About the Mayor of Toronto and Toronto City Councillors

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Thank you for your interest and for visiting Know Your Vote TO, a project of the Toronto Public Library, active from April 2022 to November 2022.

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Understanding the Role of the Mayor of Toronto and Toronto City Councillors

The City of Toronto is the responsibility of the Toronto City Council. The City Council is made up of 26 members, including the Mayor (Go to information source).

Of the 26 members, 25 are elected by voters in their ward, a geographically defined voting district in the city. The Mayor is the only member elected by all Toronto voters.

Council members serve a 4-year term.

The Role of City Councillors is to:

  • Represent the public;
  • Consider the well-being of the City;
  • Develop and evaluate City policies and programs;
  • Decide what services the City provides;
  • Uphold accountability and transparency of how the City operates;
  • Maintain the financial integrity of the City.

This includes indirectly overseeing major City services provided by the Toronto Transit Commission, the Toronto Police Service and the Toronto Public Library.

The Role of the Mayor of Toronto

The Mayor is the head of the Toronto City Council and the Chief Executive Officer. They have several responsibilities in both roles including:

  • Acting as the representative of and promoting the City of Toronto locally, nationally, and internationally;
  • Providing information and making recommendations to Council to ensure that administrative and controllership policies, practices, and procedures are in place to implement the decisions of Council.

Understanding the Proposed Strong Mayor Powers

Early in the summer the Premier of Ontario, the Honourable Doug Ford, proposed the expansion of Strong Mayor Powers to municipalities across the province (Go to information source). This legislation was passed on September 8th (Go to information source).

Why the Change in Legislation?

The Premier of Ontario, the Honourable Doug Ford, proposed Strong Mayor Powers as a way to help support provincial priorities including the building of 1.5 million homes in the next ten years, and the construction and maintenance of infrastructure.

What are Strong Mayor Powers?

As mentioned, the Toronto City Council is made up of 26 members, including the Mayor. While the Mayor is the representative of the City, they only have one vote on the City Council.

The legislation gives the Mayor the responsibility for preparing and tabling the City budget. This is different from the current process where the Council has the responsibility.

The Mayor will also appoint a chief administrative officer and hire and fire department heads except for statutory appointments like the auditor general and police and fire chiefs. This legislation will also grant the Mayor the power to override Council approval of a bylaw.

Strong Mayor Powers isn't new, it is used in many countries, including some cities in the United States.

The legislation also gives the Mayor the ability to veto Council approval of a bylaw. However, the Council can override the veto with a two-thirds majority vote. The Mayor will continue to have one vote on Council decisions.

School Board Trustees

School Board Trustees are also elected during the municipal election on Oct 24th. Information about School Board Trustee candidates can be found on the City of Toronto’s List of Certified Candidates