The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Report Examines Which of Toronto’s Problems are Better, and Which are Bigger, after 10 Years of Austerity
Welcome to 2020! As we look ahead to a new decade and the launch of the City of Toronto’s 2020 budget, we decided to take stock of Toronto at the end of the ‘10s, so that we may learn from the past and chart a new path forward.
Our Toronto After a Decade of Austerity: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly report looks at how our city has progressed, declined, or stagnated over the past decade in three key areas:
- child care, and
- public transit, cycling, and walking.
We assess the current state of the city after a decade of austerity budgets using 20 quantitative indicators and offer resolutions to build a better city. Three immediate options are to:
Friday, November 22, 2019 – Today, on National Housing Day, Social Planning Toronto releases its new report, “Learning from Our Neighbours to the South: The U.S. Housing Choice Voucher Program - Evidence and Lessons for Canada.”
This in-depth review of the Housing Choice Voucher Program provides a base of evidence to guide the development of the Canada Housing Benefit, a key component of Canada’s National Housing Strategy. The report offers lessons from the U.S. experience, identifies principles and practices that best support positive outcomes for tenants, and articulates the limitations of portable housing benefits for addressing housing needs.
In the lead up to the 2018 City of Toronto municipal election, Social Planning Toronto, Commitment TO Community, and Faith in the City asked candidates for Mayor and City Council to sign the “Prosperity Pledge”, an election promise to follow through on actions to advance the City’s Poverty Reduction Strategy during the 2018-2022 term of Council. The Pledge included specific, measurable commitments to be met by 2022, with a focus on housing and homelessness, public transit, child care, and recreation.
A total of 73% of the members of the new Council, including Mayor Tory, signed the Pledge. The 2019 City budget offers the first opportunity for Toronto City Council to begin to make good on its election promises to act on poverty.
The “How to Hub: Community Hub Development Toolkit” is a practical guide to support residents, parents and community allies in advocating for a community hub in their neighbourhood. This toolkit offers introductory information on a range of topics relevant to groups that are in the initial stages of developing a community hub or who would like more information before beginning their journey.
Using multiple sources of data, the Central Etobicoke Hub Feasibility Study provides an in-depth understanding of the current deficits in community services and community spaces in Central Etobicoke and accesses the feasibility of a community hub as an important step to addressing some of these deficits. The report identifies, assesses, and prioritizes community needs; identifies community assets and resources; identifies walkability and transit issues that affect access; outlines demographic information; captures the unique needs of the area; identifies accessible locations for community space; records specific areas of interest and programming needs; establishes potential partnerships and identifies potential governance models. The study builds on the preliminary work of various community groups, with members who have been raising awareness around the lack of services and the deficits in community spaces in Central Etobicoke since the 1990s.
Social Planning Toronto’s budget brief, Promises, Promises, documents the systematic underfunding of key council-approved strategies and service plans in the 2018 city budget. Social Planning Toronto analysis indicates that to meet the commitments council has made, this budget would require:
- an increased investment of $36 million in the 2018 city operating budget;
- an additional $35 million to double council’s commitment to new affordable rental housing development;
- a revision of the city’s budget process to ensure transparency and accountability on critical issues affecting Toronto.
The report presents funding options to support council-approved strategies and service plans.
In December 2016, the Province of Ontario introduced legislation that will allow municipalities to enact inclusionary zoning (IZ) as part of a broader plan to increase the stock of affordable housing. This was welcome news for many who have called for inclusionary zoning as part of the solution to Ontario’s affordable housing crisis.
Central Etobicoke is a large geographic area composed primarily of wards 3 and 4, located in the west-end of Toronto. The boundaries stretch north to the 401, south to Burnamthorpe Road (with some parts reaching Dundas), west to include Centennial park and east just beyond Royal York Road. The area includes smaller neighbourhoods like The West Mall, the East Mall, Kingsview village, Mabelle, Scarlettwood court, Willowridge and Capri.
Historically central Etobicoke has been perceived as a well-to-do middle-class community. However, the City of Toronto is seeing major changes in its socio-economic geography. According to University of Toronto Professor David Hulchanski’s 2010 study: The Three Cities within Toronto: Income Polarization Among Toronto’s Neighbourhoods, this transformation entails high levels of wealth emerging increasingly in the downtown core and increasing pockets of low-income in the surrounding inner suburbs1. Hulchanski states that many smaller communities have become parts of “City three” — areas where income levels have decreased 20% or more since the 1970’s.
Throughout 2017, Social Planning Toronto will be producing a series of reports highlighting newly released 2016 Census data from Statistics Canada and its significance for Toronto and its communities. Our first report, Growth and Change in Toronto’s Neighbourhoods, released in February focused on population growth and density in Toronto over the past five years and the implications for creating inclusive communities across the city. Demographic Change in Toronto’s Neighbourhoods looks at the shifting age and sex makeup of Toronto and what it means for the programs, services and priorities of the city.
Growth and Change in Toronto's Neighbourhoods: The challenges of planning for growth and density in the downtown and inner suburbs
This page now links to an updated report, with adjustments to the table legends. (February 15, 2017 at 2:30pm)
This report provides an overview of changes to the population and dwelling counts in Toronto, a review of the implications of those changes and recommendations on how to accommodate those changes. This report describes the changing landscape of Toronto as described by the census and the implications for our future priorities as a city.