Youth Overview

Toronto Protégée Program

This unique program pairs young female Torontonians with female City Councillors for six months. Learn about the opportunities for women in local government, gain hands-on experience and understand the multi-faceted role of a City Councillor and City Staff. 

Need to know

  • To be eligible, applicants must identify as female, live in the City of Toronto, and be between 19 and 26 years of age. 
  • The application process is open from Monday September 18, 2017 until Sunday October 15, 2017.
  • If you have any questions, email us at

About City of Toronto's Protégée Program

The goal of this program is engage young women in municipal politics in hopes that they may consider running for office one day; or encourage their peers to do so.

Over a six-month period on a part-time, unpaid basis, participants will be exposed to the process of policy-making, attend committee and council meetings, observe media interviews and interactions with constituents. Additionally, the mentees will network with one another to compare experiences and attend educational sessions regarding other aspects of municipal governance.

The objectives are:

  • To connect young women with female Councillors and City Staff who can provide mentorship.
  • To provide young women with an opportunity to get first-hand experience in municipal politics.
  • To create a support network for young women that includes mentors, peers, resources and contacts.
  • To create a supportive opportunity for shared learning.


A new component of the 2018 program is including City of Toronto staff as mentors. This will bring an additional perspective of municipal governance to the Protégées.

We are accepting applications now for the program which will begin in January 2018.


How did this program come to be?

 In 2005 the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) initiated a nation-wide call to address the unequal representation of women in municipal governments.

Toronto’s female councillors responded by creating the Toronto Regional Champion Campaign (TRCC). The program, which is now known as the City of Toronto Protégée Program, is championed by Councillor Wong-Tam in partnership with participating female Council peers and the City’s Social Development, Finance & Administration Division.

When the program runs in 2018, it will be the sixth time the City of Toronto has offered the opportunity.

How long is the program?

The program runs for six-months, from January to June.

How many mentees will be accepted?

Each participating mentor will work with one or two mentees.

What skills and/or experience are you looking for?

Applicants must identify as female, reside in Toronto and be between the ages of 19 and 26.

We are looking for a combination of life, work and volunteer experiences.

Applicants should highlight their experience in advocacy, council participation, community organizing, and committee work.

Who will be reviewing my application?

Applications are reviewed by a selection committee comprised of Social Development, Finance, & Administration staff and decisions are based on the information provided on the application and an interview with selected candidates.

If selected, how many hours will I need to commit each week and how will my time be spent?

The program runs from January to June 2018.

The time commitment is:

  • three hours weekly, which may include daytime and/or evening hours in a mentor's office, in addition to:
    • attend at least one City Council meeting, committee meeting or community/ward meeting.  
    • attend at five daytime and/or evening mentoring seminars.
    • Participate as the subject of a profile for promotional material to increase women’s participation in municipal government.


Will I receive an honorarium for participating? Are transit or day care expenses covered?

No financial incentives are provided however TTC tokens can be provided to participants for attending meetings, seminars, and events. 

My local councillor is male. Am I excluded from the program?

No. Participants are not selected based on the ward they live in. However, when partnering a mentee with a specific councillor the selection committee will try to pair a mentee with a councillor in the quadrant of the city where the mentee may live/work to reduce travel times.

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