Fraser Institute News Release: Per person spending up almost 10% since 2009 across the GTHA; City of Toronto remains the highest spender

TORONTO, Aug. 25, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Across the 26 municipalities that constitute the GTHA, per person spending, adjusted for inflation increased by 9.6 per cent between 2009 and 2019, and Toronto remained the highest spending municipality in 2019, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

“Municipal government spending varied across the municipalities in the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area. Toronto, the anchor municipality in the region and by far its largest city in population exceeded the municipal average by about $1,400 per-person,” said Garreth Bloor, policy analyst at the Fraser Institute and co-author of Comparing per-Person Spending and Revenue in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, 2009–2019.

In 2019, Toronto was the highest spender ($4,605 per person) followed by King ($3,742), and Aurora ($3630), while Milton spent the least ($2,629 per person).

The cities with largest increases in per person spending (inflation adjusted) between 2009 and 2019 were: Aurora at 22.6 per cent, Whitchurch-Stouffville at 21.3 per cent, King at 20.6 per cent, and Georgina at 20.4 per cent.

The City of Hamilton recorded the largest decrease in per-person spending at -11.2 per cent, which dropped them 10 places in the ranking of spending from 2nd in 2009 to 12th in 2019.

Not surprisingly, there is a connection between high spending municipalities and higher taxes. For instance, Toronto, the highest spending municipality is also the 3rd highest taxing municipality (total per person revenues adjusted for inflation) in 2019.

“Municipalities that decide through the democratic process to spend more, also have to impose higher taxes on their residents—the basic data provided in this study helps residents in the GTHA understand their comparative level of municipal spending and taxing,” said Bloor.

Garreth Bloor, Policy Analyst
Fraser Institute

Jason Clemens, Executive Vice-President
Fraser Institute

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The Fraser Institute is an independent Canadian public policy research and educational organization with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal and ties to a global network of think-tanks in 87 countries. Its mission is to improve the quality of life for Canadians, their families and future generations by studying, measuring and broadly communicating the effects of government policies, entrepreneurship and choice on their well-being. To protect the Institute’s independence, it does not accept grants from governments or contracts for research. Visit