The City of Toronto has announced an enhanced Home Energy Loan Program (HELP) that will offer zero-interest loans and incentives to help homeowners in Toronto make their homes more energy-efficient and reduce the emissions contributing to climate change. The HELP program has been in existence since 2014, but it has now been enriched and expanded.

For a limited time, through the enhanced HELP program, Toronto homeowners will be able to access:

  • Zero-interest loans of up to $125,000 for terms of up to 15 years; 20-year terms are available for retrofits that include rooftop solar PV, geothermal, new windows and electric heat pumps.
  • Incentives for specific measures including electric heat pumps, which can replace a home’s natural gas furnace and air conditioner; rooftop solar PV and deep retrofits that significantly reduce a home’s emissions.

The Government of Canada provided funding to enhance the program through the Green Municipal Fund, administered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), including a loan of up to $9.712 million to fund the zero-interest loans and a grant of up to $4.856 million.

The new zero-interest loans and incentives will be available until the funding allocated for each is fully subscribed, after which homeowners can continue to access low-interest loans. Home improvements eligible for financing include:

  • electric heat pumps
  • insulation (attic, wall, basement)
  • upgraded windows/doors
  • air sealing
  • geothermal systems
  • rooftop solar PV
  • tankless water heaters
  • solar hot water systems
  • EV charging stations (Level 2)
  • battery storage and more.

Eligibility has been expanded to include tax-exempt properties (e.g., non-profit homes, supportive housing, rooming houses) in addition to the currently eligible detached, semi-detached, row/townhouses, and duplex and triplex apartment buildings.

In addition to the loans and incentives available through HELP, homeowners may also be eligible for the federal government’s Canada Greener Homes Grant of up to $5,000.

TRREB is encouraged about the launch of the enhanced HELP program, as we have worked closely with City staff in ensuring that homeowners have the necessary financial incentives and supports to undergo costly energy-efficient retrofits on a voluntary basis. The City’s HELP program supports the goals and objectives of TRREB’s first-ever climate change statement, and we look forward to continue working with the City in educating our Members on the HELP program in particular, and on the sustainability and climate action issue in general.

More information about HELP is available on the City’s Home Energy Loan Program webpage.

NOTE: The HELP application available on this PDF form is the only valid application for this program. Other websites outside of that offer applications for the HELP program are not legitimate.

To learn more about the loans and incentives available through the Home Energy Loan Program, Members are encouraged to register for a complimentary virtual webinar as follows: 

July 14, 2022, at 12 noon 

The City of Toronto Garden Suites By-law is now in full force after the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) dismissed an appeal. The Garden Suites By-law and Official Plan Amendment were adopted by Toronto City Council on February 2, but were appealed shortly after. On July 4, 2022, the OLT decided that it did not have jurisdiction to hear the appeals, and dismissed them. Read the full City of Toronto news release.

TRREB is encouraged by this decision, as we have worked closely with the City on allowing garden suites as-of-right across the city. This will now allow a greater variety in the type and form of housing that can be built as part of the City’s Expanding Housing Options in Neighbourhoods (EHON) program focused on missing middle housing and gentle intensification. Garden suites are not only a solution to increase housing choice for current and future residents, but can also provide help to homeowners to offset mortgage payments on their primary residences.

If a proposed garden suite meets various performance criteria, such as maximum building height and setbacks, as well as all applicable bylaw standards, only a building permit application is required.

Any garden suite proposal that does not meet the Zoning By-law requirements can seek a minor variance application at the Committee of Adjustment. Through that process, City Planning staff review the application to determine if the proposed variances are appropriate and meet the intent of the Official Plan policies and the Zoning By-law.

You are encouraged to check out the City of Toronto Garden Suites By-law to learn about the rules, regulations and key considerations in order to inform their clients if they wish to consider adding a garden suite to their primary residence.

A series of charts summarizing key residential statistics for the GTA, including an affordability indicator and time series for price, new listings and sales.

Higher borrowing costs continued to impact home sales in June 2022. Sales totalled 6,474 – down by 41 per cent compared to last year’s strong result. The number of transactions was also down compared to May 2022, but this is often the case due to the seasonal nature of the market.

Each year, the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) recognizes REALTOR® Members with accolades for their dedication and tireless commitment to their communities, and leadership within the profession and the real estate industry as a whole.

A series of charts summarizing key residential statistics for the GTA, including an affordability indicator and time series for price, new listings and sales.

Greater Toronto Area (GTA) housing market conditions continued to evolve in response to higher borrowing costs. Similar to April results, May 2022 sales were down on a monthly and annual basis. Conversely, active listings at the end of May were up on a monthover-month and year-over-year basis. More balanced market conditions have provided buyers with more negotiating power. As a result, while benchmark and average home prices were up substantially compared to last year, selling prices trended lower on a month-over-month basis.

With housing affordability challenges high on the list of priorities for many voters, the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) is calling on all political parties and candidates running in the 2022 Ontario election to take serious action following the election and prioritize housing policies that will help increase the supply of homes for sale and rent, thereby improving affordability.

In line with best statistical practices, the MLS® HPI is reviewed annually. Coverage may be revised when results from the Annual Review are implemented each June.

For example, HPI coverage may now extend to areas within markets where sales volumes were previously too low but have picked up enough to support Benchmark price tracking. On the other hand, HPI coverage may have been discontinued for areas where sales have become too sparse to support Benchmark price calculations.

To ensure HPI coverage is consistent and comparable, historical aggregate and composite data may have been recalculated based on revised and consistent coverage.

A series of charts summarizing key residential statistics for the GTA, including an affordability indicator and time series for price, new listings and sales.

The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) housing market continued its adjustment to higher borrowing costs, with the number of transactions down on a monthly and annual basis. As has been the case with previous rate tightening cycles, some home buyers have moved to the sidelines to determine how they will reposition themselves in the marketplace given the higher rate environment and related impact on affordability.

Tight rental market conditions continued in the first quarter of 2022, pushing average rents closer to the pre-pandemic peak. Rental transactions were down year-overyear in the first quarter, largely due to the fact that rental listings dropped by an even greater annual rate. The result was increased competition between renters and double-digit rent increases.

Condominium apartment sales remained strong historically in Q1 2022. Seller’s market conditions remained in place with the average selling price increasing by more than 20 per cent year-over-year.

The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) is applauding the federal government for making housing affordability a priority of the 2022 Federal Budget but is questioning the need and effectiveness of some of the announced actions. Specifically, TRREB is encouraged that the budget includes initiatives intended to increase the supply of homes for sale and rent but believes that other policies intended to artificially suppress demand will not have the intended effect.

Over the last five weeks, we have seen the horror unfold and the devastation caused by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

Men, women and children have lost their lives, been severely injured or displaced from their homes. Since the start of the war, it has been reported that more than three million people have fled the country while an estimated 18 million people in Ukraine are affected and suffering.

As REALTORS®, we believe everyone deserves a safe place to call home. TRREB has a long history of supporting shelter-based charities, food banks and helplines in the Greater Toronto Area through the Ontario REALTORS® Care Foundation. We feel strongly about helping, in any way we can, those in dire need as a result of the crisis and heightened tensions.

On behalf of our 67,000+ Members, we pledge to donate $100,000 to the Canadian Red Cross in support of humanitarian aid and urgent relief to those impacted by the armed conflict. The Red Cross teams on the ground are providing food, clothing, medical supplies and around-the-clock health care. Donations enable the Red Cross to respond to humanitarian needs not only in Ukraine but also in the surrounding countries, including immediate and ongoing relief efforts as well as long-term recovery.

As the crisis evolves each day, the strength and resiliency of the people fighting for their freedom has inspired us. Together, we stand with the global community and hope for a quick end to this conflict.

Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) CEO John DiMichele is known as a dedicated leader, visionary, mentor, change advocate and community volunteer. It comes as no surprise that he’s received one of the highest industry honours, the 2022 Association Executive Network’s (AEN) Award of Excellence, at the Canadian Real Estate Association’s (CREA) Annual General Meeting (AGM) for his tremendous work and tireless commitment to the profession over the years.

Established in 1989, the AEN Award recognizes outstanding dedication and exemplary service by association executives who demonstrate professionalism, commitment and leadership within the community of REALTOR® associations.

John has a strong background in innovative technology, with more than 29 years of experience in real estate and association management. He has served in multiple leadership roles at the local, provincial and national levels. He continues to earn high accolades as an active member in both the industry and community across North America.

The award was created in the name of Frank Johns, a former Executive Vice-President of the Calgary Real Estate Board. Frank was a mentor and leader among Executive Officers and freely shared his expertise and wisdom for the betterment of the industry throughout his long career.

In accepting the award, DiMichele gave kudos to the boards of directors and staff he has worked with over the years and his current team at TRREB, who serve the over 67,000 Members of the largest board in North America. He is grateful to his family for their support in allowing him to dedicate a significant amount of time away from home to assist his Realtor family.

CREA is making a donation in support of SickKids in John’s name as his charity of choice.

A big congratulations, John, we’re so proud of you!


John DiMichele being awarded AEN award.

John DiMichele being awarded AEN award.

John DiMichele being awarded AEN award.

John DiMichele being awarded AEN award.