Permits, Licences & Bylaws

Role of the City Clerk

City Clerk Ulli S. WatkissCity Clerk Ulli S. Watkiss is an independent Officer of the City of Toronto, reporting to Council for legislated responsibilities and to the City Manager for administrative purposes.

She is responsible for delivery of more than 70 services, most of which are prescribed in legislation.

Under the Municipal Elections Act 1996, the City Clerk has broad and independent authority to deliver the municipal elections.

Three service areas comprise the City Clerk's responsibilities:


Elect government:

  • Ensure readiness to administer an open, fair and accessible election whenever one is required
  • Administer electoral events as required, to enable and accommodate Toronto's 1.6 million eligible electors to vote on election day
  • Facilitate candidate financial filing and disclosure


Make government work:

Maintain transparency, accountability, integrity and accessibility of government and its decision making processes:

  • Manage meetings of 65 decision bodies, including almost 6,000 agenda items and 7,500 reports
  • Ensure 100% of legislative records of the City are available and accessible (online or on request)
  • Provide administrative support to elected and accountability officials
  • Deliver protocol services for Canada's largest and most diverse City, including more than 3,000 ceremonial documents and close to 300 events each year
  • Deliver provincially delegated services for the City, including processing close to 16,000 marriage, lottery and other licenses


Open government:

Deliver an accountable, accessible, responsible and trustworthy government:

  • Lead the City to manage information in a manner that is open, accessible and transparent to the public
  • Ensure City staff properly manage information, in all its forms, throughout its lifecycle
  • Process increasing numbers and complexity of freedom of information requests within legislated time frames
  • Provide access to and education about archival information
  • Deliver top-quality and efficient corporate design, print and mail services.


The services of the Toronto City Clerk are outlined in annual reports and throughout this website.

More information

  • City of Toronto Act, S. 137establishes the role of the City Clerk. The role of the Clerk is directly legislated, directly delegated by the province, or delegated by Council. S. 199-201 defines how City records must be managed and the role of the Clerk with respect to City records.
  • Municipal Code, Chapter 169 Article II, defines the authority of the Clerk.
  • Municipal Elections Act, S. 11 defines the broad and independent authority of the City Clerk in conducting elections, by-elections and question to voters.