Toronto’s resilience journey

Despite recognition as a prosperous city of opportunity that has attracted over two million immigrants, Toronto tops Canada in levels of working poverty, and has seen the greatest increase in income inequality in the country.  The city has begun taking substantial steps to increase affordable housing and to address income equality and transit equity. City government predicts that without further action, 60% of Toronto’s neighborhoods will be classified as low- or very low-income by 2025.

Toronto is also vulnerable to a number of climate-related shocks, including rainfall flooding, blizzards, and heatwaves. Severe flooding in 2013 was the costliest natural disaster in the city’s history, with 4,579 homes flooded and 750,000 people losing power. The city is concerned that a stronger storm could lead to power disruptions that would impact the entire city and region, but would disproportionately affect the city’s neediest.

Meet the Chief Resilience Officer

Amy Buitenhuis

Resilience Lead, Toronto Office of Recovery and Rebuild

Amy Buitenhuis is the Resilience Lead at the City of Toronto, and has worked as a public servant at the City for six years. As Resilience Lead, she helps prepare Toronto to survive, adapt, and thrive in the face of future challenges, with a focus on climate change and growing inequities. Working towards safe, quality, affordable housing for all has been at the core of Amy’s public service in previous roles. She is proud of her work regulating short-term rentals and designing RentSafeTO, a program to improve apartment tower standards, the first of its kind in Canada.

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