Candidates should review all necessary legislation, by-laws and policies to manage their campaigns successfully.

Campaign Bank Account

  • You must open a bank account before raising or spending any money
  • Your campaign bank account must be used exclusively for campaign purposes
  • Banks may require you to provide a copy of your nomination paper and the Letter to Banks to open a campaign bank account

Contributions

Campaign contributions are any money, goods or services that are given to you for use in your campaign, including money and goods that you contribute to yourself.

You can only accept contributions from individuals who are normally a resident in Ontario. Corporations and trade unions are not permitted to make contributions to candidates.

You can only accept contributions during your campaign period, which begins on the day you file your nomination paper and ends January 3, 2023.

Contribution Limits – Candidate or Candidate’s Spouse

If you are running for mayor or councillor, there is a limit on the total amount that you and your spouse may collectively contribute to your own campaign. This “self-contribution limit” is calculated based on the number of electors who are eligible to vote for your office.

The formula to calculate the limit is:

  • Mayor: $7,500 plus $0.20 per eligible elector
  • Councillor: $5,000 plus $0.20 per eligible elector

You will be provided a certificate that will tell you what your self-contribution limit is.

The self-contribution limit does not apply to school board trustee candidates.

Contribution Limits – Individuals

The individual contribution limit is $2,500 for mayor and $1,200 for councillor and school board trustee candidates.

The maximum total amount that a contributor can give to candidates in the same jurisdiction (such as running for the same council or the same school board) is $5,000.

Spending Limit

The general spending limit for your campaign is calculated based on the number of electors who are eligible to vote for your office. The formula to calculate the limit is:

  • Mayor: $7500 plus $0.85 per eligible elector
  • Councillor or school board trustee: $5,000 plus $0.85 per eligible elector

You will be provided a certificate that will tell you what your general spending limit is.

Spending Limit: Parties and Expressions of Appreciation

The spending limit for expenses related to holding parties and other expressions of appreciation after the close of voting is calculated as 10% of the amount of your general spending limit.

You will be provided with your spending limit for parties and expressions of appreciation on or before September 25, 2022.

Fundraising

The primary purpose of fundraising activities is to raise money for your campaign. The cost of holding these fundraising activities is not subject to the spending limit if the primary purpose of the activity is raising money and not promoting yourself as a candidate.

If you hold a function to promote yourself and receive incidental contributions, this may not be considered a fundraising activity.

Expenses

Campaign expenses are the costs that you incur during your campaign.

You can incur expenses only during your campaign period, except for expenses related to the preparation of an auditor’s report.

If you are required to include an auditor’s report with your financial statement, you may incur these expenses after the campaign period has ended. These expenses must also be reported on your financial statement.

Your campaign begins on the day you filed your nomination and ends on January 3, 2023. If you withdrew your nomination, your campaign ends on the date you filed your Notice of Withdrawal of Nomination (English) / Retrait de l’avis de candidature (French).

If your campaign has a deficit, you can extend your campaign period to do some additional fundraising. To extend your campaign, you must file a Notice of Extension of Campaign Period – Form 6 (English) / Avis de prolongation de la période de campagne – Formulaire 6 (French) with the City Clerk on or before January 3, 2023. Your campaign may be extended until June 30, 2023.

Candidates who extending their campaign will be required to file two financial statements:

  1. A initial financial statement (due on March 31, 2023)
  2. A supplementary financial statement (due on September 29, 2023)

City Council has authorized a Contribution Rebate Program for individuals who contribute money to mayoral and/or councillor candidates. The amount of money that a contributor is eligible to receive is based on the total amount of money they contributed to all candidates participating in the program.

The Contribution Rebate Guide for Contributors provides an overview of the rebate program and how payments are calculated.

Information for Participating Candidates

In order to participate in the Contribution Rebate Program, you must file an audited financial statement by the financial filing deadline of March 31, 2023.

Some contributors may not receive their rebates until the completion of any proceeding related to over-contributions or compliance audits.

Application Procedures

Candidates must:

  1. Issue a Contribution Rebate Receipt & Application form (generated through the Electronic Financial Filing System on MyCampaign) for every contribution, even if it is not eligible for a contribution rebate (including if the contribution is $25 or less).
  2. List only one contributor on the form
  3. Provide the contributor with the form for them to complete the application process
  4. Retain a copy for your records
  5. File an audited financial statement with a copy of receipts issued for every contribution

Candidates should encourage the contributor to complete the Rebate Application by the deadline of December 29, 2023.

Candidates must have their financial statement audited by a licensed auditor under the Public Accounting Act, 2004 and include the auditor’s report when they submit their financial statement if they choose to participate in the City’s Contribution Rebate Program.

Contributors should:

  • Receive the Contribution Rebate Receipt & Application form from the candidate
  • Contact the candidate if the information in the Contributor Receipt section is incorrect
  • Claim rebate using the City or Toronto’s Contribution Rebate online portal or completing the paper copy and mailing to: Toronto Elections, 89 Northline Road, Toronto, ON, M4B 3G1
  • Keep a copy of the form for their records.

Timing

The Clerk must receive the completed rebate form by 4:30 p.m., Friday, December 29, 2023.

Rebates are payable to the contributor once all of the following requirements are met:

  1. The candidate has filed all required audited financial statement(s) and complied with all requirements under the Municipal Elections Act, 1996 and the Municipal Code, chapter 53-3
  2. The 90-day compliance audit period has concluded
  3. Toronto Elections has received the completed Contribution Rebate Receipt and Application form by December 29, 2023.

The earliest date that any contributor will receive their rebate is early 2024.

Rebate Amount and Formula

Total Contributions of $25 or less are not eligible for a rebate.

Total contributions between $25.01 and $300

  • Formula: total contribution amount x 75%

Total contributions over $300 but not more than $1,000

  • Formula: total contribution amount minus $300 x 50% + $225

Total contributions over $1000

  • Formula: total contribution amount minus $1,000 x 33 1/3% + $575

The maximum rebate payable is $1000.

Voting Places

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.

While an elector is in a voting place, no one shall attempt, directly or indirectly, to influence how the elector votes or shall display a candidate’s campaign material or literature.

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 safety of TTC customers and TTC vehicles is maintained.

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

Refer to the T.T.C. By-Law No. 1, ss3.16 and 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

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 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • 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. This includes, but is 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 Use of City Resources During an Election Period policy 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.

The first day you may display election signs for your campaign is September 29, 2022.

Election signs advertise or promote candidates in federal, provincial, or municipal elections (including elections for local board or commissions). This includes, but not limited to, signs, balloons, blimps, vehicle wraps, mobile signs on vehicles or trailers and bumper stickers intended to influence a person to vote for or against any candidate.

Election signs in Toronto must comply with the Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 693, Article II – Election Signs. The by-law provides rules for election signs on private and public properties, outlines when election signs can be displayed and when they must be removed, and provides rules for campaign office signs.

About the Electronic Financial Filing System (EFFS)

EFFS is a free online application that is available to all candidates 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 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 in the Search Campaign Finances.

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

Candidates can access EFFS through the MyCampaign application.

Troubleshooting

If candidates 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 candidateinfo@toronto.ca.

About MyCampaign

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

MyCampaign allows candidates to:

  • Submit contact information that gets posted on the City’s website
  • Access spending limits (preliminary and final)
  • Access contribution limits for themselves and their spouse (mayor and councillor candidates only)
  • Access 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
  • Create and manage accounts for campaign staff
  • Upload their signature for receipt purposes
  • Get a link to download the voters’ list
  • 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

It is the responsibility of the candidate to protect any personal information collected for the purpose of filing election forms (e.g. 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.

The ballot lists the candidates running for mayor, councillor and school board trustee. The Municipal Elections Act, 1996 and City Clerk 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

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 are not allowed 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, in October.

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:

  1. Attempting, directly or indirectly, to interfere with how an elector votes
  2. Displaying a candidate’s election material (including buttons, pins, ribbons, etc.) in the voting place
  3. Compromising the secrecy of voting
  4. Interfering or attempting to interfere with an elector who is marking a ballot
  5. Obtaining or attempting to obtain, in the voting place, any information about how an elector intended to vote or has voted
  6. 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:

  1. Speak to any electors
  2. Act as an interpreter (electors must make their own arrangements)
  3. Provide assistance to an elector
  4. 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.

Election Night Results

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

Modem

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.

Telephone

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 Toronto Elections Office. Candidates or their scrutineers can be present for these results.

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

Candidates can obtain election night results by:

  • Watching the local TV station
  • Tuning in to the local radio station
  • Viewing the results on the Elections page