The safety of all those who work, visit or do business at City facilities is the top priority of the City of Toronto.

Visitors to Toronto City Hall must go through a visitor screening including a walk-through metal detector upon entering the building, before being granted access to the rotunda, property tax counters, elevators, Council floors, committee rooms, or the building and planning customer service counters. The screening takes place on the first floor, once visitors have entered the front doors.

Visitor screening is not required to access a number of City services on the main floor, such as the information desk, library, café and the washrooms.

What to Expect

Upon arrival, security staff ask visitors to place items, including cell phones, cameras, keys and sunglass cases into the trays provided and pass through the metal detector one person at a time.

If an alarm is triggered, you will be asked to walk through again or will be screened with a hand-held wand.

Visitors with medical devices or special circumstances, such as visitors with mobility aids, should alert security staff and other screening methods can be used, such as the hand-held wand.

Visitors place their baggage, bags, backpacks or items being carried on the screening table and open them for inspection.

Security staff ask the visitor if they have any prohibited items that they would like to declare. Security staff may also ask the visitor to move an object that is obstructing the inspection.

Visitors in possession of any prohibited items are asked to remove or discard the items before being re-screened. There are no storage facilities for any items.

Access for Wheel-Trans clients and those with limited mobility

Whether arriving at City Hall by Wheel-Trans, private taxi, or personal vehicle, visitors with limited mobility are able to enter and exit the building at the Hagerman/Elizabeth Street entrance. A security guard is stationed at that entrance Monday to Friday 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and will provide access to the building during those hours. If you don’t see the security guard or it is outside of those hours, please buzz the intercom or use the number posted on the wall to call security from a personal phone. The visitor screening will take place at this entrance using a hand-held metal detector.

Visitors are also able to leave City Hall through this same door. A visitor waiting for Wheel-Trans to arrive can still wait in the designated waiting area by the Hagerman door. The security guard will unlock the door for the Wheel-Trans passenger when they are ready to leave.

Prohibited Items

Any object that may compromise safety and security is prohibited. Visitors entering City Hall with a prohibited item will be able to use the Amnesty Box (located at the front of each metal detector) to dispose of the prohibited item prior to going through the metal detector.

Any item disposed of using the Amnesty Box are not returned to the visitor and will be destroyed at the end of each day.

These prohibited items include, but are not limited to, the following:

Examples include:

  • Firearms
  • Flare guns
  • BB guns
  • Replica guns or firearms
  • Stun guns or devices used to emit a shock
  • Ammunition

Examples include:

  • Axes and hatchets
  • Bows and arrows
  • Ice picks
  • Knives, sabers, swords or bladed devices of any length
  • Razor-type blades, such as box cutters, and utility knives
  • Crowbars
  • Batons, night sticks or clubs
  • Tools, including any sharp or bladed objects
  • Chains over 15 cm in length

Examples include:

  • Compressed gas cylinders
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Mace
  • Pepper spray
  • Spray paint
  • Tear gas
  • Noxious and poisonous substances

Examples include:

  • Dynamite
  • Fireworks
  • Gunpowder
  • Plastic explosives
  • Fuels, including cooking fuels and flammable liquid fuel
  • Gasoline
  • Gas torches, including micro-torches and torch lighters

Examples include:

  • Megaphones
  • Air horns

 

Religious or ceremonial items

Kirpans contained in a sheath are permitted by initiated Sikhs providing they do not exceed a maximum length of 7.5 inches or 19 cm. A kirpan must be identified by the individual possessing it as well as other religious or ceremonial items. A kirpan must be concealed and it must remain sheathed while in City Hall.

Visitor Screening Tips

To make the screening process go as quickly as possible, follow these tips:

  1. If possible leave your bags at home or in your vehicle.
  2. Be prepared. When approaching the metal detector, remove your phone, keys and other items from your pockets. Open your bags, preparing them for inspection.
  3. Dispose of any prohibited items using the Amnesty Boxes prior to entering the screening area.
  4. Unseal any boxes you are brining through the screening area.