Foreigners who buy homes in Toronto and its surrounding area now face an additional 15% tax – echoing a recent measure adopted in Vancouver – as part of a slew of measures aimed at tempering a heated housing market that ranks as one of Canada’s most expensive.
The tax – part of proposed legislation unveiled on Thursday by the Ontario provincial government – will be levied on houses purchased in the Golden Horseshoe, an area that stretches from the Niagara region and the Greater Toronto Area to Peterborough.
It will apply to all residential purchases made by those who are not citizens or permanent residents of Canada, as well as foreign corporations. Once the legislation passes, the tax would be applied retroactively to purchases made as of 21 April.
“When young people can’t afford their own apartment or can’t imagine ever owning their own home, we know we have a problem,” said Kathleen Wynne, the Ontario premier. “And when the rising cost of housing is making more and more people insecure about their future, and about their quality of life in Ontario, we know we have to act.”