The City of Toronto supports residents of Toronto with a wide range of services, while striving to be welcoming to all and providing a high level of service.
As part of ongoing efforts to improve how services are delivered, the City was exploring ways of serving residents better by creating centralised service ‘hubs’ such as City Hall. At the same time, Paula Kwan, Director of the Civic Innovation Office, had noticed that many people who did not speak English were trying to get help in finding their way at City Hall. In many cases, people approached the security desk for help with finding their way or asking how to engage with city services.
The first step to solving the problem was bringing the (previously vacant) information desk back to life. 311 operators, who normally answer residents questions online or over the phone, were staffed to the desk to answer questions and support visitors to City Hall with their needs.