What would your City of Toronto Budget look like?

Healthy Budget Builder Toronto

The City of Toronto budget affects the health and well-being of Torontonians every day. Decisions made in our city budget affect the millions of people that live, work, play, and age in our city. City services such as childcare, transit, roadshousing, emergency services, and recreation programs impact thousands every day.

Our city budget is an opportunity to help families thrive, but it requires we make choices, set priorities, and follow through with funding. This tool is designed to contribute to an informed conversation on how we can build a healthier and more equitable city.

What does your Toronto City Budget look like?

The Wellesley Institute Healthy Budget Builder tool allows you to make the decisions over taxes, investments, and policies. How will you change the Toronto Budget? Can you balance a city budget and pay for your priorities?

More information:

How does city spending affect health and well-being?

City of Toronto’s services support resident health and well-being by affecting the social determinants of health.

The health of populations is determined through the complex interaction of social, economic, and environmental factors that impact individual's health over their lives. These determinants include access to a sufficient income, affordable housing, and decent working conditions. On average, these determinants affect people’s health more than their access to health services or their personal genetics.

Childcare services, student nutrition programs, long-term care homes, affordable housing, transit, public libraries, and emergency response services all support residents health are all municipal services that affect the social determinants of health. Research has shown that these services affect the health and well-being of Torontonians. For instance, having access to affordable quality childcare benefits children by increasing education readiness, and allowing parents to seek and keep employment. This often leads to improved family incomes, well-being, and health. The same is true for many of the services that the City of Toronto provides through municipal taxes.

For more information see Wellesley Institute’s Health Equity Impact Assessments

Where does the money in the Toronto budget come from? Where does it go?

For more information on budget basics see the City of Toronto’s 2018 Preliminary Budget Overview and budget website.

Why does the budget start a $0?

This budget builder is based on the staff-recommend 2018 Preliminary Tax-supported Operating Budget which begins balanced. This means that any changes you make to the budget will result in the surplus or deficit which needs to be offset. The preliminary budget developed and presented to the Budget Committee by City staff. The Budget Committee and City Council alter this preliminary through the budget process to end up at the final City of Toronto budget.

Due to inflation, population growth, and other factors the cost for the City of Toronto to provide the same services year after year increases. This creates an annual Opening Budget Pressure that has to be closed. The Preliminary Tax-supported Operating Budget begins with property tax increase and other changes required to cover this opening operating budget gap. In 2018 this proposed a 2.1% residential property tax increase which is already included in this budget builder.

For more information on how the opening budget gap was closed in the 2018 preliminary operating budget see the budget Overview and Presentation.

How much does the City spend per person?

Gross Expenditure Per Resident (Adjusted for inflation & population)

What's Toronto's relative tax burden?

The single largest revenue source for Toronto’s tax-supported operating budget is property taxes.

Comparison of Toronto’s Residential Property Tax Mill Rate

Comparison of Toronto’s Average Residential Property Tax Amount

City Manager's Overview of the Executive Committee Recommended 2018 Operating and Capital Budget, February 12, 2018

Hint: You can click on the tabs above to move forward and backward through the Budget Builder.

Childcare and Student Nutrition

Budget Proposals in millions
Low-cost Childcare Spots for Low-income Residents

(Select one)

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Add 12,000 childcare spots, eliminating the childcare waiting list $130
Add 7,500 childcare spots, doubling the number of city-supported spots   $81
Add 3,000 childcare spots   $36
No change, childcare spots remain at 25,000 in total   $0
Cut 3,000 childcare spots   $36
Cut 7,500 childcare spots, the total city-supported spots   $81
Student Nutrition Programs in Toronto Schools

(Select one)

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Add 40,000 new students to expanded breakfast program    $14
Add 20,000 new students to expanded breakfast program    $7
No change, City continues to support 40,000 students    $0
Cut 40,000 students, whole city contribution to Student Nutrition Program    $14

Hint: You can click on the tabs above to move forward and backward through the Budget Builder.

Homelessness and Affordable Housing

Budget Proposals in millions
Rent Supplements to Low-income Households

(Select one)

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Add 10,000 rent subsidies $48
Add 5,000 rent subsidies   $24
Add 3,000 rent subsidies   $14
No change in rent subsidies   $0
Cut 3,000 rent subsidies   $14
Building New Affordable Rental Housing

City of Toronto Contribution

(Select one)

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Add 1,000 new affordable housing units $80
Add 500 new affordable housing units   $40
Add 250 new affordable housing units   $20
No change in affordable housing building, $6 million remains   $0
Cut $6 million in Affordable Housing Grants, from Development Charges Reserve Fund   $6
Emergency Shelter Beds

(Select one)

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Add 1,000 new shelter beds   $44
No change in the number of shelter beds   $0
Cut shelter funding   $5

Hint: You can click on the tabs above to move forward and backward through the Budget Builder.

Parks and Recreation

Budget Proposals in millions
Recreation Program Subsidies for Low-income Households

Welcome Policy

(Select one)

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Double the size of recreation subsidy program   $8
No change, 93,000 users of recreation subsidy remain   $0
Eliminate the recreation subsidy program   $8
Recreation Program Spaces

(Select one)

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Add 200,000 recreation program spaces, eliminate waitlists   $40
Add 100,000 recreation program spaces   $20
Add 50,000 recreation program spaces   $10
No change in recreation program spaces   $0
Cut 50,000 recreation program spaces   $10
Cut 100,000 recreation program spaces   $20
Parks Maintenence

(Select one)

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Increase parks maintenence budget $25
No change to parks maintenence budget   $0
Decrease parks maintenence budget   $25
Achieve Tree Canopy Goal – Expanded tree care and maintenance   $5

Hint: You can click on the tabs above to move forward and backward through the Budget Builder.

Transit and Congestion

Budget Proposals in millions
Change TTC Fares

(Select one)

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Decrease TTC fares $0.50 $180
Decrease TTC fares $0.25   $90
Decrease TTC fares $0.10   $36
No change, TTC fares remain at $3.25   $0
Increase TTC fares $0.10   $36
Increase TTC fares $0.25   $90
Increase TTC fares $0.50   $180
Establish 2-hour TTC transfers   $20
Discount Metro Passes for Low-Income Torontonians

(Select one)

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Fair Pass – 33% discount on TTC passes for those on disability and welfare   $8
Fair Pass – 33% discount on TTC passes for those with low-incomes   $48
 No Fair Pass discount TTC passes   $0
Improve Bus Frequency 

(Select one)

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Increase bus frequency   $40
No change   $0
Reduce bus frequency   $15

Hint: You can click on the tabs above to move forward and backward through the Budget Builder.

Police and Emergency Services

Budget Proposals in millions
Change police budget by…

(Select one)

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 2% increase to police budget $23
 1% increase to police budget $11
 No change to police budget $0
 1% cut to police budget $11
 2% cut to police budget $23
Increase Fire Prevention & Public Education budget   $3
Expand the Community Paramedicine at Home Program   $1

Hint: You can click on the tabs above to move forward and backward through the Budget Builder.

Revenue Tools and Taxes

 Budget Proposals in millions
  Property Taxes

(Select one)

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5% cut to property taxes    $132
3% cut to property taxes    $79
2% cut to property taxes    $53
0% no change in property taxes    $0
2% increase to property taxes    $53
3% increase to property taxes    $79
5% increase to property taxes    $132
 Options currently available to Toronto
Alcohol tax – at 5%, off-license only    $77
Tobacco tax – at 5%    $30
Vehicle registration tax – at $60/car/year    $66
Empty homes tax – at 1% of value    $1
Non-residential parking tax – at $100/ spot per year    $175
Municipal Land Transfer Tax

(Select one)

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Eliminate muncipal land transfer tax (-2%)    $808
Decrease land transfer tax 0.25% of value of property    $101
No change, 2% of value of property for most homes    $0
Increase land transfer tax 0.25% of value of property    $101
 Options requiring provincial approval
Gardiner and DVP Highway Tolls – $.10/ km    $78
City sales tax at 0.5%    $125
City business profit tax at 0.5%    $145
City income tax at 1.0%    $580
Establish progressive property tax, revenue neutral    $0
Lower apartment property taxes, mandate the savings be passed to tenants    $90

Have an impact on the Toronto Budget!

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Summary of Your Budget

Budget Proposals in millions
Learn More and MethodologyContact Us
Your Budget in Millions