News Release
October 28, 2019

The City of Toronto joined 35 other cities around the world on October 17 in signing the Declaration of Cities for Digital Rights to further ensure equitable and safe access to digital technology in Toronto.

This international declaration commits cities to protect and uphold human rights on the internet at the local and global level, and includes five evolving principles:
• universal and equal access to the internet and digital literacy
• privacy, data protection and security
• transparency, accountability, and non-discrimination of data, content and algorithms
• participatory democracy, diversity and inclusion, and
• open and ethical digital service standards.

Signing the declaration supports the City’s plans to become more connected through the innovative use of data, technology and policies. It is also in line with Toronto City Council’s direction earlier this year to develop a policy framework and governance model associated with digital infrastructure and to prepare an implementation plan.

To help develop the policy framework, the City will launch public consultations in December to discuss the use of digital technologies in public places. Participants will learn more about smart city technologies and related issues while also having the opportunity to provide input on principles that will form the foundation of the policy framework and governance model. This governance model will be developed through further consultations and opportunities for public participation in 2020. An update report including results from the initial consultations will be considered by the Executive Committee at its meeting on January 23.

More information about smart city technologies and the public consultations is available at Questions or written input on digital technologies can be emailed to

More information about Cities for Digital Rights is available at


“With our fast growing technology sector, diversified economy and innovative workforce, Toronto is well-positioned to become a global leader in smart city technologies. The City of Toronto is working to make sure we embrace the benefits of these technologies for our residents while also addressing concerns about privacy and other issues.”
– Mayor John Tory

“The City of Toronto has been implementing innovative ways for residents, visitors and businesses to navigate our neighbourhoods, access our programs and services and engage with us. These initiatives are important steps towards our goal of ensuring that people are easily connected and included in our digital city.”
– Lawrence Eta, Chief Technology Officer, City of Toronto

“The public’s digital rights are imperative in today’s digital world. The City of Toronto is progressing towards being transparent and inclusive in the adoption of technology and I look forward to the development of its future framework and governance plans.”
– Councillor Paul Ainslie (Ward 24 Scarborough-Guildwood), Chair of the General Government and Licensing Committee

“If private partners are going to pursue technology-focused projects in our city, Toronto needs to first develop its own vision. We need to decide how data should be collected, managed and used to ensure it is in everyone’s best interest. The work underway at the City is critical to ensure that we lead, so others can follow.”
– Councillor Joe Cressy (Ward 10 Spadina-Fort York)

Toronto is Canada’s largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of more than 2.9 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world’s most livable cities. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us on Twitter at, on Instagram at or on Facebook at

Andrea Martinelli
Strategic Communications