Agencies and Other

2017 Yonge - Dundas Square

Yonge Dundas Square

2017 Operating Budget Overview

Yonge-Dundas Square (YDS) is a public square that accommodates approximately 240 events each year including third-party and self-programmed events. These events encourage economic and cultural activities by showcasing businesses and drawing residents and tourists to the area. 28 days are also set aside for the public to enjoy the square as a piazza.

Yonge-Dundas Square Program Map

View the PDF version of the program map in greater detail.

2017 Operating Budget Highlights

The total cost to deliver these services to Toronto residents is $2.352 million gross and $0.377 million net. 

Yonge-Dundas Square is able to reduce its 2017 Operating Budget by 2.6% as it will generate additional revenue while keeping the service delivery levels unaffected for this year.

Fast Facts

  • Yonge-Dundas Square accommodates about 245 events per year, reflecting the Square's current business strategy.
  • Regular events include Lunchtime Live! City Cinema, Fountain Day!, and Indie Fridays.
  • Community events include NXNE, Manifesto, Pride 2016, and Multicultural Canada Day.
  • The number of attendees and users of the Square is projected to be 1.100 million in 2017 (10% increase from projected 2016 attendees of 1.000 million).


  • Funding support from the City as a percentage of the Agency's operations remains steady with a 1% increase from 15% in 2015 to 16% in 2016. The contribution percentage is anticipated to reduce each year by 1% to 15% in 2017, 14% in 2018, and 13% in 2019.
  • Actual revenue is highly variable due to the limited predictability of event recurrence and competition from other public and private venues. As such, the revenue is budgeted conservatively.
  • The event mix constitutes a greater proportion of larger events in comparison to smaller events, in an effort to generate additional net surplus for the agency.

Key Service Deliverables for 2017

The goal of Yonge-Dundas Square is to provide the downtown area with a range of business and cultural events and provide maintenance on the Square as required.

The 2017 Operating Budget will enable Yonge Dundas Square to:

  • Support approximately 235 events in 2017 which include a mix of third party public events, community and private sector events, City events, and major cultural events.
  • Operate near capacity, with a near 100% rate of venue usage in high-season.
  • Continue to set aside days for public use of the Square as a piazza including allowing for 28 "fountain days".
  • Continue to increase self-generated revenue levels through strategic partnerships and the successful hosting of large cultural events.
  • Continue to establish the Square as a primary venue for major international festivals and events while maintaining availability for multicultural community festivals and celebrations.
  • Further leverage new digital capabilities and increase the value of YDS sponsorship opportunities.
  • Introduce new permanent digital signage on the Square to enhance event hosting capabilities and offer new affordable digital services to a wide cross section of users. 

Our Key Issues & Priority Actions

  • Competition from other Civic Squares: It continues to be a challenge for Yonge-Dundas Square to compete for revenues with other civic squares (Nathan Phillips Square and David Pecaut Square) which operate in the same market under different business models and fee structures.
    • YDS committed to a strategic planning process at the end of 2015 involving a review of the above-mentioned public spaces and define a renewed vision for the Square involving stakeholder input and policy review of YDS usage guideline to ensure alignment with the Square's mandate.
    • Yonge-Dundas Square has decided to remain competitive by keeping its permit fee rates fixed for the past several years and will continue to do so for 2017, 2018 and 2019.

2017 Operating Budget Highlights

  • The 2017 Operating Budget of $2.352 million in gross expenditures and $0.377 million net provides funding for
    • Program specific expenditures such as Yonge-Dundas Square programming costs, holiday décor, and marketing/advertising.
    • Administration expenditures including permanent staffing costs, rent, accounting fees, and office expenses.
    • Contracted services such as custodial and security costs.
  • This represents a decrease of 2.6% to the 2016 Approved Net Budget through measures taken based on the following:
    • Yonge-Dundas Square has achieved its budget target of -2.6% of the 2016 Approved Operating Budget by generating additional advertising services of $0.010 million using existing infrastructure without impacting existing service levels.
  • No change in staff complement from 2016 to 2017.

2017 – 2026 Capital Budget and Plan Overview

The Yonge-Dundas Square is a one-acre open air public space built in 2002 as the centerpiece of the $67.8 million Yonge Street Regeneration Project. The Square, with twenty water fountains and a stage, is also an event venue for the general public.

Since its official opening in 2003, the City has made a total investment of $1.2 million for capital improvements including additional lighting, a stage canopy and a permanent storage facility; and addressed various immediate structural and mechanical/electrical system deficiencies. The asset replacement value of the Square and its amenities is $15.5 million.

The Board of Management of Yonge-Dundas Square has determined that no capital projects are necessary for the 2017 year. The 10-Year Capital Plan for Yonge-Dundas Square provides future year planned estimates to ensure the facility is maintained in a state of good repair through 2026.

Where the money goes:

The 2017–2026 Capital Budget and Plan totalling $0.450 million provides funding for:

  • State of Good Repair (SOGR) projects ($0.450 million)
    • The 2018-2026 Capital Plan allocates $0.050 million per year in each year to address unanticipated state of good repair work and unforeseen capital needs as they arise.

Where the money comes from:

The 10-Year Capital Plan requires:  

    • New debt funding of $0.450 million which is in line with the debt guideline established for Yonge-Dundas Square for each year of the 10-year planning period.

State of Good Repair Backlog

  • Yonge-Dundas Square does not have a state of good repair backlog as the facility is relatively new and the SOGR project completed in 2010 addressed all the immediate structural and mechanical/electrical state of good repair items.
  • A facility audit conducted in 2014 included that the Square is not expected to require State of Good Repair capital projects in years 2016 to 2020.

Our Key Issues & Priority Actions

  • Unforeseen Capital Needs - Yonge-Dundas Square completed a facility audit report in January 2015, which identified no need for capital investments between 2016 and 2020.
    • One of the Yonge-Dundas Square's primary objectives is to be able to respond to unforeseen capital needs as they arise. Minor expenditures are expected to be covered through the provisions made in the operating budget for maintenance.

2017 Capital Budget Highlights

There are no capital projects for 2017. The 2018-2026 Capital Plan for Yonge-Dundas Square includes $0.050 million per plan year, for a total of $0.450 million over the 9 years to support state of good repair maintenance work.