Toronto Water 2022 budget tops $1 billion for infrastructure

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

If approved, the 2022 Toronto Water budget will commit $1.4 billion for basement flooding protection programs, watermain replacement and rehabilitation and stormwater management.

It will be the third year in a row that the city spends more than $1 billion on water, wastewater and stormwater systems. The spending is part of more than $15 billion planned for infrastructure spending over the next 10 years across the city.

The City of Toronto’s 2022 staff-recommended rate-supported operating and capital budgets were launched at Budget Committee today. The City has three rate-supported programs funded through user fees: Toronto Water, Solid Waste Management Services and the Toronto Parking Authority (TPA).

“I know the budget committee will be working to ensure any rate increases are as low as possible and that additional funding goes toward capital infrastructure investments to protect our water and solid waste services,” Mayor Tory said in a Nov. 3 statement.

The mayor says his focus in the new year will be on continuing to protect municipal services hit hard by the pandemic and looking for efficiencies in all areas “to ensure the city comes back stronger than ever.”

However, a strong recovery will require “significant investments” to improve service reliability and create jobs.

With the launch of the rate-supported budgets today, we see that for the third year in a row we are looking at the highest amount ever invested in capital infrastructure in the history of Toronto Water,” Tory said. “This is the right thing to do. Having 100-year-old watermains and constantly flooded basements in not acceptable.”

Toronto’s budget committee will review the staff-recommended rate-supported budgets and hear public deputations on Nov. 19. Executive Committee will consider budgets on Dec. 7 and city council will consider final approval at its meeting on Dec. 15.

The 2022 operating and capital budget for all other services and programs will be considered by budget committee in January 2022.

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