The City’s Administrative Structure

The Toronto Public Service implements the priorities and directions of Council and is responsible for the delivery of more than 50 major services that have continuous impact on residents and Toronto’s quality of life. Many services are provided around the clock, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Toronto Public Service learning guide brochure.

The City Manager is the head of the public service and is accountable to City Council for ensuring that Council approved policies and programs are effectively delivered by members of the Toronto Public Service.

The City Manager:

  • is responsible for efficient and effective delivery of services, policy direction and program delivery of all City divisions,
  • provides Council with a single point of administrative accountability and strategic leadership, and
  • provides organizational leadership to the Toronto Public Service.

There are also six divisions that report directly to the City Manager: Executive Management; Equity, Diversity and Human Rights; Human Resources; Internal Audit; Strategic & Corporate Policy; and Strategic Communications.

The City Manager is assisted in delivering City-wide administrative governance and oversight by three Deputy City Managers (DCMs), one of whom is also the Chief Financial Officer. Each of the Deputies report to the City Manager and is responsible for the management, administration, performance oversight and financial, budget and resource allocation for a number of City divisions. These divisions are organized into ‘clusters’ of services.

  • Some examples of Cluster A divisions (Citizen Focused Services) are Children’s Services; Employment and Social Services; and Parks, Forestry & Recreation.
  • Some examples of Cluster B divisions (Citizen Focused Services) are City Planning, Transportation Services, and Municipal Licensing & Standards.
  • Some examples of Cluster C divisions (Internal Services) are Corporate Finance, Financial Planning, and Accounting Services.

The Deputies also lead City-wide initiatives, as assigned by the City Manager, promoting collaboration and innovation across the organization to ensure horizontal integration between programs and the delivery of corporate objectives and Council priorities.

Divisions are headed by a senior manager responsible for the management and administrative oversight of their division and directly respond to Councillor’s questions about their programs and services at Standing Committee and Council meetings. Their responsibilities include:

  • accountability to Council for divisional service objectives and results,
  • day to day operations and program stewardship,
  • management of human resources and budgets within their service, and
  • working collaboratively to achieve Council priorities.

In addition to the services that the City’s administration delivers directly, the City also delivers services and programs through a number of agencies and corporations. City Council has delegated varying levels of authority to its agencies and corporations to deliver these services on Council’s behalf. These bodies are managed by external boards of directors with their own employees, but with some reporting requirements to Council. For example, Toronto Transit Commission is an agency of the City with its own programs and employees, but City Council approves the TTC’s budgets and makes certain significant decisions. The Toronto Police Service is overseen by the Toronto Police Services Board but City Council approves and funds its budgets.

The City Solicitor is appointed by City Council and provides legal advice to City Council, City Divisions and Agencies; and protects the interests of the corporation. The City Solicitor reports directly to City Council, and to the City Manager for administrative purposes.

The Legal Services Division provides legal advice on a variety of areas including land use planning and development, employment and labour relations, real estate matters, corporate governance, and contract negotiations and agreements. The Division prosecutes a wide range of offences committed under City bylaws and Provincial statutes including fire, building, and zoning violations, traffic and parking offences and water pollution offences. The Division also represents and defends the City in litigation matters at all levels of courts and administrative tribunals.

The City Clerk is an officer of the City with duties outlined in many pieces of provincial legislation, either directly or indirectly through delegation by Council.

The City Clerk is appointed by Council. The Clerk reports to Council for statutory responsibilities and to the City Manager for administrative purposes.

The City Clerk’s Office provides foundation services that enable and support open government in Toronto. Duties include supporting Council’s decision making processes, providing corporate information management services, fulfilling the duties of the Clerk under the Municipal Elections Act, assisting the Mayor and Councillors in carrying out their ceremonial and civic duties, serving the public in provincially-mandated areas and providing administrative, budget and business support to Members of Council and the Integrity Commissioner, Lobbyist Registrar and Integrity Commissioner.

The accountability structure for the Medical Officer of Health (MOH) is unique within the City administration. The MOH is established under the Health Promotion and Protection Act and reports to City Council through the Board of Health. The MOH liaises with the City through a Deputy City Manager.

Toronto Public Service Values

The Toronto Public Service is guided by the City’s:

  • Motto: Diversity Our Strength
  • Mission statement: To serve a great City and its people.
  • Toronto Public Service Framework: 3 Pillars – Service, Stewardship and Commitment

The Toronto Public Service Framework, along with a Charter of Expectations, fosters a culture that sets the highest standard of integrity, professionalism and ethical behaviour, and informs the public about what they can expect from public employees.

The Charter specifies that members of the Toronto Public Service will:

  • Act with integrity;
  • Apply judgment and discretion;
  • Serve the public well;
  • Serve Council well;
  • Serve the public service well;
  • Maintain political neutrality; and
  • Use City property, services and resources responsibly.

Customer Service

The City of Toronto aims to deliver exceptional, equitable and accessible customer service.

All City of Toronto divisions have service standards that detail the necessary time to deliver services to Toronto’s residents and businesses. These customer service standards are made available to better inform citizens about when they can expect requested services to be delivered.

City divisions have also established customer service complaint protocols based on corporate complaint handling guidelines.