The City of Toronto is waiving all penalties on late property tax and other bill payments for the next two months in response to the unprecedented economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This will ensure that residents and businesses who find themselves facing financial hardship due to COVID-19 can defer their next property tax instalment without penalty,” Mayor John Tory announced in a statement issued Friday morning. “Property tax accounts will be adjusted as necessary to reflect these relief measures.”

The measures are retroactive to March 16.

The city had earlier instituted a 30-day grace period for tax payments, but extended that in light of the rising case count in Toronto and the surrounding area.

Water and waste collection bills usually incur late penalties after 21 days, but will now not incur penalties until they are 81 days past due.

The pandemic is already costing the region thousands of jobs, with Air Canada announcing last night that 5,000 flight attendants would be laid off.

Hotels, restaurants and bars in the GTA have already laid off many more than that.

Tory said he is also asking residential and commercial landlords to do the right thing and defer rent payments during this time.

“To further demonstrate his commitment to renters the Mayor will be hosting a teleconference on Monday with various residential landlords across the city as part of the Task Force's ongoing work,” his office said Friday.

Yesterday, the city's chief medical officer demanded that all non-essential private businesses close to increase social distancing.

Tory said only the province could enact measures forcing more businesses to close outright.

He also said it was concerning to see so many children out at various playgrounds.

“I don’t think you’re going to see us pass orders to keep people out of parks, you don’t want it to get to that point because it need not get to that point, but the message is clear, please stay away from other people as much as possible.”