Mayor John Tory is pleased to announce Paul Johnson has been selected as the City of Toronto’s next City Manager. Following an extensive search conducted by a third-party firm, Johnson was chosen unanimously by the hiring panel comprised of the Mayor, Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie, Councillor Stephen Holyday and former Councillor Mike Layton.
Johnson joined the City of Toronto in September 2021 as the Deputy City Manager for Community and Social Services where he gained valuable experience providing oversight of a diverse portfolio of services. During his time as Deputy City Manager, Johnson has demonstrated ongoing leadership in furthering several housing priorities including implementing the Tenants First project, developing a shelter transition plan and creating the Seniors Housing Corporation. He ensured successful continuity and advancement of key programs and services throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including the launch of the Toronto Community Crisis Service pilots, all while effectively managing challenging budget constraints. Johnson also played a pivotal role in helping Toronto secure its successful bid to host the FIFA World Cup 2026 and establish a Secretariat to coordinate World Cup activities.
Johnson is the Executive Sponsor of the Employee Disability Network where he represents the City’s senior leadership team and works to foster a dynamic work environment that is committed to supporting employees with disabilities.
Prior to joining the City, Johnson served for more than 10 years at the City of Hamilton, culminating in the General Manager role of the Healthy and Safe Communities Department. There, Johnson led 4,300 City employees in delivering fire, paramedic, recreation, long-term care, public health and human services to Hamilton residents.
Johnson has a Bachelor of Arts from McMaster University in Hamilton and graduated from the Community Shift Leadership Program at Western University’s Ivey School of Business.
The City Manager is the most senior official in the City of Toronto’s administrative structure, accountable to the Mayor and City Council for the policies and programs delivered by members of the Toronto Public Service. The City Manager is assisted by three Deputy City Managers and the Chief Financial Officer.
Johnson will take over from Interim City Manager Tracey Cook. Cook, who has served as Interim City Manager since August 19, will return to her role as Deputy City Manager, Infrastructure and Development and Services.
“Paul Johnson is a leader with a proven track record of commitment to serving our communities, creating efficiencies and budgeting effectively, all while inspiring teams. I know he will make a great City Manager for Toronto. He distinguished himself to the hiring panel among a field of outstanding candidates and is truly the right person at the right time to lead the City of Toronto administration. I look forward to working with Paul as we continue to focus on building a Toronto for all. I would also like to express my thanks to Tracey Cook for stepping into this critical position and demonstrating strong leadership as the City navigated many complex and sensitive issues.”
– Mayor John Tory
“I want to thank Mayor John Tory and the hiring panel for the opportunity to take on this new challenge. It is a privilege to be charged with leading the incredibly talented and hardworking Toronto Public Service to enhance the quality of life for Toronto’s residents, particularly in a post-pandemic era. Toronto is a vibrant city, and I look forward to building upon the important work that is already in progress – providing essential services and enhancing the livability of our neighbourhoods. I can’t wait to get started.”
– Paul Johnson, Incoming City Manager
Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.