living "east of Adelaide".  Their focus is encouraging their 1300 plus members to become involved within the community.  This includes activities such as their Santa Claus parade on Dec. 3 2015 as well as lobbying local politicians about the construction of a new community centre and other infrastructure projects that the group feels have b…

Series: Old East Village Community Association

Old East Village Community Association The Old East Village lies just east of downtown London and some of the city’s other core neighbourhoods like Woodfield and SoHo. The area was developed in a short period of time at the turn of the twentieth century as a residential community supporting nearby industry, and it blossomed in London’s industrial era, but fell on harder times during the city’s suburbanization. Partly to address the lack of organized community support in early revitalization efforts, the Old East Village Community Association (OEVCA) was formed as a residents' association in January of 2003 “to aid and empower residents of the neighbourhood” through advocacy, education and community engagement. Its Constitution and Bylaws were passed at a general meeting in January, 2004. 
Programming and InitiativesThe association immediately became an active contributor to community development efforts like the Old East Village Community Improvement Plan, -- work started by the Cit…

Series: Old South Community Organization

Old South Community Organization
The Old South Community Organization (OSCO) began life as the "South London Community Organization" around about 1975, and was incorporated in 1980. According to the folklore, it came about mainly in response to the construction of the Horton Street "Extension", sometimes called the Horton Street "Expressway" (if you can believe it) and the proposed extension of Ridout Street south of Commissioners Road.
Programming and InitiativesOSCO hosts the Gathering on the Green, the largest & oldest community festival in London. It's been going on for over thirty years, since the mid-late 1980's. At various times they've sponsored or supported Cruise Nights, the Jazz & Blues Festival, Halloween in the Village, Christmas in the Village, and a mid-winter Chili Cookoff.
In addition to the Gathering, OSCS sells Christmas trees as a fundraiser. Money raised goes to fund a number of awards at South Collegiate Institute a…

Series: SoHo Community Association

South of Horton (SoHo) Community Association SoHo (which stands for South of Horton) is an up and coming neighbourhood just south of downtown. Our boundaries are the CN Rail tracks to the North; The Thames River marks the West & South boundaries and Adelaide St. to the east.  SoHo is surrounded by other great neighbourhoods: Old South, Woodfield, Hamilton Road, Old East Village and of course Downtown!  Renamed from St. David's Ward, the community association was put in place to assist residents and act as neighbourhood advisers for the city.  Together, a plan for the future was set in place to regenerate the neighbourhood and thus, The Roadmap to SoHo was created.
Programming and InitiativesThe group meets monthly during the school year on the third Wednesday of each month at 7pm in the basement of Maple View Terrace.  Each year SoHo holds an annual yard sale, called Junk in the Trunk, in June and a Community Picnic at the end of summer. In the spring they applied for Non Profit…

Series: Orchard Park Sherwood Forest Ratepayers

Orchard Park Sherwood Forest Ratepayers HistoryThe organization was formed over 30 years ago, though the history of the area dates to 1955 when developer Bill Davies began a 500 home development which promotional material declared “carved out a huge apple orchard” from farmland in the area.   This would become Orchard Park.  Five years later, the first phase of the Sherwood Forest neighbourhood began to be developed.
As the neighbourhoods grew, the Orchard Park Sherwood Forest Ratepayers group was formed to promote an organized neighbourhood network to responds to developments and changes, and to present a strong unified voice with local government when representing the interests of the neighbourhood.  Issues tackled by the group over the years include supporting and maintaining existing facilities such as pools, libraries and areas, as well as raising resident concerns regarding traffic, development, zoning restrictions, and the environment – particularly related to protection of the…