What do You Think of a Tax on Vacant Homes?

As part of the Ontario Fair Housing Plan, the Province of Ontario introduced legislation that would empower the City of Toronto to introduce a tax on vacant residential units, encourage property owners to sell unoccupied units or rent them out, and address concerns about residential units potentially being left vacant.

Vancouver, facing a similar issue with housing affordability, adopted an Empty Home Tax in late 2016.

City staff presented the report Implementing a Vacant Home Tax in Toronto to Council at its meeting of July 4-7, 2017. The report was adopted and Council requested City staff to undertake public consultation about:

  • Whether Toronto should implement a tax on vacant residential units
  • Potential public policy benefits of a property tax on vacant residential units
  • Potential implementation of a tax on vacant residential units in Toronto, based on the following possible administrative approaches:
    • The Vancouver Approach (i.e. mandatory declaration for all properties); or
    • Self-Reporting Model; and/or,
    • Complaints Basis


The City conducted an online survey on whether Toronto should implement a vacant homes tax. The survey closed on Tuesday, September 5, 2017. View the results.

Public Consultation

A public consultation session was held:

Tuesday, August 22, 2017
6 – 8 p.m.
Toronto City Hall, Committee Room 1
100 Queen St. W.

You can review the presentation below.

A Vacant Home Tax In Toronto? Exploring Public Policy Benefits and Costs, August 22, 2017