As part of the City’s COVID-19 response, the City of Toronto is unable to receive Freedom of Information requests in-person. You may submit FOI requests by mail or online. There may be delays in responding to requests and time extensions may be required. Stay up-to-date on all changes to City services by visiting toronto.ca/covid19.

Freedom of Information (FOI) requests are formal requests for records of the City of Toronto. FOI requests should not be submitted for information that is already available on the City website, from a City division by request, or for information that is held by other governments or government agencies.

The Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA) establishes a general right of access to the information held by local governments and institutions. The Act also protects the privacy of individual’s personal information that are part of government records. Some limits to the right of access are described in Step 1 Before Making an FOI Request. Read through all sections before you submit an FOI request.

Freedom of Information Request Process

  • Due to COVID-19, many City staff are working remotely and have limited access to their paper records. Time extensions may be needed to fulfill and respond to FOI requests. Records available in paper format only cannot be obtained at this time.
  • Visit How to Access City Information or Records and review the list of Frequently Requested Records to see if the information you are looking for is already available by direct request to City Divisions.
  • Provide as much detail as possible about the records or information you are requesting. This helps staff locate the information you are looking for. If you can, specify the type of information you are looking for such as, the dates for the information you are requesting and the City office or division that has the information you are requesting.
  • If you are requesting information about a property, you should submit one request per municipal property address.
  • A $5 application fee is required to submit an FOI request. Additional fees are applicable for processing and photocopying.
  • You will receive a response within 30 days from the time you submit your request and $5 application fee, unless a time extension is needed. You may be contacted for clarification on the City records you are looking for.
  • There are some exceptions to what you can obtain through the FOI process. Specific exemptions are listed in the Municipal Freedom of Information & Protection of Privacy Act Opens in new window.

Important note: The City of Toronto does not process FOI requests for records of the institutions listed below. You must contact these institutions directly to request records from them:

The following frequently requested records are not available:

  • Traffic camera footage (Road Emergency Services Communication Unit videos are on a live feed and are not recorded)

You do not need an FOI request to obtain records that are already available or will be available soon.

Frequently requested information that is available through a direct request to the City division include:

A full list of routinely disclosed information is available here. There may be a fee charged for some requests.

Please review all sections before submitting your request.

Requests can be submitted online or by mail only. In-person submission is not available at this time.

All requests must be submitted with the $5 application fee required under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. For a full listing of fees, see Fee Schedule for FOI Requests.

If you are requesting records or information that contain your own personal information, proof of identity must be provided.

FOI requests are not accepted by fax or email.

Online

By Mail

You can also download the FOI application form PDF and mail it to our office together with a $5.00 cheque/money order payable to the City of Toronto.

Mailing address:

City Clerk’s Office
Corporate Information Management Services
Toronto City Hall, 13th Floor West Tower
100 Queen Street West
Toronto ON M5H 2N2

Once your request is processed, you will receive a letter containing a decision about your FOI request, any fees owing (e.g. fees for photocopying, computer disks or search time) and how to make a payment for fees.

Requests for information held by the City of Toronto are made to the Access and Privacy Unit of the City Clerk’s Office. Decisions on access to information are subject to independent review by the Information and Privacy Commissioner, Ontario Opens in new window.

If you are not satisfied with the decision made by the City, you can file an appeal Opens in new window with the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPC) Opens in new window.

Appeals

An appeal must be made within 30 calendar days of receiving the decision. To file an appeal you must write to the Information and Privacy Commissioner’s office indicating you are appealing the City’s decision.

Your letter should include a copy of your original FOI request and a copy of the City’s decision letter. Forward your request for an appeal with the appropriate fee to the Commissioner’s office.

The City is responsible for protecting personal information and providing access to information under these provincial Acts.

Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA)

The Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act  Opens in new windowestablishes a general right of access to records held by municipal government and local agencies, boards and commissions using these principles:

  • any information held by government should, in general, be available to the public
  • any exemptions from the right of access to information should be limited and specific
  • any decisions relating to access to information can be reviewed by the independent Information and Privacy Commissioner/Ontario
  • any person may make a request for information held by a government institution covered by the Act.

Ontario Reg. 823 Opens in new window, accompanies MFIPPA and provides a list of the fees charged for processing FOI requests.

Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA)

The Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) has strict rules designed to protect your personal health information in the City’s custody. The following City divisions are considered Health Information Custodians under this Act:

  • *People, Equity & Human Rights (formerly Human Resources) – Employee Health Services (for City of Toronto staff only)
  • Toronto Paramedic Services
  • Toronto Public Health
  • Seniors Services and Long Term Care (formerly Long-Term Care Homes and Services)

Contact these City divisions directly to access your personal health information.

*The City Clerk’s Office only accepts FOI requests for personal health information for People, Equity & Human Rights (formerly Human Resources).

Complete copy of PHIPA legislation