Join our team of 150 lawyers and experience the breadth and variety of practice of a full-service firm, within a collegial environment working in the public interest. The City is committed to an inclusive workplace culture supporting a public service that is reflective of the diverse population it serves.
We generally hire six articling students each year and we recruit the majority of our lawyers through the articling process as hire-backs. The number of hire-backs depends on budgetary approvals.
For more information, please see our Articling Student Handout.
We are looking for students who demonstrate strong academic credentials and a desire to work for the public sector. This can be conveyed through your cover letter, resume, law school course selection and extra-curricular interests.
If you are interested in articling at the City of Toronto for the 2020-2021 term, submit an application consisting of: cover letter, resume, undergraduate and law school transcripts and two letters of reference by Friday, July 5, 2019 at 5 p.m. Choose one of the following three ways to send us your application:
Mr. Ray Mickevicius
Director – Real Estate Law
26th Floor, Metro Hall, Stn. 1260
55 John Street
Toronto, ON M5V 3C6
The City of Toronto receives and reviews applications and interviews students in accordance with the guidelines and rules established by the Law Society of Ontario. Please refer to the Law Society of Ontario for more information.
Students selected for interviews will be contacted by one of our lawyers on call day in order to schedule the interview. Interviews will be held on the Monday and Tuesday of interview week, as set by the Law Society of Ontario.
The City is hosting an Open House at Metro Hall, 55 John St., Room 308/309 from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Lawyers from all practice groups will be in attendance to provide information on our articling program and the work done by the City.
The City’s Prosecutions team of 10 lawyers and over 50 prosecutors handle a broad range of regulatory offences. This includes offences under City bylaws such as Animals, Licensing, Noise, Parks, Sewers, Signs and Trees, as well as offences under statutes such as the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997, the Building Code Act, 1992, the Highway Traffic Act, the Planning Act, the Smoke-Free Ontario Act and the Health Protection and Promotion Act.
Prosecutions and appeals at the first instance are conducted at the Ontario Court of Justice, and further appeals are heard at the Court of Appeal for Ontario and the Supreme Court of Canada.
The City responds to Charter challenges, such as those for the right to be tried within a reasonable time, the presumption of innocence and the right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure.
The Prosecutions team further runs an Administrative Penalty System for parking violation disputes.
Each of the City’s articling students will participate in a seven-day rotation in the Prosecutions section. During that time, students will have the opportunity to first observe and then conduct a variety of prosecutions, under the guidance of prosecutors.
The City of Toronto has approximately 37,000 full and part-time employees. Legal Services’ Employment and Labour Law team of 14 lawyers offers a full range of employment and management-side labour law services to the City regarding its role as an employer.
Our lawyers deal with issues arising from collective agreements between the City of Toronto and two major unions: TCEU, Local 416 and CUPE, Local 79, which is the largest municipal local in Canada. We also provide legal advice involving a variety of workplaces, including the Toronto Public Library, community centres, the Toronto Zoo, Exhibition Place, Civic Theatres Toronto, the Toronto Police Services Board, Toronto Paramedic Services, and Toronto Fire Services.
In addition to our diverse labour practice, our lawyers represent and provide legal advice to the City in matters involving non-unionized employees.
While articling at the City, Students can expect to assist in a wide variety of matters, including:
With the supervision and guidance of our lawyers, Students take an active role in all aspects of case preparation. Students may be asked to conduct client and witness interviews, research legal issues, draft opinion letters and draft pleadings or facta. Students are assigned carriage of their own files pertaining to appeals under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act.
Planning and Administrative Tribunal Law (or “Planning Law”) is a team of 30 lawyers whose practice focuses on the administration of the municipal planning process. The lawyers in Planning Law engage with a number of provincial and municipal planning instruments, including the Planning Act, the Toronto Official Plan, and municipal zoning bylaws. The Planning Law section is regularly tasked with drafting zoning bylaws, negotiating and drafting agreements between the City and developers, and conducting hearings before the Toronto Local Appeal Body, the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal and appeals to the Divisional Court. In their role, planning lawyers frequently provide legal advice to other City departments, including City Planning, and engage with both City Councillors and the public on matters of planning policy and development approvals.
In addition, the Planning Law section also represents the City in a wide variety of other administrative tribunals regulating the use of private land, including the Ontario Alcohol and Gaming Commission, the Licence Appeal Tribunal, and the Heritage Conservation Board.
As a student in the Planning Law section, your work will include:
The Planning Law team is dedicated to ensuring that students learn the “nuts and bolts” of this unique area of law. We understand that students may not have been exposed to planning law issues prior to working at the City. In addition to discovering a new subject area, during this rotation students will develop and improve upon practical legal skills including oral and written advocacy, researching, and drafting. This is an exciting time to work in the municipal planning area as a result of significant Provincial law changes under the Building Better Communities and Conserving Watersheds Act, 2017 to appeals of municipal council decisions on planning matters.
The City of Toronto employs a team of about 35 civil and commercial litigators, who enjoy a dynamic and diverse practice in a collegial work environment. The City’s litigators are at the forefront of matters of public policy as they relate to a broad range of practice areas. These include litigation matters related to:
The City’s litigators appear at all levels of court, including the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Divisional Court, the Ontario Court of Appeal, and the Supreme Court of Canada. City litigators also appear before a variety of administrative tribunals including the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, the Environmental Review Tribunal, Landlord and Tenant Board, the Toronto Licensing Tribunal, the Assessment Review Board as well as Coroner’s Inquests.
The articling student experience with the Litigation Division is not limited to legal research. Students handle, with supervision, files on their own. This includes preparing pleadings, gathering evidence, conducting trials and hearings before the Small Claims Court and administrative tribunals, and arguing motions before the Small Claims Court and Superior Court. When working with other lawyers, students are exposed to every stage in the litigation process, including attending at examinations for discovery and mediations.
Municipal government impacts the daily lives of citizens more directly than any other level of government. Just think about roads, parks, community centres and other public spaces, public health services, affordable housing and social services, garbage collection, recycling programs, fire, police and ambulance services, public libraries, snow removal and the water supplied to your home. The City of Toronto provides these services and more to its residents.
As the largest city in Canada, the City of Toronto also faces many complex issues relating to, for example, freedom of information, municipal elections, corporate governance, and municipal procurement.
Our municipal lawyers help the City work by giving legal advice on these and many other matters to the City’s Agencies, Boards, Commissions, Divisions and Accountability Officers, Toronto City Council and its Committees and Sub-Committees. Municipal lawyers are often in the thick of high profile issues. For example, Municipal lawyers are involved in advising on the funding, construction and operation of major transit and infrastructure projects such as the rehabilitation of the Gardiner Expressway and the Union Station Revitalization Project; navigating new technologies such as drones, autonomous vehicles and the sharing economy; the implementation of supervised injection services and the legalization of cannabis; environmental initiatives such as waste diversion, climate change adaptation and energy efficiency, and new related Provincial legislation and regulations; and the adoption of governance structures following the reduction in City Councillors to 25 from 47 previously approved by City Council . Municipal lawyers are also involved in complex financial issues related to the City’s $13.46 Billion operating budget and $40.67 Billion ten year capital plan, including the creation of new fees and taxes and other revenue generating tools.
We see our students as an integral part of our legal team, and we give them a high level of responsibility. During your municipal rotation, you may be asked to draft reports and bylaws to present to City Council, opinion letters, negotiated agreements and general correspondence. You will also have the opportunity to attend Board/Committee or client meetings to better understand the “why” behind your assignments.
Some of the issues you may deal with during your municipal law rotation concern:
Real estate lawyers at the City enjoy being part of a large and knowledgeable team dealing with diverse and sophisticated real estate transactions in a uniquely urban structure. Our work ranges from agreements with small landowners or tenants to highly complex transactions involving exceptionally valuable properties in the urban core and surrounding areas. It is not uncommon for our real estate lawyers to see their transactions trending on social media, in the daily newspapers or on the local news stations.
As valued members of the Real Estate Law team, students will work with lawyers in providing advice to City Councillors, City Council and the City’s Committees, Agencies, Boards, Commissions and Departments. Students will gain valuable practical experience through exposure to some of the following:
Students will spend some time at the Land Registry Office, under the guidance of the conveyancing team, to learn about real property searches for real estate transactions, property standards, and release of construction holdbacks. Students will also learn how to register documents for all types of real estate transactions, Planning Act and Heritage Easement agreements, bylaws, discharges, and road closings.
An unprecedented number of public transit projects are currently or soon to be underway in the City of Toronto, including the Eglinton Crosstown LRT, Sheppard East LRT, Finch West LRT, Scarborough LRT/Subway, and Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension projects. In 2010, the Transit Expansion Unit was assembled to acquire the multitude of property interests required for these projects. This interdisciplinary group is comprised of six lawyers, in addition to real estate, appraisal, conveyancing and support staff.
Many of the transit projects to be completed over the next decade in Toronto are funded by Metrolinx, an agency of the Government of Ontario created to improve transportation in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. As such, lawyers in the Transit Expansion Unit have the unique experience of advising and working cooperatively with another level of government on a daily basis.
As part of the Real Estate Law and Planning and Administrative Tribunal Law rotations, articling students will have the opportunity to take on assignments from the Transit Expansion Unit. Students may assist with:
Working with the Transit Expansion Unit is an exciting opportunity for students to get involved in projects that will have positive impacts on the environment, the local economy and the daily experiences of those that live in, work in and visit Toronto.