Yonge-Dundas Square is a public square that accommodates approximately 240 events each year including third-party and self-programmed events. These events encourage economic and cultural activities by showcasing businesses and drawing residents and tourists to the area. 28 days are also set aside for the public to enjoy the square as a piazza.
View the Yonge-Dundas Square Program Map in greater detail.
Operating Budget Highlights
Yonge-Dundas Square (YDS) is a public square that accommodates approximately 240 events each year including third-party and self-programmed events. These events encourage economic and cultural activities by showcasing businesses and drawing residents and tourists to the area. Consistent with previous years, 28 days are set aside for the public to enjoy the square as a piazza.
Yonge-Dundas Square becomes self-sustaining in 2018 generating diverse revenue streams to offset the base budget pressures primarily for salaries and benefits as well as contracted services while keeping the service delivery unchanged for 2018.
2018 Budget Summary
The total cost to deliver these services to Toronto residents is $3.107 million gross and $0 net
- Yonge-Dundas Square accommodates about 240 events per year, reflecting the Square’s current business strategy.
- The space can accommodate events of up to 5,000 attendees.
- YDS remains open to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
- Regular events include Lunchtime Live!, City Cinema, Fountain Day, and Indie Fridays.
- Community events include NXNE, Manifesto, Pride 2017, and Multicultural Canada Day.
- The number of attendees and users of the YDS is projected to be 1.2 million in 2018, representing 9% increase from projected 2017 attendees of 1.1 million).
- Funding support from the City of Toronto as a percentage of the Agency’s operations has gradually but steadily declined to approximately 15% – 16% over the past three years.
- The event mix constitutes a greater proportion of larger events in comparison to smaller events, in an effort to generate additional net surplus for YDS.
- From 2018 and onwards, the contribution by the City to the overall YDS Operating Cost is anticipated to be 0% as the Agency is moving towards a self-sustaining business model financially through its generating diverse revenue streams.
Key Service Deliverables for 2018
The goal of Yonge-Dundas Square is to provide the downtown area with a range of business and cultural events and provide maintenance on the Square as required.
The 2018 Preliminary Operating Budget will enable Yonge-Dundas Square to:
- Support approximately 235 events in 2017 which include a mix of third-party public events, community and private sector events, City events, and major cultural events.
- Operate near capacity, with a near 100% rate of venue usage in high-season.
- Continue setting aside days for public use of the YDS as a piazza including allowing for 28 “fountain days”.
- Continue to establish the YDS as a primary venue for major international festivals and events while maintaining availability for multicultural community festivals and celebrations.
- Continue to increase self-generated revenue levels through strategic partnerships and the successful hosting of large cultural events.
- Further leverage new digital capabilities and increase the value of YDS sponsorship and signage opportunities by full implementation of the new permanent digital signage to enhance event hosting capabilities and offer new affordable digital services to a wide cross section of users.
Our Key Issues & Priority Actions
- Introduction of a New Digital Signage Plan along with new multi-year agreements with an advertising company enables staff to implement a new digital signage program on the Yonge-Dundas Square.
- Establish new service levels through enhanced digital services and engage the community and public with digital art and community information on non-event days.
- YDS has secured appropriate staffing requirements with an addition of 1.5 positions included in the 2018 Preliminary Operating Budget to deliver affordable digital services resulting from the new digital signage program.
2018 Operating Budget Highlights
- The 2018 Preliminary Operating Budget for the Yonge-Dundas Square (YDS) is $ 3.107 million gross and $0 net representing a decrease of 100% to the 2017 Approved Operating Budget. The Agency will be able to achieve a self-sustaining business model through taking the following measure:
- Leveraging new digital capabilities to generate additional user fee revenues through Digital Services and Event Support ($0.565 million) as well as sundry revenues through signage and sponsorship ($0.566 million), thus resulting in zero contribution by the City to the overall YDS operating cost.
- Staff complement for the Agency will increase by 1.5 positions from 2017 to 2018.
- The 2018 Preliminary Operating Budget provides funding for:
- Program specific expenditures such as YDS programming costs, holiday décor, and advertising and promotions.
- Administration expenditures including permanent staffing costs, rent, accounting fees, and office expenses.
- Contracted services such as custodial and security costs.
The Yonge Dundas Square is a one-acre open air public space built in 2002 as the centerpiece of the $67.8 million Yonge Street regeneration Project. The Square, with twenty water fountains and a stage, is also an event venue for the general public.
Since its official opening in 2003, the City has made a total investment of $1.2 million for capital improvements including additional lighting, a stage canopy and a permanent storage facility; and addressed various immediate structural and mechanical/electrical system deficiencies. The asset replacement value of the square and its amenities is $15.5 million.
The Board of Management of Yonge-Dundas Square has determined that no capital projects are necessary for the 2018 year. The 10-Year Preliminary Capital Plan for Yonge-Dundas Square provides future planned estimates to ensure the facility is maintained in a state of good repair through 2027.
Where Does the Money Go?
The 2018 – 2027 Preliminary Capital Budget and Plan totalling $0.450 million provides funding for:
- State of Good Repair (SOGR) projects ($0.450 million)
- The 2019 -2017 Capital Plan allocates $0.050 million per year in each year to address unanticipated state of good repair work and unforeseen capital needs as they arise.
Where Does the Money Come From?
The 10-Year Preliminary Capital Plan requires:
- New debt funding of $0.050 million which is in line with the debt guideline established for Yonge Dundas Square for each year of the 10 years planning period.
State of Good Repair Backlog
- Yonge Dundas Square does not have a state of good repair backlog as the facility is relatively new and the SOGR project completed in 2010 addressed all the immediate structural and mechanical/electrical state of good repair items.
- A facility audit conducted in 2014 concluded that the Square is not expected to require State of Good Repair capital projects in the years 2016 to 2020.
Key Issues & Priority Actions
- Unforeseen Capital Needs – Yonge Dundas Square completed a facility audit report in January 2015, which identified no need for capital investments between 2016 and 2020.
- One of the Yonge Dundas Square’s primary objectives is to be able to respond to unforeseen capital needs as they arise. Minor expenditures are expected to be covered through the provision made in the operating budget for maintenance.
2018 Capital Budget Highlights
There are no capital projects for 2018. The 2019-2027 Preliminary Capital Plan for Yonge Dundas Square includes $0.050 million per plan year, for a total of $0.450 million over the 9 years to support state of good repair maintenance work.