How to Make a Complaint or Suggestion

The City Clerk’s Office is committed to satisfying expectations in all our services.

If you have a concern with the way our service was provided, or a suggestion about how we can improve, we want to hear from you. We suggest you follow this process:

Step 1: Speak to someone

First speak directly with someone in the service area where you have an issue, in person or by telephone during business hours. Most complaints are received this way and resolved promptly. (Use our staff directory).

Generally our offices are open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (You can check online for specific service hours).

Step 2: Send a written complaint

If you prefer, or if you are not satisfied with how your verbal complaint is handled, you can submit a written complaint by mail or email. You can use our complaint form (Word) but it is not required. Please include as much detail as possible. If someone else is writing on your behalf regarding a complaint, a representative consent form (PDF) should also be submitted.

Step 3: As a last resort

If your concern is not resolved, you may contact the City of Toronto Ombudsman’s Office. The Ombudsman can be reached by calling 416-392-7062, via e-mail at ombuds@toronto.ca or through their website at www.ombudsmantoronto.ca.

Anonymous complaints

You may submit an anonymous complaint. Anonymous complaints are reviewed in the same manner as those with names included.

What Happens with Your Written Complaint

City Clerk’s Office management staff review all written complaints. The information is treated as confidential to protect your privacy; however, you should be aware that in investigating a complaint, the circumstances may indirectly identify you (even if you wrote anonymously).

If you provide contact information, we will confirm in writing that we have received your complaint within one working day if emailed, and within four working days if by mail or fax. We will then inform you of any investigations or actions as a result.

If your concern is about a different division or must be handled by an external process, we will inform you.

If you are not satisfied with the outcome, we will advise you of options to escalate the complaint.

Notice of Collection

The personal information you choose to provide on our form is collected under the authority of the City of Toronto Act, 2006. The information you provide will be used to investigate the complaint and may be used for contact purposes. Questions about this collection can be directed to the City Clerk’s Office c/o Management Consultant, City Hall, 13th Floor West, 100 Queen Street W., Toronto, ON, M5H 2N2, ph 416-392-8107.

Complaint procedures for specific areas

Following are details about complaint processes for specific City Clerk’s Office services. If you prefer, or where there is no process listed, you may use the general process outlined above. Click on a topic to see more details.

Closed meetings

Committee recommendations to Council

  • To dispute the recommendations of a committee or local board: write to City Council about the agenda item

Decisions of City Council or its Committees

The legislative decisions of City Council are not reviewable by the City Clerk or any other City Official and generally, must be resolved by a court or tribunal with statutory authority

Most appeals from the Toronto Committee of Adjustment go to the Toronto Local Appeal Body

Some types of decisions may be appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board, such as:

  • Planning decisions
  • Development charges
  • Some heritage decisions
  • Some decisions about expropriation of property

Below is a summarized version of where to make complaints relating to various election matters. For more details, please refer to the Election Complaints policy.

Municipal questions on an election ballot

  • If question is seen as unclear, not concise, not neutral or incapable of being answered with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’: contact the Chief Electoral Officer of the Province

Election results

  • Challenge the validity of an election: apply to the Superior Court of Justice
  • Appeals: Divisional Court

Recounts

  • Request from Council: City Clerk
  • Request from eligible elector: apply to Superior Court of Justice for an order directing the Clerk to conduct a recount

Election campaign financing

  • Request for an audit: Compliance Audit Committee
  • Appeal of Compliance Audit Committee: Ontario Court of Justice
  • You may also lay an information under the Provincial Offences Act or take any other legal action at any time with respect to an alleged contravention of the Election Finances Act

Election signs

Conduct of candidates and other individuals during an election

  • Illegal activity such as libel, slander, theft or assault: contact police
  • Conduct of a sitting Member of Council that violates the Council Code of Conduct (for example: using corporate resources for their campaign): contact the Integrity Commissioner

Candidates’ meetings and events held during the election

  • Illegal activity such as libel, slander, theft or assault: contact police

Third party advertising

  • You may submit a complaint about third party advertising during an election to the City Clerk: Third Party Advertising Complaint Form
  • You may also pursue a court proceeding regarding an alleged contravention of the Municipal Elections Act, 1996 relating to third party advertising

  • Request for an investigation about compliance with the registry system or Lobbyists’ Code of Conduct: contact the Lobbyist Registrar

  • Concerns regarding the subject of polls: contact the City division that is responsible for the poll

To request reconsideration of an assessment or to file a complaint against the Assessment Review Board: contact the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation