vacant storefront toronto

Toronto just did something that will give empty storefronts new life

There are lots of storefronts sitting empty in Toronto, including many in the downtown core - just take a walk along Queen Street, east of Spadina and see for yourself.

Since the early 2000s, the city's been handing out property tax rebates to those who own vacant commercial and industrial properties. Apparently, Toronto's spent $367 million on this initiative between 2001 and 2013.

But today, Mayor John Tory announced that he wants to scrap these rebates. "We are subsidizing people to keep space empty that is increasing, almost hourly, in value," said Mayor Tory at a press conference today, as CBC News reports.

The city hopes to save $22 million a year by doing away with this program, but it needs approval from the provincial government before it goes through with the plan.

Beyond the savings affiliated with eliminating the pay out, landlords will now have greater incentive to lease their storefront spaces as quickly as possible. That could mean less vacant spots along busy corridors.

Lead photo by

Vic Gedris


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