In January, 2004, some vague details about the house – purchased by the Ontario Liberal party for McGuinty – were released to the Star’s Ian Urquhart:
The party bought a house for McGuinty in the tony Yonge-Summerhill area of mid-town Toronto. The price was in the high six figures.
That's beyond McGuinty's price range, even with his salary of $152,835 a year.
So McGuinty will rent the house from the party for an amount equivalent to the housing allowance for out-of-town MPPs, or about $1,460 a month - well below the market rate for the area.
--Toronto Star, January 31, 2004
The article also noted that “It is not unusual for political parties in Ontario to subsidize housing costs for their leaders. When Mike Harris was Conservative leader his party helped defray the cost of his $4,000-a-month waterfront condo.” An article in the Ottawa Citizen earlier that month reported that the PC party was paying $7,000 monthly to rent a house for former premier Ernie Eves, in the Cedarvale area of Toronto.
Two years later, the actual price the Liberal party paid for the house and mortgage details have not, to my knowledge, been publicly revealed. Hence, the public has no idea how much housing subsidy McGuinty is receiving from the party.
Below are the deed, mortgage and assessment documents for the house. I have whited out any information that might identify the property address. (I apologize for the poor resolution -- I was trying to keep the files to a manageable size.)
The purchase price was $995,000. Scotiabank’s commercial banking group has a $1,000,000 mortgage on the property.
As the Star reported, McGuinty is paying only $1,460 monthly to occupy the house, far less than its carrying costs.
To give you an idea of the costs, a $1-million dollar mortgage at 5% with a 25-year amortization period would require a monthly payment of $5,845.90.
The 2006 assessment for the house is $1,050.000. At this year’s mill rate, plus the 3% increase approved by council, that means an annual tax bill of $9,806.42.
Add in $300 a month for utilities and insurance (a modest estimate) and you get monthly costs of $6,963.10 (this does not include maintenance or repairs).
Minus McGuinty’s monthly contribution of $1,460, that’s $5,503.10 every month out of party coffers.