News Release
December 21, 2022

On the advice of City Manager Paul Johnson, Mayor John Tory is pleased to announce the appointment of Paul Raftis as the City of Toronto’s Deputy City Manager, Community and Social Services. Raftis will report directly to the City Manager.

The Community and Social Services service area provides a diverse range of social and community services and supports to allow all Toronto residents and neighbourhoods to fully participate in the social and economic life of the city. City divisions that are a part of Community and Social Services include Children’s Services, Court Services, Economic Development & Culture, Employment and Social Services, Housing Secretariat, Parks, Forestry & Recreation, Public Health, Seniors Services and Long-Term Care, Shelter Support & Housing Administration, Social Development, Finance & Administration, Toronto Fire and Toronto Paramedic Services.

In his over three decades with the City of Toronto, Raftis has established himself as a versatile, dynamic and transformative leader with a proven track record. Raftis was promoted to Chief and General Manager of Toronto Paramedic Services in 2011, leading the service through significant change and modernization. These skills were called upon when he assumed the role of Interim General Manager of Shelter Support and Housing Administration in 2017, reforming divisional programs to better meet the needs of Toronto’s vulnerable residents.

In 2019, Raftis was called upon to serve as Interim General Manager, Seniors Services and Long-Term Care, where he successfully developed a client-centred approach and implementation plan of care and proactively led the Division through the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring a safe and secure environment for the 2,600+ residents and thousands of staff in the City’s directly operated homes. Raftis then returned to his role of Chief, Paramedic Services in 2021.

Raftis holds a Bachelor of Health Science degree and is committed to a culture of continuous improvement, service excellence and lifelong learning.

Bikram Chawla has been appointed to the position of Interim Chief and General Manager of Toronto Paramedic Services effective December 21, 2022 until a permanent Chief and General Manager is appointed.

Also today, Mayor Tory signed a Mayoral decision delegating the authority to hire and dismiss the vast majority of City staff to the City Manager. The Mayor retained the decision to hire or dismiss several heads of key City divisions. When vacancies occur, there will be a hiring process in place involving councillors and/or the City Manager’s Office – similar to hiring processes in the past. In the same decision, Mayor Tory also delegated to City Council the power to hire or dismiss the City Solicitor.


“I am confident Paul Raftis will make an excellent Deputy City Manager overseeing Community and Social Services. Torontonians will benefit from proven leadership, demonstrated in his over three decades with the City where he has consistently taken on important and complex roles to the benefit of some of our most vulnerable residents. I have seen firsthand his dedication to Toronto’s most residents who are most in need and the respect he’s earned from his colleagues and City Council.”

– Mayor John Tory

“I am excited to welcome Paul to the role of Deputy City Manager Community & Social Services. He brings a passion for public service and impressive breadth of experience that will make a great addition to the City’s senior leadership team. Leveraging his experience in government will be of tremendous value to the organization and community.”

– Paul Johnson, City Manager

“I am humbled and honoured to serve as the Deputy City Manager for Community and Social Services. Even more, I am excited to work with an outstanding leadership team to tackle the short and long-range priorities to meet the needs of Toronto residents, building an inclusive city with a high quality of life. I enjoy taking on new challenges and look forward to collaborating with the Mayor, City Council, the City Manager and staff on the important work ahead.”

– Paul Raftis, Incoming Deputy City Manager, Community and Social Services

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.

Media Relations