Toll the 905

   28 June 2007, early afternoon

Someone on Tyler’s blog mentioned something I’m surprised the city doesn’t do: toll the highways/roads coming in from the 905 regions for non-Toronto residents. So Shima and the planners why doesn’t the city do this? (Also, Shima and the Planners would be a good name for a band, assuming Shima was the lead singer.)



  1. they haven’t done it yet because a large percentage of 905’ers are ex 416’er’s and they bring in big revenue.

    If they did it there would be a lot less going on in the club district on weekends, not to mention other areas.

    It’s not as though there isn’t stuff going on outside 416…if the tolls went up, the surrounding boroughs would be happy for the business.

  2. Less 905ers partying on Richmond you say — I don’t see how this is a bad thing. Heh.

    I just think that if one of the big issues the city has is people living in the 905, but basically using 416 resources, like roads in this case, an inbound toll would address it.

  3. Tolling highways upon entering the 416 region is not necessarily a good thing for Toronto, especially as it attempts to generate more employment. Because of much lower commercial and industrial property taxes in the suburbs, the 416 continues to lag in growth in office and industrial floor area. Tolling roads for 905ers into 416 will give Toronto another disincentive to set up shop in the city.

    That’s why i’m all in support for a GTA regional government. Let the entire region play by the same rules, the same taxes, the same services. The fact is, the GTA is an economic region, and it’s rare to see people live, work and play within their own jurisdictions. Only regional booundary reforms can we really make progressive changes to our municipal tax system.

    Though it sucks to hear about it, I’m not completely against the land transfer tax issue. Toronto needs money. I think of it as a development charge— I suppose without having anything directly showing for it. Mississauga got rich with development charges.

  4. You don’t think the new tax it’s just another incentive for people to buy bigger houses outside of the GTA? I’m not opposed to it, but I I think there should be an exemption for first time buyers.

  5. There are plenty of 416ers who work outside the GTA and use the roads outside of Toronto as well…if we’re going to get petty and split hairs like that. I agree that the GTA should just amalgamate and spread some of the love. It’s not going to happen though…ever…because of minds that pit 905 against 416 and vice versa. Small minds can’t think big..and see the bigger picture.
    It’s more comfortable to split hairs and get all pissed about stupid things like road wear (which a portion is covered through provincial money that is gouged from drivers through tags and licenses anyway).
    Let’s face it, we Torontonians want to be all “global” and “world class” but when we’re poked a bit, it turns out we’re provincial in our thinking, all concerned with our own little patch of grass, and bickering about stupid things like resentment and superior attitudes toward 905ers. If we were smart, we’d include them so that they can share some of the burden of running a city like T.O.
    Whatever. Can’t change the minds of the petty.

  6. I think the issue is that the 905 would have no real incentive to join up with the 416. I don’t think Scarborough is better off post amalgamation than it was before. I suspect if you enjoy the light tax load of living in the 905, signing up to be part of super-Toronto isn’t going to be so appealing.

  7. You’re right…but I think that fair is fair and we all should carry the burden of Toronto if we’re going to take advantage of the resources.
    Also, Toronto could use some help placing people with special needs.

    I understand that when the government wants to open a half-way house in the burbs, people freak out and protest in their neighbourhoods, but in Toronto, it’s a “like it or lump it” attitude so the NIMBY attitude of the 905 isn’t tolerated. I think the 905 can use a shot of, the 905 has user fees up the ying yang, that Toronto could learn from. We Torontonians get so much “free” stuff that we’re arrogant about it. Library cards, use of public pools, and so on…in 905 you pay for the privilege with exemption only if you can prove you need it. I think a bit from both could only benefit everyone.

  8. I think it (the toll) should be done, and the money put into the TTC. Or the bike plan. It seemed to work in London, right?

  9. Re: 416 vs 905
    I think that this mentality is slowly fading from people’s minds. I think people in both the 416 and 905 see the problems that face the region as a whole. Social issues are no longer isolated in the City of Toronto proper. For instance, I have read articles of the severe lack of affordable housing for low-income residents in York and Peel regions— and they are now scrambling to find cash to mitigate these increasingly pressing issues. I think the paradigm is slowing shifting from a 416 versus 905, to a GTA versus Ontario mentality.

    Re: Toronto’s abundance of free services
    I agree with Radmilla, Toronto residents are spoiled with free swimming for children, and with city-wide library access. Let’s ensure service equity across the region.

    Re: Amalgamation
    I think that Toronto would’ve operated better after amalgamation if the province actually stepped in and restructured the whole organization. Right now, in many departments, the City continues to operate like its former municipalities. That is why I think that many Torontonians don’t see much added value to amalgamation—since technically, we’re still going through the process.

    The efficiencies that were supposed to occur, didn’t. I could go much longer on this topic, but I’ll maybe save it for a blog entry for itself.

    Re: Tolling because London did it
    We simply shouldn’t be copying what London does. Toronto and London are like apples and oranges.

    Re: Land transfer tax encourages monster homes in 905
    I can see that happening to some extent. Let’s hope that the Places to Grow and Greenbelt legislations would help to deter that.

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