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Urban Space Gallery

401 Richmond Street West

Toronto, ON M5V 3A8

Canada

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TAXED OUT

Can Toronto's retail main streets survive?

Intense, rapid development in Toronto has led to massive hikes in commercial property values and taxes. Independent businesses are feeling the crunch. Many have closed, and more are threatened by rising space costs. TAXED OUT, an exhibition produced by the Ryerson City Building Institute, presents a view of the issues facing small, local businesses in our communities.

Join us for our launch event for a panel discussion with featured guests:

  • Kristyn Wong-Tam (Toronto City Council Candidate)

  • LoriAnn Girvan (COO, Artscape)

  • Mark Garner (Executive Director, Downtown Yonge BIA)

  • Peter Tomlinson (tax policy expert)

  • Rob Sysak (Executive Director, West Queen West BIA)

Background

Toronto’s intensive growth has reshaped the skyline in recent years. It has also ushered in a new and perverse system of property tax assessment known as “highest and best use.”

What does this mean? The Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) will assess a commercial property’s value according to what it could be, rather than what it is. As a result, property values have been skyrocketing in Toronto, and with them, commercial property tax bills.

This system has put enormous financial pressure on the diverse businesses and organizations responsible for paying these escalating bills, forcing cutbacks and sometimes, full closures.

If we don’t find solutions, the result may be the full-scale hollowing out of independent culture, heritage, local entrepreneurship and small business across the city.

TAXED OUT puts this policy issue on display, featuring facts and figures alongside street photography and archival images, to illustrate the vitality on our streets we’re at risk of losing, and have already lost, and raise a call to action.

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Location

Urban Space Gallery

401 Richmond Street West

Toronto, ON M5V 3A8

Canada

View Map

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