In 2011, the City of Toronto launched a Service Review Program. In consultation with the public, the program reviewed all of the City’s services. The Service Review Program included a Core Service Review that examined which services the City should deliver; Service Efficiency Studies that examined service levels and how to ensure the most efficient and cost effective delivery of City services; and an examination of all current user fees to determine the extent to which they are fair and cover the full cost of providing the service.

The Core Service Review identified what services the City should be delivering. These include services the City must legally provide and those the City should provide as a government. The review considered what it takes to meet the needs of Torontonians, what is important to people on a day-to-day basis, and what it takes to run the largest city government in Canada.

13,000 people provided their input, which was consolidated, analyzed and considered for the City Manager’s reports on the Core Service Review. Read the full program approved by City Council.

On September 19, 2011, the Executive Committee held a special meeting to consider the City Manager’s Final Report on the Core Service Review. The purpose of this report was to make recommendations to the Executive Committee for actions related to the opportunities identified by KPMG LLP (KPMG) during the Core Service Review process.

The report also considered the input gathered through public consultation held in May and June 2011. This report was considered by City Council at a special meeting held on September 26, 2011, following reports from the City Manager to each Council Standing Committee.

Each report to the Standing Committees included four components:

Transmittal reports and services reviewed by each Committee:

Raw data from the public consultation and background information

Follow the links below to access the input received through public consultation on the Core Service Review – from entire sets of qualitative date to summaries of the major themes that emerged through discussion and our feedback form.

The Service Efficiency Studies look at how certain services are delivered to identify new and more efficient ways to deliver them at a lower cost. The studies provide advice and recommendations to the City Manager and identify actions and directions which could result in more efficient and effective service delivery, organizational and operational arrangements and associated savings. The studies were conducted in consultation with the Division/Agency. A note on how each study may be considered and implemented is included at the beginning of each Final Report.

Service Efficiency Studies of City Divisions

Service Efficiency Studies of Cross-Corporate Functions

Service Efficiency Studies of City Agencies

In 2011, the City undertook a comprehensive review of its user fees and City Council adopted a User Fee Policy to ensure a consistent and transparent approach to establishing and administering the City’s user fees.

The User Fee Policy is governed by the principles that:

  • the City will charge a fee to recover the full cost for a service or activity provided by the City or local board where it confers a direct benefit on individuals, identifiable groups or businesses;
  • the City will charge a fee to partially cover the cost for a service or activity provided by the City or local board where it confers a direct benefit on individuals, identifiable groups or businesses but also results in benefits to the general public; and
  • the City will fund services provided by the City or local board that benefits the general public through property tax revenues.

The Policy includes a process to consider waiving, in whole or in part, user fees for vulnerable groups, to advance the City’s policy and equity objectives. The Policy also requires public consultation prior to setting any new fees as well as public notice for all changes to the City’s user fees.

The City’s collects over 3000 user fees with the majority of fees adjusted automatically at the beginning of the year to reflect the rate of inflation. City Council reviews its user fees on an annual basis to make any required adjustments. The User Fee Review resulted in the rationalization of fees, fee structures as well as establishing a systematic review process of all services where full cost recovery is appropriate. City Council approved full cost recovery for the City’s development application review services resulting in increased revenue of $11M. Full costing analysis continues for some key services such as MLS and Recreation. In 2014, the City collected a total of $1.6 Billion in revenue from user fees, primarily from TTC fares of $1.1 Billion.

Core Service Review and Efficiency Studies Update

The report, below, provides an update on the implementation of the Service Review Program for 2012 to 2014 including service adjustments as a result of Council’s decisions on the Core Service Review and the status of efficiency measures identified through the process.

The Statements of Work and final reports prepared by external firms for completed Service Efficiency Studies are available on the Service Efficiency Studies page.