When a new City Council is elected, City staff prepare briefing materials for all Councillors. These briefing materials, called issue notes, contain a wide range of information on City programs, policies, and issues of interest to Councillors and the public.

The issue notes are organized into nine categories that cover: Finances and Government, the Economy, Housing, Transportation, Social Development, Equity, Health and Safety, Growth Management, and Sustainability.

City staff have also prepared a briefing for Members of Council on the City’s financial policies, practices and frameworks.

List of Council Issue Notes, 2018-2022


Click on the link in the Issues Note column below to read the full Issue Note or download the issue notes package.

Download the Notes


Issue Note Brief Description of Issue Category
2019 Interim Operating and Capital Budget Estimates City Council is required by December 31, 2018, to establish interim operating and capital budget estimates to ensure that the City has spending authority to deliver current services and meet existing contractual commitments from January 1, 2019, to the date when the 2019 operating and capital budgets are entered into the City’s financial system. Finances and Government
Long-Term Financial Plan The LTFP provides a long-term framework for financial decision-making including a series of key actions available to City Council, and under Council direction, City staff. These are broken into a foundational step of integrating program and revenue decisions, and five principles to support implementation of Council’s direction. Finances and Government
The City’s Operating Revenue Base The City is required to balance its operating budget each year, so revenue must match spending. The City’s Long-Term Financial Plan (LTFP) has identified that there is a growing gap between the levels of spending required to meet City Council’s directions and available funding. Finances and Government
Capital Financing: Debenture Issuance and Credit Ratings At the beginning of a term, City Council must consider a bylaw that provides the Mayor or the Mayor’s alternate (Deputy Mayor or Budget Chair), and the Chief Financial Officer with the delegated authority to negotiate a debenture issue up to an annual dollar limit determined by Council. Finances and Government
Performance Measurement, Benchmarking and Reporting The compilation and reporting of municipal performance measurement and benchmarking results provide valuable information for monitoring City operations, assessing how well Toronto is doing and supporting resource allocation decisions. Finances and Government
Customer Service Improvement Initiatives Service modernization is supported by the Toronto at Your Service (TAYS) Program Office, which will provide under a “digital first” approach a consistent, timely and efficient customer experience to all residents, businesses and visitors, across all service channels. Finances and Government
Information and Technology Initiatives The use of technology, wireless devices, social media and collaboration tools for communication and information sharing by cities and their residents is growing. There are opportunities for the City to use big data to improve efficiency and effectiveness across a broad range of government programs and a need to modernize systems to improve cost effectiveness and usability. Finances and Government
Smart City Initiatives Smart City encompasses a broad range of opportunities to support City improvements and address issues that are underpinned by innovative uses of data and technology. Smart Cities goes beyond technology; it is an opportunity for the City to drive service excellence and improve quality of life. Finances and Government
Key Government Transformation Initiatives Investments in modernization, business transformation and technology are necessary to realize future savings and efficiencies as well as new ways of delivering projects, which includes breaking down silos and improving co-operation, collaboration and governance across all City divisions and agencies. Finances and Government
City-Wide Real Estate Transformation The City has centralized authority for strategic oversight of real estate assets, placing a renewed focus on more comprehensive portfolio strategies and planning to establish clear investment directions, engagement and coordination of all City partners. Finances and Government
Supply Chain Transformation Program Changes to the way the City plans and manages procurement actions, as well as process improvements and automation, will result in a more strategic approach to procurement, as well as significant cost savings. Finances and Government
Strengthening Toronto’s Economy Toronto’s economy has performed well since the global financial crisis of 2008 however, growth has been uneven across the city, which has contributed to increased inequality and economic disparities. The City is taking an inclusive, City-wide approach to economic development to achieve result that benefit all Torontonians. The Economy
Supporting and Strengthening Toronto’s Culture Sector The City delivers programs, services, and special events that provide opportunities for residents and visitors to create, engage with, and experience local, national, and international culture in neighbourhoods across Toronto. However, despite considerably increased investment in the past five years, Toronto trails comparable jurisdictions in investments in arts and culture. The Economy
Strengthening Toronto’s Not-for-Profit Sector The City has a longstanding relationship with not-for-profit organizations, investing over $1.2 billion annually through service contracts, grants and other funding and relying on partner organizations to deliver hundreds of City-funded and regulated services. The Economy
Youth Employment Youth unemployment has been trending upward in Toronto since the early 2000s, remaining above the national average. Rates for vulnerable youth, such as racialized youth, newcomers, and youth with lower education, are often significantly higher. The Economy
Affordable Housing – Housing Affordability, Availability and Repair Toronto is a successful and prosperous city, and yet many low-to-moderate income Torontonians have increasingly limited access to safe, stable and affordable housing. As the City prepares its housing strategy for the next ten years (2020-2030), an opportunity exists to focus government, non-profit and private resources on delivering innovative solutions with a significant impact on addressing the City’s growing affordable housing needs. Housing
Toronto Community Housing: Tenants First Social housing is a vital component of the City’s efforts to mitigate the effects of poverty. Because of a changing government funding landscape and significant turnover in leadership, Toronto Community Housing continues to present critical high-risk issues needing urgent attention. Housing
Pressures on Toronto’s Shelter, Housing and Homelessness System The City has substantially increased the shelter system’s service capacity and initiated key improvements to service quality and responsiveness. Demand for services continues to rise, driven by extremely low rental vacancy rates, scarcity of affordable housing, and increasing numbers of refugee/asylum claimants in Toronto. Housing
Inclusionary Zoning – Securing Affordable Housing in Toronto In April 2018, the Province of Ontario adopted an inclusionary zoning regulation. The regulation allows the City to introduce planning requirements for the inclusion of affordable housing in new residential developments. Before City Council can consider an inclusionary zoning policy, City staff must complete required background work. Housing
Seniors Long-Term Care Toronto has an aging population. An aging demographic does not automatically mean ill health or disability, but the risk to both does increase as people age, which means more demand for a long-term care system and the need for increased capacity to provide quality care and service. Housing
Transit Network Expansion The City of Toronto, the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) and Metrolinx are working together to bring more transit to communities across the city with connections to the entire Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). Transportation
Traffic Safety: The Vision Zero Road Safety Plan The City is committed to Vision Zero and accepts its fundamental message: fatalities and serious injuries on roads are preventable, and the City must strive to reduce traffic-related deaths and injuries to zero through policies and actions defined in the 2016 Road Safety Plan. Transportation
Cycling in Toronto The Ten-Year Cycling Network Plan guides the City’s investment in connecting, growing, and renewing cycling infrastructure across Toronto from 2016 to 2025. Toronto has a respectable cycling network but needs to accelerate implementation to catch up to more bicycle-friendly cities in North America and the world. Transportation
Toronto’s Congestion Management Plan Toronto’s growing population, thriving economy and rapid development is placing increased demands on the City’s road network resulting in more congestion. The City is implementing strategies to reduce the impacts of congestion on the City’s road networks. Transportation
Review of Vehicle-for-Hire By-law In 2016, the City of Toronto significantly reformed taxicab regulations and created new regulations for private transportation companies, such as Uber and Lyft, to legally operate in Toronto. Issues have emerged as the industry grows and the new regulations are implemented. Transportation
Indigenous Peoples Toronto has the largest Indigenous population in Ontario and the 4th largest in Canada. Indigenous peoples hold a unique legal and constitutional position in Canada. The City of Toronto has affirmed this unique position and has further committed to taking action to redress the legacy of residential schools and advance the spirit of reconciliation as requested by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. Social Development
Early Learning, Child Care and Middle Childhood Services Demand for child care in Toronto exceeds the spaces available making it very difficult for families to access the care they need. Toronto also has the highest average child care fees in the country, and recent studies show that both lower and middle-income families feel a great burden because of the high costs. Social Development
Youth Development Youth (15 to 29 years) contribute to the vibrancy and diversity of the city and require support to enable them to flourish and contribute their full potential. While the majority of youth have the required supports to live meaningful lives, some experience difficulty accessing supports that can help youth redirect from or avoid challenging situations. Social Development
Seniors The number of seniors living in Toronto is growing, which has significant policy, service and resource implications for the City. With more than 40 City services for seniors delivered by 13 City divisions, agencies and corporations these services need to be coordinated and made more accessible. Social Development
Refugees In 2017 and 2018, there has been a substantial and sustained increase in arrivals of refugee/asylum claimants which has corresponded with increased arrivals crossing irregularly at the Quebec/United States border. City Council has committed to providing municipal services to all Toronto residents regardless of immigration status. Since late 2016, the City has successfully housed over 4,300 refugee/asylum claimants across the city. Social Development
Newcomers Toronto welcomes more newcomers than any other city in Canada, with an average of nearly 60,000 new permanent residents every year, which presents many opportunities as well as challenges. Social Development
Poverty Reduction Despite growing prosperity in some parts of the city, many communities continue to experience significant poverty, at higher rates than the rest of the City. Residents face numerous systemic barriers that prevent immediate needs from being addressed and prevent people from exiting poverty. The City is completing the implementation of its 2015-2018 Poverty Reduction Strategy Action Plan and currently developing the 2019-2022 Action Plan. Equity
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion within the City of Toronto The City strives to create and sustain equity in government to serve and reflect all people and implement positive changes in its workforce and communities to achieve access and realize equitable outcomes for all residents. The goal of these actions is to achieve inclusive and safe environments, free from discrimination, harassment and hate. Equity
Toronto’s Action Plan to Confront Anti-Black Racism Anti-Black racism still exists in this city, affecting the life chances of more than 200,000 people of African descent who call Toronto home. It is experienced as a lack of opportunity, poor health and mental health outcomes, poor education outcomes, higher rates of precarious employment and unemployment, significant poverty, and overrepresentation in the criminal justice, mental health, and child welfare systems. Equity
Human Rights Awareness The City has been at the forefront of promoting access and human rights through innovative and best-in-class human rights policies, programs and services. The City’s commitment to advance human rights guides the work of Equity, Diversity and Human Rights (EDHR) and is a blueprint for action for all City divisions. Equity
Cannabis Legalization Residents have been able to purchase legal cannabis online through the Ontario Cannabis Store since October 17, 2018. Municipalities are permitted to pass a resolution to opt-out of having cannabis retail stores operate in their boundaries; this resolution must be made before January 22, 2019. Health and Safety
Toronto’s Overdose Action Plan Toronto continues to be in the midst of an opioid overdose emergency. The Toronto Overdose Action Plan provides a comprehensive set of actions to prevent and respond to overdoses resulting from all drugs across the City with an initial focus on opioids, and targets actions from all levels of government. Health and Safety
Gun and Gang Violence Toronto is a safe city, but since 2015 trends in gun violence have been increasing. The City’s risk intervention and violence prevention programs will continue, however, the expansion of these programs requires support from other levels of government. Health and Safety
Emergency Management Toronto faces a number of natural hazards. The Office of Emergency Management (OEM) coordinates the City’s preparedness, response and recovery to emergencies, along with other City divisions, agencies, and corporations. Health and Safety
City Impacts of the Toronto Police Service’s Action Plan The City has identified nine recommendations that will or may have an impact on the City from the Toronto Police Service’s Transformational Task Force’s final report, “Action Plan: The Way Forward” Health and Safety
Official Plan – Growth Management Strategy Toronto’s strong development prospects will bring more people and jobs to the city, and increased demand on existing infrastructure for both hard and soft services. Understanding development trends, directing growth and ensuring that growth is aligned with infrastructure requires a regular review of provincial growth plans and the City’s Official Plan. Growth Management
Overview of Waterfront Revitalization The revitalization of Toronto’s waterfront is one of the largest urban redevelopment projects underway in North America. There is a need to maintain momentum and invest in the infrastructure that future residents and businesses will need. Growth Management
Bill 139 Implementation – New Planning Appeal System In April 2018, the Province of Ontario proclaimed into law the Building Better Communities and Conserving Watersheds Act, 2017 (Bill 139), which introduced significant changes to the planning appeal system and has a considerable impact on the City’s planning and development application review and approval process. Growth Management
Parks, Recreation and Leisure Torontonians want safe parks and public spaces, easy access to recreation facilities and programs, and natural spaces that respond to and reflect changing demographics, and community needs. Growth Management
Alternative Parkland Dedication Policy Over the past 12 years, the intensity of development has significantly increased although the alternative rate has remained unchanged. A new rate is required that reflects today’s development environment. Growth Management
Major Capital Project Coordination In 2018, the City will have invested more than $720 million to maintain and upgrade its infrastructure in the public right of way. While these investments help address the City’s significant infrastructure renewal backlog and provide longer-term benefits, construction activities will have some adverse impacts on traffic, road users, residents, and businesses in the short term. Growth Management
Climate Change: Creating a Low Carbon & Climate Resilient Toronto City Council committed unanimously in 2007 to reduce local greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050 and unanimously reconfirmed that commitment in July 2017. To meet these commitments, the City will continue to make transformational investments that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions while creating opportunities to improve public health, local economic prosperity, and social equity. Sustainability
Building Toronto’s Resilience A resilient Toronto is one where everyone can survive, adapt, and thrive in the face of any challenge. Two key challenges facing Toronto are a changing climate and growing inequality. Sustainability
Wet Weather Flow Master Plan & Basement Flooding Protection Program In 2003, City Council adopted the 25 Year Wet Weather Flow Master Plan (WWFMP), with the goal of reducing and ultimately eliminating the adverse impacts of wet weather flow on Toronto’s environment.  Over $3 billion in expenditures for the implementation of the WWFMP are identified in the City’s ten- year capital plan. Sustainability
Long-Term Waste Management Strategy The City manages approximately 900,000 tonnes of waste annually. With a growing population, the changing nature of waste, and limited landfill space the City is implementing new waste reduction, reuse, recycling, recovery and residual disposal policies and programs, which are cost-effective, socially acceptable and environmentally sustainable for the long term. Sustainability
Pressure on Toronto’s green spaces and ecosystems Increased use of Toronto’s green spaces, climate change and the introduction of pests and invasive plants are putting pressure on the city’s ecosystems, leading to degradation and the need for increased maintenance. Sustainability