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Ontario municipalities of all sizes face pressure to “do more with less.” Commissioned by the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs, this Resource Guide provides municipal officials with single-source information about a range of current leading practices in cost savings in small and mid-sized Ontario municipalities. Municipalities across the province are continually developing innovative practices that save costs without incurring service level reductions. Most of these practices involve small-scale initiatives that result in modest savings. Yet even modest savings add up over time, and multiple small initiatives in a single municipality can make a big difference. In addition, by providing an opportunity to re-think established service provision practices, these initiatives often have significant non-monetary benefits as well.

This Guide, based on a year of research by a team at Western University, presents detailed profiles of 14 selected cases of leading practices in cost savings. The case studies come from municipalities of varying sizes in all regions of the province, and profile leading practices in a wide variety of service fields. In addition to these cases, the Guide presents a reference compendium of 159 cost-savings recommendations from recent Municipal Service Delivery Reviews. The Guide is intended to serve as a source of ideas and inspiration for Ontario’s local officials as they seek to provide the best possible services to their residents in challenging fiscal times.

Publication Date



Centre for Urban Policy and Local Governance, Western University


London, Ontario, Canada


local government, public administration, efficiency, cost savings, Ontario


Policy Design, Analysis, and Evaluation | Public Administration | Public Policy | Urban Studies | Urban Studies and Planning


Centre for Urban Policy and Local Governance, Research Report #2