The cash strapped City of Toronto has been on the continuous look out for new revenue streams. Many of its residents feel that instead of properly managing spending, and reducing cost, the city has used the powers given to it by the province of Ontario, under the City of Toronto Act, to find creative ways to tax its residents.

The City of Toronto has increased residential and business property tax, increased water, and sewer usage fees. It has implement a new pay per use garbage bin system. It has implemented a new land transfer tax for property sold within city limits and a new automobile licensing tax for automobiles owned by city residents.

The City of Toronto has increased the number of parking tickets, traffic violation tickets, pet licensing tickets, failure to remove snow tickets.

The City of Toronto has also proposed new taxes on alcohol, tobacco, entertainment tickets, batteries, increased TTC fees and toll roads.

Most of these taxes have been implemented under the guise of environmental protection or public safety.

The latest tax scheme that Toronto will soon implement will be a 5 cent plastic shopping bag fee. Toronto had initially proposed a 10 cent deposit on plastic bags but the logistics of collecting and refunding this was not viable. The 5 cent plastic shopping bag fee will be collected by large grocery stores.

The grocery stores that will collect this fee are members of the Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors. Which means that the following stores will likely be charging this fee very soon:

  • Metro (owner of A&P, Dominion, Food Basic)
  • Gordon Food Services
  • Flanagan
  • Kitchen Table
  • Loblaws
  • Sobeys
  • Loeb

LCBO Stops Providing Plastic Bags
Reuse Plastic Shopping Bags


  1. Anonymous // November 26, 2008 at 5:57 PM  

    While I agree with the sentiment that the City of Toronto mismanages its funds, I don't see a problem with charging 5 cents for a plastic bag. Price Chopper's and No Frills has been doing this for years. The charge forces me to remember to bring my own bags, and I even invested in one of No Frills red baskets, which comes in handy for all sorts of things.

  2. Ann // December 6, 2008 at 3:45 PM  

    In Italy 99.9% of the grocery stores, even the small "discount" stores, have the bag tax. It is about the same price, 4 euro cents a bag. Like the previous commenter, I usually also reuse my plastic bags on future trips to the store.