City records cannot be destroyed except under certain conditions. City records managers and divisions develop plans for how long each type of record is kept and what should happen at the end of that time. City Council must approve the plans by passing a records retention bylaw.
When the storage period ends, records managers and division staff review the records and arrange for them to be destroyed or archived, as required by the by-law.
Records that should be kept permanently are housed in the City Archives. Types of records automatically archived include:
- Those that contribute to an understanding of the City's history
- Official Council and committee documents such as reports, bylaws, minutes
- Financial, tax and legal documents
Members of the public can use these records at the Archives research hall. Many of these records are also available online, at exhibits and special events, and in educational programs for students. For details see the Archives website.
Detailed information about Council-approved records retention, including which records may be archived, is published in the Municipal Code (Chapter 217, Schedule A) (PDF).