Food-bank use in Canada’s largest city has returned to levels not seen since the wake of the last recession, driven by growing demand among seniors and those in the inner suburbs.

An annual tally shows visits in Toronto climbed 9 per cent to a seven-year high of 990,970 this year, The Daily Bread Food Bank’s numbers show – up 24 per cent since the recession. The average length of time people are turning to food banks has also risen – doubling, to two years, since 2010.

Census numbers published last week show increases in the share of seniors living in poverty, and that Canada’s low-income rate was little changed over the past decade, at 14.2 per cent in 2015. In Toronto, seniors aged 65 and over were the fastest-growing age group of food-bank clients in the past year.