Municipal Elections

When are local elections held? Your Local Government
The next municipal election will be held Monday, October 24, 2022. The last municipal election was held on October 22, 2018. Where the polling day falls on a holiday, polling day shall be the next succeeding day that is not a holiday.  


Elections for municipal government are held every four years on the fourth Monday of October. Prior to the the passage of the Good Government Act, 2009 and the vote in 2006, the period between elections had been 3 years. For example, 2000, 2003 and 2006 were municipal election years. 

The Legislative Assembly of Ontario legislation (Bill 81, Schedule H), passed in 2006, set the length of terms in office for all municipal elected officials at four years. 

Think about all the services your municipal government is responsible for providing. Roads. Public transit. Child Care. Local policing. Water and sewers. Ambulances. Parks. Recreation. Learn who in your community best represents your position on the issues that mean the most to you and your family.

Who can vote in elections?

Anyone can vote in a municipal election who, on the day of the election, is: 

  • 18 years of age or older 
  • a Canadian citizen; and 
  • either a resident of the municipality or a property owner or tenant or the spouse or same sex partner of an owner or tenant in the municipality during a specified time just before the election.  

Your name must be on the voters’ list in order for you to cast a ballot.

The voters’ list is prepared in several steps:

  • A preliminary list is created by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) based on data it keeps on home ownership and tenancy.
  • The preliminary list is sent to the municipal clerk after a by-election has been called or in advance of a regular election which occurs every 4 years. The clerk can correct any errors on the list, and the corrected list then becomes the voters’ list.
  • If you are not on the voters’ list, or if your information is incorrect (for example, you have moved and may be listed at a former address), you may apply to have your name added or your information corrected. This may be done until the close of voting on voting day in a regular election or by-election. You may have your name added to the voters’ list at the voting place. You may be asked to show identification to establish that you are eligible to vote. For more information about getting on the voters’ list, you should contact your municipal clerk.

Note: Beginning March 2018, to ensure you are on the voters’ list for 2018 municipal and school board elections, you may also visit voterlookup.ca.
 

Who can be a candidate?

  • Candidate must be a resident of the municipality or a non-resident owner or tenant of land in the municipality or the spouse of such non-resident owner or tenant;
  • a Canadian citizen and at least 18 years old;
  • not legally prohibited from voting;  and not disqualified by any legislation from holding municipal office.
  • You will need 25 signatures on your nomination form and must pay a fee of $100 ($200 for mayor).

When you think about candidates for federal or provincial elections, you usually think about the political party that each candidate represents. In municipal elections in Ontario, candidates are not elected to represent a political party. 

Election Calendar

Changes to the election calendar reflect recommendations from the public, municipal councils and municipal staff to shorten the election campaign period. The first day that nominations can be filed for a regular election will be May 1st. Nomination day (the deadline to file a nomination) for a regular election will move to the fourth Friday in July (July 27, for the 2018 election).  A number of other deadlines related to regular elections have also changed:

  • The deadline for a municipality to pass a by-law to place a question on the ballot has moved to March 1st in an election year. The deadline for other questions (e.g. a school board, a minister’s question) will be May 1st.
  • The deadline to pass by-laws authorizing the use of alternative voting, such as by mail or by internet, and vote counting equipment will be May 1st in the year before the election (e.g., May 1, 2021 for the 2022 election).
  • The clerk will need to have procedures and forms related to alternative voting and vote counting equipment in place by December 31st in the year before the election.
  • (Source: Ministry of Municipal Affairs)

2021-2022 AMCTO Municipal Elections Calendar. This calendar represents AMCTO’s best efforts to capture key requirements and considerations for the upcoming planning for municipal election administrators. The calendar does not claim to be perfect and all items should be verified independently by the legislation/regulations or among peers.

Resources

So You Want to Run for Council? Online Course

Training - Online Course

So You Want to Run for Council?

This online course provides an overview of what you should know before you decide to run for municipal office and sign your candidacy. The course contains quotes from Ontario Municipal Councillors; links to relevant sites, materials, and Acts; and participatory elements such as short knowledge quizzes, and a learning journal which can be printed at the end of the course.

Participants can either read and work through the various pages or listen to an audio version.

The course will be updated for the Ontario 2022 Municipal Election.

 

How Municipal Government Works in Ontario Ontario Municipal Elections Ontario Municipalities
How Local Government Works in Ontario Ontario Municipal Elections Ontario Municipalities