Originally Posted by Acajack
Several of the top immigration metros in the US are near the top for average incomes, whereas the top three in Canada are almost at the bottom and even below depressed cities like Windsor...
Toronto is a jobs producing dynamo, but doesn't produce enough high paying jobs relative to the number of people who move there year after year. The decline in manufacturing is a big culprit. Historically, this sector provided thousands of decent middle class jobs. Today that sector is decimated so lots of people end up with what's left: minimum wage jobs.
Toronto has historically had per capita income above the national average, but hasn't for quite a number of years now. Financial/professional services jobs aren't enough alone to lift Toronto from a middle income city to a high income city like Boston, New York, Washington, Philadelphia, or San Francisco. Toronto will either need manufacturing to come back in a big way or find a new economic engine to replace it.
Montreal has been a low income city for decades while Vancouver has never really had a large corporate base. You just have to look across the border at Seattle to notice the huge disparity. Seattle has tons of big firms, a big tax base, and far higher incomes.
People look at shiny skyscrapers, high end shopping districts, and opulent buildings and come to erroneous conclusions. People assume that our big cities are our wealthiest, but they aren't. These days they're very middle of the pack.