Toronto Hydro Corporation

Alexandra Burnett, Anderson Agbugba, Backgrounder, Crown Corporations

Toronto Hydro Corporation is a crown corporation based in Toronto, Ontario. It is one of the largest municipal electricity distributors in Canada. The corporation delivers approximately 19 percent of the overall electricity consumed in the province of Ontario. The corporation employs approximately 1,500 employees, and serves about 761,000 customers in Toronto. In September 2017, Toronto Hydro sent 30 employees to Florida to help restore power after one of the most powerful storms hit in the Atlantic in over a decade.

Like other Crown corporations, Toronto Hydro is exempt from tax under the Income Tax Act (ITA), if the corporation complies to the tax rules. The exemption only applies if 90 percent of the corporation is owned by the city of Toronto, and 10 percent of the Crown’s income is derived from ventures carried outside the geographical boundaries of the City. Additionally, the corporations subsidiaries are exempt from the ITA if all of the corporation’s capital is owned by Toronto Hydro; and as long as 10 percent of the Crown’s income is derived from activities carried on outside of the city of Toronto. Any Crown corporation that is exempt from the ITA is also exempt from paying taxes under the Taxation Act.

Toronto Hydro recently unveiled Hydrostor, the world’s first underwater compressed air energy storage system. This new “underwater battery” is located 3 kilometers off Toronto island, and stores electricity when demand is low, and can be released whenever the grid needs to be boosted. Innovative technology like the Hydrostor help to extend the life of the equipment, which inevitably ages over time.

Today, there are a number of challenges that Toronto Hydro is facing in order to keep up to the fast-pace growth that the City is experiencing. The concept of privatization has been proposed as a possible solution to ease the challenges that continue to come up.

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