311 toronto

Toronto's 311 service for complaints and requesting city work just got a major upgrade

Last year, Toronto's 311 service was flooded with over 1.3 million interactions combined across phone, email, internet and social media, handling more than 400,000 requests along the way.

That's got to be a lot of work for the crews staffing phone lines and computer desks, and even more frustration for residents trying to report issues.

Now, the city is making the process easier at both ends, launching a new 311 Toronto mobile app on Tuesday that connects residents, businesses and visitors with 311 staff at the touch of a screen using any smart device.

And if you were happy enough using your phone to call in requests about pesky potholes, flowing fire hydrants, or even to tattle on your lockdown-disregarding neighbours, the app is promising to make the process even easier.

Toronto mayor John Tory says that "it has never been easier to access 311" thanks to the new service, and a quick look at what's being offered explains why.

Requests entered through the app will be streamlined through GPS capability, allowing users to set the location of their requests for easier identification. You can even use your device's built-in camera to attach pictures to a report.

This same mapping capability lets users view other requests to see if an issue has already been reported, sparing 311 operators and those making requests from duplicate reports. The functionality extends beyond complaints, connecting users with local points of interest, including museums, libraries and civic centres.

"Not only do users have access to all the 311 services in the palm of their hand, but now there are even more great features that your phone will allow you to access," said Councillor Paul Ainslie.

"Use the GPS function on your device to zoom right into your location, take a photo and attach it to your request so the 311 crew sees exactly what you see, and submit a service request faster and easier."

Available on iOS and Android devices, the app can be downloaded for free using the Apple App and Google Play stores.

Lead photo by

Jack Landau

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