Economic Development and Culture (EDC) advances the City’s prosperity, opportunity and livability by contributing to the growth of Toronto’s economy, encouraging Toronto’s cultural vibrancy, and engaging partners in the planning and development of the City’s economic and cultural resources.

Budget Notes

Making Toronto a place where business and culture thrive.

View the Economic Development and Culture Program Map in greater detail.

2018 Budget Summary

The total cost to deliver these services to Toronto residents is $80.212 million gross and $69.578 million net.

Through operational efficiencies and increased programming revenues, EDC is able to fully offset $0.425 million in operating budget pressures arising mainly from inflation in utilities and cost of living adjustments to salaries and benefits while maintaining the 2017 service levels for 2018. New and enhanced services are included in the 2018 budget which attribute to the increase of net expenditures from 2017.

Fast Facts

  • Supports Major community events such as the Caribbean Festival and Pride Toronto.
  • Offers annual events such as the Cavalcade of Lights, Doors Open, and Nuit Blanche Toronto.
  • Supports 83 Business Improvement Areas to encourage economic growth, competitiveness and entrepreneurship.
  • Manages 40 heritage properties and more than 200 public art installations.
  • Issues over 3,000 film permits for more than 1,300 films each year.


  • Support of the formation, maintenance and expansion of business incubators in Toronto continues to result in an increasing number of incubator graduates into Toronto’s business community.
  • Continued work with other City Divisions and external stakeholders to navigate the challenges of protecting Toronto’s employment lands.
  • Focused programming to increase public awareness and knowledge of Toronto’s history through the City’s ten historical museums.

Key Service Deliverables for 2018

Economic Development and Culture’s services span the continuum between the economic development and cultural vibrancy of the City to capture the benefits of these linked forces. The programs are guided by two main strategies. Both are designed to advance the City’s prosperity, opportunity and livability by creating an environment in which business and culture can thrive.

The 2018 Operating Budget will enable Economic Development and Culture to:

  • Produce signature events such as Cavalcade of Lights, Doors Open Toronto, and Nuit Blanche that celebrate the vibrancy and diversity of Toronto
  • Serve 48,100 entrepreneurs and establish micro business owners via business consultations, incubation support and workshops.
  • Establish and maintain strong export support capabilities, including building on international trade missions and foreign direct investment initiatives that foster trade opportunities for Toronto businesses.
  • Provide Cultural Grants to support Toronto’s arts community through organizations such as the Toronto Arts Council.

Our Key Issues and Priority Actions

  • BIA Utility Locate Service is legislated by the Ontario Underground Infrastructure Notification Act (ON1Call) requiring the City to assume ownership of all underground infrastructures owned by the BIAs.
    • It is estimated that the initiative will require additional funding of $0.331 million with 50% of the expenses to be recovered from the BIAs which is included in the 2018 Operating Budget. The BIA Office will administer the initiative and work with the BIAs to implement the program, with Transportation Services as the service provider.
  • New and Enhanced Initiatives Included for Economic Development and Culture totals $2.762 million net which includes $2.000 million of the final phase-in of the Culture Plan and funding dedicated to assist the distressed retail areas affected by major construction work.
    • These priorities will provide much needed support to small businesses and meet the $25 per capital target for the arts and culture plan.

2018 Operating Budget Highlights

  • The 2018 Operating Budget for Economic Development and Culture is $80.212 million gross and $69.578 million representing 4.7% increase to the 2017 Approved Operating Budget. Savings were identified to fully offset the base budget pressures through the following:
    • Base expenditure reductions ($0.120 million).
    • Service adjustments ($0.130 million).
    • Revenue changes ($0.225 million).
  • A new user fee is included that will generate $0.046 million in net revenues:
    • Introduction of a new user fee for the Market Gallery, one of its museum sites.
  • Staff complement will remain unchanged from 2017 to 2018.
  • The 2018 Operating Budget provides funding for:
    • Support 48,100 small businesses and entrepreneurs.
    • Provide 73 days of City-produced events at Nathan Philip Square.
    • Facilitate 2 million information transactions with members of the public.

Economic Development and Culture’s (EDC) 10-Year Capital Plan supports the Program’s mission to advance the City’s prosperity, opportunity and liveability by fostering employment and investment, cultural expression and experiences and engaging partners in the planning and development of the City’s cultural and economic resources.

The 2018-2027 Capital Plan of $200.197 million focuses on maintaining EDC’s heritage buildings in a state of good repair (SOGR), revitalizing neighbourhoods and generating economic growth through capital works such as BIA Streetscape Improvement and the maintenance of public art.

The Economic Development and Culture Division’s 10-Year Capital Plan also includes service improvement and growth initiatives such as the Guild Revitalization, renovations to Montgomery’s Inn, Fort York Enhancements, Economic Competitiveness Data Management Systems, Commercial Façade Improvements, and public art development projects at various locations.

The 10-Year Capital Plan will increase future year Operating Budgets by a total of $0.347 million net over the 2018 – 2027 period, primarily for the Guild Revitalization project.

Where Does the Money Go?

The 2018 – 2027 Capital Budget and Plan totalling $200.197 million provides funding of:

  • $141.525 million to continue state of good repair projects for BIA streetscape improvements, collections care, and maintenance & restoration work on various sites such as Fort York, St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, and Alumnae Theatre;
  • $29.745 million to revitalize and rehabilitate the Guild Inn, Fort York’s Visitor Centre Kitchen, Landscape, and Exhibits, as well as commencing a new Streetscape Master Plan Program;
  • $28.413 million in Health & Safety and Legislated projects to preserve and restore the Casa Loma exterior elements, and address any outstanding AODA deficiencies at various sites such as Theatre Passe Muraille and Lambton House; and
  • $0.514 million for one Growth Related public art project at TTC Leslie Barns.

Where Does the Money Come From?

The 10-Year Preliminary Capital Plan requires:

  • Debt funding of $132.477 million (66.2%), an increase in debt funding of $35.515 million above the 2018-2027 debt funding to address the SOGR backlog at St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, implement new IT initiatives and address AODA compliance.
  • Reserve Fund contributions of $18.727 million or 9.4% of the 10-Year Capital Plan’s financing.
  • Other revenues of $48.493 million for 24.2% of the total funding, including matching funding from the BIAs for the BIA Streetscape projects and Section 37 and 45 funds.
  • Subsidy of $0.500 million (0.2%) from Canadian Cultural Spaces, Department of Canadian Heritage for St. Lawrence Centre Roof Replacement

State of Good Repair Backlog

The 10-Year Capital Plan’s spending on State of Good Repair is $141.525 million which will decrease the accumulated backlog from $52.262 million in 2018 to an anticipated $22.555 million by 2027.The SOGR backlog as a % of asset replacement value will decrease from 16.4% in 2018 to 7.0% in 2026, primarily due to providing additional debt funding to address the SOGR backlog at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts.

Key Issues and Priority Actions

  • The State of Good Repair Backlog is estimated to decrease from $52.262 to $22.555 million from 2018 to 2027. However, this figure does not include the SOGR backlog for Toronto Centre for the Arts.
    • The 10-Year Capital Plan includes debt funding for the St. Lawrence Centre 10-year SOGR backlog totalling $26.510 million.
    • Toronto Centre for the Arts will complete its building condition audit to inform the SOGR backlog at the Theatre and report back through the 2019 Budget Process.
  • Review of Capital Projects and Spending resulted in cash flow adjustments to the BIA Equal Share Funding program.
    • The Capital Program revised the cash flows for the BIA Equal Share Funding program to reflect historical actuals, and included a new Streetscape Master Plan Program to assist BIAs with planning for the streetscape improvement projects.

2018 Capital Budget Highlights

The 2018 Capital Budget for Economic Development and Culture of $19.175 million, excluding carry forward funding, will:

  • Restore and preserve heritage elements including $0.750 million for Casa Loma Exterior and $0.175 million for Fort York Restorations.
  • Continue the BIA Streetscape, Commercial Façade Improvement and Mural projects, and begin the Streetscape Master Plan Program to invest in BIAs for $6.905 million.
  • Complete the St. Lawrence Centre Roof replacement project for $1.250 million and begin addressing the SOGR, Health and Safety, and AODA related projects at St. Lawrence Centre for $0.600 million.
  • Commence technology projects totaling $0.800 million for Museum Sites POS Systems, and Digital Service Delivery.
  • Commence Cultural Infrastructure Development projects including $2.707 million for Guild Sitework and Revitalization, and $1.038 million for Public Art development at 11 Wellesley St. West.

Economic Development & Culture 2018 Budget Infographic
Economic Development & Culture Infographic