The Toronto Lobbyist Registrar ensures the public disclosure of lobbying activities and oversees the regulation of lobbyists’ conduct.
The Toronto Lobbyist Registrar of the City of Toronto maintains the first public, online municipal lobbyist registry in Canada and regulates the conduct of lobbyists in the City.
The Lobbyist Registrar is one of the City’s four Accountability Officers. He performs his duties in an independent manner and is accountable to Council. (Chapter 3, Accountability Officers, of the Toronto Municipal Code sets out the policy and administrative framework for the Accountability Officers of the City of Toronto. Article IV deals with the Lobbyist Registrar.) To learn more about the Lobbyist Registrar, please see the Registrar’s biography elsewhere in this section.
We promote and enhance the integrity of the City’s decision making by displaying lobbying activities to the public and regulating lobbyists’ conduct.
We serve the general public, lobbyists and public office holders by providing the following functions and activities.
We maintain an online registry of lobbyists and lobbying activities that may be searched by anyone at anytime.
We provide guidance, opinions and interpretation of the Lobbying By-law to anyone who needs it. One way we do this is by issuing interpretation and advisory bulletins, which we post on this site.
We strive to make the lobbying process more efficient and open. We help lobbyists work through the registration process, advise public office holders on how to respond to violations of the By-law, and help the public search the Registry efficiently.
To request a special training session, please contact LobbyingBylawTraining@toronto.ca
We ensure that lobbyists comply with the Registry system and Code of Conduct. We review, verify and approve or refuse registrations, to ensure they comply with the By-law. We may revoke, remove or suspend a registration where the lobbyist does not comply with registration requirements.
The Lobbyist Registrar conducts investigations or inquiries to determine if violations of the By-law have occurred. She may report to Council or lay a charge under the Provincial Offences Act.
The mandate of the Lobbyist Registrar and rules governing lobbying at the City are found in the Lobbying By-law (Chapter 140, Lobbying, of the Toronto Municipal Code).
The regulation of lobbying the City government’s public office holders is based on the following principles.
Our office is committed to acknowledging all registrations and inquiries within 24 hours of receipt on business days.
A Lobbyist Registry Advisor will contact you by email if there are any concerns with your registration.
Our office aims to deliver exceptional, professional and accessible customer service.
Our office aims to deliver exceptional, professional and accessible customer service. Should you be dissatisfied with the service provided by the Office, please forward your concerns in writing to:
Toronto Lobbyist Registrar
375 University Ave., Suite 201
Toronto, ON M5G 2J5
The Toronto Lobbyist Registrar (TLR) is one of four Accountability Offices within the City of Toronto. The mandate of the TLR is to promote and enhance the transparency and integrity of City government decision making through public disclosure of lobbying activities through a lobbyist registry and regulation of lobbyists’ conduct under Chapter 140 of the Toronto Municipal Code (the Lobbying By-law).
The TLR’s official Twitter account, @TO_LobbyistReg, is used to communicate to those interested in the office’s mandates and share information about our services and activities.
The TLR’s official position will be communicated through traditional channels such as official publications, statements to the media and the TLR’s website at www.toronto.ca/lobbying.
The TLR will deliver tweets that are relevant to those interested in its mandates and related issues.
Content includes (but is not limited to):
Tweets and retweets should not be considered in any way binding or as an authoritative source of law, policy, advice or guidance from the TLR. Further, the decision of the OLR to tweet or retweet should not be taken as an endorsement of any kind.
Any expression of the TLR’s official position will be communicated through TLR publications, statements to the media and the TLR’s website at www.toronto.ca/lobbying.
Following a particular Twitter user does not imply endorsement of any kind. The TLR follows accounts on Twitter that it believes may be relevant to its mandates.
Being a follower of the TLR’s twitter feed does not imply that the TLR endorses the follower or that TLR follows that user.
The TLR will take steps to remove or block a follower who tweets material that is inappropriate, offensive and reflects or includes the following (but not limited to):
Our Twitter account will be updated and monitored during regular office hours Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
The number of tweets will vary, during some periods; we may tweet more or less frequently than average.
When possible, the TLR tweets will include links to web content that is accessible. Twitter is a third party platform and is not subject to the Government of Canada policies for Web accessibility.
The TLR will respond to @replies and direct messages in their language of origin, where possible.
Lobbyists who wish to register or update their registration should do so through our online registry at www.toronto.ca/lobbying.
Individuals who would like to request a special training session, please contact LobbyingBylawTraining@toronto.ca
Please contact email@example.com to make a media request.
Inquiries and complaints will not be accepted via Twitter.
Please submit any complaints about potential breaches of the Lobbying By-law by completing the online complaint form
If you have questions about this policy, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 416‑338-5858.
November 26, 2019
Stephen Littlejohn was appointed as Lobbyist Registrar for the City of Toronto effective September 7, 2023, where he will be responsible for the City’s lobbyist registry and ethics.
Stephen’s previous roles include the Inquiries and Investigations Counsel and leading the Inquiries and Investigations unit for the Toronto Lobbyist Registrar’s Office (TLR). He also served as the Interim Lobbyist Registrar for several months in 2016. Prior to joining the TLR, Stephen was a Senior Consultant at the City of Toronto’s Employee and Labour Relations unit.
A member of the Law Society of Ontario, Stephen was called to the Bar in 2000. He is a member of the Canadian Bar Association’s Administrative Law Section, Law of Lobbying and Ethics Committee. He is also a member of the Lobbyist Registrars and Commissioners Network, a network of federal, provincial and municipal lobbyist registrars and commissioners.
The Lobbyist Registrar reports directly to City Council but fulfills the role in a fully independent manner.
The Lobbyist Registrar…
City Council considered establishing a lobbyist registry as early as 1998, following the creation of the amalgamated City of Toronto.
In 2003, Council asked the Province of Ontario for special legislation to permit the City to establish a lobbyist registry within the office of an integrity commissioner. The application for this special legislation was put on hold in 2004 with the creation of a joint task force to review the City of Toronto Act, 1997.
In her 2005 report, Toronto Computer Leasing Inquiry, the Honourable Madam Justice Denise E. Bellamy, Commissioner, wrote:
“The City should treat lobbying as a potentially helpful practice that should be carefully controlled.”
Her inquiry heightened awareness of the prevalence of lobbying and she recommended that a lobbyist registry be established by the City of Toronto.
Justice Bellamy’s recommendations were considered in the development of the provisions in the City of Toronto Act, 2006 that require the City to establish a lobbyist registry and permit the City to appoint a lobbyist registrar.
In 2007, City Council adopted the Lobbying By-law (PDF), establishing the first municipal lobbyist registry in Canada, and appointed Marilyn Abraham as its first Lobbyist Registrar.
The online Registry went live in February 2008.
Following Marilyn Abraham’s resignation, Council appointed Linda Gehrke Lobbyist Registrar in June 2008.
Following Linda Gehrke’s retirement, Council appointed Cristina De Caprio Lobbyist Registrar for the City of Toronto effective September 12, 2016
Following Cristina De Caprio’s term ending, Council appointed Stephen Littlejohn Lobbyist Registrar for the City of Toronto effective September 7, 2023
Here’s a link to the Lobbyist Registrar’s annual reports to City Council.