Toronto tables capital budget with focus on housing

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

The City of Toronto’s capital budget was tabled at a budget committee meeting this week, with new investments in housing and transit projects.

Highlights include:

  • Support the full implementation and legalization of multi-tenant housing through $3.5 million in new funding.
  • Increase housing supply through $18.85 million in funding for the Multi-Unit Residential Acquisition program.
  • Mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Toronto Community Housing Corporation through $10.8 million investment on top of a subsidy of $295.8 million.

The 2023 budget also calls on other levels of government to fulfill “their jurisdictional housing obligations”, including $48 million from the Province of Ontario to support 2,000 units of supportive housing under its responsibility for mental healthcare and $97 million to support refugee housing costs from the Government of Canada under its responsibility for immigration and refugees.

“The 2023 tabled budget follows through on my commitment to protect the frontline services that Toronto residents and businesses rely upon, while investing in housing, transit and community safety,” said Mayor John Tory. “Throughout the pandemic we have maintained the City’s strong credit ratings – a testament to our careful, responsible and prudent fiscal management and our continued partnerships with other orders of government.

“I will continue my advocacy to secure the expected support from the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario for Toronto this year and beyond.”

The city expects expects $1.08 billion in funding from the federal government and the Province of Ontario to address the ongoing impacts of the pandemic ($933 million), refugee shelter response ($97 million) and supportive housing ($48 million). When combined with the 2022 pandemic-related shortfall of $484 million, the expected funding is $1.56 billion.

The total tabled 10-year capital plan is $49.26 billion, which includes funding for strategic areas such as transit, housing and climate action. It includes the $1.05 billion capital plan for Solid Waste Management Services and the $15.34 billion capital plan for Toronto Water.

Also, a planned 1.5 per cent increase to the building levy to meet the approved capital funding strategy, an additional $50 for the average assessed value of a Toronto home. Since 2017, this dedicated levy has supported, and continues to support transit and housing investments; $6.1 billion in the current 10-Year Capital Plan.

Budget meetings will be held:

  • Toronto City Hall, Jan. 17, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.
  • North York Civic Centre, Jan. 17, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.
  • Scarborough Civic Centre, Jan. 18, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.
  • Etobicoke Civic Centre, Jan.18, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Speakers are asked to register by email: buc@toronto.ca or call: 416-392-4666 by 4:30 p.m. on Monday, January 16. Individuals may only make one presentation. Registered public speakers will be provided with instructions on how to appear at the Committee meeting.

The meeting will be streamed live on the Toronto City Council YouTube channel

Written comments can be submitted by email: buc@toronto.ca or by mail: Attention Budget Committee, Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen St. W., 10th floor, West Tower, Toronto, ON M5H 2N2.

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