Mayor Chow's Historic 2024 Budget Approved

City Council approved Mayor Olivia Chow's game-changing first budget this week.

City Council adopted the 2024 City Budget at a special budget meeting this week.

Mayor Chow's first budget makes historic investments in housing, supports for tenants and transit, putting us on a path toward a more affordable, caring and safe Toronto.

A record number of Toronto residents participated in the budget this year. The city received 16,000 surveys responses and 38,000 people joined Mayor Chow on her telephone budget town halls.

Many also attended local budget meetings, including my Budget Town Hall in January with Mayor Chow.

I'm proud to have supported Mayor Chow's game-changing investments to protect and improve the services we rely on.


Creating More Affordable Housing 

Mayor Chow's budget included funding to make her game-changing plan to build 65,000 rent-controlled homes and thousands of below market and rent-geared-to-income units a reality.

This includes funding for 1,300 rent-geared-to-income homes and 24,500 new rental homes.

There is also an historic three year, $100 million investment in the Multi-Unit Residential Acquisition (MURA) Program.

Funded through the Vacant Homes Tax, Housing Accelerator Fund, and Provincial Build Back Better Fund, MURA helps co-ops, non-profits, Indigenous housing providers and other community organizations buy affordable housing units which are under threat of being lost and keep them affordable.

Toronto is losing affordable housing 14 times faster than we're building it. That's why the MURA expansion is critical. It will enable thousands of residents to live in secure, affordable and rent-controlled homes.

Protecting and Empowering Renters

The Mayor's budget invests in city programs that protect renters. It provides:

These investments will help Torontonians facing illegal rent increases, difficulties paying rent or landlords who won't make repairs, pay for pest control or address other basic issues in your home.

Enhancing these services will also help thousands of Torontonians stay housed, preventing increased pressure on our shelter system.

Homelessness Supports

The Mayor's budget also contains more funding for shelters, warming centres and supports for people experiencing homelessness, such as:

  • $1.4 million for the 22 city-supported drop-in centres that provide services including food, healthcare, laundry, and referrals to people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness
  • $82 million increase in the shelter budget

The shelter budget also reflects $200 million from the province as part of the New Deal and the recently announced federal refugee shelter support.


The Mayor's budget freezes TTC fares and adds over 160 highly-visible TTC workers to improve safety.

It also fully funds the construction of the proposed busway along the Scarborough RT corridor.

These investments are in addition to the three year, $330 million in provincial funding as part of Mayor Chow's New Deal with the province to operate and maintain the Eglinton Crosstown and Finch West LRT.

The New Deal also includes funding for new subway trains for Line 2 Bloor-Danforth, contingent on matching federal funds.


The Mayor's budget expands community grants and provides more opportunities and programs for youth.

This includes new Youth Hubs through the Toronto Library, such as the one at S. Walter Stewart Library in Ward 14. These offer drop-in spaces that give young people a place to go after school and provide access to programming.

Riverdale Library will also now open on Sundays beginning in September thanks to funding in Mayor Chow's budget.

The budget also invests in our emergency services, including fully funding the Toronto Community Crisis Service (TCSS), where trained crisis workers respond, de-escalate, and refer people in crisis to appropriate mental health and other social services.

The Mayor's budget includes:   

  • Funding to hire hundreds more firefighters, paramedics, police officers and civilian staff
  • Fully funding the TCCS to make it available city-wide by the end of this year
  • $2 million to give youth more opportunities by investing in community-driven, locally-developed youth programming in priority neighbourhoods
  • Three additional Youth Hubs through the Toronto Library
  • Funding the Student Nutrition Program to provide nutritious food for 220,000 young people in schools

The budget also expands community grants to help build strong neighbourhoods and prevent youth violence.

Other Investments 

The mayor's budget includes a new $50 million Back on Track Fund for urgent state of good repair needs like fixing potholes, local swimming pools and other public infrastructure.

There is also funding to beautify our parks and public spaces and accelerate building new infrastructure like new community centres and child care centres.

Addressing Toronto's Financial Challenges

The budget also includes significant measures to address Toronto's financial challenges.

Property Tax

This included an eight percent property tax increase. This was a necessary measure to plug the $1.8 billion budget hole Mayor Chow inherited from her predecessor and get the city back on track after years of decline, underinvestment and pandemic-induced pressures on city services. 

However, the Mayor and I listened closely to residents throughout the budget process including at my Budget Town Hall.

Many told us they're feeling squeezed by the rising cost of living. Hearing those concerns, Mayor Chow lowered the staff-proposed property tax increase from nine to eight percent.

Mayor Chow also lowered the property tax increase for multi-residential dwellings to ensure landlords can't pass the cost onto renters, who are already being squeezed by record-high rents, through above-guideline increases.

The Mayor and city staff also identified over half of a billion in savings, significantly helping reduce Toronto's $1.8 billion budget deficit.

The eight percent increase, along with the 1.5 percent City Building Fund Levy, amounts to a 9.5 percent property tax increase, one percent less then the staff-proposed budget. 

The City Building Fund Levy has remained at 1.5 percent since Mayor Tory increased it in 2020 from the 0.5 percent rate introduced by Mayor Ford in 2014.

Provincial and Federal Funding

Mayor Chow negotiated the historic New Deal with the province and secured substantial federal funding for housing and emergency refugee shelters.

While more federal and provincial support will be required, I am pleased to see the provincial and federal governments step up and work with Mayor Chow to support Canada's largest city and economic engine.


Council made some amendments to the budget. This included motions for more funding for culture and the arts, for tree planting, pruning and watering and for bylaw enforcement officers to respond to noise complaints and dangerous dogs which I supported.

I could not support a motion for additional funds for Toronto Police. City Council has already removed a number of cost pressures from the police, such as the Crossing Guard program and the diversion of 911 calls for mental health and wellness calls to the newly established the Toronto Community Crisis Service.

The city also set aside millions of dollars for contract negotiations with the Toronto Police Association.

Read the city's February 14th news release or visit the 2024 City Budget website to learn more.

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