Protocol Services

Key to the City

The Key to the City is bestowed upon distinguished persons and honoured guests of the City of Toronto. The practice of presenting a key to an individual may be traced back to medieval times, when admission into a city was hampered by many legal restrictions, as well as by walls and locked gates. The key symbolized free entry. By the middle 1800s, it became customary to give a Key to the City as a direct symbol of the City's intention that the recipient was free to come and go at will.

In Toronto, the act of giving the Key of the City is symbolic, since the city has no gates to unlock, and involves the presentation of a ceremonial key to honour the outstanding civic contributions of the recipients.

Historically, it is at the discretion of the Mayor to determine who receives the Key to the City.

The following received the Key to the City from Mayor John Tory

  • Aubrey Graham a.k.a. Drake - February 12, 2016

The following received the Key to the City from Mayor Rob Ford


The following received the Key to the City from Mayor David Miller

  • His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama - October 22, 2010
  • Former Police Chief Julian Fantino - April 14, 2005

The following received the Key to the City from Mayor Mel Lastman

2003Name
June 25 Mike Myers
July 8 Eng. Ferro Rodrigues
July 28 The people of Prince Edward Island
July 30 The Rolling Stones - Sir Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Ronnie Wood and Michael Cohl
July 31 The Anson Carter Family
September 19 Nickelback - Ryan Vikedal, Ryan Peake, Chad Kroeger and Mike Kroeger
September  23 Deputy Mayor Case Ootes
2002Name
May 27 Tiger Woods
June 8 Dr. Carlos Cesar 
July 31 Father Tom Rosica
October 4 Ronnie Hawkins
November 2 Tony Dionisio
October 20 Muhammad Ali
2001Name
January 22 Boris Spremo
May 23 King Constantine
May 26 Sylvester Stallone
June Sophia Loren
October 19 Margaret Atwood 
October 19 Joni Mitchell
November 18 Jackie Chan
November 30 Blue Rodeo
2000Name
February 11 Sharon, Lois & Bram
February 16 Archbishop Desmond Tutu
February 29 David Boothby, Chief of Police
March 30 Neil Young
March 30 Donald Sutherland
June 1 His Excellency Constantinos Stephanopoulos, Pres. of the Hellenic Rep. of Greece
June 2 Pastor Jan Paulsen
June 29 Pastor Orville Parchment
July 23 His Divine Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj
September 21 Barenaked Ladies
October 22 J.K. Rowling
1999Name
January 15 Yo-Yo Ma
February 11 David Gunn
April 14 Norman Jewison
July 21 Mickey Mouse
August 29 Frank Alvarez
August 29 Jorge Ferreira
September 17 Celine Dion
September 23 Jose Lello
September 29 Ron Huldai
October 5 Joe Foti
1998Name
June 5 Mickey Rooney
July 4 Bobby Curtola
July 8 Sheldon Kennedy
July 19 Bobby Rahal
July 26 Ed Mirvish
August 30 Roberto Leal
August 27 Charles Adler  
September 25 Nelson Mandela
November 27 Barbara Ann Scott-King  
December 4 Johnny Lombardi