The following is Toronto specific rules and information for the 2018 election are listed below. For campaign rules go to the Candidates’ Guides, Forms & Presentations page.

Election signs and campaign office signs can be displayed starting on Thursday, September 27, 2018. ¬†These signs are subject to rules under the City’s Election Sign By-law and the Municipal Elections Act, 1996.

For information about when, where and how signs may be displayed, visit the Municipal Licencing and Standards web page Election Signs and the quick reference guide on Election Sign Placement.

For candidate who have questions relating to election signs:

For election sign complaints, call 311.

Voting places

s48 of the Municipal Elections Act, 1996

The City Clerk determines what locations will be used as voting places. On voting days, canvassing of any nature is not permitted in or on these premises, including the entire building and the property on which it is located.

The Municipal Elections Act, 1996 provides that while an elector is in a voting place, no one shall attempt, directly or indirectly, to influence how the elector votes and that no one shall display a candidate’s campaign material or literature in a voting place.

Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) premises

Candidates may campaign in subway stations, but outside the fare-paid areas.  They may also campaign outside TTC station entrances and at bus and streetcar stops.  Candidates can also hold news conferences outside TTC stations provided access and egress for TTC customers and TTC vehicles is maintained and safety is not compromised.

Candidates may not campaign on TTC vehicles, on subway platforms on in any area where a fare is required. Candidates are also not allowed to erect signs unless through paid advertising.

Refer to the TTC’s website¬†on canvassing on TTC property and the policy for the Use of TTC Resources during an Election for relevant information.¬†If candidates have questions regarding the TTC policy they should contact the Toronto Transit Commission directly.

Access to apartments, condominiums, and other buildings:

By law, candidates and their representatives are allowed access to apartments, condominiums, non-profit housing cooperatives and gated communities for the purpose of canvassing and distributing election material.

The Municipal Elections Act outlines the following rules around campaigning in these locations:

  • Candidates and their representations are permitted access between the hours of 9 am to 9 pm
  • No landlord of residential premises can prevent a tenant from displaying signs on their rented premises
  • No condominium corporation can prevent an owner or tenant from displaying signs on their unit
  • The landlord, person, condominium corporation or agent may set reasonable conditions on the size or type of sign that can be displayed. They can restrict signs from being displayed in common areas.

The Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 (s.28), Condominium Act, 1998 (s.118) and the Co-operative Corporations Act, 1996 (s.171.24) provides candidates and their representatives access to the building for the purpose of canvassing.

The letter to landlords, property managers and house co-op representatives provides the above mentioned legislative sections. Candidate may use this letter when they are canvassing.

Use of city symbols and logo

Candidates are prohibited from using the City of Toronto’s logo, graphics or any other item of City intellectual property for any campaign-related purposes or materials including, but not limited to, signs, printed and electronic publications, flyers, brochures, e-mail, website, business cards, postcards, letterheads, leaflets, posters, fridge magnets and promotional items.

Use of City of Toronto resources

The City of Toronto policy on Use of City Resources during an Election Period provides direction on how City resources can and cannot be used during municipal, school board, provincial and federal election campaigns or campaigns on a question on a ballot. The policy states that:

  • City facilities and City infrastructure may not be used for any election-related purpose by a candidate
  • Candidates may not distribute campaign materials on or in City facilities or at City events
  • Candidates are permitted to distribute campaign materials on public right of way sidewalks and thoroughfares, during all-candidates meetings, at public parks and at the following City managed public squares: Nathan Phillips Square, Mel Lastman Square, Albert Campbell Square and David Pecaut Square

This policy does not apply to library facilities.  Candidates should contact the Toronto Public Library directly for booking prices and availability.

National do not call list

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has established a National Do Not Call List (DNCL).  Candidates are exempt from the DNCL. You should review the information of the CRTC website regarding political and candidate calls.

What is the Contribution Rebate Program?

Under the Contribution Rebate Program, individuals who contribute to mayor or councillor candidates in an election can receive a rebate from the City for their contributions. The application rules and procedures that must be followed by both the candidate and contributor in order for the City to pay a rebate can be found in the rebate by-law.

The Contribution Rebate Guide for Contributors provides an overview of the rebate program.

Application Rules:

  • only monetary contributions from individuals are eligible for a rebate
  • total contributions of $25 or less are not eligible for a rebate
  • contributions of goods or services are not eligible for a rebate
  • corporations and trade unions cannot contribute to candidates running for mayor or councillor
  • any contributions that contravene theMunicipal Elections¬†Act, 1996¬†are not eligible for a rebate
  • a contributor who contributes to multiple candidates cannot give a total of more than $5,000
    • failure to do so may result in a fine up to $25,000 or imprisonment
  • the candidate must close their campaign before their contributors can receive a rebate
  • the candidate must file an audited financial statement by the financial filing deadline
  • if a candidate is involved in a compliance audit proceeding, their contributors will not receive a rebate until the process has been completed

Application Procedures:

Candidates must:

  • issue aContribution Rebate Receipt & Application¬†for every contribution, even if it is not eligible for a contribution rebate
    • complete the Contribution Receipt section
    • list only one contributor on the form
    • give the form to the contributor to complete
    • retain a copy for their records
    • file an audited financial statement
    • provide copies of all expense invoices for the campaign period with the financial statement

Candidates should encourage the contributor to complete the Rebate Application section and mail it to Election Services as soon as possible.

Contributors should:

  • contact the candidate if the information in the Contributor Receipt section is incorrect
  • complete the Rebate Application section
  • keep a copy of the form for their records
  • mail the form before the deadline to Election Services, 89 Northline Road, Toronto, ON M4B 3G1


Deadline to apply for a rebate:

The Clerk must receive the completed rebate form by 4:30 p.m., Monday, December 30, 2019.

Rebates processed:

A 90 day compliance audit period starts the day after the candidate’s financial statement filing deadline.¬†Once this period has expired, rebates can be processed.

  • primary financial statements are due the last Friday in March following the election (March 29, 2019)
    • in this case, contribution rebates will be paid in late August 2019
  • supplementary financial statements (for those candidates who have extended their campaign) are due the last Friday in September following the election (September 27, 2019)
    • in this case, contribution rebates will be paid in January 2020


The rebate payment is based on the following formula:



Sample Rebate

total contributions of $25 or less none $0.00
total contributions between $25 and $300 total contribution amount x 75% $200 x 75% = $150
total contributions over $300 but not more than $1,000 total contribution amount – $300 x 50% + $225 $650 – $300 = $350 x 50% = $175 + $225 = $400
total contributions more than $1,000 total contribution amount – $1,000 x 33 1/3% + $575*

*To a maximum of $1,000

$2,200 – $1,000 = $1,200 x 33 1/3% = $400 (rounded up) + $575 = $975


MyCampaign is a secure web portal for candidates and registered third party advertisers that provides information and other tools relating to their campaign.

For candidates:

MyCampaign allows candidates to:

  • Access the expense limits (preliminary and final)
  • Access the contribution limit for candidates and their spouse (mayor and councillor candidates only)
  • Access the Electronic Financial Filing System (EFFS) to enter and track contributions, expenses, fund-raising events as well as producing contribution receipts and the completed financial statement
  • View their Nomination Paper
  • Submit contact information that gets posted on the City’s website
  • Create and manage accounts for campaign staff
  • Upload their signature for receipt purposes
  • Download the voters’ list, interim list of changes to the voters’ list and the list of people who voted during Advance Vote
  • View resources that will assist with their campaign (e.g., notice to banks, candidates’ guide, forms)
  • View ward maps and list of voting places
  • View the number of scrutineers allowed in each voting place
  • View a sample ballot

For registered third party advertisers:

MyCampaign allows registered third party advertisers to:

  • Access the expense limits (preliminary and final)
  • Access the Electronic Financial Filing System (EFFS)
    • Allows you to enter and track contributions, produce contribution receipts, expenses, fund-raising events and produces the complete financial statement
  • View the Notice of Registration paper
  • Submit contact information that gets posted on the City’s website
  • Create and manage accounts for campaign staff
  • Upload their signature for receipt purposes
  • View resources that will assist with their campaign (e.g., notice to banks, candidates’ guide, forms)

EFFS – Electronic Financial Filing System

EFFS is a free online application that is available to all candidates and registered third party advertisers that allows them to:

  • track and calculate all contributions and expenses
  • print receipts
  • import a scanned signature for receipt purposes
  • create an electronic file of receipts and the ability to email directly to contributors
  • link one contributor to multiple contributions
  • be notified of any contributions that exceed the allowable limit
  • input information about fund-raising functions and activities
  • display contribution information (amount of contributions, list of contributors who contributed over $100) on the financial statement
  • produce the financial statement on the prescribed form
  • submit contributions details electronically with the financial statement
  • set up accounts for campaign staff and monitor the activity of those accounts

After the financial filing deadline, the financial statement and list of contributors who contributed over $100 will be posted on the City’s website.¬†Candidates and registered third party advertisers should notify their contributors that their name, address, amount of contribution and who they contributed to will appear on the website.¬†All financial information is available at

Candidates for mayor or councillor who plan to participate in the City’s contribution rebate program are strongly encouraged to use EFFS.

Please note: EFFS enables candidates and registered third party advertisers to input information about contributions and contributors for the purpose of filing a financial statement. Until such information is submitted to the City Clerk, it is the responsibility of the candidate or registered third party advertiser to protect the confidentiality of the contributors’ personal information.

How to access EFFS

Candidates and registered third party advertisers can access EFFS through MyCampaign.


An EFFS manual is available with step-by-step instructions on entering contributions, expenses, fundraisers and producing the financial statement.


If candidates, registered third party advertisers or their designates are experiencing technical difficulties they can call 416-395-0025 during regular business hours (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) or email

It is the responsibility of the candidate to protect any personal information collected for the purpose of filing election forms (eg. Financial Statement, Endorsement of Nomination Form, and/or Contribution Rebate Application), until such time the forms are filed with the City Clerk.

Once filed, documents and materials submitted to the City Clerk are subject to access and privacy provisions under the Municipal Elections Act, 1996 and other applicable legislation.

Name on Ballot
s41 of the Municipal Elections Act, 1996

The ballot lists the candidates running for mayor, councillor and school board trustee.¬†The Municipal Elections Act, 1996 (Act) and City Clerk policies determine how a candidate’s name appears on the ballot. The following rules apply:

  • only the first and last name (as shown on the candidate’s Nomination Paper) will appear on the ballot
  • nicknames or middle names are not placed on the ballot
  • titles, such as Doctor, Reverend, etc., are not allowed on the ballot
  • names are arranged in alphabetical order by office
  • each candidate is numbered

New for the 2018 election

  • in previous elections, the voter completed the head and tail of the arrow to the right of the candidate listed on the ballot. The arrow has been replaced with an oval (see graphic below).
Image showing "How to vote:" and a hand with a pen demonstrating filling in the oval to the right of the candidate name
How to mark your ballot in the 2018 Municipal Election

Transmitting Election Night Results

s54 of the Municipal Elections Act, 1996

After 8:00 p.m. on election night election results are transmitted using three different methods:


Each vote tabulator that is used to count ballots is equipped with a wireless modem. Once the voting place has closed and the vote tabulator is switched to “close polls”, the results are transmitted to the election results server.


Election officials also phone in the election results to a designated call centre. These results are entered into a database and stored in the election results server.

Memory Cards:

Once results have been sent by wireless modem, the election official is responsible for packing up the voting place and transporting the vote tabulator and supplies to a receiving center. At the receiving center, the memory card is removed from the vote tabulator, placed into a “reader” and the results are downloaded to the election results server.

Advance Vote Results:

Advance Vote results are transmitted after 8:00 p.m. on election night from the Elections Office at 89 Northline Road.  Candidates or their scrutineers can be present for these results.

Election night results are considered unofficial results.  The Clerk will provide the official results after election day.

Candidates can obtain election night results by:

Candidates & Scrutineers

s16, 47, 48 and 49 of the Municipal Elections Act, 1996


Candidates may appoint a scrutineer by completing the Notice of Scrutineer Appointment form. Once completed, the scrutineer must present it to the voting place staff.

At the voting place, a candidate is permitted one scrutineer for each ballot issuing station and one at the vote tabulator. If the candidate enters the voting place, they are considered to be a scrutineer and must present identification to the election official. If the candidate has the maximum number of scrutineers in a voting place, one scrutineer must leave in order for the candidate to enter the location.


In order to protect the secrecy of the vote, scrutineers will not be permitted to view the ballots as they are being fed into the vote tabulator when a voter is casting their ballot.

Candidates will have access to the number of scrutineers allowed in each voting place through MyCampaign.

Any candidate who has been acclaimed is prohibited from being in the voting place unless another candidate has appointed them as a scrutineer.


Candidates and scrutineers have a number of rights, including the following:

  • they may enter the voting place 15 minutes before it opens to visually inspect the vote tabulator, vote tabulator stand, the Voter Assist Terminal (where applicable), the ballots and all other election documents but not so as to delay the opening of the voting place
  • they may object to an elector they believe is not qualified to vote (objection to be decided by the election official)
  • they may sign the statement of results after the close of polls on election night
  • they may place their seal on the ballot box after the close of voting on each advance vote day and on election day


Candidates and scrutineers are prohibited from the following:

  • attempting, directly or indirectly, to interfere with how an elector votes
  • displaying a candidate’s election material (including buttons, pins, ribbons, etc.) in the voting place
  • compromising the secrecy of voting
  • interfering or attempting to interfere with an elector who is marking a ballot
  • obtaining or attempting to obtain, in the voting place, any information about how an elector intended to vote or has voted
  • communicating any information obtained at a voting place about how an elector intends to vote or has voted

The role of candidates and scrutineers in the voting place is to observe the integrity of the process, not to assist electors. Candidates and scrutineers cannot:

  • speak to any electors
  • act as an interpreter (electors must make their own arrangements)
  • provide assistance to an elector
  • use a cell phone in the voting place

Election officials have the right to remove from the voting place any individual who is causing a disturbance. Candidates and scrutineers forfeit their right to be present if they disrupt the voting place or interfere with the voting process.

The City Clerk’s Office requires payment for certain election-related purposes, including but not limited to:

The following payment methods will be accepted:

  • Cash
  • Credit card (VISA, MasterCard and American Express)
  • Debit card
  • Certified cheque
  • Money order
  • Bank draft

Please note: Certified cheques, money orders and bank drafts must be payable to “the Treasurer, City of Toronto”