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Heritage Resource Centre: Missing Heritage Property Tax Class
Dan Schneider | March 29, 2018

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A Tax Class for Heritage Gets the Cold Shoulde

From Issue No. 267 | April 1, 2018


Artscape Youngplace building frontArtscape Youngplace, a culture hub on Shaw Street, Toronto

Picking up from last time:The City of Toronto and the province are joining forces to address the tax squeeze in which a number of Toronto properties find themselves.


About 20 arts/culture hubs, aka creative co-location facilities, will get slotted into a new property tax subclass and be entitled to a 50% reduction in taxes. Whether, as Toronto tax assessments continue to climb, this will be enough to preserve these facilities in the long-term — or be effective only for a few years — remains to be seen.In case you were wondering, it does seem like the province is open to letting other municipalities in on the act. Hamilton and other GTA cities are or soon will be facing similar pressures on their creative hubs.  Ottawa too?Certainly, it is not just culture facilities like 401 Richmond that are at risk from rapidly escalating tax assessments. Heritage buildings in the commercial and industrial tax classes are particularly vulnerable, and very, very few of them will qualify for the new creative co-location facilities subclass.As we saw last time, Toronto’s January 2017 appeal to the government asked for help with the property assessment predicament for not just culture hubs, but heritage properties more broadly. That part of the council motion read:

City Council request the Government of Ontario to work with municipalities to examine property assessment for listed and designated heritage properties, including tools that would support the conservation of heritage properties and Municipal Property Assessment Corporation property-assessment tools and processes.

While the culture hubs request has gotten traction, the heritage properties request landed with a thud.  The province seems to think this has been addressed. Has it?

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