“If Toronto were Gaza”: Infographic highlights absurd injustice of Gaza evacuation orders

Montreal, December 15, 2023 - As of December 11, 2023, Israel’s war on Gaza has displaced almost 1.9 million Palestinians, constituting nearly 85% of Gaza’s population. Israel has ordered Palestinians across the territory to ‘evacuate’ their homes, a demand that the UN has said is impossible to carry out. Even worse, Israel has continued to bomb the supposedly ‘safe’ areas it has ordered Palestinians to flee to, underlining the fact that nowhere is safe in Gaza.

To help Canadians better understand the scale and implications of Israel’s evacuation orders, CJPME has issued the below infographic comparing Gaza to Toronto. With this context, it is clear to see that Israel’s orders are unfair, absurd, and impossible.   

“If Toronto were Gaza”


The Gaza Strip has nearly 80% as many people as the City of Toronto, but only 57% as much territory. The infographic is designed to show the impact that Israel’s evacuation orders on Gaza would have if they were imposed on Toronto, based on a comparison of the relative populations of Toronto’s Wards with Gaza’s Governorates.

  1. In October, Israel ordered the complete evacuation of Northern Gaza, displacing fully half of Gaza’s total population. In Toronto, this would be roughly equivalent to ordering everybody living east of Yonge St. (shown in red on the map, with a population over 1.4 million people) to evacuate. Note that the borders are sealed, so they cannot escape, only move elsewhere in the city. 
  2. In mid-December, Israel added Khan Yunis to the evacuation list. In Toronto, this would be equivalent to ordering the further evacuation of everybody living south of Eglinton Ave. and east of the Humber River (orange on the map, with nearly 600,000 people). 
  3. It is anticipated that Israel will soon order the evacuation of Rafah as well, equivalent to all of Etobicoke south of Eglinton (blue on the map, with another 370,000 people). At that point, all of Gaza’s population will be crammed into a fraction of the territory, equivalent to forcing 2.3 million Torontonians into an area bounded by Yonge, Eglinton, Steeles and Hwy 427, in addition to the half-million people already living there.
  4. Israel has designated a small “Humanitarian Area” on the coast in southern Gaza, equivalent to a small patch of land in the Jane and Finch area of Toronto (green on the map).

Gaza population estimates, 2023, from Palestine Central Bureau of Statistics. Toronto population counts, 2021, from Census of Canada.

Click here to download a spreadsheet of the data. Thank you to CJPME volunteer research analyst Grafton Ross for producing this infographic.