PROMISES, PROMISES: Toronto's mayoral race
Here’s a recap of some of the election commitments of the main candidates running to be the next Mayor of Toronto.
Incumbent John Tory and challenger Jennifer Keesmaat have both laid out visions for the city.
There may be more promises, funding for some of this is at best ambitious and at worst unlikely, but voters should get a pretty good sense of where the two most high-profile candidates stand.
- Has yet to release details on what would happen to property taxes over four-year term.
- Will impose a 0.4% surtax on homes priced at $4 million or more – about 3,000 properties will pay a combined $80 million more annually – with owners of a $5-million home being asked to pay $20,000 each year on top of their regular property tax.
- Is a supporter of “gender responsive budgeting” which is generally understood to mean that the city’s spending will be processed through a gender filter to promote gender equality.
- Promises to keep residential and commercial property taxes at or below the rate of inflation for four-year term
- Supports Transform Yonge plan which would see the city’s most famous street reduced to four lanes from six between Sheppard and Finch Aves. to accommodate wider sidewalks and bike lanes.
- Generally supports bike lanes extending out into the suburbs of Toronto.
- Would tear down the elevated connection between the Gardiner Expressway East and the Don Valley Parkway, and create instead a “Grand Boulevard.” She says traffic will continue to flow well on a ground-level boulevard, expects it to save $500 million and open land for more development.
- Promises to build the downtown relief line by 2028, three years faster than planned.
- Will make permanent the King St. pilot project, which prohibits regular motorists from travelling straight along the street, between Jarvis and Bathurst Sts.
- Supports LRTs for Jane St. and the waterfront.
- Wants to extend the Eglinton Crosstown LRT west to the airport and east, using city funds currently slated for the Scarborough subway.
- Total transit plan valued at $50 billion.
- Rejects Transform Yonge over concerns of more congestion, instead backing a plan that would see wider sidewalks on Yonge St., but put bike lanes on a nearby street.
- Supports city’s 10-year cycling plan, backed the Bloor St. bike lanes and King St. pilot project.
- Brought in traffic wardens for congested intersections, created quick clear squad to move obstacles blocking traffic.
- Quadrupled the road closure fee for developers who shut off lanes while building their projects.
- Oversaw creation of Kids Ride Free program for children under 12, and recently the Hop On Hop Off transfer.
- Transit promises include Scarborough subway, downtown relief line, a ratcheted down version of his promised SmartTrack, waterfront LRT, Eglinton East and West LRT.
- Supported keeping east end of Gardiner Expressway up and linked to the DVP, but would see it pushed northward past past Jarvis Street to free up more land at a cost of $700 million-plus.
- Would match province’s $25 million investment in community safety projects with one-third funding neighbourhood police officers and rest to recreation and community programming for young people in vulnerable neighbourhoods.
- Supported hiring 200 more police officers this year and another 200 in 2019.
- Calling for handgun ban in city.
- Supported photo radar in school and senior safety zones.
- Backed city’s Vision Zero Road Safety Plan, supports enhancing bike lanes along 10 main cycling corridors.
- Would reduce speed limit to 30 km/h on all residential streets.
- Would incorporate design elements like road narrowing, mid-block crosswalks and pedestrian safety islands at intersections across the city to address road safety issues.
- Says city has created 200,000 jobs under his four-year leadership.
- Booming tech sector and city was finalist for Amazon HQ2 in his term.
- Demanded new Woodbine Casino create local jobs.
- Encourage employers to hire youth.
- Would insist that half of senior staffing positions are women, that there’s also gender parity on City of Toronto boards.
- Would require Community Benefit Agreements for every major public infrastructure project which she says could potentially create up more than 12,000 local jobs.
CULTURE AND PLAY
- Would close three city golf courses – Don Valley, Scarlett Woods and Dentonia Park – and use the land for other purposes, possibly park, sports field, arts or cultural centre or community centre.
- Declare a year of public art in 2020 to see new pieces of “legacy art” in neighbourhoods across the city.
- Double city’s culture build investment program to $660,000.
- Work to protect and expand film studio space, music venues.
- Championed rail deck park, created arts in the parks and music in the parks programs.