The following information provides a general overview of the City of Toronto and its governance system. As Canada’s largest city and one of the most diverse municipalities in the world, Toronto plays an important role as the capital of the Province of Ontario. 

Toronto’s Legislative Framework

The Canadian Constitutional framework sets out that Provinces have exclusive control over municipalities and the rules that govern them. Provincial regulations and legislation define the City’s powers, the most significant of these instruments being the City of Toronto Act, 2006 (COTA). Through the powers and requirements of this Act, the City forms its governance system, which is set out in the Toronto Municipal Code. 

City Council

City Council is made up of 26 members: the Mayor, who is elected city-wide, and 25 councillors who are each elected in one of the wards across the city. Learn more about the role of City Council and the Mayor. Toronto’s legislative website includes City Council agendas and decisions. Ward profiles include demographic and other information for each City ward.

Mayoral Powers

As of November 23, 2022, Bill 3: Strong Mayors, Building Homes Act, 2022 provides to the Mayor, as head of City Council, new powers through changes to the City of Toronto Act, 2006 (COTA). Learn more about the new powers and duties of the Mayor. Mayoral decisions are found at the City Clerk’s online repository.

City Administration & City Services

The Toronto Public Service is led by the City Manager and is accountable to City Council to deliver the programs and services on Council’s direction. Learn more about City services to businesses, community and more.

Toronto’s Accountability Framework

The City has four Accountability Officers who help ensure your local government remains open and transparent. They are the Auditor General, Ombudsman, Integrity Commissioner and Lobbyist Registrar.

City Agencies & Corporations

The City of Toronto delivers many key services through agencies and corporations. Each agency and corporation has a different mandate, authorities and responsibilities to deliver services on behalf of the City and a Board of Directors supervises the management of the business and affairs of each agency and corporation.

City Finances

Every year, City Council approves a budget that sets out how much the City will raise in revenue and spend within a year. Learn more about City finances and the budget process.

Planning & Development

The City is required by law to create and update its Official Plan every five years to ensure the City evolves and realizes its full potential in areas such as transit, land use development and the environment. Learn more about the City’s planning and development frameworks.

Long Term Vision, Strategies and Plan

Learn more about Council’s long-term vision, the City’s Corporate Strategic Plan and other key strategies and plans that help realize Council’s vision. 

Open Government

The City maintains open access to the City’s research and data.

Public Involvement

Members of the public are encouraged to participate and provide input to their local government. Learn more about how you can get involved.