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On August 18, 1974 City Council appointed the City of Toronto Flag Design Committee, comprised of Aldermen Paul B. Pickett, Q. C. and Reid Scott, Q.C. as Co-chairmen and Aldermen Edward Negridge, Colin Vaughan and Anne Johnston as members.
The committee's task was to bring forward a suitable design for the City of Toronto flag.
A competition was launched, and on November 6, 1974 the committee's selection was submitted to City Council. By a unanimous vote, the design of 21-year-old George Brown College student Renato De Santis was declared the winning entry.
Elements of the Flag
*the twin towers of City Hall on a blue background
*the red Maple Leaf of the Flag of Canada represents the Council Chamber at the base of the towers.
In 1997, the City of Toronto amalgamated, bringing together the former cities of Etobicoke, Scarborough, North York, York and Toronto, the Borough of East York and the Metro level of government.
Council began the search for a new flag to represent the newly formed city.
The public was invited to submit designs. When Council did not approve any of the submissions, City design staff were asked to submit design proposals.
During the councillors review of staff designs, Renato De Santis - designer of the original City of Toronto flag in 1974, suggested his design be approved with minor modifications to a 3'x 6' format.
Council approved the design in October 1999.
To purchase a City of Toronto flag please contact:
The Flag Shop, 5000 Dufferin Street, Unit B, at 416-736-3524.
Flags, sized 3 x 6 feet, cost $43.90 (polyknit) and $53.00 (nylon) plus GST & PST (prices subject to change).
The formation of the amalgamated City of Toronto, made up of the former cities of Etobicoke, York, North York, Scarborough, Toronto, the Borough of East York and the Metro level of government in 1997, necessitated the creation of a new Coat of Arms
Who can use the Toronto Coat of Arms?
The City of Toronto Coat of Arms is a distinguished and official symbol and is intended for ceremonial application only. Use of the Coat of Arms on business stationary is restricted to the mayor and members of council and as authorized by the Protocol Office. Contact Daphne Gaby Donaldson, Chief of Protocol, for more information at 416-392-4273
How it was created
A questionnaire was distributed to the public asking for suggestions about which symbols they would like to have included in the City of Toronto's new Coat of Arms.
The questionnaire was distributed at the City's Civic Centres, to Members of Council, libraries, community centres and posted on the City of Toronto Web site during the month of July 1998.
More than 1,100 responses were received, and considered for the new design, created by the Chief Herald of Canada and granted by His Excellency Romeo LeBlanc, Governor General of Canada.
Council approved the new design on October 30, 1998.
Meaning of each symbol:
"Diversity Our Strength": This is the motto which describes our new city – the joining of seven municipalities which creates added strength.
"The Shield": This represents the two towers of Toronto City Hall with the blue sky between and above the towers which form the capital letter T.
"The Eagle": The golden eagle is a symbol of our native background. It is known for its strength, bravery and power.
"The City Wall": This is a symbol of the City’s responsibility to shelter and protect its people. On the wall are the symbols of the former City of York (a York rose with green thorns), the former City of North York (a heart for the "city with a heart") and the former Borough of East York (also a York rose with gold centre).
"The Intertwining Collar": The collar symbolizes added strength when working together. This is where the motto "Diversity Our Strength" came from.
"The Honeycomb": This is a symbol of energy and productivity. It is hanging on the collar of the beaver in a gold hexagon shape.
"The Green Alder-Leaf": An alder is the name of a tree. This is a symbol of the former City of Etobicoke whose name means a "place where alder grows".
"The Beaver": This is a symbol of the City’s history for industry and activity. From our history, fur trading made its way to downtown which became known as "Toronto" (the meeting place).
"The Green Grass": This symbolizes the many parks and recreational facilities of which the City is proud.
"The Bear": The bear represents strength, determination, caring and protection of its offspring. The dark colour brown represents the colour of the earth.
"The Columbine Flower": This flower is a symbol of the former City of Scarborough. It is hanging on the collar of the bear in the gold hexagon shape. The placement of the green alder-leaf and the columbine flower shows the geographic placement of Etobicoke on the west and Scarborough on the east.
"The Three Rivers": This symbol represents the three rivers (Humber, Don & Rouge) flowing into Lake Ontario.