News Release
May 13, 2020

The City of Toronto today adopted a Social Debenture Framework. Toronto is the first municipality in Canada to establish a Social Debenture Program, allowing the City to further its leadership in sustainable finance and promote positive socioeconomic outcomes.

The Social Debenture Framework was verified by Sustainalytics, a global leader in environmental, social and governance research and ratings. This verification ensures the City’s framework aligns with the International Capital Markets Association Social Bond Principles.

The Social Debenture Program demonstrates the City’s commitment to advance positive socioeconomic outcomes for all Torontonians. Eligible projects are capital projects for various social initiatives, including:
• social and affordable housing
• affordable basic infrastructure (access to clean drinking water, sewage and sanitation systems and transit)
• access to essential services (long-term care, senior services and emergency shelters) and
• Socioeconomic advancement and empowerment (public libraries and community hubs).

In 2018, Toronto was also one of the first municipalities in Canada to establish a Green Debenture Program with net proceeds to finance capital projects that mitigate, and adapt to, the effects of climate change.

Toronto has one of the largest municipal borrowing programs in Canada. It is a regular issuer in the public Canadian debt market, with several sinking fund debentures each year. Debenture issues are initially distributed and traded by several Canadian investment dealers. Retail investors can contact their financial institutions to inquire about investing in the City of Toronto’s debentures.

More information about the City’s Social Debenture Program is available at


“The funds from the social bonds will ensure we can continue making critical investments in affordable housing, essential social services and basic infrastructure. Toronto is the first municipality to establish a Social Bonds program and was one of the first municipalities to introduce Green Bonds. Many of the same investors who were eager to invest in Green Bonds are now looking to make an impact by investing in community and social services that address inequality and provide opportunities for disadvantaged and vulnerable groups. This is another way the City is demonstrating our commitment to taking positive action to help all Torontonians.”
– Mayor John Tory

“The Social Debenture Program will maintain the City’s competitiveness in the
primary debenture market by gaining access to capital from socially responsible funds
and investors globally. The expected low cost of borrowing will help us fund more key capital projects that align with the City’s Strategic Priorities.”
– Councillor Gary Crawford, Budget Committee Chair, Scarborough-Southwest (Ward 20)

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