Media Releases

Is Toronto broke?

October 3, 2011

Making sesns of the Numbers: Municipal finance in Toronto

TORONTO, ON – As the first event in a six-part series dis­sect­ing urban issues in Toron­to, the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toronto’s Cities Cen­tre will host a dis­cus­sion on the city’s finan­cial sit­u­a­tion on Tues­day, Octo­ber 4, 2011 at 6:30 p.m. at the John H. Daniels Fac­ul­ty of Archi­tec­ture, Land­scape, and Design, Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to, 230 Col­lege Street, Room 103.

Speak­ers Shirley Hoy (for­mer CEO of the City of Toron­to) and Dr. Enid Slack (Direc­tor, Insti­tute for Munic­i­pal Finance and Gov­er­nance) will probe the ques­tion, is Toron­to broke?


WHAT:    Is Toron­to Broke? Mak­ing Sense of the Num­bers: Munic­i­pal Finance in Toron­to

WHEN:    Tues­day, Octo­ber 4, 2011, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

WHERE:    John H. Daniels Fac­ul­ty of Archi­tec­ture, Land­scape, and Design, Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to, 230 Col­lege Street, Room 103, just east of Spad­i­na.

Shirley Hoy has been a pub­lic ser­vant for more than 25 years. A grad­u­ate of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to (B.A. and M.S.W.) and Queens Uni­ver­si­ty (MPA), she worked for the Ontario Gov­ern­ment and var­i­ous munic­i­pal gov­ern­ments up to 2001, when she was appoint­ed Toronto’s City Man­ag­er. In Jan­u­ary 2009, Ms. Hoy became Chief Exec­u­tive Offi­cer for the Toron­to Lands Cor­po­ra­tion, a posi­tion she cur­rent­ly holds. She is also very active in a num­ber of com­mu­ni­ty boards and orga­ni­za­tions.

Enid Slack is one of Canada’s lead­ing pub­lic finance econ­o­mists. Her spe­cial­ty is local gov­ern­ment finance.  She is a grad­u­ate of York Uni­ver­si­ty (BA in Eco­nom­ics) and Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to (MA and Ph.D). Dr. Slack has pub­lished wide­ly, but her recent pub­li­ca­tions include the UN Habi­tat Guide to Munic­i­pal Finance (2009) and, with Rupak Chat­topad­hyay, Finance and Gov­er­nance of Cap­i­tal Cities in Fed­er­al Sys­tems (2009). At the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to, she is the Direc­tor of the Insti­tute on Munic­i­pal Finance and Gov­er­nance at the Munk School of Glob­al Affairs, and a senior advi­sor to the Cities Cen­tre.


The City of Toron­to is over 175 years old, and over the years it has gone through many changes and respond­ed to many chal­lenges. In the 1990s there was the chal­lenge of amal­ga­ma­tion, and the resul­tant absorp­tion of six munic­i­pal­i­ties (Toron­to, Eto­bi­coke, York, North York, Scar­bor­ough and East York) into a sin­gle one-tier city.  In the first decade of the mil­len­ni­um, the new City of Toron­to grew into a world-renowned metrop­o­lis, and became a focus for inter­na­tion­al tourism, a flour­ish­ing film and media indus­try, med­ical and oth­er hi-tech devel­op­ments, and many oth­er new and relat­ed fields. Now, the City is being chal­lenged to jus­ti­fy and explain itself, in the face of major fund­ing issues and con­cerns about pol­i­cy and gov­er­nance.

To dis­cuss some of these impor­tant ques­tions, the Cities Cen­tre has orga­nized six events, all open to the pub­lic. Each event fea­tures an urban “prac­ti­tion­er” and an aca­d­e­m­ic asso­ci­at­ed with Cities Cen­tre. Under the over­all rubric, “Toron­to in Ques­tion?,” Cities Cen­tre will host the events at John H. Daniels Fac­ul­ty of Archi­tec­ture, Land­scape, and Design, Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to, 230 Col­lege Street, Room 103, from 6:30 to 8:30 in the evening.

Com­ing events in the series include:

1.    “Mov­ing Peo­ple: Respons­es to Con­ges­tion” Speak­ers: Dr. Eric Miller and Steve Munro. Octo­ber 25.
2.    “City Build­ing” Speak­ers: Ken Green­berg and Dr. Lar­ry Bourne. Novem­ber 29.
3.    “Whose City? Inequal­i­ty and Gen­tri­fi­ca­tion” Speak­ers: David Miller and Dr. David Hulchan­s­ki. Jan­u­ary 24.
4.    “Who Gov­erns? City Hall and Cit­i­zen Par­tic­i­pa­tion” Speak­ers: Adam Vaugh­an and Dr. Richard Stren. Feb­ru­ary 28.
5.    “Who Needs Arts and Cul­ture in Toron­to?” Speak­ers: John Ral­ston Saul and Dr. Mark King­well. March 27.

For more infor­ma­tion, or for media RSVPs, please con­tact:

Richard Stren
Pro­fes­sor Emer­i­tus and Senior Advi­sor, Cities Cen­tre
416–817-1330 (cell)