Last updated: March 30, 2020 at 2:41 p.m.

Business owners are invited to complete this City survey to share how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting their business, and what information or supports they and their employees need.

The focus of the Mayor’s Economic Support & Recovery Task Force will be on quickly determining what supports and stimulus work needs to be done. The City will work with industry partners to identify actions to support businesses, workers and residents. This Task Force will enable the City to better respond to the evolving challenges of COVID-19.

The City has launched immediate actions, including extending the grace period for property tax and utility bills, pledging no layoffs of City employees due to the cancellation of City programs, establishing a contingency fund to support businesses and affected groups, and more.

Pre-Authorized Property Tax and Utility Payments

The City will be suspending all pending automated withdrawals that have been scheduled for all City residents and businesses within the next 60-day period but not yet withdrawn.

Customers will be advised in advance of any rescheduling of revised withdrawal due dates and amounts following the 60-day grace period.

Customers who pay their taxes through their mortgage should contact their mortgage company or financial institution to understand how this grace period will affect their mortgage amount and/or mortgage payment schedule.

For all property owners who have submitted post-dated cheques for upcoming property tax instalments, all post-dated cheques will be held and not cashed until 60 days after the original instalment due date – for example, post-dated cheques intended for the April 1 instalment will be cashed on June 1, and post-dated cheques for the May 1 instalment will be cashed on July 2, 2020.  Any other post-dated cheques received before May 1, 2020 will be held for a period of 60 days from the date of the cheque before being cashed.

The City is providing a grace period for payments and payment penalties for 60 days, starting March 16, 2020.

This grace period applies to all customers. At this time we are unable to process individual requests to have pre-authorized payments or post-dated cheques processed as scheduled.

Customers Who Want to Pay as Scheduled

Customers who wish to remit property tax or utility bill payments as originally scheduled can still do so any time through their bank or financial institutions, using online banking services, telephone banking, or via ATM payments.

Tenants of rental units

If tenants are directly responsible to pay property tax and/or utility amounts under the terms of their lease with the landlord/property owner, then the grace period for property tax and utility payments will apply, and the due dates for these payments will be extended by 60 days.

For tenants in leases where the property tax and utility bills are paid as part of the total rent, where the owner ultimately responsible to pay the taxes, then tenants should check with their landlord to determine whether their rent payment schedule, or amounts paid for property tax and utilities, will vary from the terms set out in the tenant’s lease agreement. As the responsibility to pay property tax and utility amounts ultimately and legally resides with the owner of the property, the City has no means of intervening in landlord/tenant arrangements and cannot act to enforce the extension of the grace period to tenants.

Property Tax Payments

    1. for property owners on the regular three-instalment payment plan, the April 1 property tax instalment due date would be extended to June 1, 2020.
    2. for property owners on the 11-instalment pre-authorized payment plan, Interim 2020 instalment due dates will be extended by 60 days.
    3. late payment penalties (applied on the first day following the instalment due date where payment in full is not received) would be waived for 60 days, starting March 16, 2020.
    4. as Interim 2020 bills have already been mailed that specify the regular instalment due dates, the City will use other means (website, social media, other advertising), to identify this grace period to property owners. Property tax accounts will be adjusted as necessary to reflect these relief measures.

Utility Bill (Water/Sewer Service and Solid Waste Management charges where applicable)

Approximately 30,000 utility bills are issued to business and residential properties each week. Utility bills are usually due approximately 21 days after the billing date. The City is extending the due date for all utility bills issued by an additional 60 days, to give utility customers an additional 60 days to make payment to take advantage of the early payment discount.

The Government of Ontario is providing temporary 45-day emergency relief to support Ontarians impacted by the global COVID-19 outbreak. As of March 24, 2020, households, farms and small businesses that pay time-of-use electricity rates will be charged the off-peak rate of 10.1¢ per kWh, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

In addition, Toronto Hydro has extended its current suspension of electricity disconnections for low-volume small business customers until July 31, 2020. They’re encouraging business customers to contact their Customer Care team directly at 416-542-8000 for help with billing concerns and payment options.

Establish a substantial contingency fund to support businesses and affected groups, based on consultations to determine need and scale.

Expand the City’s small business advisory services to help businesses as they plan to recover from impacts.

Effective immediately, and until further notice, all retail businesses are exempt from the City of Toronto Noise Bylaw to facilitate after-hour deliveries.

The City’s Noise Bylaw includes the ability to provide an exemption in response to extraordinary circumstances affecting the immediate health, safety or welfare of the community. This exemption will ensure retailers can receive deliveries 24 hours of a day, seven days a week to ensure essential goods remain in stock.

Effective immediately, Bank of Montreal, CIBC, National Bank of Canada, RBC Royal Bank, Scotiabank and TD Bank have made a commitment to work with personal and small business banking customers on a case-by-case basis to provide flexible solutions to help them manage through challenges such as:

  • pay disruption due to COVID-19;
  • childcare disruption due to school closures; or
  • those facing illness from COVID-19.

This support will include up to a six-month payment deferral for mortgages, and the opportunity for relief on other credit products.

More information is available at Canada’s Six Biggest Banks Take Decisive Action To Help Customers Impacted by COVID-19

Department of Finance – An overview of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit which can support individuals who have lost their job, are taking care of a family member, or are still employed, but are not receiving income as a result of COVID-19.

Office of the Prime Minister – Details on the Prime Minister’s plan to Mobilize Industry to fight COVID-19.

Business Credit Availability Program – A $10 billion fund administered by Business Development Canada and Export Development Canada

Resources for Businesses – A list of resources on topics such as supporting employees, financial implications and business preparedness, business travel and events, and exporting and international business

Employment and Social Development Canada – A list of resources of Benefits and Services on topics including employment insurance, work-sharing program, the labour program and federally regulated workplaces, and the repayment of student loans

Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan  provides an overview of the Federal Government’s announced support for Canadians and Businesses

Support for Businesses topics include:

  • Supporting Canadian Businesses Through the Canada Account
  • Helping Businesses Keep Their Workers
  • Flexibility for Businesses Filing Taxes
  • Ensuring Businesses have Access to Credit
  • Supporting Financial Market Liquidity

Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries – The Ministry has convened a series of advisory groups with leading sector stakeholders

Ministry of Finance – The Cabinet Committee will be performing consultations with big and small businesses across the province

Office of the Premier – New legislation to come on job protections for workers who take leave from work

Office of the Premier  – An overview of the Employment Standards Amendment Act which provides job-protected leave to employees in isolation or quarantine due to COVID-19, or those who need to be away from work to care for children because of school or day care closures or to care for other relatives

Canadian Chamber of CommercePandemic preparedness for businesses

Conference Board of Canada – A daily COVID-19 economic update.

The City has launched Business Contributions to the City of Toronto COVID-19 Response form to fast track suppliers.

The Province of Ontario is asking suppliers what emergency products their business can supply for the COVID-19 response. – In support of the Government of Canada’s whole-of-government response to Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the Government of Canada is asking suppliers about their ability to provide products and services.

Canadian manufacturers needed – The Government of Canada is seeking Canadian manufactures that  can assist in meeting the need for medical supplies.