COVID-19: Latest news and information

How the City spends money

The City is responsible for delivering services to residents and for maintaining infrastructure that citizens use every day. The money we receive from things like property taxes is spent on these services and infrastructure, and also saved in reserve for future spending.

The City’s services are organized into different areas. Each year, these areas present their proposed budget and objectives to the Budget Committee for review and approval.

The 2021 budget is allocated in the following ways:

In addition to providing services, the City is responsible for maintaining infrastructure. Infrastructure includes equipment and structures owned by the City and used by everyone.

Infrastructure includes roads, bridges, stormwater drains and sewers, sidewalks, streetlights, traffic signals, community centres, libraries, fire stations, pools, arenas, parks, trails, playground equipment, theatres, buses and bus shelters.

Infrastructure must be maintained in order to avoid excessive future repair costs, put safety first and make sure that Mississauga continues to be a great place to live, play and do business.

In total, the City owns about 60% of the total infrastructure in Mississauga, which is worth about $13.6 billion distributed as follows:

  • Roads – $3.1 billion
  • Stormwater – $5.3 billion
  • Buildings – $2 billion
  • Bridges – $973 million
  • Street and traffic lights – $528 million
  • Walking and cycling – $508 million
  • Equipment – $377 million
  • Parks and open spaces – $376 million
  • Transit – $296 million
  • Vehicles – $84 million
  • Culture – $55 million
  • Other – $21 million

How well are we maintaining our infrastructure?

The good news is Mississauga’s infrastructure is in pretty good shape. However, it is taking more money to keep it that way. Here’s how the condition of our roads, bridges and buildings looks:

Bar graphs showing infrastructure maintenance conditions
Bar graphs describing the status of Mississauga’s roads, bridges, City buildings, sewers, stormwater management facilities and watercourse infrastructure maintenance. One percent of road and transit bridges are rated very poor, 1% poor, 16% fair, 69% good and 13% very good. Eleven percent of park bridges are rated very poor, 4% poor, 17% fair, 23% good, and 45% very good. Less than one percent of City buildings are very poor or poor, 3% fair, 79% good, and 18% are in very good condition. Less than one percent of stormwater sewers are very poor or poor, 3% fair, 79% good, and 18% are in very good condition. Less than one percent of stormwater management facilities are very poor, poor or fair, 42% good, and 58% are in very good condition. Sewer and stormwater facility condition is based on age and expected useful life. Less than one percent of watercourses are very poor, 10% poor, 29% fair, 36% good, and 24% are in very good condition. Watercourse condition is based on channel stability assessment scores. Numbers may not balance due to rounding.
Graph legend
  • Very good: Infrastructure is in very good condition (typically new or recently repaired)
  • Good: Infrastructure is adequate, but show some signs of deterioration which require attention
  • Fair: Infrastructure show signs of deterioration and require attention
  • Poor: Infrastructure is in poor condition (mostly below standard), with many elements approaching their end of service life
  • Very poor: Infrastructure is below standard with many elements deteriorating, reaching the end of their service life and require urgent renewal

Reserves and reserve funds are established by Council to assist with long-term financial stability and financial planning in the City.

Reserves and reserve funds are an important element of the City’s financial plan. By maintaining reserves, the City can accumulate funds for future needs or contingent liabilities, a key element of sound long-term financial planning practices.

Reserves and reserve funds provide stability in times of unexpected shifts in revenues and expenditures, provide funding for one-time expenditure requirements, and minimize fluctuations in taxes caused by cyclical conditions.

Credit-rating agencies consider municipalities with higher reserves to be more advanced in their financial planning.

The City maintains operating and capital reserves and reserve funds. See more details of all reserve activity for the City.

Funding and maintaining infrastructure

The City’s infrastructure is funded from property taxes and other sources like the Canada Community-Building Fund or development charges. The City is facing challenges to fund the maintenance of infrastructure over the coming years due to something called the ‘infrastructure gap’.

The City's infrastructure gap

The City’s infrastructure is worth $13.6 billion. The City maintains a 2% infrastructure levy each year. The levy helps to ensure there is enough funding available to maintain and replace City infrastructure.

The City uses a combination of this levy and funding from federal and provincial government partners to manage its infrastructure costs.

These funding sources do not completely cover the cost of keeping City infrastructure in a state of good repair. This is what’s known as the infrastructure gap.

In 2021 Council adopted an Asset Management Plan for its core infrastructure. This plan recommended changing the method of calculating the infrastructure gap.

In previous years the infrastructure gap was based on a one year analysis of infrastructure replacement values. Going forward, this will be based on a ten year analysis of actual infrastructure repair and replacement needs.

Over the ten year period, on average, the City is spending $206.6 million annually to maintain and replace its existing assets. Additional funding of approximately $40 to $45 million per year is needed to keep City infrastructure in a state of good repair.

The Asset Management Plan and continuing support from other levels of government will help the City ensure that funds are prioritized to manage the infrastructure gap.

Stormwater infrastructure

Aging infrastructure and climate change create additional pressure on the City’s stormwater system and budget. The stormwater charge was approved in 2016 as a dedicated funding source to maintain the stormwater system, and to increase the City’s investment in capital improvements.

Impact of COVID-19

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many City services, facilities and programs were put on hold resulting in a budget deficit. We’re planning our 2021 finances to build a business plan and budget that reflects the needs of the community.

Learn more about City’s Financial pillar as part of the four pillars of Mississauga’s COVID-19 Recovery Framework.