Toronto’s Board of Health is developing a new strategic plan to help guide Toronto Public Health’s work for the next four years. The engagement period has now closed. Updates about the new Strategic Plan will be shared on this page.


This plan will serve as the guiding blueprint for Toronto Public Health (TPH) as it strategically navigates key priorities, ensuring continued delivery of high-quality programs and services to the diverse population of more than 3 million residents in Canada’s most multicultural city.

Defining Public Health

  • Works to protect and improve health by using science, evidence and best practices.
  • Focuses on the health of groups, not just individuals.
  • Helps promote the factors that improve health and prevent causes of illness and injuries.
  • Monitors data about infections and diseases, and uses this information to respond to outbreaks and other public health emergencies.

Social Determinants of Health

  • Describes the social factors that shape our health, such as where we are born, live, learn, play, worship and work. Other factors include housing, education, gender, race, income and employment.
  • Health inequities or health disparities are differences in health that are avoidable and created by unfair social policies and systems.
  • Health equity seeks to reduce health inequities and increase access to opportunities that support the entire population’s health.
  • Local public health units like Toronto Public Health work with partners to reduce inequities through programs, services and the creation of health policies.

Adapted from: National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health 

About Toronto Public Health

  • Works to maintain and improve the health of the population, reduce health inequities and prepare for and respond to health emergencies.
  • Services and programs provided by Toronto Public Health include:
Food safety inspections Sexual health promotion & clinics
Tobacco control and enforcement Dental and oral health clinics
Community vaccinations Harm reduction programs
Nutrition promotion School health
Mental health promotion Child health and development
Surveillance, epidemiology and health information And more.

Throughout February and March 2024, Toronto Public Health provided a range of opportunities to receive public input to help shape Toronto Public Health’s new strategic plan. Public feedback was an important part of the process.

The following opportunities were provided:

  • An online survey and email address
  • Deputations to the Board of Health’s Strategic Planning Committee
  • Public consultation session
  • Community conversations resource

A Healthy City for All

Mission Statement

Toronto Public Health (TPH) reduces health inequities and improves the health of the whole population.

Foundational Principles

The following foundational principles provide a framework within which the priority directions and actions for 2015-2019 are developed and implemented. These principles reflect underlying values that guide our shared aspirations in working to achieve a healthy city for all.

Accountability and Transparency

  • TPH provides service to meet the public health needs of the city, community and families we serve.
  • TPH is accountable to the Board of Health, Toronto City Council, the Government of Ontario, and to the people of Toronto.
  • TPH makes wise use of human and financial resources; delivers effective services in compliance with the Ontario Public Health Standards; and publicly reports our actions and results.

Community Engagement

  • TPH is committed to civic engagement, collaborating with community stakeholders, partners and the public to assess health needs, support strong communities, and provide responsive services and policy that protect and promote health.


  • TPH embraces diversity, in all its dimensions, as an asset and promotes respect for all.
  • TPH strives for equity and inclusion in our work environment and in the provision of services to the communities we serve.

Health Equity

  • TPH is a leader in reducing health inequities by working to address unfair and avoidable differences in health outcomes between groups.
  • TPH collaborates to identify and respond to health needs of vulnerable populations by providing accessible services and advocating for policies that address the social determinants of health.


  • TPH is committed to excellence through the use of evidence in service and policy decisions, continuous measurement and improvement of performance, fostering a culture of innovation, and supporting staff learning.

Priority Direction 1: Serve the public health needs of Toronto’s diverse communities

  • Involve communities and partners in the identification of health needs and development of services
  • Incorporate evidence about health inequities, including sociodemographic data collected in all programs, in the design and delivery of services
  • Ensure all public health services are accessible
  • Identify key public health interventions to address the needs of seniors
  • Integrate mental health promotion into TPH services
  • Implement an Indigenous Health Strategy based on collaborative, community-led assessment of needs of the urban Indigenous population
  • Monitor and report on progress toward health equity
  • Strengthen health equity competency of all staff

Priority Direction 2: Champion healthy public policy

  • Monitor and report to the Board of Health on emerging health issues and recommended policies that protect and promote health
  • Collaborate with city divisions and community stakeholders to advance municipal policy for healthy social, built and natural environments
  • Promote policy change to make Toronto a healthy city to raise a child
  • Promote healthy food system change including: food access, food retail environments and food literacy
  • Promote actions that increase resilience to climate change impacts on health
  • Influence health system transformation to enhance public health

Priority Direction 3: Anticipate and respond to emerging public health threats

  • Monitor and identify emerging public health threats, including health hazards, emerging infectious diseases, and extreme weather
  • Enhance population readiness through education and immunization
  • Ensure all public health response plans address the needs of vulnerable populations
  • Strengthen collaboration with city, provincial and federal emergency responders

Priority Direction 4: Lead innovation in public health practice

  • Improve service through evidence, innovative practice and technology
  • Build the evidence base for public health practice through research
  • Exchange knowledge with other public health organizations, academic institutions, government, city divisions, community agencies and the private sector
  • Enhance capacity to measure and improve service quality
  • Increase public understanding of the vital role played by TPH in achieving a healthy city for all

Priority Direction 5: Be a healthy workplace

  • Implement a workforce strategy to recruit and retain highly skilled staff, at all levels of the organization, that reflect the diversity of the city we serve
  • Promote an environment of inclusion, collaboration and mutual respect where the diversity of staff, students and clients is welcomed
  • Enhance the use of technology to support staff learning and internal communication
  • Acknowledge staff and their contributions to excellence in all aspects of public health