Ontario and Toronto Announce New Deal

Back in September, Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow announced a new-deal working group with a mandate to achieve long-term stability and sustainability of Toronto’s finances. Following 10 weeks of working group discussions, the Government of Ontario and the City of Toronto have reached a new deal.

As part of this new deal, Ontario has agreed to provide the city with up to $1.2 billion in provincial operating supports over three years and up to $7.6 billion in capital relief, including:

  • Annual operating funding of $330 million over three years beginning in 2024–2025 for new subway-integrated provincial transit projects — the Eglinton Crosstown LRT and the Finch West LRT
  • Providing $600 million in additional operating support for shelters and homelessness, conditional on federal support for refugee and asylum claimants
  • Identifying provincially owned lands in Toronto that can be used to build homes
  • Uploading both the Gardiner Expressway and the Don Valley Parkway to the province, subject to third-party due diligence
  • Over $750 million in funding for 55 new subway trains for the TTC’s Line 2, conditional on matching federal support
  • $300 million in one-time funding for subways and transit safety, recovery and sustainability that includes commitments on the part of the city related to increased police or safety officer presence on and near transit, continued expansion of transit rider cellular and data services across the TTC network and enhanced emergency reporting options and response timelines for riders
  • Continuing discussions on the longer-term sustainability of Toronto’s finances and operations through the Toronto-Ontario targeted review, with terms of reference established by 2025

In exchange, Toronto has agreed to:

  • Meet or exceed the province’s housing targets and, as part of that work, identify and make available surplus city lands for building homes and increase density near transit through the use of tools such as official plans
  • Take further actions to find efficiencies in service delivery and procurement by improving and digitizing processes as well as exploring shared services.

As part of the deal, the city has also stated that they accept the province’s authority to advance project approvals for Ontario Place. The province has agreed to explore relocating the parking structure to the Exhibition Place grounds to improve public access to the shoreline and to discuss partnership opportunities with the city for maintaining public science programming at the legacy Ontario Science Centre location.

Both the province and the city continue to call on the federal government to partner in this new deal through funding critical areas of need such as transit, and shelter support for refugee and asylum claimants.

While this deal is specific to Toronto, it represents a significant milestone in re-thinking the provincial-municipal relationship. We are hopeful that the province will continue to explore how it can support a new fiscal deal for all Ontario municipalities.