Strategic Protocol and External Relations

Flag raising and half-masting

Flag raising photoFlag raisings enhance public awareness of activities such as fundraising drives, multi-cultural events and national or independence days. 

Canadian flags may be lowered to half-mast to commemorate special dates such as Remembrance Day or as a measure of respect and condolence when a high profile official passes away.

See the list of annual half-mast events below. 

List of flag raisings

List of half-mastings

The City of Toronto will fly, on existing courtesy flag poles, flags of nations recognized by the Government of Canada on its national day or on the anniversary of a special occasion; or flags of non-profit or charitable organizations; for up to two weeks upon the written request of the group or organization. See full report

Requests to use the courtesy flagpole will be confirmed on a first come first served basis. Your flag raising request should be received by Strategic Protocol and External Relations 3 to 4 weeks in advance of your request date.

Please submit your flag raising request using the  please click on this button to access the online form and include the following information:

A letter from the organization on its official letterhead with the following information:

  • Proposed date and time of flag raising ceremony 
  • Purpose of flag raising
  • Ceremony details (if a ceremony is required)
  • Request for a ceremony 
  • Equipment required for the flag raising ceremony: e.g. lectern, microphone, CD player
  • Name of flag to be raised
  • Photo of flag to be raised

Requests will not be approved for:

  • Political parties or organizations
  • Religious organizations or in celebration of religious events
  • Commercial entities or in celebration of corporate events
  • Intent that is contrary to City policies or bylaws
  • Organizations requesting flag raisings that espouse hatred, violence or racism
  • Organizations that have already flown a courtesy flag during the same calendar year

Organizations with approved flag raising requests are required to provide a 3 foot by 6 foot flag with grommets delivered to our office one week in advance.

Directions to the City Hall Courtesy Flag Pole.

Frequent Questions

For more information please email: protocol@toronto.ca

The Canadian flags may be lowered to half-mast to commemorate special dates such as Remembrance Day or as a measure of respect and condolence when a high profile official passes away.

Canadian Flags are half-masted at Toronto City Hall, Metro Hall and Civic Centres, generally until sunset on the day of the funeral or memorial, unless other arrangements have been specified.

Annual half-masts include:

April 28 Day of Mourning for Persons Killed or Injured in the Workplace (Workers' Mourning Day)
June 6 D-Day
June 23 National Day of Remembrance For Victims of Terrorism
Last Sunday in September Police and Peace Officer’s National Memorial Day
November 11 Remembrance Day
December 6 National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women

In Canada, due consideration should be given to flag etiquette and precedence whenever the National Flag of Canada or other sovereign national flags or provincial/territorial flags are displayed.  Please refer to the National Flag of Canada Act. Flags are symbols that identify and represent nations and although it may seem they provide a dignified and appealing backdrop, they are not intended as décor.

Position of Honour

The location of the position of honour depends on the number of flags flown and the chosen configuration. When two flags (see figure 1) are displayed, the position of honour is furthest to the left (to an observer facing the display). When three flags (see figure 2) are flown, the position of honour is in the centre.  For four or more flags see figure 3.

Here is the order of importance of flags based on precedence:             

Position of Flags

Figure 1: Displaying two flags

   

Example - with a Canadian flag and a flag of a municipality

Figure 2: Displaying three flags

Example - with a Canadian flag, a provincial flag and flag of a municipality

Figure 3: Displaying more than three flags