The use of digital infrastructure is one of many tools to help the City achieve its strategic goals and priorities. As the use of digital infrastructure to provide City services and manage assets evolves, how information is collected, used, managed and protected must also advance. The Digital Infrastructure Plan (DIP) will modernize and formalize the roles, functions and procedures within which digital infrastructure decisions at the City are made.

Digital Infrastructure is defined as infrastructure that creates, exchanges or uses data or information as a part of its operation. Digital infrastructure includes physical structures, cabling and network systems, software systems, data standards and protocols, as well as the data itself. Some examples include sensors (cameras, GPS sensors, microphones, etc.), broadband and telephone networks, Wi-Fi, desktop software, web pages and mobile apps and open data standards.

Digital infrastructure can help improve the quality of life of Torontonians in a variety of ways. Some examples include reducing the digital divide, as well as improving opportunities for participation, inclusion and wellbeing. However, any benefits must be weighed against potential harms that could arise through the reinforcement of existing – or creation of new – barriers (digital or physical). The DIP Working Principles provide guidance when deciding if a proposed use of digital infrastructure is:

  • necessary;
  • complies with policies and regulations; and
  • aligns with stated values.

The DIP is founded on six principles:

Equity and Inclusion

Digital infrastructure will be used to create and sustain equity, inclusion, accessibility and human rights in its operations and outcomes. Digital Infrastructure will be flexible, adaptable, interoperable and responsive to the needs of all Torontonians, including equity-seeking groups, Indigenous people, those with accessibility needs and vulnerable populations.

A Well-run City

Digital infrastructure will enable high-quality, resilient and innovative public services, and support evidence-based decision-making.

Social, Economic and Environmental Benefits

Digital infrastructure will contribute to positive social, economic and environmental benefits by supporting the success of Toronto’s residents, businesses, academic institutions and community organizations.

Privacy and Security

Toronto’s digital infrastructure will operate in a way that protects the privacy of individuals in accordance with legislative requirements, and be safe from misuse, hacks, theft or breaches.

Democracy and Transparency

Decisions about digital infrastructure will be made democratically, in a way that is ethical, accountable, transparent and subject to oversight. Torontonians will be provided with understandable, timely and accurate information about the technologies in their city, and opportunities to shape the digital domain.

Digital Autonomy

The City will maintain control in the selection, use and design of its digital infrastructure, so that it – and its residents – can act with autonomy and in a self-determined manner within the digital realm.

Five of these were adopted by City Council in January 2020, and the sixth was added following additional consultations in June 2021. In addition, City Council also:

  • adopted a guiding framework for the DIP;
  • directed the City Manager to ensure that any digital infrastructure proposal submitted to the City complies with all five principles;
  • endorsed the formation of a Community Advisory Group to provide input on the design of additional consultations and implementation, as well as on the project content itself; and
  • directed staff to consult with appropriate stakeholders on the inclusion of a commitment to the City’s control and autonomy of its core digital infrastructure in development of the Digital Infrastructure Plan.

To learn more about the DIP, please watch this brief video for an overview of the Digital Infrastructure Plan for the City of Toronto.

Each Working Principle articulates a vision for the use of digital infrastructure in Toronto.

The draft Digital Infrastructure Plan (DIP) has been developed in consultation and collaboration with stakeholders, members of the pubic, and other community partners. Resources from the consultations include:

Fall 2021
Virtual public consultations (DiscoTech: Discover Technology) were held on September 28 and 29. At these meetings, participants were provided with an overview of the DIP and had the opportunity to ask questions of staff, review the draft DIP, and provide feedback to the project team.

After the public consultations, three (3) drop-in sessions with the project team took place that provided an opportunity for interested people to speak directly with the project team and ask more in-depth questions related to the DIP.

Summer 2021
A virtual public consultation (DiscoTech: Discover Technology) related to Digital Autonomy was held on June 21, 2021. Materials from that meeting include:

Fall/Winter 2019
Initial consultations on the DIP were held in December 2019. You can download and read the Discussion Guide, presentation and Discussion Boards from those meetings.

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