311 Is A Joke

Actually, 311 has worked quite well for me, but I was curious about the experiences of other Toronto Mike readers. I just thought it was clever of me to make a reference to Public Enemy's song. I'm modest that way.

Anyway, If you're not from Toronto and/or not familiar with 311, it's the City's telephone number you call to complain about stuff. You know, potholes, litter, naked hobos on your lawn. Junk like that.

I've used the service frequently, and 95% of the time the experience was quite positive. Friendly, responsive and easy to access. And when I say 95% I mean it - 95% exactly. I worked the equations and crunched the formulas. I don't fuck around with math, unless math looks a little like Amanda Seyfried.

So, share your 311 experiences here.

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Comments (9 - click here to join in!)


It is a joke especially if you have to pay 50cents to make a complaint from a payphone.

Its better to fill out a form & it gets taken care of promptly.

July 12, 2012 @ 4:24 PM

Ryan G


What's a payphone?

July 12, 2012 @ 4:30 PM


I haven't used it that much, but when I did, it's positive experience. I don't have problems. As for the 50 cents, don't use a payphone.

July 12, 2012 @ 8:36 PM


Mike: I just used the 311 line on Tuesday to complain about the garbage truck driver. He picked up my bin and moved the truck and dropped the bin on the driveway. We purposely leave it at least 10 feet from the driveway so that won't happen. He also completely demolished my neighbors bin. So I called to complain about the bin in my driveway and about the neighbors bin. The neighbor also called and his bin was replaced the next day. We will just have to wait and see how many more times the bin gets left in the driveway before I call again. He left quite a few other bins in peoples driveways as well.

July 12, 2012 @ 10:16 PM


I find the service to be effective about 90% of the time with issues that I have reported ranging from pot holes, damaged signs, graffiti, litter, and missed yard waste collection. I love that you can call 24 hours a day, and that the people are always polite and generally knowledgeable. The tracking number that you can also enter online at toronto.ca/311 is great. Now you can also report a wide range of issues online, which is excellent. I think the city did a great job with this Miller-era initiative. In the rare case that reported problems don't get resolved, it's probably not the service's fault but something to do with a local city employee.

July 13, 2012 @ 11:27 PM

Rick C in Oakville

@Faunie: We have a private contractor out here in Oakville pick up our trash and recyclables, and they are the neatest sanitation workers you could ask for. The recyclables guy has to pick up my 2 bins of paper etc. and my green bin. He puts the recyclable bins inside each other and then puts the green bin inside. You could set a perfect straight line up the street to how neat he is. Never ever have a complaint. My dad lives in Scarborough, and his bins are all helter skelter after they are dumped. City sanitation guys have no pride in what they do, even though it has been made easier for them with the mechanical lifting etc.

July 14, 2012 @ 6:40 PM


It depends on the city garbage collection worker. Some are neat; others put the bins back lying on the sidewalks and don't pick up the litter that fell from the bins while they were being emptied. There are better and worse workers, like in most workplaces.

I've seen messy garbage collection in Etobicoke where it has been privatized for a while. I don't see how garbage collectors making less money with fewer benefits are more likely to be proud of their job. In terms of garbage collection, with the private sector, there's less accountability, lower wages, and after a number of years the same price to deliver the same service as the unionized public sector. The contractors themselves want to take as much of the government's money as they can.

July 15, 2012 @ 1:20 AM


Just tried 311 for the first time. The city did work on our street and the water was shut off. The workers left for the day but we still have no water as they didn't turn it back on. The 311 operator had very poor listening skills and misquoted me many times. Hoping she got my address correct so we can have water again.

February 11, 2014 @ 6:35 PM


311 is ABOMINABLE. Ill-trained, ignorant, RUDE "agents", who do not listen, ask stupid questions, and completely miss the point. It should be disbanded.

The supervisors are equally disrespectful and stupid.

November 30, 2014 @ 3:40 PM

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