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Chief People Officer (City of Toronto)

Client Organization: City of Toronto

Position Title: Chief People Officer (CPO)

Reports to: City Manager

Location: Toronto, Ontario



The City of Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses.

The People & Equity Division provides corporate leadership and strategic Human Resources (HR) advisory and customized solutions to complex workforce priorities and challenges; manages the employee relations environment; supports City Divisions in embedding equity and reconciliation into all policies, programs and services including a work environment that is equitable, legislatively compliant and free of discrimination and harassment; provides managers and employees with a single point of contact for timely HR guidance and information; manages people process-related technology, data, information, training and support; attracts and retains a highly-skilled diverse workforce; ensures compliance with health & safety legislation; reduces the impact of injuries, illnesses and absences; builds capacity and a positive workplace culture through learning and leadership development and initiatives that support an ethical, inclusive and effective Toronto Public Service that builds trust and confidence with the public and staff.



The Chief People Officer embraces and exemplifies the City’s four workplace culture themes that create the roadmap to building a great Toronto Public Service: Being Respected, Empowered and Valued; Embracing Diversity and Inclusion; Making a Difference; and Working Together.

The Chief People Officer reports to the City Manager, oversees a dedicated full-time staff complement of 436, and is a member of the Senior Leadership Team and the Corporate Leadership Team. The Chief People Officer is accountable for the strategic direction and priorities for the People & Equity Division, provides overall strategic leadership and operational management of the people practices, ensures a consistent service delivery through the modernization of standardized processes, and participates in and supports transformational initiatives and activities. The over-arching framework of civic service excellence will be achieved by enhancing employee and corporate performance through building leadership and employee capabilities to enhance performance and potential, building a learning organization and integrating best practices, and creating a people-oriented work environment that supports a high level of performance, commitment and pride. The Chief People Officer is a trusted advisor, leads by example, and collaborates with leaders across multiple lines of business to support the Mayor and Council on delivering the City’s services, programs, and key strategic objectives.



  • Sets the vision, strategy, and priorities for the People & Equity Division, within the City’s overall strategic priorities and the diverse human resource needs across the Toronto Public Service.
  • In collaboration with the City Manager and senior and corporate leadership colleagues, leads and supports the City’s transformation priorities and objectives.
  • Provides strategic leadership and accountability for the enterprise-wide implementation of strategies, frameworks, and programs, and the provision of robust, strategic human resources expertise, advice, services, and support, in all areas of human resources including, but not limited to talent acquisition and retention, total rewards, workforce and succession planning, learning and development, employee relations, labor relations and collective bargaining, workforce equity and service equity.
  • Leads the implementation and continued development of human resources policies and practices that support a modern and flexible work environment and the current and future needs of a modern public service, ensuring policies and practices comply with relevant legislative authorities, best practices, and standards.
  • Creates and implements a sustainable Talent Blueprint for the City which includes the design and implementation of learning and development activities, initiatives and programs universally required by all staff or by specific categories of staff to support the building of a learning culture focussed on individual, team and corporate performance.
  • Provides overall strategic direction in creating a positive labour relations climate, where working collaboratively and respectfully with bargaining agent partners are integral to ensuring alignment with legislative and collective agreement requirements in support of positive employee experiences.
  • Leads the development of operational plans for human resources and the development, monitoring and reporting of performance metrics and risks for human resources.
  • Leads the development and maintenance of a collaborative, forward-thinking culture within the Toronto Public Service and champions change across the organization with a focus on employee engagement, and individual, team and leadership development.
  • Promotes and drives innovation and continuous improvement throughout the People & Equity Division and across the City related to human resources and equity.
  • Develops an agile and flexible organization structure and work environment which stays at the forefront of innovation, collaboration, client service delivery, and positive employee experience through a diverse multi-disciplinary team. Champions and promotes an environment and culture of service excellence which respects diversity, encourages all employees to work together to achieve results and contribute to a healthy, rewarding, and productive working environment where personal and team accountability are key to meeting the mandate of the Toronto Public Service.



  • Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL) or related certification is preferred. A university or graduate degree in a relevant professional discipline (e.g. Human Resources, Labour Relations, etc.) is a strong asset.
  • Progressively more responsible and accountable senior HR leadership experience in providing direction and oversight of a robust human resources function with expertise in developing and implementing best practices in human resources programs, policies, learning and development initiatives, advisory services, and human capital management systems ideally within a unionized environment.
  • A proven strategic and inspirational leader with expertise in leading and executing change, enriching employee engagement and employee experience, and ensuring effective and timely client service delivery within a dynamic and complex operating environment of scope and scale.
  • Labour relations experience including responsibility for strategy development and relationship and partnership building.
  • Experience leading and managing a high-performance team.
  • Experience “leading/managing through influence”, driving results requiring contribution and buy in from multiple line business leaders.
  • Deep commitment to reconciliation, equity, accessibility, human rights and inclusion.
  • Leadership skills to strategically design and execute on key deliverables aligned to a post-COVID environment.
  • Demonstrated ability to quickly build and garner credibility and respect with multiple stakeholders, including elected officials.
  • Self-directed with strong critical thinking skills and results orientation.
  • Development of self and others as leaders within a challenging, complex and evolving environment; demonstrating resilience and positivity that allows for balance while encouraging forward momentum to achieve results.
  • Ability to formulate budget strategies with strong business acumen in understanding the key financial drivers and their dynamics.
  • Excellent communication (verbal and written), presentation, facilitation, and interpersonal skills.
  • Practical and pragmatic in style and approach.
  • Knowledge and expertise in human resource theories, principles, and best practices.
  • Knowledge and interpretative understanding of relevant legislation (e.g., Occupational Health and Safety, Ontario Human Rights Code, WSIB, Employment Standards Act) and initiatives which impact human resource programs and services in a broader public sector environment.


The City of Toronto is committed to employment equity and encourages applications from Aboriginal people, people with disabilities, members of visible minority groups and women.

The City of Toronto strives to build an inclusive society and providing an accessible environment in which all individuals have access to the City’s services and programs in a way that respects the dignity and independence of people with disabilities.

Learn more about the City’s commitment to accommodation and employment equity accommodation and employment equity. Should you require accommodation in order to participate as a candidate in the hiring process, please communicate your needs to the LHH Knightsbridge executive search team.

All City of Toronto employees are required to be fully vaccinated as a condition of hire in accordance with the City's Mandatory Vaccination Policy. Candidates of interest will be required to show proof of vaccination during the recruitment process.



If you are interested in being considered for this exciting and challenging senior leadership opportunity, please submit your expression of interest (cover letter and current resume) by email to Lindsay Millard, Senior Consultant, at with “CPO, City of Toronto” in the subject line.




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