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October 5, 2009
Toronto reports on week one for 311
A little more than a week ago, 311 Toronto was successfully launched to the public and the new service is already proving its value to Torontonians. 311 Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) answered 18,942 calls during its first week of operation. This represents a 39 per cent increase in calls answered over the week prior to launch. General inquiries made up 81 per cent of all calls (15,275) while the remaining 19 per cent (3,667) were service requests.

On average, calls were answered within 21 seconds and the average call length was 218 seconds. As the CSRs answer more calls and the information in the 311 knowledge base becomes more refined in response to commonly asked questions, the average call length will decrease. More than 1000 e-mails were received and answered, which is about average for a week. The average daily call volume for the work week (Monday to Friday) was 4,319, or 62 per cent of 311’s forecasted daily call volume.

Of the service requests received:
• 25 per cent were for Toronto Water
• 19 per cent were for Transportation Services, and
• 56 per cent were for Solid Waste Management.

The Contact Centre experienced a small shift of calls (five per cent) from regular business hours (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) to off-business hours. This shift is important as it may indicate the callers are taking advantage of the availability of service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Although 311 Toronto was set up to take calls on City services, the public certainly embraced the new service. Some of the more unusual calls received included the following:
• What temperature is best to cook chicken wings at in an oven?
• Are there any health risks to living in a house made of cinder block?
• Is Fort York haunted?

One CSR received a call from a child looking for a recipe for strawberry cheesecake. It seems he was having trouble spelling strawberry so the CSR helped him with the spelling and directed him to Google. The CSR noted that she was confident the boy found what he was looking for.

Residents, businesses and visitors can call 311 to access non-emergency city services and information 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In the coming months, 311 will expand to include self service on the City’s website at

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. 2009 marks the 175th anniversary of Toronto's incorporation as a city. Toronto's government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contact:
Cheryn Thoun,, 416-919-6501



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