For the first time in history, there are now more Torontonians over the age of 65 than children aged 15 and below. By 2031, one-quarter of the City’s population will be over the age of 60.
Recognizing the significant policy, service and resource implications of this demographic shift, Council adopted the Toronto Seniors Strategy 2.0 (EX34.2) on May 22, 2018. This includes direction to establish a Seniors Housing and Services entity at the City.
Version 2.0 of the Toronto Seniors Strategy continues to uphold the principles that were articulated in Version 1.0: equity, respect, inclusion, and quality of life. It commits to all seniors having equitable access to City services and programs and it also continues to focus on actions that fall within the City’s jurisdictional authority to plan, manage and deliver.
The City of Toronto will initiate a process to develop a seniors housing and services entity at the City dedicated to taking a service system management approach to the needs of all seniors and integrating City services for seniors.
Through Toronto Public Health, the City of Toronto will explore how to expand access to free dental health services for low-income seniors.
The City of Toronto, in partnership with Toronto Community Housing, will seek provincial funding for additional Seniors Active Living Centres in Toronto.
Toronto Public Library will support social connectedness by expanding digital literacy programs for seniors in libraries.
The City of Toronto will expand Community Paramedicine programming, which provides non-emergency care and supports, in order to better support seniors who are high-volume 911 callers.
The City of Toronto will work with the Province of Ontario and community partners to develop a Toronto Caregivers Strategy with an emphasis on the needs of senior caregivers.
The City of Toronto will consider senior-friendly outdoor fitness equipment in the design and refurbishment of parks.
The City of Toronto will work with Toronto Community Housing and FoodShare to establish healthy food access initiatives that are accessible to seniors living in social housing through Toronto Public Health and the Toronto Food Policy Council.
The City of Toronto will develop Housing Opportunities Toronto: Housing Action Plan (2020-2030) to account for the evolving demographics and needs of older Torontonians over the next decade, including those in informal retirement communities (apartment buildings or housing developments that house a high concentration of seniors).
The City of Toronto will address the specific and growing needs of older Torontonians by continuing to create new affordable housing and fund housing repairs and accessibility modifications for seniors by delivering federal-provincial-City funding and City incentives.
The City of Toronto will seek funding from the Seniors Community Grant Program under the Ministry of Seniors Affairs to pilot a HomeShare program in Toronto to connect overhoused seniors with underhoused graduate students and others.
The City of Toronto will develop a new homeless shelter that provides specialized services for seniors and older adults.
The City of Toronto will implement the provincial Home for Good program funding to create and maintain housing with supports that meet the needs of formerly homeless persons, including seniors.
The City of Toronto will amend the Official Plan to recognize the City’s commitment to age-friendly principles.
The City of Toronto will negotiate the use of Section 37 benefits to develop new neighbourhood facilities, including those around apartment buildings or housing developments that house a high concentration of seniors, to meet the needs of seniors as appropriate.
The City of Toronto will provide seniors with new and customized information and tools that will empower them to ensure that they and their neighbours are living in a fire-safe environment.
The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) will develop and launch a new public awareness campaign to advance a culture of respect and civility for the benefit of seniors and other riders.
As part Toronto’s Vision Zero Road Safety Plan, the City will identify and install additional Seniors Safety Zones to promote the safety of seniors on City streets.
The City of Toronto will construct new sidewalks on roads where they are missing to improve walkability, mobility and accessibility of city streets.
The Toronto Transit Commission will develop a travel training program to support increased senior access to public transit.
The City of Toronto will work with community partners under Toronto For All to develop a workplace anti-ageism campaign.
The City of Toronto will work with The 519, Senior Pride Network and other community partners to develop a public awareness and education campaign addressing homophobia and transphobia affecting seniors.
The City of Toronto will expand employment support services to further address the needs of older workers, focusing on those in receipt of Ontario Works.
The City of Toronto will enhance public awareness of property tax deferral and cancellation programs.
The City of Toronto will work with the Seniors Strategy Accountability Table and other community partners to update and circulate the new Services for Seniors in Toronto directory.
The City of Toronto will work with all ward councillors to hold Seniors Active Living Fairs to facilitate outreach and communication of the burgeoning range of diverse products and services available for seniors.
Toronto Police Service, in collaboration with key partners, will create a seniors-inclusive training curriculum aimed at increasing officer awareness around ageing related issues and increasing officer capacity to connect seniors to appropriate community services.