Toronto Mayor John Tory provided an update today to the City finances as the City continues to monitor and address the impacts of COVID-19, as the pandemic emergency continues to exert major financial stresses locally, nationally and globally.
The City is experiencing financial pressure estimated at $65 million per week. The pressure is driven primarily by lost revenues due to the pandemic lockdown, coupled with increased costs responding to the emergency. Revenues are decreased due to a drop in TTC ridership, closures, decreased service demands, and property tax and utility payment deferrals. Increased costs are a result of COVID-19 related needs, such as additional personal protective equipment, cleaning, additional shelter space and staff overtime.
As announced on April 3, the City assembled a COVID-19 financial impact working group, which continues to assess the financial implications that may result from this emergency and focused on a plan for stabilization and rebuilding. Through research and modelling, the group has created impact projections under various scenarios.
A best-case scenario for the City is a projected total pressure of $1.5 billion for 2020: $938 million is estimated for the direct impacts relating to lockdown impacts and $590 million for a six-month recovery period, once restrictions are eased. This pressure may be driven higher if there is a significant real-estate market impact, the physical distancing measures are extended beyond 12 weeks or there continues to be additional waves of COVID-19 throughout the remainder of the year.
The City will continue to adjust recovery assessments, based on the guidelines and recommendations from Toronto’s Medical of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa.
Work is already underway, led by the Mayor’s Economic Support and Recovery Task Force, to begin the rebuilding efforts after the City transitions into the recovery phase, with a focus on growth and building resiliency. The recovery of the local economy will need ongoing stable sources of funding and new fiscal relationships with other levels of government.
These financial impacts are not unique to Toronto. The Mayor has been working with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to request relief funding from the federal and provincial governments to offset the cumulative financial impact to City expenditures and revenues as a result of the emergency.
The City’s website is updated daily with the latest health advice and information about City services, social supports and economic recovery measures. Check toronto.ca/covid-19 for answers to common questions before contacting the Toronto Public Health COVID-19 Hotline or 311.
For more information on the COVID-19 Financial Impact Assessment visit https://www.toronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/958f-2020-04-17-COVID-19-Finanial-Impact-Assesment-Summary.pdf
“Toronto and other cities are on the frontlines of helping combat COVID-19 and they will be on the frontlines of rebuilding and recovering our economy. Our city led Canada’s economy before and we will have to lead it again. The financial impact of the pandemic is one of the greatest challenges our city has faced and I am confident we will meet that challenge. We will need help from the other levels of government. I have been very clear with the other governments that this will require assistance from those governments in substantial amounts.”
– Mayor John Tory
Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture, and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit http://www.toronto.ca or follow us on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/CityofToronto, on Instagram at http://www.instagram.com/cityofto or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/cityofto.