The school crossing guard program provides an important service for Toronto’s families. That’s because the safety of our students is everyone’s priority and we take it very seriously. There are about 660 locations in Toronto that are part of the school crossing guard program and it’s our goal to fill all of them daily, throughout the entire school year.

The school crossing guard program has been operated by Toronto Police Services since 1947. In January 2017, Toronto Police Services Transformational Task Force released a report called, Action Plan: The Way Forward. The report recommended that the school crossing guard program, run by Toronto Police Services, should be transferred (in two phases) to City of Toronto so that the police can focus on their core policing duties.

  • For the year 2018-2019, Toronto police will continue to run the school crossing guard program. However, when a school crossing guard is absent due to sickness or on vacation, the City, through a third party contractor, will backfill absent crossing guards.
  • For the year 2019-2020, the City will take over the school crossing guard program by hiring third party contractors to deliver the program.

The City issued a RFQ for the backfill/absent school crossing guard program and Neptune Security Services was awarded the contract in June 2018 for the 2018-2019 school year. Neptune Security Services trained staff to backfill absent school crossing guards all across the City. They have been equipped with a stop sign, a vest and whistle.

The City of Toronto has contracted with Neptune Security Services (“Neptune”) to provide emergency backfill coverage services in the 2018-2019 school year. Daily, 90-100 crossing guards are absent with notice, and the backfill contractor (Neptune Security Services) works hard to fill each of these locations. The backfill program has been improving since September 2018:

  • Trained and equipped more staff – At the beginning of the school year, Neptune Security Services had 40 fully trained and equipped guards staff to backfill absences. They now have about 90-100 trained and equipped staff.
  • Improved fulfillment rate – The contractor has reported that, on average, 70-80% of daily crossing guard absences have been fulfilled since the end of September. This is a dramatic improvement since the school year started.
  • New RFP coming – The City is in a process of issuing an RFP to deliver the school crossing guard starting September 2019.
  • New system in place – Neptune Security Services is implementing an improved system to help ensure guard staff are present at their assigned locations. City staff are also doing regular spot checks and providing reports when available.
  • Staffing challenge – This is not full-time work and turnover rates for these positions seem to be higher than average. City staff are working closely with Neptune Security Service to keep the staffing levels up and ensure that properly trained staff are available.
  • Additional vendor(s) hired – A second company has been hired to help backfill locations. This is in addition to the service provided by Neptune Security Services. The additional company will begin backfilling following this year’s Family Day.

We have learned a great deal during this transition year and are issuing an RFP to asking as many as four, third-party companies to help deliver the program, on a full-time basis for the 2019-2020 school year.

We’re looking for good people. If you or someone you know is interested in serving an important community role as a school crossing guard then please email schoolcrossingguard@toronto.ca.

Requests for new school crossing guard locations are still being administered by the Toronto Police Service. Visit the Toronto Police Services Traffic Services page to learn how to request a traffic survey in your area.

If you have questions about the program, or want to report an on-going crossing guard absence, then please email schoolcrossingguard@toronto.ca with specific details like the date, time and location of the absence.