Toronto Citizens Co.

Chow's Choice

bitter city
private luxury
for the few
better city
public good
for the many

The choice.

As a result of years of austerity and under-funding, the City is asking us what should we cut and what priorities we should fund.

The Toronto Police have seen huge annual budget increases, but services that improve our safety—public transit, EMS, and housing (to name a few) have been starved. They are now asking for more.

We think there is an obvious choice.

This budget season, Toronto Citizens Collective and Shelter & Housing Justice Network are united that Chow’s Choice should be care, not cops.

More money.
Every year.
No improvement.

In the last budget, Toronto Police Service’s got $49 million more than they did the year before.


The TTC saw a budget decrease of $86 million.
Public housing agencies funds decreased of $2 million.
Shelter funding decreased by $92 million.

A better city
is possible.

Toronto Citizens Collective x Shelter & Housing Justice Network

are joining forces to make these demands and amplify the work that other local organization are doing.


We should be building and maintaining as many truly affordable housing units as possible. We need to have sufficient shelter spaces for emergencies, not as a de facto housing plan. We need an immediate stop to the closure of shelter hotels, an increase in non-congregate shelter options and a moratorium on evictions, including encampment evictions. Chow can choose to divest from policing as a solution to our housing crisis, and invest in what people actually need— homes.


The city has secured a new deal with the province for transit funding, which is a great first step. This funding, however, comes with the requirement of more police or safety staff on the ttc. We want Chow to choose funding for support staff, as well as an increase in service (including off-peak) in order to ensure transit is safe and accessible to everyone.


We know that affordable services are key in keeping people connected and cared for. Additional police funding has not translated into less crime or more safety. Investing in community services, on the other hand, ensures that people have access to the things that they need and connection to their community. Properly funding libraries, recreation programs and other community supports addresses social problems at their root.

Organizations to amplify.

These organiations voice the demands of the working class, the unhoused, and transit-riders year-round, but are making specific demands for this budget and winter season.

SHJN logo

Advocates fighting in Toronto and beyond for Shelter Rights, Housing Rights, Human Rights. Calling on all levels of government to do better.


Until adequate shelter spaces are available, 24-hour low barrier respites must be implemented throughout the year. These facilities must meet Toronto Shelter Standards, including enough showers and bathrooms, proper sleep surfaces, and access to meals.


Instead of continuing to put money in developers’ pockets, the City must expropriation properties for RGI housing. They can also take measures such as prohibiting vacant units and land transfer taxes, implementing requirements for RGI income rental units in all new builds. City must preserve social, nonprofit and co-op housing, and also develop community land trusts.


Given the emergency situation, encampments are often the only option for those unhoused. Instead of policing and evicting encampments, the City must recognize that until upstream solutions are implemented, they must stop this policing and eviction of unhoused people from the only options available to them.

The City must reallocate funds for services that promote survival, as well as access to toilets, showers, and drinking water. Drop-ins must be funded additionally to provide indoor spaces for those living outside.


A comprehensive response to the City’s inadequate Winter Services Plan for People Experiencing Homelessness.

Read the full plan

Connect with SHJN

  • website
  • twitter
  • facebook
  • instagram

ACORN Canada is a community union of low and moderate-income people. They believe that social and economic justice can best be achieved by building community power for change. ACORN’s members fight landlords and corporations through direct action and also fight for new and improved laws to protect their rights.

Landlord Licensing

The city needs to strengthen RentsafeTO and migrate to a full Landlord Licensing program. ACORN members want to see doubled fees for landlords to RentsafeTO, more inspectors, new fine system for automatic ticketing of negligent landlords, and a rent escrow account at the City so rent can be withheld to landlords who fail to make repairs.

renoviction protection

The City of Toronto needs to create strong protections against renovictions putting the onus on the landlords to ensure tenants can move back into their unit at the same rent, without being out of pocket for moving expenses and protecting the affordable rental stock in the city.

Public Internet

Fund free Wifi on Transit. Fund public owned fibre in all 65,000 new housing units built. Fund city or community controlled broadband system.

Affordable Housing

City funds should support management of affordable hosuing by non profit, co-op or land trusts and the city. Put more money into the MURA program to ensure that buildings in financial distress aren’t scooped up by big corporate landlords.

Read their full demands

Connect with Toronto Acorn

The Toronto Underhoused & Homeless Union (TUHU) is made up of people who are, or who have been, homeless, underhoused people, and allies committed to uplifting homeless voices. TUHU fights to end homelessness and for dignified, accessible, affordable, housing for all. They speak out against harassment, criminalization, exploitation, and killing of homeless and underhoused people at the hands of oppressive authorities and systems.


We demand the City give people experiencing homelessness and precarious housing a seat at the table when decisions are made that affect us. As a union open to and led by people experiencing homelessness and precarious housing across Toronto, we demand the City work with us and similar organizations – when planning all major housing developments and transformations to the shelter system.

This relationship would be like that of an employer and employee’s union, with the understanding that we will organize to disrupt city activities if we are not listened to. We further demand the City hold fully accessible meetings in local encampments, shelters, service hubs, and low income/social housing during consultations about shelter and housing proposals.


We demand an immediate moratorium on TCHC housing evictions, encampment clearings, and service restrictions from hotel programs and congregate shelters. The City has declared homelessness a state of emergency yet continues to evict TCHC renters onto the streets.

People living in encampments exist under the constant threat of eviction, while staff at congregant shelters and hotel programs can evict residents through “service restrictions” that are often arbitrary with no path for appeals. In a city where our shelters are at capacity and affordable, accessible, dignified housing is virtually non-existent, these evictions only exacerbate the housing crisis and compound the harm to homeless and underhoused people.


We demand the City create and administer rent subsidies for presently unhoused people. The City claims it can’t afford rent subsidies, but subsidizing someone in an apartment is 1/8th to 1/16th the cost of keeping them in a shelter bed. Subsidizing rents could save millions of dollars and hundreds of lives. We demand the City do what is morally and financially responsible and immediately offer subsidies to those of us living and dying on Toronto’s streets.


We demand the City amend its affordable housing definition to specify all units must be fully accessible for people with disabilities and built to standards of Universal Design. Disabled people are overrepresented in the homeless population. Many wait years for someone else to die for an affordable, accessible unit to open up, yet only a tiny percentage of affordable units are required to be even semi-accessible.

We demand the City invest to make current affordable housing fully accessible and guarantee new developments meet this standard. The City must consult disabled communities to ensure affordable units meet their needs, and publish the number of affordable, fully wheelchair accessible units available.

Connect with TUHU

More coming soon.

TTC Riders
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