City Council has chosen to deliver services and perform certain activities through agencies and corporations in order to:

  • Meet legal requirements;
  • Operate in a commercial environment;
  • Focus on delivering a specific policy objective or service;
  • Enable independent decision making; and
  • Engage citizens in board decision-making, bring expertise, involve funders or fundraisers and use volunteer capacity.

City Council delegates varying levels of authority to agencies and corporations to deliver services on its behalf. Each agency and corporation has a different mandate and responsibility.

The City Manager is responsible for certain governance issues, (e.g., by-laws, board structures, relationship frameworks, shareholder directions, etc.). The Strategic and Corporate Policy Division of the City Manager’s Office:

  • Provides advice and support related to organizational objectives, laws and other requirements:
  • Establishes and changing mandates and governance structures;
  • Defines accountability mechanisms such as policy and reporting requirements; and
  • Provides strategic governance advice and coordinating intergovernmental relations.

This chart illustrates the City of Toronto’s Agencies, Corporations and Adjudicative Boards.

The City delivers key services through service agencies, including community centre, arena, library, police, theatre, public health, and transit services.

The City’s Service Agencies include:

Arena Boards

Eight arenas provide a number of programs on behalf of the City, including high quality indoor ice sport facilities and, where possible, other recreational spaces, such as community rooms or banquet halls.

Arenas aim to provide safe and equitable access to indoor ice sport facilities and opportunities for fitness and sport skills development through individual and team activities in response to community needs.

Business Improvement Areas (BIAs)

BIAs are designated by the City, and their members are commercial and industrial property owners and business tenants within a specific geographic area. The main purpose of a BIA is to advance the business and economic interests of their area by overseeing the improvement, beautification and maintenance of City-owned land, buildings and structures, and promoting an area as a business or shopping area.

BIAs do not provide a direct service to the public, and their operating budgets are funded through a levy on all commercial and industrial properties within the BIA boundary. As City boards, BIAs are governed by the City of Toronto Act, 2006 and Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 19, Business Improvement Areas.

Community Centre Boards

10 Board-run community centres offer programs to address the recreation and social needs of an area on behalf of the City.

The Board-run community centres provide public space, programs, and services to meet the changing needs of communities. They are committed to fostering a sense of community, promoting civic engagement, and enhancing the local quality of life through the services they provide.

City corporations are established under the City of Toronto Act, 2006 in compliance with the Business Corporations Act. They own assets, (or operate and manage assets for the City) approve their own positions and operate independently from the City.

The City is the sole shareholder of City-controlled corporations and their accountability is established through a Shareholder Direction and corporate by-laws approved by City Council.  The Shareholder Direction sets out the governance principles for the corporation, the accountability and relationship between the Board of Directors and the City. Corporation by-laws outline the rules governing the management of the corporation and are approved by the shareholder.

Corporations are required to submit their annual audited financial statements and reports to City Council as the shareholder, but Council does not approve their budgets or positions.

City-controlled corporations include:

Partnered agencies and corporations are joint boards whose governance, membership and funding are shared between the City and other bodies, and whose City representatives are appointed by Toronto City Council.

Partnered Agency:

Partnered Corporations:

City Council has established and appoints members to a range of quasi-judicial and adjudicative bodies. They operate independently from the City and hold hearings to resolve disputes, regulate activities, adjudicate on matters and determine legal rights and benefits.

The City’s adjudicative bodies are governed by a range of legislation including the City of Toronto Act, 2006 and the Planning Act.Program divisions support the administration of bodies and their administrative costs are included in annual divisional operating budgets.

The City of Toronto has established the following adjudicative bodies: