Toronto and Ontario Governments Reach Funding Deal
The City of Toronto has reached a new deal with the provincial government to help with the city’s finances.
“This historic new deal will help support the future growth of Toronto, delivering shared priorities like building homes, public transit and infrastructure,” said Premier Doug Ford. “Toronto is critical to Ontario and Canada’s economic success, and we need all levels of government working together to deliver solutions that protect services and put the city on a path towards long-term financial sustainability. When Toronto succeeds, Ontario and Canada succeed.”
Ontario has agreed to provide the city with up to $1.2 billion in provincial operating supports over three years and significant capital relief, including an annual operating funding of $330 million over three years for new subway-integrated provincial transit projects; specifically the Eglinton Crosstown LRT and the Finch West LRT.
$300 million in one-time funding will be invested for subways and transit safety, recovery, and sustainability, which includes commitments on the part of the city related to increased police or safety officer presence on and near transit, continued expansion of transit rider cellular and data services across the TTC network and enhanced emergency reporting options and response timelines for riders.
$600 million will be added to assist with shelters and homelessness, again, conditional on federal support for refugee and asylum claimants.
As well, both the Gardiner Expressway and the Don Valley Parkway are being handed over to the province, subject to third-party due diligence. The province says that would ensure the highways’ long-term sustainability for the Greater Toronto Area – and would remain untolled.
“This new deal means unlocking Toronto’s potential. It means the city has billions more for affordable housing, fixing our aging transit system and building complete communities with child care, community centres, parks and more,” said Mayor Olivia Chow. “When all orders of government work together on shared priorities, we can deliver more for the people of Toronto.”
Toronto has also agreed to meet or exceed the province’s housing targets and, as part of that work, identify and make available surplus city lands for building homes.
As well, the city will approve of the province’s plans to redevelop Ontario Place.
Both levels of government say federal assistance is essential for Toronto to achieve long-term financial sustainability, and are calling on the federal government “to step up as a full partner with funding in critical areas of need such as shelter support for asylum claimants and transit funding. Toronto is unique among Canada’s cities, both in terms of the challenges it faces and its long-standing and unparalleled contributions to the province’s shared success.”