Toronto’s housing crisis existed long before COVID-19, but the pandemic has intensified housing challenges and shone light on the urgent need for immediate solutions, and medium and long-term policy interventions. Low-income and equity-seeking groups identified affordable housing as the top priority for COVID-19 recovery in SPT-supported consultations.
Though Inclusionary Zoning will not end Toronto’s housing crisis on its own, this promising tool would increase the supply of affordable ownership and affordable rental housing in the city. So what is Inclusionary Zoning? In Toronto, Inclusionary Zoning (IZ) would require a percentage of new condominium and new purpose-built rental housing to be affordable to residents with low to moderate incomes, benefitting a growing segment of Toronto residents who don’t earn enough to afford market prices but earn too much to be eligible for social housing.Read more
Last week our Interim Executive Director, Caryl Arundel, deputed before the City of Toronto's Executive Committee about the reports from the City Manager and the Toronto Office of Recovery and Rebuild (TORR).
The TORR report included 83 recommendations, ranging from detailed, service-related recommendations to others focused broadly on issues and relationships. The report was based on input from Torontonians, including marginalized communities who participated in SPT-supported consultations (summarized in the Community Voices Pave the Road to Recovery report we published last week). The City Manager’s report focused on how the City would address TORR's recommendations.Read more
The Ontario government has undertaken an attack on local democracy once again, and this time the target is changing the rules for municipal elections.
Hidden in Bill 218, Supporting Ontario’s Recovery Act, 2020, a bill focused largely on COVID-19 recovery, the Ford government is attempting to revoke powers from municipalities across Ontario. If passed, municipalities will no longer have the option to use ranked ballot voting.Read more
More than 1,400 Torontonians Tell City Council What They Want to See in Our City’s Pandemic Recovery
More than 1,400 Torontonians whose voices are not usually heard at City Hall took part in consultations to tell the City what they need as we recover and rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic. Their opinions and ideas are shared in our new report, Community Voices Pave the Road to Recovery.
The City of Toronto partnered with us to design and deliver a city-wide consultation process—led by residents, grassroots groups, and community organizations—to engage residents from Indigenous populations, equity-seeking groups, vulnerable populations, and neighbourhoods with disproportionately high rates of COVID-19 cases.
The COVID-19 pandemic has focused public attention on the health, well-being, and increased vulnerability of seniors, but too many of Toronto’s seniors were already struggling before the pandemic due to income and housing challenges, says a report released today. The report’s authors call on all three levels of government to take urgent action against senior poverty.Read more
As the Mayor, Councillors and Toronto’s new Office of Recovery and Rebuild begin their work on Toronto’s recovery, local organizations representing tens of thousands of people from across the city, including Social Planning Toronto, submitted a letter to the Mayor and City Council that outlines 10 principles for a bold, green, and just recovery.
In a recent letter, Toronto City Councillor and Board of Health Chair Joe Cressy made clear the pivotal role of race-based, socioeconomic, and other social and demographic data in understanding COVID-19, its impact on marginalized groups, and the development of effective policy, programs, and practices that protect our communities. His letter confirmed the Board’s commitment to pursuing the collection and analysis of race-based and other social data and called on the provincial government to adopt similar measures across Ontario.Read more
It has now been 33 days since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, and I want to reach out to the SPT community to share some thoughts.
First, I hope that you and your loved ones are safe and healthy. We are living in a scary and uncertain time, and it seems we have no choice but to take things day by day, moment by moment. It’s impossible not to feel anxiety about our loved ones, our communities, our country, and our world.
Second, this is a difficult time for our city, and the communities that we serve. Our non-profit sector is full of unsung heroes, with so many people risking their lives to continue serving vulnerable communities. There has been unbelievable collaboration and coordination between hundreds of agencies and funders who have stepped up with innovative rapid responses to all the new challenges that have been caused by this pandemic.Read more
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:Read more
About City Budget Watch
Social Planning Toronto's City Budget Watch is back for the 2020 City of Toronto budget process! We'll be bringing you up-to-date reports and analysis on each step of the City budget process from launch date on Friday, January 10, to final votes at City Council on February 19. We'll let you know how you can learn more, get involved, and have your say on the 2020 budget.
The City Budget Watch Blog is authored by Beth Wilson. Beth is our lead on policy and research at Social Planning Toronto, starting at our organization in 2002. She has a Master of Social Work (MSW), Policy, Organization and Community.