City Budget Watch

2018 City Budget: How Your Councillor Voted

On February 12, Toronto City Council met for final city budget votes. How did your city councillor vote? Check here for our spreadsheet on key budget votes.

Social Planning Toronto research shows millions in underfunding of council-approved strategies and service plans

As council meets for the last time to discuss the 2018 city budget, new Social Planning Toronto research shows millions in underfunding of council-approved strategies and service plans.

From the press release:

2018 City Budget: Community Pressure Brings Improvements to City Services, More Work Ahead

The City's Budget Committee met on January 23 to make changes to the 2018 preliminary City budget before passing it on to the Mayor's Executive Committee and then Toronto City Council for final votes. Heeding strong community calls for proper funding of vital services, the Budget Committee voted to fund several additional programs.

2018 City Budget: Highlights from the Public Deputations

Thanks to Jackie Tanner for this update on the public deputations.

On January 8th, 9th, and 10th, the City of Toronto’s Budget Committee split into two subcommittees to hear deputations from over 250 concerned Toronto residents at City Hall and the five Civic Centres across the city. In addition to the verbal deputations, over forty written submissions were filed over the three days of consultations. 

2018 City Budget: Top 10 List of Unfunded City Council Commitments

2018 City Preliminary Budget Fails to Make Good on Toronto City Council Commitments: Top 10 List

The City of Toronto’s 2018 preliminary budget fails to make good on many of Toronto City Council’s commitments to create a healthier, inclusive and equitable city for all. In recent years, the Mayor and City Councillors adopted several important plans and strategies to improve the quality of life of Toronto residents and respond to serious challenges facing our city. Plans were approved to increase access to affordable housing, recreation and child care, build strong neighbourhoods, and promote social inclusion for newcomers, seniors, youth and children. Initiatives were passed to respond to the challenges of climate change, confront anti-black racism, forge respectful partnerships with Indigenous communities, make public transit more affordable for low-income residents, and reduce poverty.

The preliminary budget does little to move the city forward on these plan to build an inclusive city for all. However, there’s still time to fix this budget. Toronto City Council votes on the final budget on February 12-13. That’s why it is so important for residents to participate in the Budget Committee’s public hearings (deputations) taking place on January 8, 9 and 10. Have your voice heard!

2018 City Budget: Happy New Year! Time to Have Your Say on the 2018 City Budget!

Happy 2018 Toronto City budget fans & followers!

It's time to sign up for the City of Toronto budget deputations/public presentations. This is your chance to have your say on the 2018 City budget!

  • What should the priorities be for the City of Toronto in 2018?
  • What programs and services should the City of Toronto fund?
  • What programs and services need to be improved?
  • What issues need the City's attention?

On January 8, 9 & 10, Budget Committee members will hear from members of the public. Don't forget to register!


2018 City Budget: Social Development & Children's Services

In this post, we continue our analysis of human services budgets including social development initiatives (within the Social Development, Finance & Administration budget) and children's services

2018 City Budget: Human Services Budgets - Part 2

Here's part 2 of my analysis of the City's human services budgets. Read part 1 here.

Let's start with community grants.

The City of Toronto funds nonprofits to provide a variety of community services in conjunction with City goals and priorities. There are three main vehicles for delivering this funding: 1) the Community Partnership and Investment Program (CPIP) administered by the Social Development, Finance and Investment division, 2) the Toronto Urban Health Fund (TUHF) administered by Toronto Public Health, and 3) community arts grants funded through the Economic Development & Culture Division and administered by the Toronto Arts Council.

2018 City Budget: Committee Meets to Review Human Service Budgets

On December 12, the City's Budget Committee met to begin the 2018 City budget review process - the first day of a 4-day review process. The committee did a quick review of the Citizen-Centred Services (“Cluster A”) budgets including Affordable Housing Office, Children’s Services, Court Services, Economic Development & Culture, Long-Term Care Homes & Services, Parks, Forestry & Recreation, Shelter, Support & Housing Administration (includes TCHC), Social Development, Finance & Administration, Toronto Employment & Social Services & Toronto Paramedic Services budgets, as well as, the Toronto Public Health budget. 

Read Part 1 of the highlights, plus information on upcoming Social Planning Toronto and partner City budget forums, links to City budget documents and more. Coming tomorrow: Part 2 of the human services budget highlights. Lots more to share.

City Budget Watch 2018: Budget Fails to Make Good on Council Promises


Launched on Thursday, November 30, the 2018 preliminary City of Toronto budget fails to make good on several Toronto City Council commitments - some made as recently as the day prior to the budget launch. It largely freezes funding for City services, includes a list of budget reductions described as service efficiencies (we'll have a closer look at this list in the days to come), and leaves out funding for several key commitments that have been made by Council.

Toronto City Council has adopted several action plans and strategies in recent years to improve the quality of life of Toronto residents, address serious service deficiencies, and promote equity and inclusion in the city. Much of this work is not funded in the 2018 preliminary budget.

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