Councillor Use of Civic Space Policy
As amended and adopted by City Council at its meeting on July 11, 2012 and amended by City Council at its meeting on February 20, 2013
The Policy on Councillor Use of Civic Space provides the parameters, fee structure and booking logistics whereby Councillors can book and use civic space for constituency and community events and meetings. This Policy is not for the purposes of conducting any election-related campaigns.
“Civic Space” – means the following:
- City museums and cultural facilities managed by Economic Development and Culture
- community centres, arenas, parks and sports fields, and other purpose buildings managed by Parks, Forestry and Recreation
- City Hall, Metro Hall, civic centres and other buildings managed by Facilities Management
City Councillors need to communicate with their constituents concerning the meetings and activities of City Council and its committees, as well as the business and services of the City.
City space should be made available for Councillor occasional use for special events and for regular Councillor meetings with constituents.
The health and safety of staff working at the facility or the safety and security of public users of the facility should not be adversely affected by the Councillor’s usage of the space.
The ability of City divisions to deliver their programs and services at the facility should not be adversely affected by the Councillor’s usage of the space.
This policy applies to facilities owned or leased and directly managed and operated by the following divisions:
- Economic Development and Culture
- Facilities Management
- Parks, Forestry and Recreation
The policy does not apply to buildings owned or managed by City agencies and corporations including the Toronto Public Library Board, the Toronto Transit Commission, the Toronto Police Services Board, the Toronto Parking Authority, Association of Community Centres and Arena Boards. These agencies and corporations, however, are being requested by City Council to adopt a similar policy for City Councillors.
This policy does not apply to Councillors’ continuous lease of space for constituency offices. Constituency office leases are covered by a separate policy, “Parameters for Councillor Constituency Offices,” approved by City Council at its meeting of November 1, 2012.
- Meeting rooms, auditoriums, small offices and public foyers and similar space of City of Toronto civic facilities are available to City Councillors for occasional use for community events and for regular meetings with constituents.
- Parks and sports fields are available to City Councillors for occasional use for community events.
- Councillors should be considered priority users of civic space where the space is not already booked. Councillor booking cannot bump other previously booked meetings/events.
- The fee charged for the use of space shall be in accordance with the fee structure and booking limits described in the Fee section.
- Division Heads are responsible for implementing this policy for facilities under their control and management.
- Division Heads are responsible for implementing a streamlined booking system, centralised where possible, for facilities under their control and management.
- Councillors must abide by the regular permitting policy and procedures divisions have in place for the use of their space.
Fees and Booking Limits
(Amended and adopted by City Council at its meeting on February 20, 2013.)
There are two categories of fees:
- One-time constituency and community events and meetings: Permit fee will be waived.
- Regular meetings with constituents:
- Access will be dependent on the availability of space at the facility.
- Rental rate will be waived.
Additional costs related to the two booking categories above, including but not limited to overtime for staff, security, set-up and clean-up, equipment costs, will be charged at the regular rate for all events and meetings.
Additional fees charged by Divisions must be signed off by a Councillor and administered through the City Clerk’s Office. Divisions must not directly charge against Councillor cost centres.
Conditions of Use
- All meetings/events must be related to City business and be hosted directly by a City Councillor.
- All meetings/events must be booked per normal permit timelines.
- No games of chance, including bingo and lotteries, are permitted.
- Charitable fund-raising is not permitted.
- Sales of goods are not permitted except sales of products by City divisions, such as water conservation kits.
- Councillors cannot book facilities on behalf of third parties.
- Councillors must remove all files, photographs, posters and any other materials at the end of their meetings or booking times.
- Councillors must comply with the health and safety requirements of the facility.
- Councillors must recognize that City staff must comply with the Policy on Use of City Resources during an Election No permanent signage or display board will be permitted.
- Councillors should plan to bring their own equipment required for the meeting, e.g. computers and cell phones.
- Staff may provide basic furniture, e.g. table and chairs, that would be part of the regular set-up of the space. Special set-up requirements, if needed, may incur an additional fee.
Denial of Use
- Should a Councillor contravene the use of facilities policy, the Division Head will discuss the correct use of the policy with the affected Councillor. (Amended and adopted by City Council at its meeting on July 11, 2012.)
Resolution of Issue
- Councillors or City staff who encounter difficulties or issues with the use of civic space under this policy should resolve these issues first with the Division Head, and if no satisfactory solution is found, with the Deputy City Manager for the cluster and if no satisfactory solution is found, with the City Manager.