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Water rate increase could push Toronto bill to almost $1,000 in 2018

A sample of a Toronto Water and Solid Waste Utility bill.

The cost of turning on the tap and flushing the toilet could be going up next year.

Toronto’s budget committee is proposing a five-per-cent hike in water rates, which could see the average homeowner’s water bill climb to almost $1,000 in 2018.

The increase would add almost $47 to the average bill, bringing the total to $989 for most people. That would translate into another $1.3 billion into Toronto water coffers, and most of that would pay for upgrades to watermains, sewers and other system improvements.

Ironically, the increase is needed partly because people are using less water which has cut into revenue for the city. Manager Lou Di Gironimo told the committee that consumption hit an all-time low in June, blaming in part the cold and wet weather in the spring and summer.

Garbage collection rates would increase by 1.9 per cent, while industrial garbage collection rates would rise by five per cent.

City council will have the final say in December on any proposed increase.