About the Toronto Industry Network

As an advocate for manufacturing in Toronto, TIN is keenly interested in increasing the City's competitiveness not only in Canada but abroad. TIN has successfully participated in the policy and decision-making processes in a number of areas including:

Protecting Industrial Employment Lands from Residential Encroachment

Issue: Toronto, like all other municipalities in Ontario, is required to carry out a statutory review of its Official Plan every five years. Completed in 2013, this critical review focused on employment lands and the issues facing them, such as encroachment of non-industrial uses, transportation, etc. Many of its terms were appealed, to the Ontario Municipal Board, now the Local Area Planning Tribunal (LPAT) by a significant number of parties.

Action: After participating extensively in the process leading up Toronto Council's approval of the Official Plan, TIN has official standing at the LPAT advocating for the need to support industrial operations through more effective planning policies and zoning designations.

Issue: The Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, as part of its Growth Plan Amendment, has proposed designating some employment lands in Toronto and the Greater Golden Horseshoe as Provincially Significant Employment Zones (PSEZ) which would better help them be protected from conversion pressures. Unfortunately, a significant amount of employment lands have not been designated as PSEZ’s and current protection for them has been reduced.

Action: TIN has been in contact with the Ontario Ministries of Municipal Affairs and Housing as well as Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade regarding this PSEZ issue. TIN's position is consistent with that of the city.

Improving Goods Transportation in the City

Issue: Recently City Council debated whether to repair or remove a significant portion of the eastern end of the Gardiner Expressway, notably its connection to the Don Valley Parkway. Removal would entail its replacement by a signalized boulevard which would be expected to add significantly to journey times.

Action: TIN joined the Gardiner Coalition made up of various business organizations and successfully advocated that Council adopt a modified repair option for the Gardiner Expressway thus maintaining an unbroken link between the Don Valley Parkway and downtown Toronto.

Issue: Metrolinx proposed a design for its LRT along Finch Avenue West that would have reduced road capacity by one-third and created a roadblock at a railway bridge. Finch Avenue West is a major truck artery serving employment areas stretching from Dufferin Street westward to Islington Avenue.

Action: TIN joined forces with the Emery Village Business Improvement Area to work with Metrolinx and City planning staff to change the design including an innovative alteration of a railway bridge underpass to maintain road capacity.

Toronto's Proposed New Revenue Tools - Minimizing cost to business

Issue: The City did propose and withdrew a set of revenue tools to raise additional cash to pay for capital projects. These included tolling and a levy on parking spaces provided by businesses for their employees and visitors.

Action: TIN continues to work with other business groups to develop a position that will support tolling on new infrastructure. Council abandoned this levy as it would have added a significant additional cost to our members' operations across the City.

Highlighting the Manufacturing Sector with Toronto Policy Makers

Issue: Highlighting the Manufacturing Sector with Toronto Policy Makers

Action: In addition to submitting written communications and deputing at committee meetings on key issues, TIN meets with the chairs of the Planning and Growth Management and Economic Development committees as well as many councillors and senior staff on a variety of issues.

Keeping the Focus on Property Tax Reduction in Toronto

Issue: In 2004, Toronto's business property tax rate was almost five times that of the residential rate. Many GTA municipalities are at or are lower than the provincial recommended ratio of 2.5. This put Toronto's businesses at a significant disadvantage over their competitors.

Action: TIN strongly supported Toronto City Council's move in 2004 to reduce the industrial/commercial property tax ratio to 2.5 by 2020. However, Toronto Council recently has delayed the reduction of the ratio to 2.5 to 2023.

TIN is part of a group of business associations that is lobbying the city to restore lowering the tax to 2.5 or less. It is currently 2.83.

Stormwater Charge

Issue: Large water users pay a disproportionate share of the cost of stormwater management since an allowance for storm water management is embedded in the general water rate. Many other municipalities levy this cost through a separate charge or as part of the property tax.

Action: TIN supported a City staff proposal for a revenue-neutral plan that would work for the industrial sector, many of which are large water users. In 2017, the proposal was dropped by Council due to objections by a number of stakeholders, other than large water users. TIN is working to have this matter brought before Council again.

No Development Charges for New Manufacturing Facilities

Issue: Toronto is one of the few municipalities in Ontario that does not levy development charges for new or expanded manufacturing facilities. This was done to encourage new industrial development in the City.

Action: TIN continues to support the City's current position that new industrial development be free of development charges.

A Competitive Manufacturing Sector in Toronto

The above issues point to the underlying concern TIN has about Toronto’s future business competitiveness. More regulation does not necessarily mean a better business environment or a better environment for the City's residents.

Many TIN members must compete with other jurisdictions that have lower costs and simpler regulations. Manufacturing and warehousing is an important part of Toronto's economic fabric. TIN is committed to helping Toronto remain a vibrant, attractive place to live and work.

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