In July 2021 (IE23.6), City Council authorized Toronto Water and the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer to consult with water customers and stakeholders on potential changes to water rates and charges including the possible implementation of:

  • an administrative water charge (also referred to as a fixed service charge);
  • a stormwater charge (SWC) for all property classes; and
  • a SWC credit program for large properties.

Two rounds of consultation are planned for November 2022 and April 2023. City staff will report back to Council in 2023 on the outcomes of the consultation and options for implementation. Members of Council will receive information from City staff about the consultation details prior to any engagement events.

This initiative supports the City’s efforts to tackle climate change and build resiliency while ensuring the financial sustainability of Toronto Water’s infrastructure projects that support the city’s growth and development.

Current Status

November 2022 consultations will include virtual sessions with stakeholders representing the industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) sector, non-governmental organizations, and City and external agencies. Four focus groups will be conducted in December 2022 with residential and business water customers.

April 2023 consultations will provide an opportunity for participants to learn how these services are currently funded including the City’s Stormwater Management Program, the two charges being considered, the impact assessment of each charge, a framework for a stormwater charge credits program and implementation requirements. The consultation will include virtual sessions, an online survey, and meetings with residential and business customers, City and external agencies, associations, stakeholders, and other interested parties.

Background & Context

The City’s Wet Weather Flow Master Plan (WWFMP), adopted by City Council in 2003 is a long-term plan to protect the city’s environment, infrastructure, and water quality from the adverse impacts of stormwater (rain and melted snow).

The WWFMP is a cornerstone of the City’s Stormwater Management (SWM) Program and supports the City’s Resilience Strategy objectives. Over $4.4 billion in expenditures is identified in the Toronto Water 2022 to 2031 Capital Budget and Plan for SWM initiatives.

The City’s SWM program is almost completely funded by the water rate. Since 2012, City staff have undertaken a series of consultations on the possible implementation of a stormwater charge (SWC) to fund the SWM program. The SWC would be based on the impervious (hard surface) area on a property rather than its water consumption. Revenues from a SWC would be removed from the City’s water rate.

Key Contact

Lou Di Gironimo
General Manager, Toronto Water, 416-392-8200

Additional Resources