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Understanding Municipal Government
City Expenses and Revenue

Regional Government: City of Toronto

The City of Toronto is made up of five former municipalities - North York, Etobicoke, Scarborough, East York, and the City of Toronto. Toronto City Council is the City's main governing and legislative body and includes the Mayor and 44 Councillors. In Canada, municipalities derive their power from provincial laws.

Toronto City Council - Key Roles

Toronto City Council is charged with representing the best interests of the citizens of Toronto. Council develops and evaluates City policies and programs, and determines which services the City will provide. It maintains the financial integrity of the City and ensures its administrative policies, practices and procedures remain sound.

  • Toronto City Council has direct responsibility for the City's services.
  • Council also indirectly oversees other major services (such as police, transit, public health, libraries, public housing) through the appointment of Council members to the boards of directors of the City Council's agencies, boards, commissions and corporations (ABCCs).

The Mayor

The Mayor of Toronto provides leadership to City Council and acts as its Chief Executive Officer. The Mayor represents the City at official functions and promotes Toronto locally, nationally and internationally.

Toronto's current mayor is Rob Ford.

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Provincial Government: Province of Ontario

The Province of Ontario has a parliamentary system of government. The Legislative Assembly, also known as Queen's Park, is located in Toronto, the capital of Ontario. Ontario's parliament includes 107 representatives of which 23 represent constituencies within the Toronto CMA.

Provincial elections held every four years determine who will become the Premier of Ontario, and it is the Premier who chooses a Cabinet of Ministers from elected members.

Ontario's current Premier is the Honourable Kathleen Wynne.

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Federal Government

The Parliament of Canada is located in Ottawa, Ontario and is made up of two legislative bodies which must approve all legislation. The House of Commons includes 300 elected representatives of which 23 represent constituencies within the Toronto CMA. The 105 Senators are appointed by the Governor General on the advice of the Prime Minister.

Federal elections determine who will become the Prime Minister of Canada, and it is the Prime Minister who chooses a Cabinet of Ministers from elected members.

Canada's current Prime Minister is the Honourable Stephen Harper.

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Charts shows the main sources of revenue and expenses paid by the City of Toronto in 2012.
Table breaks down the roles and responsibilities of Toronto's municipal government compared to the provincial and federal governments.
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