To alleviate some of the hardships Torontonians are facing due to the spread of COVID-19, Mayor John Tory has announced a 60-day grace period for several City utility bills.
Mayor Tory announced the 60-day grace period Friday morning, which will cover City of Toronto property tax, water and solid waste utility bill payments for all residents and businesses, for bills dated as of March 16.
The COVID-19 pandemic has turned people's lives upside down overnight. We know families are struggling to figure out how to make ends meet while also worrying about their health and the health of their loved ones," Tory said in a statement.
"Toronto businesses and residents need to know that we understand these are extraordinary circumstances and we are here to support them."
The City said late payment penalties for residents and businesses on tax and utility bill payments will be waived for 60 days, starting March 16 to give residents some "relief" as the City works to rebuild the economy, said, Tory.
"We will continue to find ways to offer extraordinary help in these extraordinary circumstances."
Earlier this week, the city announced a 30-day grace period for businesses amidst the ongoing measures posed by local and provincial health officials, which include the closure of non-essential business and for residents to work from home and practice social distancing to help prevent the spread of the virus. This 30-day grace period will now be extended to 60 days.
Mayor Tory also announced that he will continue to advocate for renters in the wake of the pandemic and said that he's been continuously calling on landlords to provide accommodation and leniency for renters at this time.
“Just as I know many households and businesses are reviewing their finances in the wake of COVID-19, we are continuing to review the City’s finances to fully understand its impact on our operations and revenues,” budget chief Gary Crawford said.
“While we know there will be a financial impact to the City, we are moving now and in the coming weeks to do what we can to help our residents.”