Community carnival for a $14 minimum wage!

Action Alert: Workers' Action Centre
Community carnival for a $14 minimum wage

This past Saturday, WAC gathered as part of the Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage to help organize a community carnival outside Dufferin Mall.  It was a beautiful day to come together with WAC members, allies and supporters and get out the message for a $14 minimum wage!

Here is a photo gallery of the day and below is the summary from the Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage that highlights actions from across Ontario.

Our community carnival took place outside Toys "R" Us.  The president of Toys "R" Us chairs the board of the Retail Council of Canada, a powerful lobby group that is campaigning to keep Ontario wages low.  Our message to Toys "R" Us was to support a minimum wage that brings families out of poverty!

Kids games, face-painting and popcorn were a big draw!

The band Maracatu Baque de Bamba arrived and really got people moving!

WAC and ACORN members did an amazing job speaking out for a $14 minimum wage...

...and speaking to the media.  Check out all the media coverage below!

With the help of all the supporters who came out, we collected hundreds of postcards, and many spoke out for a minimum wage increase at our Speakers Corner.

Thank you to everyone who joined us and helped make the day such a success!

Provincial Day of Action

This was just one event in a province-wide day of action!  Here is a round-up of actions and media coverage from across the province compiled by the Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage:

Stand with workers not corporate lobby groups!

Send a message to Premier Kathleen Wynne that we need a $14 minimum wage! 

Actions for a $14 minimum wage took place across Ontario on Saturday September 14 at our biggest day of action yet!  This time the focus was on corporate lobby groups that are campaigning to keep wages low and their board members -- companies like McDonald's, Toys "R" Us and Tim Hortons.

In 12 communities around Ontario we called on McDonald’s, Toys "R" Us and Tim Hortons to support a minimum wage that brings workers out of poverty.

Here are a few of the creative actions that took place:


Minimum wage workers and community members in Guelph assembled at a downtown McDonald’s to demand a raise in the minimum wage.  McDonald's is a board member of the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association, a lobby group that is fighting for a minimum wage freeze.


In Peterborough, low wage workers, community activists, union members and concerned citizens gathered at Tim Hortons (also a member of the CFRA) to raise awareness about the need to increase the minimum wage. Under a constant drone of horn honking the message was clear, the general public overwhelmingly agree now is the time to raise the minimum wage to $14 an hour. 


In Cornwall, community members rallied outside a local McDonald's first thing in the morning at an action organized by the Cornwall & District Labour Council.


In Kitchener-Waterloo, 25 community and labour activists were joined by a familiar red-headed clown as they rallied together in front of a prominent McDonald's. While distributing buttons and getting postcards signed, the group also received many honks of support in response to their placards.

A group hoped to line up and order ‘a liveable minimum wage with a side order of Dental Benefits’, but the jovial group was met at the door by three folks identified as owners and “corporate office”.  So they skipped back to the curb and continued their well-received outreach.

Toronto - Jane and Finch

Two actions took place in Toronto.  At the corner of Jane and Finch, over 200 people took part in a very lively street party organized by Jane Finch Action Against Poverty. The party went from 12-6pm, with many community performers, a flash mob and hundreds of people signing postcards and the petition!

Toronto - Dufferin Mall

And outside the Toys "R" Us at Dufferin Mall, workers and campaign supporters organized a Minimum Wage Community Carnival.  The president of Toys "R" Us chairs the board of the Retail Council of Canada, a powerful lobby group that is campaigning to keep Ontario wages low.

We passed out flyers, handed out $14 NOW balloons and got postcards signed.  Of course no carnival would be complete without music, games and popcorn!  The energy was high and people left pumped for the next action!


Sudbury Coalition Against Poverty also organized an action outside Toys "R" Us.  They had lots of thumbs up and honking cars from community members passing by.  Many people reported they had heard about the day of action on the news!


Working with Food Not Bombs, the London Common Front served food to over 75 people outside a local McDonald's in downtown London!


Voices for Change also organized a leaflet action outside McDonalds in Burlington, with very colourful eye-catching placards!

York Region

In Newmarket, a group of supporters began the day at Tim Hortons. The morning’s actions involved topping up our servers to the higher wage they deserved for the time they were there.

The group then proceeded to hand out the postcards in the drive through lane. Those in line, with their windows down and already waiting to make their order were in a way, a very friendly and captive audience.

From there it was on to Markham where the South Asian Festival. Working closely with an ally of the Campaign, Social Service Network the group was able to distribute buttons, more postcards and strike up a lot of stimulating conversations.


We Are Oshawa organized an action outside MPP Joe Dickson's office in Ajax, that included their awesome Minimum Wage Monopoly game!


Community members in Hamilton carried out a outreach in multiple locations in downtown Hamilton as part of a roving flash mob.


Finally, the Windsor Workers' Action Centre organized a "Minimum Wage Buffet" at their office to to build support and momentum for the minimum wage campaign.

Next steps!

The word is getting out!  Hundreds of people sent messages to Premier Kathleen Wynne during the day of action.  And our campaign postcard was viewed on Facebook over 16,000 times!  There was also widespread media coverage across the province (check out the full list below).

If you haven't already, please send a message to Premier Kathleen Wynne that we need a $14 minimum wage! 

With support building across the province, now is the time to turn up the heat even further!   October 14th is coming up soon!  This day of action falls on the Thanksgiving weekend - so our actions will have a focus on food and those who bring it to our tables. We'll be releasing new materials and action ideas very soon!

Can you organize an action in your community on October 14th, or anytime during the Thanksgiving weekend? 

As you can see from the actions above, only a few people getting together can make a big impact when we coordinate across the province!  Get in touch with us for support with materials and action ideas at

Thank you to everyone who helped to make the September 14th day of action our most successful day yet!  Together we can win a raise for our communities!


Media coverage from Sept. 14 day of action





Toronto (and provincial coverage)

Toronto Star




The Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage is coordinated by ACORN, Freedom 90, Mennonite New Life Centre, OCAP, Ontario Campaign 2000, Parkdale Community Legal Services, Put Food in the Budget, Social Planning Toronto, Toronto and York Region Labour Council and the Workers’ Action Centre.  

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