Teenage pay in the 1970s and ’80s

Teenage pay in the 1970s and ’80s

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Tom Sedlar shared this pay stub from his time working for the the McDonald’s at 2380 Bank street, just before you get to Hunt Club. His pay for 27.88 hours? That would be $90.61 at the rate of $3.25 per hour.  

Tom’s stub got people remembering the amazing pay they received for all their hard work back in the day. For reference, $3.25 would be worth $6.49 today. The minimum wage in Ontario this is now $14.


Linda: My ex worked at the very first McDonalds on Merivale Road from 1970 to 72. I wonder what he made then? His apartment was $100 a month.

Elaine: I worked at McDonald’s Alta Vista and Bank. I was earning $2.13/hr in 1975.

Wanda: I worked this one on Bank Street in the mid-‘70s and think I made $2.35/hr!

Kathy: I worked at the new McDonald’s they built on Bronson Ave in 1980 and made $2.10/hr.

Jennifer: When I left the Aylmer McDonald’s in 1981, I believe I was at $3.47 an hour. I loved working there, good memories, good friends, and I always had my own spending money and bought all my own clothes. 

Kim: I worked the McDonald’s Richmond and Carling in 1982 and made $2.85/hour.  Loved working there. Met my first boyfriend, too!

Greg: I started at  $2.85/hr. When I moved to $3.50, I thought I was rich!

Erika: Also started at $2.85! And for some reason the guys wore black shoes and the girls had to wear white shoes.

Glen:  I worked at the one on Montreal Road in 1984-85. I remember it was $3.15/hr, but it was a pretty good job for a kid and my co-workers were a lot of fun.

Ingrid: Gee, I was making $3.15/hour at McDonald’s in 1986. Looks like I was duped!

Matt: You weren’t duped, that was the general manager rate.

Graz: And kids under 16 years old had a lower rate.

Tom: I actually started at $3.15 and got a raise to $3.25 after two months.

Michael: I worked same McDonald’s at the exact same time as Tom Sedlar, in 1986. I made $3.15/hr to start — and I can’t remember if I ever got a raise in the 13 months I lasted there!

Fiona: I was at Carling and Maitland around 1987. I remember getting a 10 cent raise!

Reena: I also made $3.25/hr in 1986. But for me it was at Swiss Chalet.

Mike: I worked at Burger King in 1978 and started at $1.85/hr. 

Rob: First real job was at the Burger King in Bells Corners  for $2.15/hr in 1980. 

Rick: I made $1980 per year in 1963!

Monique: My first job was working in a nursing home, back in 1979 when I was 16 years old. l made $2.95/hr.

Bruce: I made $3.15 an hour in 1984 working at Ponderosa in the dish pit.

Stuart: That’s more per hour than I started with ($2.15/hr) at Ponderosa cooking steaks and lobster.

Mike: I made $2.65/hr as a dishwasher at Frank Vetere’s on Montreal Road in 1984 or ’85. My first legit gig. Plus, all the fountain pop and pizza you could eat!

Elizabeth: My first job also paid $2.85/hr. I worked part time at a little bakery in the Britannia Plaza, and went to Woodroffe High School.

Jennifer: I was at DQ for $3.15/hr. Those lines of people in the summer were insane!

Rachel: My first job was at the Dunkin’ Donuts on Merivale. Starting salary was $3.15/hr. I quickly moved on to working at Lansdowne Park — and my salary jumped up to $7 an hour!

Steve: My first job in 1986 was bussing tables (at a bakery cafe that will remain nameless). They paid me $4.20, moving up to $4.35 before the end of the year. So McDonald’s was competitive in that bracket.

Sonia: I made $4.50/hr at KFC in 1987 and felt so rich having a part time job.

Andrea: I envied an acquaintance whose cashier wage at Loblaws was $14/hr back in 1994! I was getting $7 packing books and handwriting invoices for some nice people.

Graham: I made about 12/hr at Loblaws, since it was a union gig and all.  I guess I  didn’t know how good I had it. I worked there from when the age of 16 until after college.

Michael: That explains why you had the TransAm, Graham. And I just had the Firebird Esprit …

Joan: In 1957, I worked as a sales clerk at the Metropolitan Store on Sparks Street for $0.35 an hour. My return Colonial Coach bus fare from South March to Albert Street was $1.10

Dave: In 1981, I made more money than anyone I ever met. Unfortunately, I worked at the Royal Canadian Mint. Didn’t get to keep any of it!

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