Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) protects, restores and celebrates the natural environment and the ecological services the environment provides in Toronto and the Toronto region through the development and application of watershed plans, innovative environmental science and education programs.

Budget Notes

Toronto and Region Conservation Authority is committed to protecting, restoring and celebrating the natural environment in the Toronto region through the development and application of watershed plans, innovative environmental science and educational programs.

View the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority Program Map in greater detail.

2018 Budget Summary

The Tax-Supported cost to deliver this service to Toronto residents in 2018 is $3.651 million while the Rate-Supported cost is $4.952 million for a total City cost of $8.602 million.

TRCA’s Operating Budget is also approved by other partner municipalities- Regions of York, Peel and Durham, Town of Mono and the Township of Adjala-Tosorontio.

Fast Facts

  • TRCA was formed in 1957 under the Conservation Authorities Act.
  • Today, TRCA owns almost 45,000 acres of land in the Toronto region, employs more than 440 full-time employees and coordinates more than 3,000 volunteers each year.
  • TRCA takes care of nine watersheds and the Lake Ontario shoreline, in partnership with municipalities, the Province of Ontario, and other stakeholders.
  • City of Toronto funds the TRCA Operating costs from revenue from the sale of water and property taxes. TRCA also receives funding from Regions of York, Peel and Durham, Town of Mono and the Township of Adjala-Tosorontio.


  • In 2017, TRCA issued 1,200 development permits and 80 violations. In 2017, TRCA will have 360 Environmental Assessment (EA) studies in progress and will plant 300,000 native trees/shrubs.
  • Attendance at the Black Creek Pioneer Village increased from 126,313 in 2016 to 141,000 in 2017.
  • The combined cost per Toronto resident increased modestly from $3.00 in 2016 to $3.17 in 2017, although is targeted to be $3.10 in 2018 and future years.

Key Service Deliverables for 2018

TRCA will continue to maintain and improve the region’s lands and waters, contribute to public safety from flooding and erosion, provide for the acquisition and management of conservation and hazard lands, and enhance the quality and variety of life in the community by providing lands for inter-regional outdoor recreation, heritage preservation and conservation education.

The 2018 Operating Budget ensures the continuation of the service levels provided by TRCA, including:

  • Managing public use programs and facilities used by over 550,000 visitors, and Black Creek Pioneer Village used by over 140,000 visitors.
  • Managing, protecting, and restoring water in 9 watersheds and land resources on 45,000 acres (of which 12,000 acres are in Toronto) and encouraging environmentally friendly practices and development progress on the Waterfront projects
  • Delivering administrative services to meet regulatory compliance and organizational and governance requirements.
  • Initiating major studies including the capital asset management plan; and an update of the Master Plan for Acquisition.

Our Key Issues and Priority Actions

  • User Fees & Revenue Shortfalls
    • External factors impacting revenue sources such as teacher job actions or unfavourable weather can impact attendance for TRCA parks, Black Creek Pioneer Village and Kortright Centre.
    • Maintaining the visitor experience at Black Creek Pioneer Village, while experiencing revenue shortfalls from educational programming.
    • The 2018 Operating Budget does not recommend any budget reductions to Black Creek Pioneer Village.
  • Increase in Planning and Development Activity
    • Additional staff in Planning and Development Section are needed to meet service level demands for development reviews
    • The 2018 Operating Budget includes an increase of $1.823 million for salaries and benefits, inclusive of new hires, inflation, and COLA.
  • Asset management – Aging Infrastructure requiring additional resources to service and maintain.
    • The 2018 Operating Budget includes an increase of $0.201 million for vehicle and equipment maintenance.

2018 Operating Budget Highlights

  • The 2018 Operating Budget for the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority of $45.631 million in gross expenditures provides funding to sustain the Toronto region as a desirable, competitive location and enhances citizen, community, and ecosystem health.
  • This represents an increase of 2.5% compared to the 2017 Approved Net Budget. To offset the base pressure of $0.089 million in 2018 would require service level impacts to Black Creek Pioneer Village that are not included in this budget.
  • The 2018 Operating Budget includes funding for 14.5 additional positions, increasing TRCA’s complement from 426.5 in 2017 to 441.0 in 2018, fully offset by user fees and other revenue generating activities.

TRCA has stewardship of assets which are comprised of land, land improvements, buildings, infrastructure and capital work-in-progress in the Don, Rouge, Highland, Etobicoke, Mimico and Humber watersheds, as well as along the waterfront. On a watershed by watershed basis, the mandate of the TRCA spans from flood management, to safeguarding water quality, to protecting aquatic communities to ensuring ecological integrity. TRCA, together with its partners in the community, will continue working towards transforming the Toronto region into a Living City by working to create a healthy and resilient landscape, to ensure the health and well-being of all residents.

Approximately $184.525 million or 92.7% of funding included in the 2018 – 2027 Capital Budget and Plan is allocated to State of Good Repair projects to provide funding for major maintenance of existing waterfront erosion control structures, environmental rehabilitation, watershed monitoring and management, facilities retrofit, and damage caused by high intensity and localized storms.

The 10-Year Capital Plan also allocates $11.053 million or 5.5% of total funding for Waterfront Planning ($1.350 million) and the Long Term Accommodation Project ($9.703 million) for a total 10-year investment of $199.078 million.

Where Does the Money Go?

The 2018–2027 Capital Budget and Plan totalling $199.078 million provides funding for:

  • State of Good Repair (SOGR) projects representing the largest portion of funding, to maintain assets, including:
    • Major maintenance of existing waterfront erosion control structures;
    • Environmental rehabilitation
    • Watershed monitoring and management;
    • Facilities retrofit; and
    • Damage caused by high intensity and localized storms.
  • Service Improvements projects include ongoing waterfront development at Tommy Thompson Park.
  • Growth projects fund the TRCA’s Long Term Accommodation Plan.

Where Does the Money Come From?

The 10-Year Capital Plan requires:

  • New debt funding of $44.900 million (22.6%) reflecting an increase in debt funding of $4.9 million above the 2017-2026 debt funding total to increase investment in state of good repair priorities.
  • Funding of $3.500 million (1.8%) from a Reserve Fund for the Menno- Reesor Restoration project for restoration and the Runnymede site.
  • Other revenue of $150.095 million (75.4%) from Toronto Water comprised of a $49.095 million contribution towards TRCA projects related to water quality and quantity and supplementary funding of $101.000 million for projects that will address specifically critical erosion issues.

State of Good Repair Backlog

The 10-Year Capital Plan includes cash flow funding of $184.525 million for State of Good Repair to address TRCA’s backlog. The SOGR backlog as a % of asset replacement value will decrease from 50.5% in 2018 to 25.0% in 2027 based on planned investments.

Our Key Issues and Priority Actions

  • Develop a 10-Year State of Good Repair Plan to support the planned transformation of Black Creek Pioneer Village funded by a long term $12 million campaign led by the Living City Foundation, the fundraising and charitable arm of the TRCA, supported by the $8.010 million in the 10-year plan.
  • Long Term Accommodation Plan – TRCA plans to complete construction of its new administrative building by 2021 with a total TRCA cost of $70.0 million over 30 years, with Toronto’s share of $31.859 million, including interest. This new facility will reduce operating costs, while helping TRCA to deliver the best possible customer service and support, and will serve as a living example of green building best practices.
  • Funding for waterfront infrastructure repair has not kept pace with emerging need. This requires significant capital investment and options for funding to be considered. In 2018, an additional $2.2 million has been added to waterfront projects.

2018 Capital Budget Highlights

The 2018 Capital Budget for Toronto and Region Conservation Authority of $18.330 million, excluding carry forward funding will enable the TRCA to continue:

  • Critical Erosion & Flood works ($8.0 million) to address critical erosion control needs and damage caused by various storms.
  • Living City Action Plan & Greenspace Acquisition ($3.087 million) for monitoring and re-naturalization of watercourses, water quality and habitat improvements.
  • Waterfront & Valley Erosion Control ($2.150 million) for valley and shoreline erosion protection initiatives.
  • Waterfront Development ($1.473 million) for site preparation and monitoring at various waterfront sites.
  • Black Creek Village Retrofit ($2.671 million) to address the backlog of restoration and major maintenance repair to the hydro and HVAC systems.
  • TRCA Administrative Infrastructure and Information Technology Improvements ($0.591 million) for facility retrofits and to upgrade and replace TRCA’s information systems.
  • TRCA Long Term Accommodation Project ($0.358) for the detailed design and construction.