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March 1, 2005
2005 Toronto Budget focuses on Clean and Beautiful City initiatives and TTC Ridership Growth Strategy
One hundred additional buses for suburban routes and almost $12 million in new
money for Clean and Beautiful City programs were the highlights of the City of
Toronto's 2005 budget, which City Council approved early this morning.

"We knew that we had to do more than just preserve the services the City
currently offers," said Mayor David Miller. "The people of Toronto expect us to
invest in this city, to help it grow. This budget does just that."

The 2005 budget had exceptional challenges, due in part to a shortfall in
Provincial funding for mandated social services. As a result, the City used a
number of one-time revenue sources to balance the operating budget. These
included selling a piece of property to the Province in lieu of a debt payment,
and selling City-owned power poles to Toronto Hydro. Neither transaction is
expected to cost the City in lost future revenues.

"We had to be creative to find ways to fill the gap created by the Province,"
said Budget Chief David Soknacki. "Clearly the solutions we found for this
year's budget will not be available to us if we face similar challenges next

Also approved in the budget were a 3% increase in residential property taxes,
and a 1.5% increase in business property taxes.

Although TTC tickets, tokens, and cash fares will go up in price, City Council
froze the price of Metropasses, and approved the introduction of a transferable
weekly TTC pass. This pass, along with the $5.7 million investment in new buses
and services are expected to increase ridership by 2.3 million annually.

The investment in Clean and Beautiful programs will allow the City to introduce
new beautification initiatives including care of orphan spaces, increased
litter picking, enhanced horticultural displays and improvements to the city's
urban forest.

The City will continue to work with the provincial and federal governments to
secure new revenue sources for Toronto, so that this year's investments can be
expanded upon in years to come.

Media Contacts:
Cindy Bromley, Finance Communications Manager, 416-392-4993
Andrea Addario (Mayor's Office) 416-338-7119
Patchen Barss (Mayor's Office) 416-338-7134
Paul Ainslie, (David Soknacki's Office) 416-392-4007



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