What is the Year 2000 challenge?
The Year 2000 problem (also called the "millennium bug") exists because some computers and other devices rely on two-digit codes to represent the year. That means that on January 1, 2000, some computers may read the date code "00" as "1900" instead of "2000".
As a result, many computer programs and data files are unable to process dates beyond December 31, 1999. If uncorrected, this could cause computers and other devices to make mistakes or shut down. Naturally, the City of Toronto intends to avoid such problems.
Finding and correcting all the date codes in all the programs and systems throughout the city's operations is a very big task. In addition, since many systems use data that is sent to them from other computers, all the city's sources of information must be checked to ensure that their files are also Year 2000 ready.
Many pieces of equipment, such as photocopiers, telephones or traffic lights, also rely on computerized clocks or internal processors, known as "embedded chips", that use two-digit dates. All these devices must be tested to ensure they will function properly on January 1st when the year changes from 1999 to 2000.
The City of Toronto's Year 2000 readiness program is on track and progressing well. The Year 2000 challenge may cause some minor inconveniences, but it's very unlikely that there will be any major service disruptions as a result of the date change. Our goal is business as usual for all city services on January 1, 2000.