The City of Toronto is holding eight public consultations this month in the run-up to the 2024 budget.
The city says it wants to hear from residents before making "difficult financial decisions." It faces a projected $1.5 billion operating shortfall and a $46.5 billion shortfall in the next 10 years.
"We want to ask Torontonians which services matter most to them," Mayor Olivia Chow said at a news conference Wednesday.
She says she knows that many residents are struggling to pay for food and rent and rely on municipal services to keep life affordable. However, she says the shortfall is "challenging our ability to provide the services that people rely on."
Chow is encouraging people to tell city officials "what services matter to them" and "how much they are willing to pay for it."
Public consultations will run Nov. 20 to 30. Five of them will be in person and three of them will take place virtually. People can also participate through an online survey.
Results from the public consultations will be presented to the budget committee before its budget discussions begin on Jan. 10, 2024.
The city says it will present the public's feedback to the provincial and federal governments during meetings of the working group formed to address the city's dire finances.
"I've gone to Queens Park. I've gone to the House of Commons in Ottawa. I've met with the minister, met with the premier, met with the prime minister," Chow said.
"But we need the people to speak up. We need them to say to the other levels of government what matters to them and why it's important to invest in Torontonians and the City of Toronto services."
People can take part by registering on the city's 2024 budget website: www.toronto.ca/budget.
• Nov. 23, beginning at 12 or 1:30 p.m.
• Nov. 28, beginning at 7 or 8:30 p.m.
• Nov. 30, beginning at 7 or 8:30 p.m.
• Nov. 20, beginning at 7 or 8:30 p.m at Scarborough Civic Centre, 150 Borough Dr.
• Nov. 21, beginning at 7 or 8:30 p.m. at Etobicoke Olympium, 590 Rathburn Rd.
• Nov. 25, beginning at 12 or 1:30 p.m.at Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge St.
• Nov. 27, beginning at 7 or 8:30 p.m. at North York Memorial Hall, 5110 Yonge St.
• Nov. 29, beginning at 7 or 8:30 p.m. at Rexdale Community Hub, 21 Panorama Crt.