February 20, 2020

This backgrounder was provided to media and stakeholders at the February 20, 2020 briefing on the City’s plan for service delivery in the event of a TCEU Local 416 – CUPE labour disruption. For updated information on labour disruption service delivery, visit .

During a labour disruption by the Toronto Civic Employees Union, Local 416 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), the union representing City of Toronto’s approximately 5,000 outside workers, some City services would be reduced or suspended, and meetings and events may be cancelled or rescheduled.

Toronto Police, Fire Services, Paramedic Services, Seniors Services and Long-Term Care, TTC, Toronto Community Housing, and Toronto Water operations will not be affected by a labour disruption. The City also remains prepared to respond to emergencies.

During a labour disruption, residents and businesses should visit for the most up-to-date service impacts.

Current Situation

The collective agreements for both CUPE Local 79, representing the City’s more than 24,000 inside workers, and Local 416 expired on December 31, 2019.

The bargaining committees for the City of Toronto and Local 416 have been in collective bargaining for more than four months with the aim of achieving a renewed collective agreement. To date, the parties have reached agreement on a number of items.

Earlier this month, following conciliation, the City requested a No Board Report from the Ontario Ministry of Labour. On February 10, the City received the No Board Report, which started a 17-day countdown to a potential work stoppage. Local 416 is in a legal strike position and the City in a legal lockout position as of 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, February 27. This means a labour disruption could occur on or any time after February 27.

As a responsible employer accountable to the people of our city, and building on contingency plans of past bargaining years, the City of Toronto is prepared to deliver critical services in the event of a labour disruption. Management and non-union employees have been preparing for redeployment to critical program areas.

The City’s objective remains to negotiate a collective agreement that builds on previous rounds of bargaining, an agreement that is fair and reflects the important role City employees play in Toronto, and one that is affordable for the city’s residents and businesses.

Service impacts

Animal Services

Two Toronto Animal Services shelter locations will remain open seven days a week from noon to 4 p.m.

  • West Shelter – 146 The East Mall
  • East Shelter – 821 Progress Ave.

Emergency Animal Services field operations will continue including responding to calls regarding sick or injured animals and animals threatening public safety, stray dog pickup, dog bite investigations, cadaver pickup, and rabies investigation and vaccine provision.

Dangerous Dog Review Tribunal hearings will be suspended.

Non-emergency services, including education and outreach programs and animal-related bylaw enforcement (i.e. muzzle order tribunal hearings, spay/neuter clinics) will be suspended. Only emergency pet surrenders will be accepted. Pet adoption will remain available.

Council and Committee Meetings

All regularly-scheduled City Council and Committee meetings will be cancelled.

Some of the City’s boards and corporations will continue to meet as scheduled, while others may cancel or postpone meetings. Notice of cancellation will be provided 24 hours prior to the scheduled start of the meeting. Meeting information and schedules are updated daily at

Emergency Response

Toronto Fire Services, Toronto Police Service, and Toronto Paramedic Services will not be impacted.

The City of Toronto’s Office of Emergency Management will remain prepared for emergency management response and able to provide emergency social services as required.

Should Environment and Climate Change Canada forecast a temperature of -15° C or colder, or a wind chill of -20° C or colder, the Medical Officer of Health will issue an Extreme Cold Weather Alert and the City will carry out the Cold Weather Response Plan.

Garbage, Recycling & Organics

Curbside Collection West of Yonge Street (Contracted Collection)

Garbage will continue to be collected as scheduled. Delays in collection are possible. Green Bins (organics) will not be collected; all organic material will need to be placed in garbage bins. Residents should not place Green Bins at the curb, as they will not be emptied. Blue Bins (recycling) will not be collected. Residents should continue to separate and store Blue Bin materials in clear plastic bags.

If unable to store Blue Bin materials, residents will be able to drop off materials in clear plastic bags at Drop-off Depot (Transfer Stations) sites only. When dropping off waste at a depot, residents may encounter picket lines causing delays.

Curbside Collection East of Yonge Street (City Collection)

All collection will be suspended. During a labour disruption involving Local 416, residents should not place any waste (bins or bags) at the curb as it will not be collected.

For the first week of a labour disruption involving Local 416, residents east of Yonge Street should properly separate and store waste. If unable to store Blue Bin materials (recycling), they can be dropped off in clear plastic bags at Drop-off Depot (Transfer Stations) sites only. In a prolonged disruption, 11 Temporary Garbage Drop-off Sites will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily and will be cleared and cleaned routinely. Details on these temporary sites will be made available in the event of a labour disruption exceeding one week. When dropping off waste at a depot, residents may encounter picket lines causing delays.

Apartments and Condominiums (City Collection)

Apartment buildings and condominiums with daytime front-end collection (steel bins) will experience delays. Containers should be ready for collection the night before the scheduled collection day, as collection times and days may vary.

Small Commercial Customers (City Collection)

All small commercial collection will be suspended. Customers should bring their waste in a bag with a City-authorized bag tag to a Drop-off Depot (Transfer Station) or, if established, a Temporary Garbage Drop-off Site. Fees will not apply. When dropping off waste at a depot, there may be picket lines causing delays.

Large Commercial Customers (City Collection)

All large commercial collection will be suspended. Customers should bring their waste to a Drop-off Depot (Transfer Station) in regular garbage bags. Drop-off vehicles must be able to travel across Transfer Station weigh scales. Fees will apply. When dropping off waste at a depot, there may be picket lines causing delays.

Household Hazardous Waste and Toxic Taxi

Household hazardous waste depot services will be suspended. Toxic Taxi services will also be suspended. Hazardous waste should be safely stored until a labour disruption is over.

Drop-off Depot (Transfer Station) Locations

City Drop-off Depots (Transfer Stations) will remain open. When dropping off waste at a depot, there may be picket lines causing delays.

Residential customers will be able to drop off combined garbage and Green Bin material (organics) in securely-tied, doubled plastic bags. Blue Bin material (recycling) will be accepted in clear plastic bags.

24/7 Drop-off Depots:

  • Bermondsey, 188 Bermondsey Rd.
  • Ingram, 50 Ingram Dr.

Drop-off Depots operating 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily:

  • Commissioners, 400 Commissioners St.
  • Disco, 120 Disco Rd.
  • Dufferin, 35 Vanley Cres.
  • Scarborough, 1 Transfer Place
  • Victoria Park, 3350 Victoria Park Ave.

Other Service Requests

Response to service requests for missed collection, bin exchanges and bin repairs will be suspended.

Public Litter Bins – Streets and Parks

City litter bin waste collection (garbage, recycling, organics) will be suspended city-wide, including in parks and public squares.


Most libraries will remain open with regular operating hours. The City Hall library will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The following libraries located in City facilities will be closed:

  • Flemingdon Park – holds can be picked up at the Don Mills location, the Leading to Reading program will be relocated to Don Mills
  • Todmorden Room – holds can be picked up from the S. Walter Stewart location
  • St. James Town – holds can be picked up at the Parliament location, the Leading to Reading program will be relocated to Parliament
  • Port Union – holds can be picked up at the Morningside location

Some Bookmobile stops will be relocated offsite to the street:

  • Driftwood Community Centre
  • North Kipling
  • Lawrence Heights
  • Oakridge

The Ward’s Island Bookmobile stop will be suspended.

Museums and Galleries

City-run museums, galleries and art/cultural centres will remain open. To inquire about the status of event permits, contact the museum or facility directly.


City parks will remain open. Waste collection (garbage, recycling, organics), snow clearing and grounds maintenance in parks will be suspended. Public washrooms in parks are closed for the winter. Access to Riverlea Greenhouse benches will be suspended.

All event permits, including wedding ceremony and formal photography permits for City parks, community centres, pools, indoor arenas, outdoor sports fields, and picnic areas will be cancelled.

Snow and ice will continue to be cleared regularly from priority areas and selected trails and pathways. Signage is posted in areas that are not maintained. Always be cautious when walking in areas that may be icy.

Tree maintenance, planting, tree inspection and tree bylaw enforcement will be suspended. Emergency tree removals will continue.

Off-season ferry service (Ward’s Island only) to Toronto Island will operate on a reduced schedule.

Parking Tickets

Parking ticket operations, including issuing tickets, payment processing and the dispute process, will continue. Metro Hall parking violation payment and dispute counters are closed.

Parking violation payments must be paid by the deadline noted on the ticket. Payment can be made in-person, online or via mail. In-person payments can be made at Inquiry & Payment Counters in civic centres, other than Metro Hall.

In-person parking violation disputes can be made at the North York Civic Centre only. Parking violations can also be disputed online.

Recreation Centres

All City of Toronto community and recreation centres, greenhouses and conservatories, pools, arenas and outdoor ice rinks, fitness centres, ski hills (Earl Bales and Centennial) will be closed.

All City- and community-operated programs, including camps, classes, and drop-in clubs held at City community centres, arenas, swimming pools, and fitness centres will be suspended.

City recreation programs and After-school Recreation Care (ARC) programming at Toronto District School Board (TDSB) and Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) locations and non-City of Toronto facilities, including Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre and Toronto Track and Field Centre, will continue to operate.

In-person, operator-assisted, and internet registration for recreation programs is ongoing.

All event permits for City parks, community centres, pools, indoor arenas, outdoor sports fields, and picnic areas will be cancelled.

Road, Sidewalk and Bikeway Maintenance

Critical road, sidewalk and bikeway operations and maintenance, including snow removal, winter maintenance and emergency road, pot hole and sidewalk repairs and maintenance, will continue.

Routine operations including street cleaning, event support, and routine repairs and maintenance to expressways, roads, sidewalks and bridges will be suspended.

Special Events

All events and meetings at City Hall, North York Civic Centre, Scarborough Civic Centre, will proceed Monday to Friday, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. All activities scheduled after 4:30 p.m. on weekdays will be cancelled. All weekend events and meetings will be cancelled.

All events in Nathan Phillips Square, David Pecaut Square, Albert Campbell Square, Mel Lastman Square, and East York Civic Centre Square will be cancelled.

Filming at Metro Hall, David Pecaut Square, City Hall, Nathan Phillips Square, Scarborough Civic Centre, North York Civic Centre, Albert Campbell Square, Etobicoke Civic Centre, York Civic Centre, East York Civic Centre, Old City Hall and Toronto Archives will be cancelled.

All flag raising ceremonies at civic buildings will be suspended. Issuing of ceremonial documents will continue.

All study tours will be cancelled.

Toronto Water

Critical Toronto Water operations will continue, including drinking water, wastewater collection and treatment, stormwater management, and emergency repair and response. Some non-critical operational activities may be subject to delays.

Regular and preventative maintenance activities will be suspended.


Online and in-person marriage licensing services will continue.

Permits already booked for Wedding Chambers at City Hall, North York Civic Centre, Scarborough Civic Centre, and York Civic Centre will be honoured. No new permits will be issued.

All event permits, including wedding ceremony and photography permits for City parks, community centres, pools, indoor arenas, outdoor sports fields, and picnic areas will be cancelled.

Contacting the City

Labour disruption service updates will be posted to and communicated from the City’s Twitter account (@cityoftoronto).

Most City division and program inquiry lines will remain staffed.

Any outstanding questions about service delivery and program impacts should be directed to 311. 311 will continue to be available 24/7 by phone:

  • 311 (within city limits)
  • 416-392-2489 (outside of city limits)
  • 416-338-0889 (TTY)

311 is also available via email at and on Twitter (@311Toronto). Those contacting 311 during a labour disruption should expect longer wait times.