Toronto Board of Control

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The Board of Control of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, was a part of its municipal government until it was abolished in 1969. It served as the executive committee of the Toronto City Council, consisting of four councillors elected city-wide and presided over by the Mayor. Beginning in 1904, the Board of Control was directly elected by the city's electorate. Each voter could vote for up to four candidates, and the four with the most votes were elected. By tradition the controller who received the most votes would get the powerful budget chief position.

Functions[edit]

Under the Municipal Act, the Board of Control had the following duties and powers:[1]

  1. the preparation and certification of all estimates for expenditures
  2. the preparation of specifications for tenders, and making awards thereon
  3. the nomination to council of all heads of departments and related staff, and the recommendation of appropriate salaries
  4. the inspection and reporting (at least monthly) on all municipal works carried on or in progress
  5. the submission of by-laws to the council
  6. the authority to amalgamate departments and sub-departments
  7. other powers as the council has delegated by-law or resolution

With respect to the first three items, the board's actions could only be overturned by a two-thirds vote of the council.

History[edit]

From 1896 until 1904, the Toronto Board of Control was an executive branch of Council, chaired by the Mayor. It handled all daily business of Council and reported to Council.[2]

In the early 20th century, elected Boards of Control were introduced as a reform measure for all cities in Ontario. The board was designed to be the equivalent of a cabinet for municipal governments. It had certain specific duties such as issuing tenders and appointing department heads. In Toronto it often did not function as such. Since the controllers were elected separately from the mayor, there was no guarantee they would be allied. Moreover, since controllers contested city wide elections they were often seen as the natural contenders for the mayoralty and as challengers to the incumbent mayor. Many controllers thus had a self-interest in blocking the mayor from succeeding. Relations between the Board of Control and council were also sometimes difficult, with the Board often acting as an independent council at odds with the larger body.

In 1961 the provincial government allowed cities with more than 100,000 people to abolish the Board of Control. Toronto City Council voted to do so in December 1968 after a long debate. The move was opposed by Mayor William Dennison along with three of the sitting controllers, but it was passed by a significant majority of council. The Board of Control was replaced with a new executive committee that would be composed of and elected by city council members. The size of city council was expanded by four to retain the same overall number of councillors.

The board was a white, male, largely Protestant bastion for much of its existence with a few exceptions. William Peyton Hubbard, the son of American slaves who had escaped to Canada through the Underground Railroad, was elected to the first Board of Control in 1904 and served for four terms; Joseph Singer became the first Jewish candidate to win city-wide office in 1923; Jean Newman was the first woman elected to the Board and served from 1957 to 1960.

City of Toronto Controllers[edit]

Names in boldface indicate Controllers that became Mayor of Toronto in other years.

X = elected as Controller
M = sitting as Mayor

From 1904 to 1929[edit]

Until 1994, the Board of Control was appointed by the city council. In 1903, the Ontario legislature passed a law requiring municipal boards of control to be chosen through direct election by the municipality's voters.[3] This requirement became effective in Toronto with the 1904 municipal election.

Elections to the Board of Control for the City of Toronto (1904-1929)
Controller 1904 1905 1906 1907 1908 1909 1910 1911 1912 1913 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 1919 1920 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928 1929
R.H. Cameron X X X X X
Tommy Church X X X X X M M M M M M M
Thomas Foster X X X X X X X X X M M M
George Reginald Geary X M M M
Joseph Gibbons X X X X X X X X X X
Albert Hacker X X X X X X
William Spence Harrison X X X
Wesley Hiltz X X X M
Horatio Clarence Hocken X X X X X M M
William Peyton Hubbard X X X X
S. Alfred Jones X
John F. Loudon X
Charles A. Maguire X X X X M M
Sam McBride X X X M M
J.O. McCarthy X X X
D.C. MacGregor X X X
John O'Neill X X X X X X
A.R. Nesbitt X X
J. George Ramsden X
Fred H. Richardson X
William D. Robbins X X X X
John Shaw X X
William Henry Shaw X
James Simpson X
Joseph Singer X
Frank S. Spence X X X X X X
W.A. Summerville X
Joseph Elijah Thompson X X
J.J. Ward X X X X X X X
Bert Wemp X X X

1930s and 1940s[edit]

Elections to the Board of Control for the City of Toronto (1930-1949)
Controller 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949
David Balfour X X X X X X
Frederick J. Conboy X X X X M M M M
Ralph Day X X X M M M
Lewis Duncan X X X
Albert Hacker X
Fred Hamilton X X X X X X X X
John Innes X X X
Allan Lamport X
Sam McBride X X X X M
Hiram E. McCallum X X X X M
Bert McKellar X X
Kenneth McKellar X
Douglas McNish X X X
Claude Pearce X
J. George Ramsden X X X X X
William D. Robbins X X X X X X X M
Leslie Saunders X
Robert Hood Saunders X X X X M M M M
James Simpson X X X X X M
Stewart Smith X X
W.A. Summerville X
William J. Wadsworth X X X X X X X X X X X
Bert Wemp M

From 1950 to abolition[edit]

Elections to the Board of Control for the City of Toronto (1950-1966)
Controller Jan 1950 Dec 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1958 1960 1962 1964 1966
William Allen X X X X
William Archer X
David Balfour X X X X X X
Roy Belyea X
Ford Brand X X X X X X
Margaret Campbell X X
Joseph Cornish X X X
William Dennison X X X X M
Philip Givens X X M
John Innes X X
Allan Lamport X M M M X X
June Marks X
Hiram E. McCallum M M
Jean Newman X X
Herbert Orliffe X X X
Leslie Saunders X X X X X X
Louis Shannon X X X X
Donald Summerville X X M

Election results[edit]

1966
Margaret Campbell - 88,036
June Marks - 77,655
Herbert Orliffe - 76,412
Allan Lamport - 67,677
George Ben - 63,206
Joseph Piccininni - 58,122
Phyllis Clarke - 10,162
Arthur Young - 9,550
John Charles Ewing - 6,071
Dorothy Cureatz - 4,262
Shaba Musa - 2,399
1964
William Dennison - 68,892
Herbert Orliffe - 66,280
William Archer - 65,593
Margaret Campbell - 60,900
George Ben - 59,751
Richard Horkins - 47,906
Harry Bradley - 12,949
Phyllis Clarke - 10,284
Fred Graham - 9,673
Patricia Mitchell - 6,750
1962
Philip Givens - 88,629
Allan Lamport - 84,902
William Dennison - 76,504
Herbert Orliffe - 73,118
Margaret Campbell - 72,108
Ken Waters - 62,019
Phyllis Clarke - 16,151
Frederick Graham - 10,475
Dorothy Cureatz - 6,752
1960
Donald Summerville - 110,893
William Allen - 110,256
William Dennison - 76,169
Philip Givens - 66,972
Herbert Orliffe - 65,418
Francis Chambers - 30,696
William Harris - 14,493
Jessie Jackson - 14,062
Burke - 13,240
1958
Jean Newman - 59,243
William Allen- 52,462
Donald Summerville - 49,476
William Dennison - 33,612
Leslie Saunders - 33,469
Roy Belyea - 27,024
Ross Parry - 25,195
James Karfilis - 10,971
Harry Bradley - 10,499
Ross Dowson - 4,539
George Rolland - 3,834
1956
Jean Newman - 54,785
Ford Brand - 54,178
William Allen - 54,038
Joseph Cornish - 49,385
Leslie Saunders - 47,048
Harry Bradley - 16,450
Charles Sims - 6961
George Rolland - 5,632
1955
Ford Brand - 59,264
Joseph Cornish - 55,162
William Allen - 53,455
Leslie Saunders - 46,528
Arthur Brown - 41,351
Harry Bradley - 14,802
Alex Hodgins - 13,503
Harry Hunter - 9,493
George Rolland - 3,923
George Stanton - 3,863
1954
Ford Brand - 69,540
Roy Belyea - 66,223
David Balfour - 62,871
Joseph Cornish - 55,277
Ross Lipsett - 45,385
Harry Bradley - 20,488
Harry Hunter - 14,114
Nobleman - 9,413
George Rolland - 5,280
1953
Leslie Saunders - 62,397
Louis Shannon - 57,635
Ford Brand - 54,635
David Balfour - 51,393
Joseph Cornish - 46,701
Harry Bradley - 18,686
Harry Hunter - 14,194
1952
Leslie Saunders - 71,597
Louis Shannon - 61,154
David Balfour - 58,898
Ford Brand - 58,648
Joseph Cornish - 41,086
John McMechan - 30,219
Stewart Smith - 19,061
Harry Bradley - 17,480
Frederick Vacher - 7,065
Mahoney - 7,046
1951
Leslie Saunders - 95,838
Ford Brand - 92,725
David Balfour - 91,474
Louis Shannon - 87,440
Stewart Smith - 31,317
Frederick Vacher - 20,039
December 1950
John Innes - 93,656
David Balfour - 81,577
Leslie Saunders - 80,703
Louis Shannon - 74,859
Ford Brand - 66,235
W.H. Collings - 59,380
Stewart Smith - 28,309
Mahoney - 8,210
Frederick Vacher - 7,653
January 1950
John Innes - 96,139
Leslie Saunders - 87,799
David Balfour - 78,090
Allan Lamport - 72,436
Louis Shannon - 72,059
Stewart Smith - 45,251
Harry Bradley- 21,719
Frederick Vacher - 9,850
1949
John Innes - 53,599
Leslie Saunders - 57,746
David Balfour - 55,271
Allan Lamport - 52,037
Stewart Smith - 43,364
K.B. McKellar (incumbent) - 41,846
Leonard Reilly - 20,756
E.C. Roelofson (incumbent) - 11,905
Harry Bradley- 9,701
1948
Hiram E. McCallum - 83,812
John Innes - 80,834
David Balfour - 77,087
Kenneth McKellar - 75,356
Stewart Smith - 47,791
Harry Bradley - 15,711
Harry Clairmont - 4,858
1947
Hiram E. McCallum - 58,524
John Innes - 53,137
David Balfour - 51,578
Bert McKellar - 49,680
Stewart Smith - 42,106
M.A. Sanderson - 26,136
Harry Bradley - 10,749
Harry Clairmont - 4,858
1946
Hiram E. McCallum - 42,126
Stewart Smith - 41,637
David Balfour - 40,632
Bert McKellar - 35,627
William J. Wadsworth - 35,477
Leslie Saunders - 22,040
Harry Bradley - 6,796
1945
David Balfour - 47,931
William J. Wadsworth - 45,942
Stewart Smith - 41,691
Hiram E. McCallum - 41,201
Leslie Saunders - 34,587
E.C. Bogart - 34,258
C.D Millen - 30,235
Harry Bradley - 9,589
1944
Robert Hood Saunders (incumbent) - 73,383
Fred Hamilton (incumbent) - 52,694
William J. Wadsworth (incumbent) - 52,485
David Balfour - 50,599
Hiram E. McCallum - 50,337
Stewart Smith - 41,277
William Dennison - 30,026
William Muir - 19,061
Harry Bradley - 7,743
1943
Lewis Duncan - 40,060
Robert Hood Saunders - 33,081
Fred Hamilton - 28,919
William J. Wadsworth - 27,031
C.E. Reynolds - 26,194
Minerva Reid - 18,320
J.C. Irwin - 16,860
G.P. Granell - 5,010
Harry Bradley - 3,590
1942
Lewis Duncan - 41,656
Robert Hood Saunders - 28,923
Fred Hamilton - 28,853
William J. Wadsworth - 27,022
Ralph Day - 24,208
Minerva Reid - 20,337
J.C. Irwin - 18,272
N. Macmillan - 5,179
Harry Bradley - 3,102
1941
Lewis Duncan - 49,382
Fred Hamilton - 39,021
Robert Hood Saunders - 37,417
William J. Wadsworth - 33,411
Adelaide Plumptre - 33,021
Ernest Bray - 26,391
David A. Balfour - 20,849
Day - 4,645
Harry Bradley - 3,271
Harding - 2,523
1940
Frederick J. Conboy - 78,672
Douglas McNish - 68,774
Fred Hamilton - 60,124
William J. Wadsworth - 55,756
David A. Balfour - 43,261
Stewart Smith - 19,641
Harding - 6,548
January 1939
Frederick J. Conboy - 80,720
Douglas McNish - 73,252
Fred Hamilton - 54,516
William J. Wadsworth - 49,446
William Croft - 48,798
Tim Buck - 43,112
Robert Hood Saunders - 40,973
William D. Robbins - 24,745
Harry Bradley - 3,489
December 1937
Frederick J. Conboy - 60,665
William J. Wadsworth - 53,766
Fred Hamilton - 47,493
Douglas McNish - 44,402
Tim Buck - 44,248
Robert Hood Saunders - 41,817
Robert Allen - 15,283
Harry Bradley - 4,623
December 1936
Ralph Day - 56,847
Frederick J. Conboy - 48,976
William J. Wadsworth - 48,047
Fred Hamilton - 39,003
Douglas McNish - 32,265
Tim Buck - 31,342
Alfred Burgess - 3,983
Harry Bradley - 3,295
January 1936
Ralph Day - 68,335
William J. Wadsworth - 62,838
J. George Ramsden - 52,170
William D. Robbins - 51,465
Joseph Enoch Thompson - 31,546
Miller - 30,613
Tim Buck - 20,873
Harry Bradley - 4,986
1935
Sam McBride - 71,177
William J. Wadsworth - 58,783
William D. Robbins - 44,820
Ralph Day - 41,515
Claude Pierce - 34,064
Adelaide Plumptre - 32,872
A.E Hacker - 29,110
Frank Regan - 26,242
Tim Buck - 9,938
1934
Sam McBride - 54,855
J. George Ramsden - 48,152
James Simpson - 47,358
William D. Robbins - 37,714
William J. Wadsworth - 36,289
Claude Pierce - 31,156
Percy Quinn - 26,872
Alice Buck - 9,767
Harry Bradley - 2,623
1933
J. George Ramsden - 55,503
Sam McBride - 55,323
James Simpson - 54,218
William D. Robbins - 48,061
Albert Hacker - 37,019
John Boland - 36,645
William Miller - 18,836
Cotton - 11,871
Alice Buck - 10,155
W.J. Haire - 3,066
J.H.H. Ballantyne - 2,183
1932
James Simpson - 42,010
J. George Ramsden - 38,200
Sam McBride - 31,939
William D. Robbins - 31,067
Albert Hacker - 30,348
Claude Pearce - 23,659
Cotton - 6,440
Tim Buck - 5,974
Harry Bradley - 1,726
1931
J. George Ramsden - 51,043
William D. Robbins - 50,801
James Simpson - 48,105
Albert Hacker - 43,763
John Boland - 41,779
Claude Pearce (incumbent) - 40,431
W.A. Summerville (incumbent) - 19,087
Foster - 13,491
Cotton - 9,014
King - 3,154
Tim Buck - 3,010
1930
W.A. Summerville (incumbent) - 47,418
Claude Pearce - 46,692
James Simpson - 44,921
William D. Robbins - 39,023
Benjamin Miller - 37,156
Frank Whetter (incumbent) - 31,772
Brook Sykes - 28,043
Wesley Benson - 25,054
Harry Bradley - 2,617
1929
Bert Wemp (incumbent) - 43,464
Joseph Gibbons (incumbent) - 32,734
W.A. Summerville - 30,292
A.E. Hacker (incumbent) - 28,667
R.H. Cameron - 27,266
Claude Pearce - 27,245
William D. Robbins (incumbent) - 23,796
James Simpson - 12,816
1928
Bert Wemp (incumbent) - 47,153
Joseph Gibbons (incumbent) - 45,655
A.E. Hacker (incumbent) - 33,433
William D. Robbins - 29,359
D.C. MacGregor (incumbent) - 28,858
Brook Sykes - 24,427
Miller - 18,122
James Simpson - 12,954
1927
Joseph Gibbons (incumbent) - 48,739
A.E. Hacker (incumbent) - 43,153
D.C. MacGregor (incumbent) - 34,813
Bert Wemp - 34,450
J. George Ramsden - 26,489
Clifford Blackburn - 22,959
Frank Whetter - 21,878
James Simpson - 10,946
1926
Joseph Gibbons (incumbent) - 37,608
Sam McBride - 36,211
A.E. Hacker (incumbent) - 31,427
D.C. MacGregor (incumbent) - 30,975
William D. Robbins - 30,320
William C. McBrien - 29,923
Bert Wemp - 28,024
Frank Whetter - 21,722
W.E. Hamilton - 2,590
1925
Joseph Gibbons (incumbent) - 39,299
A.E. Hacker (incumbent) - 34,369
William D. Robbins - 33,172
D.C. MacGregor - 30,326
R.H. Cameron (incumbent) - 29,086
James Simpson - 14,573
Birks - 4,321
1924
Joseph Gibbons (incumbent) - 42,778
Thomas Foster (incumbent) - 34,435
A.E. Hacker - 32,689
R.H. Cameron - 30,621
D.C. MacGregor - 26,637
William D. Robbins - 26,594
F.M. Johnston - 22,542
J.R. Beamish - 20,161
1923
Thomas Foster (incumbent) - 36,040
Joseph Gibbons (incumbent) - 33,740
Wesley Hiltz (incumbent) - 32,551
Joseph Singer - 32,033
Sam McBride - 30,606
A.R. Nesbitt (incumbent) - 29,947
Alfred Burgess - 24,876
J.R.I. Starr - 25,931
1922
Thomas Foster - 23,355
Wesley Hiltz (incumbent) - 20,001
Joseph Gibbons (incumbent) - 18,647
A.R. Nesbitt (incumbent) - 16,453
William D. Robbins - 16,814
R.H. Cameron - 15,403
J. George Ramsden - 14,721
Clifford Blackburn - 12,950
William Varley - 3,419
1921
Charles A. Maguire (incumbent) - 34,141
Wesley Hiltz - 22,615
Joseph Gibbons (incumbent) - 18,612
A.R. Nesbitt - 19,202
William D. Robbins - 18,015
R.H. Cameron (incumbent) - 17,872
J. George Ramsden (incumbent) - 17,393
Herbert Henry Ball - 16,911
1920
Charles A. Maguire (incumbent) - 28,438
Joseph Gibbons - 23,269
R.H. Cameron (incumbent) - 21,055
J. George Ramsden - 18,473
William D. Robbins (incumbent) - 17,716
Herbert Henry Ball - 16,506
James Simpson - 10,832
Wright - 7,927
1919
Charles A. Maguire (incumbent) - 19,963
R.H. Cameron - 19,094
Sam McBride (incumbent) - 18,476
William D. Robbins (incumbent) - 19,270
Joseph Gibbons - 16,397
Garnet Archibald - 15,603
Fred McBrien - 13,570
1918
John O'Neill (incumbent) - 24,952
William D. Robbins - 19,000
Sam McBride - 17,850
Charles A. Maguire - 17,711
William Henry Shaw (incumbent) - 14,255
D.C. MacGregor - 14,468
Garnet Archibald - 8,992
Miles Vokes - 2,720
Edward Meek - 2,262
1917
R.H. Cameron (incumbent) - 15,615
John O'Neill (incumbent) - 15,141
Thomas Foster (incumbent) - 13,939
William Henry Shaw - 11,967
James Simpson - 10,779
Sam McBride - 10,085
Frank S. Spence - 9,281
1916
Joseph Elijah Thompson (incumbent) -18,209
John O'Neill (incumbent) - 17,572
Thomas Foster (incumbent) - 16,085
R.H. Cameron - 15,391
James Simpson (incumbent) - 13,080
Frank S. Spence (incumbent) - 12,652
John Dunn - 11,009
1915
John O'Neill (incumbent) - 20,751
Thomas Foster - 18,608
Frank S. Spence - 17,747
Joseph Elijah Thompson - 16,505
James Simpson (incumbent) - 16,349
Fred McBrien - 15,447
John Wanless - 13,044
1914
James Simpson - 20,695
J.O. McCarthy (incumbent) - 17,490
Tommy Church (incumbent) - 17,085
John O'Neill (incumbent) - 14,597
Joseph Elijah Thompson - 14,233
Thomas Foster (incumbent) - 13,929
Robert Yeomans - 11,708
Eckardt - 7,755
1913
Thomas Foster (incumbent) - 15,861
John O'Neill - 14,600
J.O. McCarthy(incumbent) - 14,036
Tommy Church (incumbent) - 12,765
Frank S. Spence (incumbent) - 11,976
Robert Yeomens - 10,713
James Simpson - 10,122
Charles A. Maguire - 9,388
J.J. Ward - 9,278
George R. Sweeny - 1,643
Richard Woods - 498
1912
Horatio Clarence Hocken (incumbent) - 16,904
J.O. McCarthy - 14,897
Thomas Foster - 14,462
Tommy Church (incumbent) - 12,149
Frank S. Spence (incumbent) - 12,003
J.J. Ward (incumbent) - 11,735
O'Donohue - 4,022
George R. Sweeny - 3,921
1911
Horatio Clarence Hocken - 22,761
Frank S. Spence(incumbent) - 16,187
J.J. Ward (incumbent) - 15,999
Tommy Church (incumbent) - 15,760
Thomas Foster (incumbent) - 15,540
Thomas Davies - 3,285
1910
Frank S. Spence - 13,879
J.J. Ward (incumbent) - 13,401
Tommy Church - 12,657
Thomas Foster - 10,841
William Spence Harrison (incumbent) - 9,946
William Peyton Hubbard - 9,498
Mark Bredin - 8,708
James Henry McGhie - 7,511
James Hales - 5,852
Albert Chamberlain - 2,730
1909
George Reginald Geary - 19,027
Horatio Clarence Hocken (incumbent) - 17,380
J.J. Ward (incumbent) - 15,782
William Spence Harrison (incumbent) - 13,509
Frank S. Spence (incumbent) - 12,933
William Peyton Hubbard - 11,275
Hales - 8,171
Robert Buist Noble - 1,287
James O'Hara - 779
1908
Horatio Clarence Hocken (incumbent) - 16,844
Frank S. Spence - 11,512
William Spence Harrison (incumbent) - 10,312
J.J. Ward (incumbent) - 10,075
William Peyton Hubbard (incumbent) - 9,203
John Shaw - 6,385
Robert Fleming - 5,640
Oliver Sheppard - 5,099
John Dunn - 4,434
John Enoch Thompson - 1,291
James Lindala - 1,220
Hugh MacMath - 1,013
Robert Buist Noble - 745
James O'Hara - 367
Joel Marvin Briggs - 232
1907
J.J. Ward (incumbent) - 9,362
William Spence Harrison - 9,054
Horatio Clarence Hocken - 8,639
William Peyton Hubbard (incumbent) - 8,483
Robert Fleming - 7,077
S. Alfred Jones (incumbent) - 6,710
John Shaw (incumbent) - 6,465
John Dunn - 5,038
Davies - 1,390
Joel Marvin Briggs - 496
1906
William Peyton Hubbard (incumbent) - 14,081
S. Alfred Jones - 14,039
J.J. Ward (incumbent) - 13,770
John Shaw (incumbent) - 12,524
Hastings - 11,308
1905
Frank S. Spence (incumbent) - 13,032
J.J. Ward - 12,993
William Peyton Hubbard (incumbent) - 12,880
John Shaw - 12,436
J.R.L Starr - 9,823
Joseph Oliver - 8,141
Thomas Foster - 6,395
G.R. Ramsden - 5,839
Frank Moses - 5,048
A.R. Denison - 4,925
Edward Hanlan - 2,178
1904
Frank S. Spence - 12,294
John F. Loudon - 11,121
William Peyton Hubbard - 8,950
Fred H. Richardson - 8,923
Burns - 8,641
Joseph Oliver - 8,598
John Shaw - 7,184

References[edit]

Bibliography:

  • Russell, Victor (1982). The Mayors of Toronto: Volume 1: 1834–1909. Boston Mills Press. ISBN 0-919822-77-0. 

Notes:

  1. ^ "Municipal Act, RSO 1990, c. M.45, s. 68". archive.org. 
  2. ^ Russell 1982, p. 123.
  3. ^ The Consolidated Municipal Act, 1903, S.O. 1903, c. 19, Part IV, Div. III

See also[edit]

  • "Toronto Council Votes to Drop Board of Control." Toronto Star. December 19, 1968. pg 31
  • "Farewell Board, of Control?" Toronto Star. December 20, 1968.