Toronto is giving residents and businesses a two month grace period for bills
It's been a rough past week for everyone in Toronto, and this morning Mayor John Tory announced a new measure to provide relief to residents and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic: by giving them a two month grace period for bills.
Late penalties on property tax, water and solid waste utility bills for residents and businesses will be waived for two months, starting from March 16, in response to the many commercial closures and employment disruptions the city is experiencing.
Residents and businesses can also defer their next property tax instalment without penalty.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has turned people's lives upside down overnight," the mayor wrote in a note on Instagram accompanying the announcement.
"Toronto businesses and residents need to know that we understand these are extraordinary circumstances and we are here to support them."
"The immediate grace period announced today will give people relief as we all work to rebuild the economy," Tory continued. "We will continue to find ways to offer extraordinary help in these extraordinary circumstances."
An initial 30-day grace period has been extended to 60 in light of increasingly strict measures urged by health officials, which include the closure non-essential businesses and asking everyone to basically just stay home.
The city's grace period does not include provisions for renters, a matter that has become a heated point of contention with an online petition circulating that calls for a halt on both rent and mortgage payments during this time.
Tory's statement notes that he "will continue to advocate for renters in the wake of the pandemic" while the Ontario government said yesterday that it was halting evictions until further notice.
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