Centre For Local Research into Public Space (CELOS)

See also Site Map

Citizen-Z Cavan Young's 2004 film about the zamboni crisis





Toronto Governance

posted December 2008

The City of Toronto employs over 50,000 people, and has attracted increasing legslative powers over the past few years. In addition the practical amalgamation of the various cities previously comprising Metropolitan Toronto is still ongoing.

CELOS is interested in learning about the organizational, management, and cultural factors within the City that influence the administration of public space within Toronto, particularly public parks, mainly through the Parks, Forestry and Recreation Department (PFR).

For example PFR has recently undergone a re-organization. Documentation for some of this can be found in the Research section of the Dufferin Park website (see the "City: Management" section of the "Management & Transparency" table). The Dufferin Park website material will eventually be moved here.

--- Reference Material ---

Elinor Ostrom
Governance Research

Ostrom workbook -- starting December 2011

posted August 01, 2010

In 2009, Elinor Ostrom received the Nobel Prize in Economics for her work on the governance of "common pool resources" -- water, grazing lands, trees, fish, cyberspace. Her book Governing the Commons has prompted us to try applying her list of principles to eight specific park issues in Toronto. This application is being documented in an Ostrom Workbook, now in preparation. The question to be addressed in our workbook is: if park users (including on-site staff) collaborate day-to-day with municipal management in shaping local parks, can park governance in Toronto improve?

Governance Notebooks

Click to enlarge city government ad

The 2010 municipal election:

What did the candidates say about parks and public spaces?''', read more >>

City of Toronto Strike, 2009.

On June 22 2009 shortly after midnight, the approximately 24,000 members of Cupe Local 416 and Local 79 went on strike, read more >>

Governance References

Toronto Mayor's Office

Mayor's Office: Main portal | Contact

Agenda for Prosperity 2008
...and related documents
Bellamy Report
Toronto Computer Leasing Inquiry, Toronto External Contracts Inquiry
Fiscal Review Panel 2008
Press coverage

posted March 10, 2009

Governance References

Understanding City Governance

Here's an overview of the general structure of the City of Toronto as a Municipality: The Place of the Public Commons in Urban Society on publiccommons.ca. The overview organizes the Toronto Budget into 6 main areas as shown below. See the blog entry for details.


create an orange marker for broken links until they get fixed

Governance References

City Of Toronto Contacts

Detailed contacts:
City Council | Offices | Services | e-Transactions | Information | City Management | Regulations

posted January 30, 2005. Updated March 18, 2009

City Website Portals: Living in Toronto, Doing Business, Visiting Toronto, Accessing City Hall

City Website Search Engine:Search | Search Help.

City of Toronto corporate phone directory

Governance References

Toronto Standing Committees

On toronto.ca see City Council and Committee Weekly Meeting Schedules.

Links to Source Documents presented to various City of Toronto Standing Committees

Parks and environment

Public Works

Community Program for Stormwater Management Grant Approvals

Community Development and Recreation Committee

Budget Committee


Aquatics: http://www.toronto.ca/budget2008/pdf/op08_bn_aslc_2.pdf To achieve the 2008 Operating Budget target, it is recommended that 2 outdoor pools be closed, for savings of $123,100 and a reduction of 2.6 approved positions in 2008.

User fees: Feb.11 2008 http://www.toronto.ca/budget2008/pdf/op08_bn_recfee.pdf

Staff increases http://www.toronto.ca/budget2008/pdf/op08_bn_staff_positions.pdf

An increase of 64.1 new positions, consisting of 20 permanent and 44.1 temporary is required almost entirely to operate new parkland and facilities coming into service. Included are new Waterfront Parks and others secured through funding arising from development agreements. Also, 7 of these new permanent positions represent improved service levels in Forestry.

Audit Committee

General Links:

  • Fertile Ground for New Thinking Improving Toronto's Parks is a report by David Harvey, a former senior advisor to the Premier of Ontario, supported by the Metcalf Foundation.
  • Toronto's Vital Signs are annual reports compiled by the Toronto Community Foundation on the health of the city.

See the Governance References section, or send your suggestions to mail@cityrinks.ca.

Governance Links

The Governance Envelope contains the following folders:

Research Links

Notebook Links

Reference Links

See Also

See also the Legal and Regulatory Envelope, including:

Content last modified on April 02, 2012, at 05:59 PM EST