Toronto’s upcoming election could result in a congestion tax for downtown area
OntarioPoliticsTorontoToronto Oct 6, 2022 Kennedy Meraw
Toronto residents are returning to the polls this month for the municipal and school board elections on Oct. 24. With the upcoming election, depending on the results, some significant changes could be seen in notable ridings around the city.
Ward 10, also known as Spadina-Fort York, is one of Toronto’s largest ridings. Not only is it one of the most populated areas, but Spadina-Fort York is also the tourist and entertainment hub of the city. It’s where notable venues such as the CN Tower, Rogers Centre, Scotiabank Arena, Union Station, Exhibition Place, and much more are located. These venues tend to draw massive crowds of people from around the GTA and the world to come and enjoy concerts, sports games and other events.
Since former city councillor Joe Cressy is not seeking re-election for this ward, 12 candidates are running to take his place. Among them is Rocco Achampong, a lawyer and former PC candidate. Achampong’s platform involves accessible child care, property tax freezes, mental health, increased green spaces and a proposed congestion fee for non-residents and workers.
“Spadina-Fort York has not only the highest population density but also the highest usage of roads in the City of Toronto. As a destination for work and play, residents incur smog, pollution, noise, diminished air quality and dirty, congested streets,” Achampong said in an official proposal shared on Twitter in September.
The proposed fee is specifically for drivers coming into the downtown core. Those who live and work in Spadina-Fort York will not be affected, and the revenue generated will be put back into enhancing green spaces such as parks and cleaning the streets.
“Greening Spadina-Fort York is a mental health initiative,” says Achampong. “It will create clean and safe streets for residents to enjoy.”
Getting elected as Spadina-Fort York’s city councillor is Acampong’s biggest challenge in implementing this notion. But, if he does win his riding, he claims from day one in office, it would take about seven months for there to be an official congestion tax in Toronto’s hub of all things entertainment.
Make sure to read up on the candidates running in the different wards around Toronto and their platforms before heading to the polls on the 24th.