This year the City budget saw a dizzying series of ups and downs, and it was easy to lose track of where things stood. Social Planning Toronto members have told us that City Budgets have a big impact on them, but they don’t have the time or resources to effectively track the ebb and flow of policy decisions. That’s why we work to make the City’s budget more transparent and the process more engaging.
Faith Leaders stage mock shelter at City Hall, point to beyond-capacity homelessness and housing crisis
One day before City Council debates and votes on its 2017 Budget, prominent Toronto faith leaders helped stage a mock homeless shelter at City Hall, and called for the City to act on the shelter and housing crisis.
New census report shows Toronto faces unprecedented density surge, leaving city struggling to keep pace
This page now links to an updated report, with adjustments to the table legends. (February 15, 2017 at 2:30pm)
Census data released days ago shows a sharp increase in population density in key areas of Toronto, with significant implications on the City and its residents. A new report from Social Planning Toronto says the city’s increasing density is putting the City’s planning and community services to the test. The report finds that areas of the city experiencing growth due to new developments often struggle with lack of transit, greenspaces and community services.
Today, Social Planning Toronto was joined by 30 nonprofit organizations and agencies in addressing a letter to Mayor John Tory pressing him to open more homeless shelter space. Responding to dropping temperatures and badly overcrowded shelters, the letter stated the urgent need to safeguard against the increased risk of exposure and death for homeless individuals this winter.
For 60 Years, Social Planning Toronto has sought to build a fairer, more inclusive Toronto through policy research, analysis and public engagement. But Toronto is growing, changing and facing challenges that have not been seen in its history.
Almost half of the funds from the Province’s Demographic Portion of the Learning Opportunity Grant, intended to benefit low-income Toronto students, are being diverted a new report finds. The report by Social Planning Toronto finds that the TDSB, facing chronic underfunding, has been forced to use funding intended to support schools in low-income communities to shore-up general revenues.
2017 Budget has been launched, and its impacts on community services, transit and housing is stark.
This is your chance to let your Councillor know face to face that you think Toronto can do better, and must make investments that make our city more affordable and livable for all.
Across the City, Councillors will be hosting Budget Town Halls to hear from their constituents, and the city conducts public hearings (deputations) across the City.
Speaking from Toronto City Hall, Sean Meagher, Executive Director of Social Planning Toronto said: “This budget presents a stark choice for the Mayor and Council: choose between eliminating 780 staff positions, affecting programs and services for thousands of residents, especially vulnerable residents, or adopt new revenue tools to balance this budget”.
A new report estimates poverty is costing Toronto between $4.5-$5.5 billion each year due to increases in cost to the health and justice system as well as lost tax revenue.
Report co-author John Stapleton emphasized the need to see poverty as a drag on our economy: “Whether it’s increased cost to our public health system, criminal justice system or lost tax revenue for our City, we need to focus on poverty reduction as a benefit to our long-term prosperity”.
Today, five advisory committees to Toronto City Council issued letters to Mayor John Tory asking him to reconsider the proposed across-the-board 2.6% budget cuts, citing concerns over the impact on marginalized communities and vulnerable residents that will result from cuts to transit, housing, health services and recreation.