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Toronto Police Service
MottoTo Serve and Protect
Agency overview
Formed1834; 187 years ago (1834)
Employees7,500 (5,500 police officers)[1]
Annual budget$1.076 billion (2020)[2]
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdictionOntario
Governing bodyToronto Police Services Board;
Toronto City Council;
Ontario Ministry of the Solicitor General
Constituting instrument
Operational structure
Headquarters40 College Street
Toronto, Ontario
M5G 2J3
Sworn members4,870
Unsworn members2,230
Elected officer responsible
Agency executive
Parent agencyCity of Toronto
  • Business & Intelligence
  • Aviation
  • Crime Scene
  • Emergency Task Force
  • Highway Patrol
  • Communications
  • Primary Report Intake, Management and Entry (PRIME)
  • Court Services
  • Fleet & Materials Management
  • Organized Crime Control Command
  • Integrated Gun & Gang Task Force
  • Provincial ROPE
  • Specialized Criminal Investigations
  • Organized Crime Enforcement
  • School Safety
  • Transit Bureau
  • Transportation Bureau
DivisionsCentral field:
  • 11 Division
  • 12 Division
  • 13 Division
  • 14 Division
  • 51 Division
  • 52 Division
  • 53 Division
  • 55 Division
(Old Toronto, York, East York)
Area field:
  • 22 Division
  • 23 Division
  • 31 Division
  • 32 Division
  • 33 Division
  • 41 Division
  • 42 Division,
  • 43 Division
(Etobicoke, North York, Scarborough)
Commands17 Divisions
12 Transit Districts
10 Housing Police Service Areas
Police cars1,687 (2015)
Police boats23 (2015)
Dogs35 German Shepherds
7 Labradors

The Toronto Police Service (TPS) is a municipal police force in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and the primary agency responsible for providing law enforcement and policing services in Toronto. Established in 1834, it was the first local police service created in North America and is one of the oldest police services in the English-speaking world.

It is the largest municipal police service in Canada, and third largest police force in Canada after the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). With a 2020 budget of $1.076 billion, the Toronto Police Service ranks as the second largest expense – after the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) – of the City of Toronto's annual operating budget.


19th century

1834 Trading village, to 1845 Irish refugees

From 1834 to 1859, the Toronto Police was a corrupt and notoriously political force, with its constables loyal to the local aldermen who personally appointed police officers in their own wards for the duration of their incumbency. The London Metropolitan Police (1829) was the first modern municipal police department, but the Toronto Police is older than the New York City Police Department (1845), and Boston Police Department (1839).

The Toronto Police Service was founded in 1834 as Toronto Police Force or sometimes as Toronto Police Department, when the city of Toronto was first created from the town of York. Prior to that, local able-bodied male citizens were required to report for night duty as special constables for a fixed number of nights per year on pain of fine or imprisonment, in a system known as "watch and ward".[4]

In 1835, Toronto retained five full-time constables—a ratio of about one officer for every 1,850 citizens. Their daily pay was set at 5 shillings for day duty and 7 shillings, 6 pence, for night duty. In 1837, the constables’ annual pay was fixed at £75 per annum, a lucrative city position when compared to the mayor's annual pay of £250 at the time.[5] Although constables were issued uniforms in 1837, one contemporary recalled that the Toronto Police was "without uniformity, except in one respect—they were uniformly slovenly." A provincial government report in 1841 described the Toronto Police as "formidable engines of oppression".[4]

1845 Irish refugees and Railroads, to 1859 firings

By 1848, the Catholic population in Toronto rose to 25 percent.[5] Toronto constables on numerous occasions suppressed opposition candidate meetings and took sides during bitter sectarian violence between Orange Order and Irish Catholic radical factions in the city.

On the night of Thursday, 12 July 1855, S.B. Howes' Star Troupe Menagerie & Circus clowns, and Hook and Ladder Firefighting Company volunteers patronized the bordello of Mary Ann Armstrong on King Street near Jarvis street, a fight got started, with the firefighters retreating. The next day, Friday, 13 July 1855, a crowd gathered at the Fair Green, a grassy space on the waterfront where the Circus had pitched their tents (Now, south-east corner of Front & Berkeley), threw stones and insults, and demanded that Meyers be handed over. Circus wagons were burned, the fire bell was rung, yet when Hook and Ladder Firefighting Company arrived, they joined the riot. The militia later arrived, called in by the mayor, and diffused the riot. After public outrage at the police failure to prosecute, an inquiry and an election led to mass firings and selective rehirings in 1859.[4][6][7][8][9][10]

1859 to 1900

The new force was removed from Toronto city council jurisdiction (except for the setting of the annual budget and manpower levels) and placed under the control of a provincially mandated board of police commissioners. Under its new chief, former infantry captain William Stratton Prince, standardized training, hiring practices and new strict rules of discipline and professional conduct were introduced. Today's Toronto Police Service directly traces its ethos, constitutional lineage and Police Commission regulatory structure to the 1859 reforms.[5][11]

In the 19th century, the Toronto Police mostly focused on the suppression of rebellion in the city—particularly during the Fenian threats of 1860 to 1870. The Toronto Police were probably Canada's first security intelligence agency when they established a network of spies and informants throughout Canada West in 1864 to combat US Army recruiting agents attempting to induce British Army soldiers stationed in Canada to desert to serve in the Union Army in the Civil War.[citation needed] The Toronto Police operatives later turned to spying on the activities of the Fenians and filed reports to the Chief Constable from as far as Buffalo, Detroit, Chicago and New York City. When in December 1864, the Canada West secret frontier police was established under Stipendiary Magistrate Gilbert McMicken, some of the Toronto Police agents were reassigned to this new agency.[12]

In 1863, Toronto police officers were also used as "Indian fighters" during the Manitoulin Island Incident, when some fifty natives armed with knives forced the fishery inspector William Gibbard and a fishery operation to withdraw from unceded tribal lands on Lake Huron. Thirteen armed Toronto police officers, along with constables from Barrie, were dispatched to Manitoulin Island to assist the government in retaking the fishery operation, but were forced back when the natives advanced now armed with rifles. The police withdrew but were later reinforced and eventually arrested the entire band, but not before William Gibbard was killed by unknown parties.[13]

Constables of the Toronto Police Department, 1883
Constables of the Toronto Police Department, 1883

In the 1870s, as the Fenian threat began to gradually wane and the Victorian moral reform movement gained momentum, Toronto police primarily functioned in the role of "urban missionaries" whose function it was to regulate unruly and immoral behaviour among the "lower classes". They were almost entirely focused on arresting drunks, prostitutes, disorderlies, and violators of Toronto's ultra-strict Sunday "blue law"[14]

In the days before public social services, the force functioned as a social services mega-agency. Prior the creation of the Toronto Humane Society in 1887 and the Children's Aid Society in 1891, the police oversaw animal and child welfare, including the enforcement of child support payments. They operated the city's ambulance service and acted as the board of health. Police stations at the time were designed with space for the housing of homeless, as no other public agency in Toronto dealt with this problem. Shortly before the Great Depression, in 1925, the Toronto Police housed 16,500 homeless people.

The Toronto Police regulated street-level business: cab drivers, street vendors, corner grocers, tradesmen, rag men, junk dealers, and laundry operators. Under public order provisions, the Toronto Police was responsible for the licensing and regulation of dance halls, pool halls, theatres, and later movie houses. It was responsible for censoring the content of not only theatrical performances and movies, but of all literature in the city ranging from books and magazines to posters and advertising.

The Toronto Police also suppressed labour movements which were perceived as anarchist threats. The establishment of the mounted unit is directly related to the four-month Toronto streetcar strike of 1886, when authorities called on the Governor General's Horse Guard Regiment to assist in suppressing the strike.

20th century

A constable overlooks construction for streetcar lines on Adelaide and Yonge Street, 1911.
A constable overlooks construction for streetcar lines on Adelaide and Yonge Street, 1911.

As for serious criminal investigations, the Toronto Police frequently (but not always) contracted with private investigators from the Pinkerton's Detective Agency until the 20th century, when it developed its own internal investigation and intelligence capacity.

During the 1930s and 1940s, the Toronto Police under Chief Constable Dennis "Deny" Draper, a retired brigadier general and former Conservative candidate, returned to its function as an agency to suppress political dissent. Its notorious "Red Squad" brutally dispersed demonstrations by labour unions and by unemployed and homeless people during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Suspicious of "foreigners", the police lobbied the city of Toronto to pass legislation banning public speeches in languages other than English, curtailing union organization among Toronto's vast immigrant populations working in sweat shops.

After several scandals, including a call by Chief Draper to have reporters "shot" and his being arrested driving drunk, the city appointed in 1948 a new police chief from its own ranks for the first time in the department's history: John Chisholm, a very able senior police inspector. In 1955, the Metropolitan Toronto Board of Police Commissioners was formed in preparation for the amalgamation of the 13 police forces in the municipality, Metropolitan Toronto, into a unified police force with Chisholm as chief of the unified force. Unfortunately, Chisholm was not up to the politics of the Chief's office, especially in facing off with Fred "Big Daddy" Gardiner, who engineered almost single-handedly the formation of Metropolitan Toronto in the 1950s.

On January 1, 1957, the Toronto Police merged with the other municipal forces in the metropolitan area to form the Metropolitan Toronto Police Force:[15]

An East York Police and Fire Station. In 1957, the East York Police, was amalgamated with other municipal forces in the metropolitan area, forming the Metropolitan Toronto Police.
An East York Police and Fire Station. In 1957, the East York Police, was amalgamated with other municipal forces in the metropolitan area, forming the Metropolitan Toronto Police.
Former police force Current community Field Divisions
Scarborough Police Department Scarborough Area 41, 42, 43
Etobicoke Police Department Etobicoke Area 22, 23
North York Police Department North York Area; parts of Central 31, 32, 33; parts of 12, 13, 53
East York Police Department East York Central 54
Mimico Police Department Etobicoke (Mimico) Area 22
Weston Police Department York (Weston, Ontario) Area and Central 12, 31
Forest Hill Police Department Toronto (Forest Hill, Ontario) Central 53
Town of Leaside Police Department East York (Leaside, Ontario) Central 53, 54
York Township Police Department York Central 13
New Toronto Police Department Etobicoke (New Toronto, Ontario) Area 22
Swansea Police Department Toronto (Swansea, Ontario) Central 11
Long Branch Police Department Etobicoke (Long Branch, Ontario) Area 22

With amalgamation, the force grew in size and complexity, and Chisholm found himself unable to manage the huge agency and its Byzantine politics. In 1958, after a number of conflicts with Gardiner and members of the newly expanded Metropolitan Toronto Board of Police Commissioners, Chief Chisholm drove to High Park on the city's west end, parked his car and committed suicide with his service revolver. Former staff superintendent Jack Webster, one of the officers who arrived at the scene of the chief's death and who would, upon his retirement in the 1990s, become the force historian at the Toronto Police Museum, would later write, "Suicide is a constant partner in every police car."

In 1960, Lawrence "Larry" McLarty became the force's first black officer and paved the way regarding the hiring of minorities into the policing.[16]

In 1990, the Board of Police Commissioners was renamed as the "Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto Police Services Board",[17] and, upon the creation of the amalgamated City of Toronto in 1998, it became the Toronto Police Services Board,[18] administering the Toronto Police Service.

21st century

Police and members of the Toronto Fire Services at a car accident on the Don Valley Parkway. Toronto Police works with other emergency services throughout Greater Toronto.
Police and members of the Toronto Fire Services at a car accident on the Don Valley Parkway. Toronto Police works with other emergency services throughout Greater Toronto.

Today, the Toronto Police Service is responsible for overall local police service in Toronto and works with the other emergency services (Toronto Paramedic Services and Toronto Fire Services) and other police forces in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) including:

For most of 2005, the police union and the Toronto Police Services Board (the civilian governing body) were involved in lengthy contract negotiations. The rank and file had been without a contract since the end of 2004, and conducted a work-to-rule campaign in the fall of 2005. The police force is an essential public service and are legally prohibited from striking. The Toronto Police Service launched their social media strategy on July 27, 2011, and "has the most active Twitter accounts listed under a single police force in Canada"[19]

Controversies and allegations of misconduct

Further information: List of cases of police brutality in Canada

During the year 1988, Toronto Police were under scrutiny for the fatal shooting of schizophrenic Lester Donaldson.[20] The shooting was the first of eight over the next four years, and the latest in series of shootings since the late 1970s, in which mostly unarmed black Canadians were victims.[21][22] Three days after his death, the Black Action Defence Committee, a group of local activists, was formed. The group made headlines when they introduced the issue of race in the coroner's inquest into Donaldson's killing.[23] In 1990, Toronto police officer David Deviney was charged with manslaughter in connection with the killing and was later acquitted.[20]

On May 4, 1992, tension between Toronto Police and the city's black community reached its peak. After the fourth police killing of a young black man in as many years, a peaceful protest on Yonge Street later turned into a riot.[24] Thirty people were arrested and 37 police officers were injured in the riot.

A mandatory coroner's inquest took place into the police killing of 17-year-old Jeffrey Reodica. Although accounts differ, it is generally accepted that Reodica was part of a group of Filipino teenagers pursuing a group of white teenagers on May 21, 2004, in Scarborough, following altercations between the two groups. Plainclothes Toronto police officer Det.-Const. Dan Belanger and his partner Det. Allen Love were in the process of arresting Reodica when Reodica was shot three times by the officers. The teen died in hospital three days later. Belanger and Love, were eventually cleared by the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) who after investigating the matter found that there were no reasonable grounds to lay a charge. According to the SIU, Reodica brandished a knife at officers. A knife was reportedly recovered at the scene.[25]

In response to the recommendations of the coroner's inquest jury, former chief Bill Blair recommended that all plainclothes police officers be issued arm bands and raid jackets bearing the word police in an effort to increase their visibility in critical situations. Unmarked cars, which were already equipped with a plug-in police light, were to be supplied with additional emergency equipment, including a siren package. The proposals were phased in over three years beginning in 2008. Undercover officers also must wear, carry or have access to standard police use-of-force options such as pepper spray and batons.[26][27]

In 2004, eight people were shot by Toronto Police, six of them fatally. SIU investigations deemed all case actions justified.

In 2005, the police force was faced with a spike in shootings across Toronto and increased concern among residents. Police Chief William Blair and Mayor David Miller asked for additional resources and asked for diligence from residents to contend with this issue. Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty promised to work with Toronto to fight crime.

In July 2007, Toronto Police were involved in an international incident in which their members pepper-sprayed, tasered, and handcuffed members of the Chilean national soccer team in an attempt to keep control of crowds after their semi-final match in the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup. A police spokesman explained on CBC Radio on the programme Here and Now that police took action against individual members of the Chilean team when they "displayed aggressive behaviour" by vandalizing a bus and arguing with fans. The actions of the police were criticized by the TV and print media in Chile,[28][29] and initially also in Canada.[which?] FIFA president Sepp Blatter later apologized to the Toronto mayor for the incident, and instigated disciplinary action against the officials and players of the Chilean team.[30]

On July 27, 2013, 18-year-old Sammy Yatim was shot and killed by Constable James Forcillo on the 505 Dundas streetcar after threatening other passengers and the police with a knife. On August 19, 2013, Forcillo was charged with second-degree murder. In January 2016, Forcillo was convicted of attempted murder.

In January 2016, four Toronto Police officers were arrested and charged with nine counts of obstructing justice and eight counts of perjury.[31]

On March 13, 2020, Constable Peter Roberts was arrested and charged with obtaining sexual services for consideration from persons under 18 years of age.[32]


Chiefs of police

The chief of police is the highest-ranking officer of the Toronto Police Service. The position was known as "high constable" until 1859 and then as "chief constable" until 1957, when the Toronto Police Department was amalgamated with 12 other Toronto-area forces to form the Metropolitan Toronto Police. Most chiefs have been chosen amongst the ranks of the Toronto force and promoted or appointed from the ranks of deputy chiefs; Fantino was hired from the York Regional Police, but he had been a career officer with Toronto Police prior, leaving as acting staff superintendent.

Toronto Police Department (1834–1956):

High constables

Chief constables

Metropolitan Toronto Police (1957–1995), Metropolitan Toronto Police Service (1995–1998), Toronto Police Service (1998–present)

Chiefs of police:


TPS cruisers arrive at a high risk incident in North York in 2014
TPS cruisers arrive at a high risk incident in North York in 2014

As an agency of the City of Toronto, the Toronto Police Service's annual funding level is established by a vote of the Toronto City Council in favour of the year's proposed budget. Provided below are historical gross and net funding levels of the Toronto Police Service as a part of the city's operating budgets.[33]

As of 2011, a tentative agreement made Toronto Police the country's highest-paid officers by increasing wages over 11 per cent over four years.[34][may be outdated as of May 2020]

Special Investigations Unit

The actions of the Toronto Police are examined by the Special Investigations Unit, a civilian agency responsible for investigating circumstances involving police and civilians that have resulted in a death, serious injury, or allegations of sexual assault. The SIU is dedicated to maintaining one law, ensuring equal justice before the law among both the police and the public. They assure that the criminal law is applied appropriately to police conduct, as determined through independent investigations, increasing public confidence in the police services. Complaints involving police conduct that do not result in a serious injury or death must be referred to the appropriate police service or to another oversight agency, such as the Ontario Civilian Commission.


Toronto Police Headquarters is located on College Street in Downtown Toronto.

Toronto Police Headquarters is located at 40 College Street, near Bay Street in downtown Toronto. The former headquarters at Jarvis Street was turned into a museum (which was subsequently re-located to the current headquarters). The present site was once home to the Toronto YMCA. The sign over the main entrance still reads "Metropolitan Toronto Police Headquarters" and displays the emblem of Metropolitan Toronto (which was dissolved in 1998). Since 2007, the sign also displays the current emblem of the Toronto Police Service.[35]

The Toronto Police Service has approximately 5,400 uniformed officers/under cover officers and 2,500 civilian employees.[citation needed] Its officers are among the best paid in Canada.[citation needed] In October 2008, the Toronto Police Service was named one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers by Mediacorp Canada Inc., which was announced by the Toronto Star newspaper.[36][failed verification]

The Toronto Police Service is divided into two field areas and 17 divisions (police stations or precincts):

Organizational structure

Central Field Command

The station for 51 Division is located on 51 Parliament Street.
The station for 51 Division is located on 51 Parliament Street.

Encompasses the original city of Toronto, the former cities of York and East York and some southern portions of the former City of North York.

Area Field Command

Located in Scarborough, 41 Division is based at 2222 Eglinton Avenue East.
Located in Scarborough, 41 Division is based at 2222 Eglinton Avenue East.

Encompasses the former cities of North York, Scarborough and Etobicoke.

The public safety unit is located at 4610 Finch Avenue East.

Specialized Operations Command

Detective Services

A van from the Toronto Police Service's Forensic Identification Services
A van from the Toronto Police Service's Forensic Identification Services

Operational services

Operational services of the Toronto Police Service include:

Emergency task force

Main article: Emergency Task Force (TPS)

The emergency task force is the tactical unit of the Toronto Police Service. It is mandated to deal with high-risk situations like gun calls, hostage takings, barricaded persons, emotionally disturbed persons, high risk arrests and warrant services, and protection details. The unit was created in 1965. An earlier non-SWAT riot and emergency squad emerged in 1961.[38]

Part of its role is now undertaken by the emergency task force, public safety and emergency management and the mounted unit.

Marine unit

Marine unit boat outside the unit's station at Harbourfront
Marine unit boat outside the unit's station at Harbourfront

The Toronto Police Service is one of several police forces along Lake Ontario with a marine unit. Prior to the 1980s, the port area had their own police force, Toronto Harbour Police/Port of Toronto Police which merged into the Metropolitan Police Force's marine unit.[39] The unit's has the largest jurisdictional area of any unit in the Toronto Police Service, policing over 1,200 square kilometres (460 sq mi) of open water, from the Etobicoke Creek to the Rouge River.

The Toronto Police Service has a fleet of 24[40] boats based either at the main station of the unit, at 259 Queens Quay West in Harbourfront; or at one of its three substations, at Humber Bay, the Scarborough Bluffs, and the Toronto Islands.[41]

The Toronto Police Service Marine Unit works in conjunction with other municipal and regional police units that operate marine units in Lake Ontario, including the Durham Regional Police, Halton Regional Police, Hamilton Police Service, Niagara Regional Police Service, and the Peel Regional Police. The Marine Unit also works in conjunction with the neighbouring York Regional Police, although their marine unit is based in Lake Simcoe.[41] In addition to municipal/regional police services, the Toronto Police Service Marine Unit also works in conjunction with the Canadian Forces Search and Rescue Unit based in CFB Trenton, and the Toronto Search and Rescue volunteer service (which has ties to the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary).

Mounted unit

The Toronto Police Service's mounted unit patrols various areas throughout Toronto on horseback
The Toronto Police Service's mounted unit patrols various areas throughout Toronto on horseback

The horse unit was formed in 1886 to provide crowd control and is now stationed at the Horse Palace at the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE). The unit has been based at Casa Loma, Toronto Zoo, Sunnybrook Stables and at various division in Scarborough and North York. The unit has a strength of 27 horses and 40 officers.

Police horses Honest Ed and Spencer were invited to the inauguration of US President Barack Obama by Michigan's Multi-Jurisdictional Mounted Police Drill Team and Color Guard.[42]

Three horses have been killed while on duty. They include Lancer, following a motor vehicle collision in 2002; Brigadier (born 1998 near Listowel, Ontario) after an intentional motor vehicle collision in 2006; and Royal Sun, following a torn leg ligament in 2012.[43]

Name Breed Year acquired Named for and notes
Elvis Percheron 2002 Const. Elvis Zovic, killed in the line of duty
Kingston Percheron 2008 Was won at North American Police Equestrian Championships in Kingston
Simcoe Percheron 2006 John Simcoe, founder of Toronto
Dundas Clydesdale/TB 2006 Thomas Dundas, a mounted officer who served in World War One
Sutherland Former mounted unit commander, Edward Sutherland Johnson
Lincoln Percheron 1998 Lincoln Alexander, former Lt. Governor of Ontario
Grenadier Clydesdale 2010
Chief Blair Percheron-Friesian 2017 Tradition holds that a horse be named "Chief" to honour command officers. Currently names for former Chief Bill Blair
Honest Ed Clydesdale/TB 2004 Honest Ed Mirvish
Tecumseh Percheron 2005 Famous Indian chief
Timmis Percheron/Standardbred 2006 Reginald Timmis of the Royal Canadian Dragons
Bobby Percheron 2006 Const. Bobby Wright, died during Unit training.
Strathcona Clyde/Cleveland Bay 2008 Lord Strathcona Cavalry
Sabre Percheron 1998
Boot Belgian 1999 Former chief David Boothby
Blue Moon Percheron/TB Won at Police Equestrian Championships in Kentucky; only grey in the unit
Trooper Percheron 2007
Woulfe Belgian/TB Staff Sgt. Pat Woulfe
Dragoon Percheron 2006 Royal Canadian Dragoons
Winston Percheron Full name of Winter Sun; after Royal Winter Fair
Charger Clydesdale 2002
Commodore Belgian 2006 Brigadier, police horse killed in 2006; commodore is the naval equivalent
Dorothy Dorothy Keith, unit supporter. Only mare in the unit.
Keith Canadian/Standardbred William Lord Keith
Major Percheron/TB 2008
Vimy Ridge Percheron/Morgan 2005 Battle of Vimy Ridge in World War One
Russell Clydesdale 2016 Sgt. Ryan Russell
William Clydesdale 2017 Staff Inspector William Wardie
Blue Jay Clydesdale 2017 Donated by Toronto Blue Jays

Parking enforcement

A vehicle used by members of the Toronto Police Service's parking enforcement unit
A vehicle used by members of the Toronto Police Service's parking enforcement unit

Parking enforcement on all roads and public property are the responsibility of the Toronto Police and work with Toronto Parking Authority. Parking enforcement officers are provincial offences officers able to issue parking tickets under part II of the Provincial Offences Act. They do not carry any use of force items and are unarmed, but are issued Kevlar vests for safety. They are peace officers pursuant to section 15 of the Police Services Act for the purpose of enforcing municipal by-laws.

Their uniform consists of a blue shirt, black cargo pants with blue stripe, a black vest and a cap with blue stripe. Boots are similar to front line police officers. In winter months, parking enforcement officers have a blue jacket with reflective trim. Patches on the jackets and shirts are similar to those of the Toronto Police Service, but with a white background the blue wording "parking enforcement".

Their vehicles have the same paint scheme as the older Toronto Police Service squad cars, but they are labelled with '"parking enforcement" and fleet numbers "PKE" (east) or "PKW" (west).

Police dog services

A police dog named Nyx with the Toronto Police Service
A police dog named Nyx with the Toronto Police Service

The Toronto Police Service police dog unit was created in 1989 and is deployed to search for suspects, missing persons and other duties. The service has 17 general purpose dogs. There are four drug enforcement dogs and one explosives detector dog. The 21 officers and dogs are assigned to this unit and based at 44 Beechwood Drive in Toronto East York

Toronto Police dogs that have died during their service, including Keno, a firearms detector, and Luke, a general service dog; both in 2011.[44]

Community Mobilization Unit

Auxiliary constables of the Toronto Police Service
Auxiliary constables of the Toronto Police Service

Traffic services

As 400-series highways are owned by the province of Ontario, policing on 400-series highways within the city of Toronto (highways 401, 400, 427, 404) are the responsibility of the Ontario Provincial Police (though all Ontario police officers have province-wide jurisdiction).

Toronto Police Traffic Services is responsible for patrolling on local roads and municipal expressways (W.R. Allen Road, Don Valley Parkway, F.G. Gardiner Expressway and the Toronto section of Highway 409); traffic services has a "60" or "66 Division" (60xx or 66xx) designation on their cars.

Other departments

Toronto Police Lifeguard Service

Toronto Police previously employed lifeguards, responsible for patrolling 11 beaches and 44 kilometres of shoreline during the summer months, who were are assisted by the Toronto Police Service (including the marine unit), Toronto Paramedic Services and Toronto Fire Services.

In 2017 as part of a modernization initiative, the Toronto Police Lifeguard Service was transferred to the Toronto Parks, Forestry & Recreation Division.[45]

Transit Bureau

The transit bureau commands 12 transit districts where TPS officer patrol on the Toronto Transit Commission vehicles and property. The bureau replaced the earlier Special Constable Services (c. 1997), Transit Patrol Unit (2009-2013) and non fare enforcement role of the TTC Special Constables. From 1987 to 1997, TTC staff enforced TTC bylaws and fare issues without a formal unit.

Morality department

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The morality department was formed in 1886, when then Mayor William Holmes Howland appointed ex-Royal Irish Constabulary officer David Archibald to head this special unit of the Toronto Police Service to deal specifically with "vice, sin, and crimes which heavily impacted women and children".[46] Howland had just won Toronto's mayoral race that year by promising to make Toronto a beacon of morality for the world, even going so far as to give Toronto the moniker, "Toronto the Good".[47] The department ran through the 1930s, and was seen as a forerunner to many social assistance programs, such as the Children's Aid Society. It was set up under a social purist pretext of policing people's everyday behaviours so that Toronto might live up to Howland's moniker. Among the offences, though not necessarily crimes, that morality officers policed were gambling, "blue laws" or "Sabbath laws", being an absentee father, drug dealing, interracial relationships, homosexuality, bootlegging and alcoholism, vagrancy, family abuse and prostitution.[46][48][49] The people in power who wrote these laws, such as Howland, and created the morality department said that they were there to protect moral and good people from the evils of the city. However, when examining the direct implementation/enforcement of these laws, and the effects they had on civilian life, the larger purpose of the morality department was to prevent working-class people from socializing or coming together, and thereby to keep them in a generally less powerful position.[46][50]


The roots of this social purity doctrine can be traced back to the belief in the good of British colonialism, ideas still holding strong in the late 19th century in Canada, as Canada's national identity was still strongly linked to British ideals. The assumption is that bad people behave objectively badly, and that these people need to made good by a sovereign government.[51] This government does so by limiting the civilian population's freedoms and regulating their social interactions to ensure that people remain "moral and good", and thereby can make a new generation of "moral and good" people. Of course everyone would fall under these practices who was not seen to be morally, or socially, good, but women and people of colour were seen by the government as inherently lesser or more susceptible to temptation or sin, and so they were policed far more heavily than their white or male counterparts. The resulting system of social governing, was easily abused to keep a divide between classes wide, through methods like disproportionately enforcing the laws when the accused were of lower classes, making special exemptions for people who lived or served those who lived in the higher classes.[51] And, once again, since women and people of colour were seen as inherently more susceptible to temptation, they were automatically made targets of the system's efforts to socially reform people.[51]

Methods and effectiveness

The officers' methods often called for them to threaten fines or jail time rather than arrest all offenders, which made them popular among people as a social service. People knew that they probably would not be arrested or get the unwanted publicity that goes along with being arrested and going through the public courts. In this way these officers became regulators of the community. Ordinary people interacted with them and thereby came to trust them. As a result, these officers had many people willing to give them information on who might be a suspected drug dealer, prostitute, gambler or absentee father.[46]


The primary focus of the anti-prostitution laws was to make prostitution unprofitable so that women would instead pursue legitimate ways to make money. In essence, the people who put these laws in place were attempting to save women from a life of prostitution. The legitimate forms of employment were few and far between; maid, secretary and factory worker were the only plentiful options, and each of those put women in a position where they were constantly subordinate to another.[48] Prostitution had a much wider definition to the social purists of the time than it does now. For example, if a man bought a woman dinner and the woman then went home with him, that was considered prostitution. Thus, any women, and especially working-class women without social standing, who sought out men were persecuted, though not prosecuted. Seemingly innocuous behaviours, such as walking alone at night, might also get a woman arrested for prostitution.[48]

Sabbath laws

The Sabbath laws (alternatively known as "blue laws") were a series of laws designed to prevent people from working on the Sabbath, commonly known as Sunday, to respect the Abrahamic God's day of rest. They, like most laws enforced by the morality department, disproportionately affected working-class people and favoured the upper class. One of the best examples of this was the fact that taxis used by the public to get around were not allowed to work on Sunday, but private chauffeurs of the wealthy were. Beyond preventing many forms of work, they also prevented people from doing certain leisure activities that could be interpreted as work. Similar to the taxi driver–chauffeur contradiction, ball games for children in public on Sundays but still allowing for games of golf at private clubs. Such contradictions led people to believe that these laws were put in place to prevent working-class people from consorting with each other, to keep them separate and easy to manage.[50]

Absentee fathers

For most of their operating time, the majority of their work was finding absentee fathers from Canada, the U.S. and Great Britain, and then coercing them into paying maintenance payments. These maintenance payments would go towards supporting their wives and children. This re-enforced a family structure where the father was a provider and the mother was unable to support herself or her family. As attitudes towards policing among the upper ranks moved away from social management and into crime and punishment in the 1920s, it came to be that the police and social activist groups alike agreed that this work was no longer a job for the police. In 1929, the newly established family court system took over the management of these payments.[46]

First women on the force

Morality officer was one of the first roles within the police force, not including secretary, that women were allowed to fulfill. In the early 1910s, they were brought in under the idea that they would be better suited to deal with young women who had been acting immorally, and that they would themselves be a moralizing influence in the police service. Also, the existence of policewomen was an encouragement for women to come forward with assault charges against their abusive husbands. Women would trust that if they went to a police officer who was also female, then something would be more likely to get done.[46] Yet, the majority of their duties included arresting and searching female suspects, and interviewing female suspects and victims. As well, rather than being on the beat in dangerous parts of town, they would be searching for people, though mostly women, acting immorally, particularly in places where men and women came together. They were never tasked the same duties as their male counterparts, and so were seen more as social workers within the police force than actual members of the force. Through the 1920s, feminists argued that these policewomen were taken on by police for show more than to be actual policewomen, and interest from the upper ranks in policewomen faded along with their interest in social management, since the upper ranks saw the two as being deeply connected. Few more women were taken on until after World War II, and those that were there gained little ground for women in the police force.[46]

School crossing guards

Adult crossing guards at various intersections and crosswalks were employed and paid by the Toronto Police Service, however, as part of a modernization initiative, the crossing guard program was transferred to the City of Toronto in 2017.[45]

Toronto Police Pipe Band

See also: Toronto Police Pipe Band

The Toronto Police Pipe Band was formed in 1912. The band was originally composed of serving police officers, however, membership is open to any person.[52] Today, the Toronto Police Pipe Band organization comprises two professional bands in grades 1 and 2, and 3 juvenile bands in grades 3, 4, and 5 through its affiliate Ryan Russell Memorial Pipe Band.[53] The bands compete in local and international pipe band competitions, and also play as representatives of the police force in community parades, and police ceremonies.


The rank insignia of the Toronto Police Service is similar to that used by police services elsewhere in Canada and in the United Kingdom, except that the usual "pips" are replaced by maple leaves. The St. Edward's Crown is found on insignia of staff sergeant, all superintendent ranks and all commanding officer ranks.

Rank Commanding officers Senior officers Police officers Cadet in training
Chief of police Deputy chief of police Staff superintendent Superintendent Staff Inspector Inspector Staff Sergeant Sergeant Constable Cadet



(Shoulder board)

Shoulder boards not used for these ranks

Commanding Officers

The Commanding Officers consist of the Chief of Police, Deputy Chiefs, Chief Information Officer, and Chief Administrative Officer. They head the command pillars of the Toronto Police Service.[54]

Senior Officers

The day-to-day and regional operations are commanded by senior officers:

Investigative Officers

Investigations are divided into crimes against persons and crimes against property. These investigations are conducted by:

Uniformed Patrol Officers

Cadet in training

Sworn Members


Unsworn Civilian Members


Toronto Police College
TypePolice college
Location, ,
AffiliationsToronto Police Service

New and current officers of the Toronto Police Service train at the Toronto Police College in Etobicoke on Birmingham east of Islington. The initial training is three weeks, followed by 12 weeks at the Ontario Police College in Aylmer, Ontario and then nine weeks of final training at Toronto Police College. Charles O. Bick College was closed in July 2009.


A member of the Toronto Police bicycle unit (wearing a yellow reflective jacket) with another officer dressed in typical winter dress (centre), which includes a fur trim Yukon hat.
A member of the Toronto Police bicycle unit (wearing a yellow reflective jacket) with another officer dressed in typical winter dress (centre), which includes a fur trim Yukon hat.

Front line officers wear dark navy blue shirts, cargo pants (with red stripe) and boots. Winter jackets are either dark navy blue jacket design–Eisenhower style, single-breasted front closing, two patch type breast pockets, shoulder straps, gold buttons—or yellow windbreaker style with the word POLICE in reflective silver and black at the back (generally worn by the bicycle and traffic services units). All ranks shall wear dark navy blue clip on ties when wearing long-sleeve uniforms.

Hats can be styled after baseball caps, combination caps, or fur trim Yukon (similar to the Ushanka) hats for winter. Motorcycle units have white helmets. Black or reflective yellow gloves are also provided to officers with Traffic Services. Front line officers usually wear combination caps since that is the location of their badge. Prior to the 1990s, female officers wore bowler caps instead of combination caps. Auxiliary officers wear combination caps with a checkered red and black band. The Mounted Unit wear black Canadian military fur wedge cap during the winter months and custodian helmet for ceremonial use.

As is the case with all Ontario law enforcement officers, uniformed officers wear name tags. They are in the style of "A. Example" where the first letter of the first name is written and the last name next to it, with a Canadian flag to the left of the name. Name tags are usually stitched on with white stitching on a black background, but they also have pin-styled with black lettering on a gold plate.

Senior officers wear white shirts and a black Eisenhower style jacket. Auxiliary officers wear light blue shirts (long sleeve for winter and short for summer), with the badging of auxiliary on the bottom of the crest. Originally front line officer also wore light blue shirts but changed to the current navy blue shirts in the Fall of 2000.


Ford Crown Victoria
Ford Explorer
Chevrolet Tahoe
Marine Support Unit
Chevrolet Suburban
Ford Focus
Ford F150
Ford F350 with horse trailer
Chevrolet Suburban (unmarked)

Police cars, also known as police cruisers, are the standard equipment used by Toronto Police officers for transportation. The vehicles are equipped with a combination of a rotator and LED lightbar. The vehicles are numbered according to their division and car number. For example, 3322 represents that the vehicle is from 33 Division, and the following 22 is the vehicle designation number.

The current design since August 2017 is partly dark grey, with white doors with black text that says "TORONTO POLICE". Briefly, in, the design was entirely dark grey, with white lettering. The cars were redesigned following public controversy over its low visibility and "militaristic styling".[56] An earlier design sometimes still seen is a white base with red and blue markings, and stealth vehicles are grey with reflective markings. The photos in this section, which have not been updated since 2017, show this former colour scheme.

Previous scheme was yellow base with blue lettering.

Other fleet numbering patterns include:

Motor vehicles

The Toronto Police Service has about 500 vehicles in their fleet.[58]

Make/model Type Origin
Ford Crown Victoria (marked) General police vehicle, Traffic Services, Community Sweeper Unit  Canada
Ford Police Interceptor Sedan (Ford Taurus) Police Interceptor (marked) General police vehicle, Traffic Services, Community Sweeper Unit  United States
Ford Interceptor Utility (marked) Supervisor Truck, Traffic Services, Special Operations  United States
Volkswagen New Beetle Safety Bug car  Mexico
Honda Civic/Civic Hybrid Parking Enforcement car  Canada/ Japan
Chevrolet Malibu (2001–2005) Community Sweeper Unit car  United States
Chevrolet Malibu (2006) Parking Enforcement Unit  Canada
Smart fortwo Parking Enforcement car  France
Ford Focus Parking Enforcement car  United States
Harley-Davidson FLHTP motorcycle  United States

In August 2018, TPS acquired TTC Orion VII buses 7900-7905 for purposes such as roadblocks, mass transport and training. These units are now numbered ES-0 through ES-5. ES stands for Events Support. The following units were painted black prior to being sent to TPS. In November 2018, these units were repainted in a gray and white livery similar to the LFLRV livery on TTC vehicles. The following units are maintained and stored by the TTC. They are currently stored at Birchmount Garage in Scarborough.


Unit # Make Type
Marine Unit 1 Hike Industry (Wheatley ON) Dive Platform & Command Vessel marine boat with Volvo Penta Turbo Chargd 350 hp (260 kW) engines and crane.
Marine Unit 3 Tyler Nelson design built by Bristol Marine (Port Credit ON) 400 hp Long Range Search and Rescue Vessel
Marine Unit 4 Hike Industry patrol boat
Marine Unit MTB 5 James J. Taylor & Sons (Toronto ON) c. 1941 wooden motor boat—patrol boat with 225 hp gas engine
Marine Unit 7 Hike Industry patrol boat
MTB 11 Ruliff Grass Construction Co. Ltd (Richmond Hill ON) work boat, ex-Toronto Harbour Police 11 c 1968[59]
SRV1 Unknown service vessel/patrol boat
Marine Unit 21–23 Zodiac Hurricane 30-foot (9.1 m) Zodiac Rigid-hulled inflatable boat (RIBs) with twin 300 horsepower (220 kW) four-stroke motors
Marine Unit 12 / 1 Husky Biondo Boats (La Crosse WI) SR-19 Husky Airboat for ice operations
Marine Unit 20 Zodiac 28-foot (8.5 m) Zodiac with a Covered Wheelhouse, Twin Turbo-Diesel Jet Drive Engines
MU 8-9 Bombardier Recreational Products Sea-Doo GTX-4 personal watercraft
Brunswick Corporation patrol boats 75 hp engine
MU-15 Boston Whaler patrol boat 75 hp engine used by Toronto Lifeguard Service
Lowe Boats small metal boat for inland water rescue
Wahoo Marine boat 5m 50 hp rescue boat[60]
Unknown rowboats used by Toronto Police Lifeguard Service at select beaches along Lake Ontario
Unknown paddleboards used by Toronto Police Lifeguard Service
Unknown kayak used by Toronto Police Lifeguard Service
Zodiac Military & Professional Products inflatable zodiac workboat with 25 hp engine
Air Rider Hovercraft International air cushion rescue vehicle [61]

Support vehicles

Make/model Type Origin
Chevrolet Express van—Commercial Vehicle Enforcement, Collision Reconstruction, Public Safety Unit, CBRNE Response, Forensic Identification Services  United States
GMC Savanna vans—Radio Services and Court Services  United States
GMC C series light truck Emergency Task Force  United States
Chevrolet Suburban SUV—Emergency Task Force, Marine Unit, Police Dog Service, Public Safety Unit, Mounted Unit, Collision Reconstruction, Forensic Identification Services  United States
Ford Expedition SUV—Emergency Task Force, Police Dog Services, Forensic Identification Services  United States
Ford F350 pickup truck with horses trailer—Mounted Unit  United States
Ford F150 Pickup Truck—Emergency Task Force, Marine Unit, Mounted Unit, Public Safety Unit  United States
Armet Armoured Vehicles Incorporated/Ford Trooper—using F-550 chassis tactical vehicle—Emergency Task Force  United States/ Canada
Ford Econoline Van Explosive Disposal Unit, Forensic Identification Services, Court Services, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement  United States
Ford F-series or GMC Vandura trucks Prisoner Transportation Services Court Wagons (Retired)  Canada
Freightliner Trucks FL mobile mobile command unit  United States
Ford F-series truck chassis tow truck  United States
Ford Van van RIDE  United States
GMC Safari Van Parking Enforcement  United States
Jeep Cherokee SUV - Retired  United States
Northrop Grumman Remotec Andros MK V1A and Andros F6B bomb unit robots  United States
General Motors Diesel Division T6H −5307 series Metro Police Auxiliary AUX1 and AUX 2 bus—ex-Toronto Transit Commission 7960  Canada
Motor Coach Industries MCI 102A 2 recruitment buses  Canada
Motor Coach Industries MCI-9 bus  Canada
Orion Bus Industries Orion VII Diesel bus- used as roadblocks or mass transport  Canada
Community Relations trailer—community donated trailer  Canada


Bicycle unit
Bicycle unit
Make/model Type Origin
Norco Bicycles Cross Country mountain bike  Canada
Aquila Scandium mountain bike—Community Action Policing


An unmarked Cessna 206 H (C-FZRR) was registered with the Toronto Police Service and been used for undisclosed surveillance work.[62] The plane has been alleged to have been used during the Rob Ford substance abuse scandal.[62] C-FZRR was sold in 2015 to Sky Photo Techniques.[63] Air (helicopter) support is provided by York Regional Police through a mutual support agreement.

Sidearms and weapons

The Toronto Police Service formerly used Smith & Wesson revolvers prior to switching to Glock.

Weapons used by the Emergency Task Force include:

See also


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