Legislation, Bylaws & Policies
The authorities, roles and responsibilities of City agencies and corporations are established through a range of legislation, City bylaws, Council-adopted policies, and City Council-approved Relationship Frameworks (with City agencies) and Shareholder Directions and Declarations (to City corporations).
Key provincial legislation, City bylaws and policies applicable to agencies and corporations are listed with a summary of how they generally apply. It is the responsibility of individual agencies and corporations to review legislation, bylaws and policies in detail to confirm how they apply to their organizations.
Legislation, bylaws and policies are subject to change. Check back for updates.
The City of Toronto Act, 2006 (COTA, 2006) provides the City with authorities to establish, dissolve, delegate powers and duties and determine the governance of its agencies and corporations with certain limitations.
Key sections of COTA, 2006 regarding the City’s authorities and requirements for agencies and corporations are summarized below. Agencies and corporations should consult COTA, 2006 for definitions, provisions and their application.
- Definitions (Part I): Agencies and corporations are defined by a number of terms in COTA, 2006. See definitions for city board and local board. The term local board (restricted or extended definition) is defined more specifically in certain parts and sections of the Act
- General Powers of the City (Part II) authorizes the City to pass bylaws on governance structures and accountability and transparency matters of its boards
- The City and Its Governance (Part IV) authorizes the City, with certain exceptions, to establish, dissolve and change a board (s.141-146) including the board mandate, composition, appointments, delegation of functions and reporting relationships. Section 148 authorizes the City to establish a corporation and its governance structure
- Accountability and Transparency (Part V) requires the City (in s.157) to establish a code of conduct for members of boards (as defined in this section and Part V). Part V also sets out the authorities of the City’s Accountability Officers as they apply to boards
- Practices and Procedures (Part VI) establishes requirements for board meetings, record keeping, remuneration and expenses of board members (as defined in this section)
- Procedure By-law (s.189) establishes requirements for boards to pass a procedure bylaw that governs the calling, place and proceedings of board meetings. Does not apply to boards identified in s.189(5). City Council approves the Board’s procedure by-law
- Open and Closed Meetings (s.190) establishes requirements for open meetings and reasons meetings of boards can be closed to the public. Does not apply to boards identified in s.190(7). Read about open and closed meeting requirements for City Council, its Committees and local boards
- Records (s.200-201) establishes requirements for retention and control of board records. City Council establishes retention periods for board records
- Personnel, Procurement and Property Disposition Policies (s.212) establishes requirements for boards (as defined in this section) to adopt and maintain policies concerning the sale of land, hiring of employees and procurement of goods and services
- Insurance (s.217-219) establishes powers of the City to provide insurance for its boards (as defined in s.217)
- Health Benefits (s.221) establishes powers of boards (as defined in this section) to provide health benefits for their employees
- Remuneration and Expenses (s.222-223) establishes authorities and reporting requirements for remuneration and payment of expenses to board members, officers and board employees
- Financial Administration (Part VII) establishes authorities and requirements for the preparation of budgets and auditing financial statements of boards
- Fees and Charges (Part IX) establishes authorities for the City and certain boards (as defined in Part IX, s.258) to impose fees and charges under certain conditions
- Other City Bodies (Part XVII) identifies provisions for specific boards established under other legislation and continued as a city board or local board under COTA, 2006
Key Provincial Legislation
In addition to COTA, 2006, key provincial legislation with general application to the City and its agencies and corporations includes:
- Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, 1990 regulates the conduct of board members of agencies and corporations relating to conflicts of interest
- Ontario Human Rights Code establishes the right of every person to equal treatment in the provision by the City and its agencies and corporations of services, facilities and accommodation
- Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) sets out requirements and provides for the development, implementation and enforcement of accessibility standards in order to achieve accessibility for persons with disabilities. The City and its agencies and corporations must comply with the AODA requirements
- Municipal Freedom of Information Act and Protection of Privacy Act, 1990 establishes a general right for individuals to access certain records and personal information held by the City and its agencies and corporations based on certain principles. The Act also sets out provisions to protect the privacy of individuals’ personal information
- Municipal Elections Act, 1996 governs the conduct of municipal and school board elections in Ontario. Provisions in the Act apply to the City and its agencies and corporations, for example, restrictions on campaign contributions and establishment of policies for use of City and board resources during an election period
- Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1990 sets out duties for employers and rights for workers to protect workers from health and safety hazards on the job. It also establishes procedures for dealing with workplace hazards and enforcement mechanisms
- Employment Standards Act, 2000 provides the minimum standards for most employees working in Ontario. It sets out the rights and responsibilities of employees of the City and its agencies and corporations
- Labour Relations Act, 1995 regulates the employment relationships within the unionized workplace in Ontario
Other provincial statutes apply to specific agencies and corporations:
- Building Code Act, 1992
- Business Corporations Act, 1990
- Clean Water Act, 2006
- Conservation Authorities Act, 1990
- Electricity Act, 1998
- Health Protection and Promotion Act, 1990
- Housing Services Act, 2011
- Planning Act, 1990
- Police Services Act, 1990
- Public Libraries Act, 1990
- Statutory Powers Procedure Act, 1990
- Toronto Atmospheric Fund Act, 2005
- Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corporation Act, 2002
When City Council adopts or amends a policy, it may require or request City agencies and corporations to comply with the Council-adopted policy or adopt their own policy.
Find links to key City policies and bylaws relevant to agencies and corporations and read the Council decisions for details on their application. It is the responsibility of individual agencies and corporations to review bylaw and policy provisions to confirm how they apply to their organizations.
|Category||Bylaw or Policy||Description|
|Accountability Officers||Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 3, Accountability Officers||Sets out authorities of the City’s Auditor General, Integrity Commissioner, Lobbyist Registrar and the City Ombudsman as they apply to City agencies and corporations.|
|Agency Employees||Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 192, Public Service (TPS By-law)||Advances Toronto’s Public Service as a professional, impartial and ethical body and affirms City agencies as part of the broader Toronto Public Service with authority to manage their own employee affairs.
The TPS By-law sets out public service values and rights and responsibilities for City and City agency employees (as specified in the TPS By-law) regarding conflict of interest and confidentiality, political activity, disclosure of wrongdoing and reprisal protection and ethics executives.
Read the Council decision to adopt TPS By-law for more details on its application.
|Environment||Carbon Credit Policy||Establishes a framework for managing the City’s carbon offset credits and guidelines and conditions for the sale of these credits by the City and its agencies and corporations.
City Council directed City agencies and corporations to adopt and apply the City’s Policy or adopt a policy consistent with the City’s Policy, respectively. Read the Council decision to adopt a Revised Carbon Credit Policy for more details on its application.
|Environment||Climate Change Risk Management Policy (see Appendix A)||Defines roles and responsibilities in the City and its agencies and corporations for identifying and mitigating climate change risks, and mechanisms for coordinating, resourcing and prioritizing actions.
City Council directed City agencies and requested City corporations, respectively, to adopt the City’s Policy or a similar policy that is consistent with the City’s Policy. Read the Council decision to adopt the Climate Change Risk Management Policy for more details on its application.
|Environment||Green Roof By-law||Requires and governs the construction of green roofs on new development. The By-law applies to all large (over 2,000 m2) buildings including those owned by the City and its agencies and corporations.|
|Environment||Toronto Green Roof Strategy and Policy||Sets out requirements for the installation of green roofs (with a coverage of at least 50% of the building footprint), where technically practical, on City facilities and those owned by City agencies and corporations. The policy must be read in conjunction with the Toronto Green Standard (TGS) Version 3 for the green roof requirements.
Read the Council decision to amend the Green Roof Policy in 2008 for details on the Policy’s application.
|Environment||Toronto Green Standard (TGS) Version 3||Toronto’s sustainable design requirements for new private and city-owned developments (as of May 1, 2018). TGS Version 3 includes a consolidated Standard for non-residential development by City agencies, corporations and divisions (ACDs) which incorporates Tier 2 level performance measures and includes energy efficiency requirements to achieve greenhouse gas emission reduction goals in TransformTO.|
|Environment||TransformTO: Climate Action for a Healthy, Equitable and Prosperous Toronto||Establishes long-term low-carbon goals and guiding principles to inform decision making and business planning across the City to support climate change action. TransformTO establishes a mandate for new buildings constructed by City agencies, corporations and divisions to achieve near-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2026. Read the full TransformTO strategy.
City Council requested City agencies and corporations to align their business plans and strategies with the recommendations, goals and principles in the Policy. Read the Council decision to adopt TransformTO: Report 2 – Pathway to a Low Carbon Future for more details on the Policy’s application.
|Ethics and Conduct||Code of Conduct Complaints Protocol||Sets out complaints procedures pertaining to board members of City agencies (including Adjudicative Boards) and corporations (as defined in the Code of Conduct).|
|Ethics and Conduct||Code of Conduct for Members of Local Boards (Restricted Definition)||Establishes standards of conduct for board members of City agencies (as defined in the Code of Conduct). Read the Council decision to amend the Code of Conduct in 2018.|
|Ethics and Conduct||Code of Conduct for Members of Adjudicative Boards||Establishes standards of conduct for board members of adjudicative boards. Read the Council decision to amend the Code of Conduct in 2018.|
|Ethics and Conduct||Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 140, Lobbying||Sets out provisions for the registration of lobbyists and public disclosure of communications with public office holders which includes board members and staff of City agencies and corporations (as defined in the Chapter).|
|Ethics and Conduct||Use of City Resources During an Election Period Policy||Establishes conditions and restrictions on the use of City facilities, resources and infrastructure during an election period in compliance with the Municipal Elections Act (MEA),1996.
City agencies are required to adopt a policy governing the use of agency resources during an election period that reflects the purpose and principles of the City’s Policy. Read Council decision on the adoption of the Policy and update to the Policy in 2018 for more details on the Policy’s application.
|Financial||Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 71, Financial Control||Article II (ss. 71-5 to 71-9) governs operating and capital budgets, including reallocations for City programs and City agencies. Specifically, ss.71-8 C. sets out approval requirements for reallocations and transfers of approved operating budgets and ss.71-9 E. sets out approval requirements for capital budget reallocations.|
|Financial||Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 227, Reserves and Reserve Funds||Governs the establishment and use of reserves and reserve funds by City Council for City divisions, agencies and corporations. The Chapter contains schedules of Council-approved Reserves and Reserve Funds for City divisions and specific City agencies.|
|Financial||Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 441, Fees and Charges||Governs fees and charges imposed by the City and its agencies. Chapter 441 includes schedules with fees and charges for individual City agencies.|
|Financial||Loans and Loans Guarantee Policy (see Attachment 4)||Establishes a framework for the City to consider requests from its agencies and corporations for a loan request towards the financing of a project that will create or enhance a capital facility.
Read the Council decision to adopt an amended Policy in 2013 for more details on the Policy’s application. City Council amended the Policy in 2014.
|Financial||Publishing of Senior City Staff Expenses Policy||Establishes a protocol for the City to publish its senior staff expenses on the City’s website. City agencies and corporations were requested to adopt a similar policy. Read the Council decision to adopt the Policy for more details on its application.|
|Financial||Statement of Lease Financing Policies (see Appendix A)||Sets out goals and requirements for financing leases and reporting and disclosure requirements. The Statement applies to financing leases that are entered into by City and its agencies and corporations. Read the Council decision to adopt Statement of Lease Financing Policies for details on the Policy’s application.|
|Financial||User Fee Policy (see Appendix 1)||Establishes a framework (principles, rules and procedures) for establishing user fees across City Programs and City agencies. The Policy does not apply to City corporations. Read Council decisions to adopt the User Fee Policy and Comprehensive User Fee Review in 2012.|
|Health and Safety||E-cigarettes in Toronto||Prohibits e-cigarette use from City of Toronto workplaces and recommends the same to City agencies and corporations. Read the Council decision to adopt the E-cigarettes Policy for details on its application.|
|Human Resources – Compensation||Executive Compensation Policy at City Agencies and Corporations||Directs City agencies and corporations to develop, apply and review executive compensation policies for senior executives. Read the Council decision to adopt the Policy for more details on its application.|
|Human Resources – Compensation||Executive Compensation Reporting Policy||Requires the disclosure and reporting of executive compensation to the City by City agencies and corporations. Read the Council decision to adopt the Policy for details on its application.|
|Human Resources – Equity and Human Rights||Hate Activity Policy||Assists in the identification of a hate motivated crime or incident and identifies appropriate ways to respond to such incidents.
City agencies and corporations were requested to implement a Hate Activity Policy consistent with the City’s Policy. Read the Council decision on the adoption of the Policy for details on its application. Council amended the Policy in 2015.
|Human Resources – Equity and Human Rights||Human Rights and Anti-Harassment/Discrimination Policy||Articulates the City’s commitment to prevent and address harassment and discrimination under the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
City agencies and corporations were requested to implement Human Rights and Anti-Harassment policies consistent with the City’s Policy. Read the Council decision on the adoption of the Policy for details on its application. Council amended the Policy in 2018.
|Human Resources – Minimum Policy Requirements for City Agencies||Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 192, Public Service (TPS)||Article III (ss.192-9) of the TPS By-law requires City agencies (as identified in the Chapter) to establish human resources policies in the areas of absence from work, pay and benefits, hiring and promotion, health and safety and access, equity and human rights.|
|Partnerships, Sponsorships and Donations||Donations to the City of Toronto For Community Benefits Policy||Establishes guidelines, criteria and process for the acceptance by the City and its agencies of voluntary donations for community benefits. Read the Council decision to adopt the Donations Policy for details on its application. Council amended the Policy in 2012.|
|Partnerships, Sponsorships and Donations||Individual and Corporate Naming Rights Policy||Establishes a protocol for corporate and individual naming rights applicable to City divisions. The Policy applies to City divisions and requires City agencies to adopt a naming rights policy which is consistent with the City’s Policy. Read the Council decision on the Policy’s adoption for details on its application.|
|Partnerships, Sponsorships and Donations||Sponsorship Policy||Establishes a protocol to facilitate and support opportunities for sponsorship. The Policy applies to City divisions and requires City agencies to adopt a sponsorship policy consistent with the City’s policy. Read the Council decision on the Policy’s adoption for details on its application.|
|Public Access and Involvement||Public Access and Involvement Policy for City Agencies, Boards and Commissions (see Attachment 1)||Articulates City Council’s expectations for openness, providing information to the public and encouraging public accessibility to boards of City agencies. Council adopted the Policy in 2003 and some content by be superseded by subsequent legislation (e.g. COTA, 2006) and City Council-adopted policies.|
|Public Appointments||Expense and Travel Reimbursement Policy||Sets out conditions for the reimbursement of expenses of public members and members of Council appointed to boards of City agencies and other bodies. The Policy does not apply to City corporations established under the Business Corporations Act.
City agencies may choose to develop expense reimbursement policies consistent with the City’s Policy for their staff. Read the Council decision to adopt the Policy for more details on its application.
|Public Appointments||Public Appointments Policy||Establishes requirements and processes for the City’s appointment of citizens to boards of City agencies and corporations and other bodies. Read Council decisions on the adoption of the Policy and Policy update in 2014 for more details on its application.|
|Public Appointments||Remuneration Policy||Sets out principles for the remuneration for public members of City agency and corporation boards and other bodies specified in the policy. Read the Council decision to adopt the Policy for more details on its application.|
|Purchasing and Procurement||Social Procurement Program and Policy||Incorporates supply chain diversity into City purchasing and incorporates workforce development opportunities into City Requests for Proposals and tenders. City Council requested City agencies and corporations to develop and implement similar programs and policies.
Read the Council decision on the adoption of the Policy for more details on its application.
|Records Management||Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 217, Records (City)||Details City Council’s authority to establish or amend record retention schedules of agencies (in ss.217-5.C.(e) ) and authorizes the City Clerk to enter into agreements with agencies for to provide services, advice or assistance in the creation and implementation of policies relating to information and records management (in ss.217-2.B.).|
|Records Management||Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 219, Records, Corporate (Local Boards)||Sets out the Council-approved roles, responsibilities and retention for records of agencies (listed in the Chapter).|