Ontario Construction News staff writer
Toronto council approved the 2023 budget last week, including funding for several housing programs, a 10-year capital plan worth $49.26 billion and a jump in State of Good Repair project spending.
“This budget protects frontline services and invests in housing, transit and keeping our communities safe,” Tory said in one of his last statements as mayor. “Today, we worked together as a City Council to make additional investments in housing and homelessness, in anti-violence initiatives, in young people, in mental health, and in key organizations in the city.
“I want to thank the members of the Budget Committee, Council and the public for their thoughtful contributions to the budget process this year.”
Immediately after the 2023 budget was approved Mayor John Tory submitted his resignation from the mayor’s office effective Feb. 17, fulfilling a pledge he made Feb. 10 when he admitted having an “inappropriate relationship” with a former staff member.
The $49.3 billion, 10-year capital budget includes $1-billion for solid waste management and $15.34 for Toronto Water.
The 2023 budget invests more than $2 billion to build and protect vital housing:
- Supports full implementation and legalization of multi-tenant housing with $3.5 million in new funding.
- Increases housing supply with $18.9 million in funding for multi-unit residential acquisition program.
- Mitigates the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Toronto Community Housing Corporation with $10.8 million
- Calls upon 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 budget includes a planned 1.5 per cent increase to the City Building Levy consistent with the city’s approved capital funding strategy, an additional $50 for the average assessed value of a Toronto home. This dedicated levy supports $6.1 billion in transit and housing investments in the 10-Year Capital Plan.
The 10-year capital plan of $49.26 billion funds strategic areas such as transit, housing and climate action and includes the $1.05 billion capital plan for Solid Waste Management Services and the $15.34 billion capital plan for Toronto Water.
Despite the numerous challenges of this budget – the pressures of inflation and interest rates, the significant financial repercussions of the pandemic, and global economic volatility – we have delivered a budget committed to fiscal responsibility and sound financial management,” said Councillor Gary Crawford, chair of the budget committee.