Serve Your City
The City of Toronto delivers some of its key services through boards, committees and tribunals. The Board of Directors for these agencies include members of the public who apply and are appointed by City Council.
Serving on a City board, committee or tribunal is a great way to participate in the decision making process, give back to your community and get involved with local government.
To be eligible for appointment to a City board, you must be:
- a resident of Toronto
- at least 18 years old
You do not have to be a Canadian citizen, except for a few specific boards like the Toronto Public Library Board. Review the eligibility requirements in each agency’s description for these details.
Relatives of current Members of Council and City staff or employees of City agencies and corporations are not eligible to serve as a public member on a City board.
With very few exceptions, those serving on another City board are not eligible for appointment to a board in the same term.
Further details on eligibility requirements and restrictions are listed in Part 2 of the Public Appointments Policy.
To apply for a board position, you need to complete a secure online application.
- You may apply for more than one board, but you need to complete a separate application for each position.
- If the board you are interested in does not have any current vacancies, you can still apply for that board – your application will be kept on file for two years and will be reviewed if any positions on that board become available.
- Current board members who are interested in being reappointed to the board must reapply in the same way as new applicants.
If you need assistance with the online application or prefer a paper copy of the application, please contact us at 416-397-0088 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Conflicts of Interest
Members of the public who serve on boards of the City’s agencies and corporations must ensure that their personal interests do not interfere with their public duties as a board member. As part of the application process, applicants must identify and disclose any actual or potential conflicts of interest.
- Personal interests may include the potential for personal, professional or financial gain for board members or someone they are associated with such as family members, employers or business partners.
- Disclosing potential conflicts does not automatically make you ineligible for appointment, but the nominating panel may assess potential conflicts when deciding if it should consider you for appointment to a board.
With very few exceptions, if you are appointed to a City board, you will be required to follow the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act and, depending on which board you are appointed to, either:
- the Code of Conduct for Members of Local Boards, or
- the Code of Conduct for Members of Adjudicative Boards. Adjudicative boards include the Committee of Adjustment, the Committee of Revision, the Compliance Audit Committee, the Property Standards Committee/Fence Viewers, the Rooming House Licensing Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner, the Sign Variance Committee, and the Toronto Licensing Tribunal.
Reflecting the Diversity of our City
City Council recognizes that the people of the City of Toronto are best served by boards which generally reflect the diversity of our community. A voluntary and confidential diversity questionnaire is included in the application form. All applicants are encouraged to self-identify.
The information gathered in the questionnaire is used to help the City understand if it is achieving its objectives for access, equity and diversity, and if there is more staff can do to engage residents from across the City and remove any barriers to participation.
Self-identified diversity data is reported in summary form, but the identities of individual candidates will remain confidential.
When there is a vacancy on a board, we review the applications received for that position. All applications are screened for eligibility and qualifications, and are forwarded to a nominating panel. The panel reviews the applications and decides which applicants to interview.
The goal of the nominating panel is to achieve a balance of:
- applicants who together cover the range of qualifications and skills needed by the board
- experienced and new members
- geographic representation from different areas of the City, and
representation of the community’s diversity, including age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, Aboriginal status, race, and disability
When there are current vacancies the process can often move quickly, other times it may take a couple of months. The time it takes is based on a number of factors, including the amount of time required to review the applications, how quickly panel meetings can be arranged, and how many other vacancies are being filled at the same time.
- If you apply for a board position when there is no vacancy, you will likely not hear from us until a vacancy occurs, which could be weeks or months.
- At the end of an appointment process, everyone who applied will be notified of Council’s decision. Recent appointments are also posted online.
Preparing for Your Interview
To help prepare for an interview, you are encouraged to:
- review information about the board you are applying to join
- review agenda material or attend board meetings to become familiar with the board and its current issues
- review the relevant Codes of Conduct for members of Local Boards other than adjudicative boards, or members of Adjudicative Boards
- review the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act
All candidates who are interviewed will be asked the same questions by the nominating panel.
If you are selected for an interview, the nominating panel may request staff to conduct reference checks before the interview. In this case, staff will provide the results of the reference checks to the nominating panel on the day of your interview. Reference information is kept confidential.
Council’s Code of Conduct and Council rules restrict Members of Council from providing references for individuals who have applied for a board appointment. Members of Council are prohibited from providing a reference unless they have had an employment or other relevant relationship (e.g., teacher or volunteer group supervisor) with the person requesting the reference. Other restrictions are described in Section 6.6 of the City’s Public Appointments Policy.
After Your Interview
After the interviews are completed, the nominating panel recommends candidates for board appointments to City Council.
- The names and biographies of the recommended candidates are publicly reported, and will appear on the Council agenda.
- City Council then makes the final decision on who the successful candidates will be, which may be the same or different from the panel’s recommendations.
- The names and biographies of the appointed board members will be posted on the boards, committees and tribunals profile pages.
If you are not selected, your application will remain on file for two years and will be considered for future vacancies on the board. You are encouraged to apply for other board opportunities that may come up and to explore other ways to contribute to the City’s decision-making process in the Get Involved section of toronto.ca.
Terms of Office
Board members typically serve two or four year terms, though the term of office can vary in some cases. Current board members who are eligible and willing may apply to serve a second term. The limit on length of service is two consecutive terms on the same board.
Board members are not typically paid for their service, except in certain cases. The City of Toronto Citizen Remuneration Policy states that remuneration is paid only when the board operates in a business environment, where a payment is required by legislation, when duties are adjudicative and time commitment is substantial, and for specific financial expertise. Review the remuneration information posted on each of the Boards, Committees and Tribunals profile pages for more information.
Members of Council do not receive additional remuneration beyond their salaries for serving on the board of a City agency or corporation.
For more information on the rates of remuneration, please refer to the Annual Rates of Board Remuneration for Citizen Members.
Reimbursements for Expenses and Travel
Under the City of Toronto Expense and Travel Reimbursement Policy, City boards may reimburse members for expenses. The Policy sets out guidelines for boards who decide to reimburse certain expenses within the context of the board’s activities and budget.