Exploring Municipal Solutions to the Housing Crisis in Toronto

Toronto City Hall
100 Queen St. West
Toronto M5H 2N2

Attention: Marilyn Toft

RE: MM43.24 Exploring Municipal Solutions to the Housing Crisis in Toronto – by Councillor Josh Matlow, seconded by Councillor Mike Layton (Ward All)

Dear Mayor John Tory and Members of City Council,

This is express our strong support for the Motion which requests City Staff to undertake a comprehensive study of the Toronto housing market from a municipal perspective to inform actions that City Council can take to support residents in finding an affordable home that suits their needs.

We applaud the scope – even perhaps the audacity – of the 11 proposed directions to staff. Thus far the City has devoted its efforts (not unlike that of other orders of government) on macro housing supply matters, and we especially support the proposed direction to report on:

  • The “development pipeline” from planning application to building permit
    a) development pipeline broken down by application submitted, Zoning By-law Amendment/Official Plan Amendment approval, Site Plan Approval, Building Permit issued and appealed to the Ontario Land Tribunal differentiated by major and minor projects;
  • Housing “demand” management
    i) to examine the feasibility of implementing municipal measures to curb speculation and investment properties including, but not limited to, higher land transfer taxes for investment properties, lower land transfer taxes for primary residences, and requesting the Toronto Police Service to vigorously investigate money laundering in the residential sector. We agree with Councillor Matlow that there is no consensus on how to address the problem, or even which level government is most responsible. There is undoubtedly more that can and should be done at the federal and provincial levels to address macro issues including the financialization of housing, and more investment in social housing. But this is a worthy contribution to solving the issues, which we hope will also be followed by other orders of government.

Yours truly,

Geoff Kettel
Co-Chair, FoNTRA

Cathie Macdonald
Co-Chair, FoNTRA

cc: Chris Murray, City Manager
Gregg Lintern, Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning Division

Photo: Milan Ilnyckyj via CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 DEED