Ontario is helping people of all ages get ahead by making meaningful investments that reduce household costs and provide more financial security during a time of rapid economic change. These investments are critical to ensuring Ontario remains a great place to live, work and raise a family.

Free Preschool Child Care

Providing more affordable, quality child care for families by making preschool child care free for children aged two-and-a-half until they are eligible for kindergarten, saving a family with one child $17,000, on average, building on the savings families get from full-day kindergarten.

Free Prescriptions 65+

Making prescriptions completely free for everyone 65 and over through OHIP+, ensuring that no senior citizen ever needs to go without necessary drugs. By eliminating the Ontario Drug Benefit annual deductible and co-pay, this saves the average Ontario senior $240 per year.

Reducing Drug and Dental Costs

Introducing a new Ontario Drug and Dental Program, reimbursing 80 per cent, up to a maximum of $400 per single person, $600 per couple and $700 for a family of four with two children, of eligible prescription drug and dental expenses each year, for those without workplace health benefits or not covered by OHIP+ or other government programs.

Helping with the cost of living

Ontario is:

  • Providing a long-awaited raise for 1.2 million people across Ontario by increasing the minimum wage to $14 per hour on January 1, 2018, and $15 per hour on January 1, 2019.
  • Introducing the new Seniors’ Healthy Home Program. This recognizes the costs associated with older seniors living at home, where they want to be. It provides a benefit of up to $750 annually for eligible households led by seniors 75 and over to help them live independently and offset the costs of maintaining their homes.
  • Lowering the cost of commuting when transferring between GO Transit/UP Express network and the TTC by about $720 per year for the average commuter and, as of July 1, 2017, providing a public transit tax credit that saves seniors up to $450.
  • Cutting residential electricity bills as of July 1, 2017, by 25 per cent on average and up to 40 or 50 per cent for eligible rural and low-income families.
  • Reducing a financial burden on patients and their loved ones by requiring hospitals that charge more than $10 per day for parking to offer discounted passes that cut the daily maximum rates for frequent visitors by at least 50 per cent.
  • Making it more affordable for people to upgrade their homes to reduce pollution, lower emissions and save money on energy costs through the GreenON rebates. This could mean savings of up to $7,200 on new insulation, up to $5,000 on window replacements, or up to $20,000 to install a certified ground source heat pump.
  • Making life easier and healthier for seniors between the ages of 65 and 70 by providing a free shingles vaccine, a savings of approximately $170 per person.
  • Saving low-income families the cost of dental care by giving Ontario children under 17 free preventative, routine and emergency dental services.

Investing in child care

Ontario is:

  • Providing more affordable quality child care by making preschool child care free for children aged two-and-a-half until they are eligible for kindergarten. This saves a family with one child $17,000, on average, and builds on the savings families get from full-day kindergarten.
  • Adding over 100,000 child care spaces so more families can have more choice for high-quality, affordable child care — and offering additional financial support to families, with subsidies for approximately 60 per cent of all new spaces.
  • Giving families with children up to age 12 better access to before- and after-school care programs by requiring school boards to provide programs in most elementary schools. 

Supporting students

Ontario is:

  • Making college and university tuition free for more than 225,000 students of all ages. Free or low tuition is available for students from low- and middle-income families; tuition is free for those earning up to $90,000, and students from families who earn up to $175,000 are also eligible for financial aid.
  • Making it easier for students from middle-income families or those who are married to qualify for OSAP and get more financial assistance, starting in fall 2018.
  • Saving more than 5,000 students over $520,000 by providing free online textbooks and educational resources through the Ontario Open Textbooks Initiative.
  • Making OSAP loan repayment more flexible. Single students will not have to start repaying the Ontario portion of their student loans until they are earning a minimum of $35,000 a year, a $10,000 increase from the previous minimum of $25,000.

Improving housing affordability

Ontario is:

  • Making it easier for more people to purchase their first home by doubling the maximum Land Transfer Tax refund for eligible first-time homebuyers to $4,000, as of January 1, 2017. This means eligible homebuyers in Ontario pay no Land Transfer Tax on the first $368,000 of the cost of their first home.
  • Expanding rent control to private market rental units and helping the housing market rebalance through the Fair Housing Plan.
Updated: April 11, 2019
Published: March 28, 2018