The Toronto-based Bureau of Municipal Research published over 800 bulletins and reports on urban issues in Canada between 1914 and 1983. Much has been written about its parent organization, the New York Bureau of Municipal Research. But the history of the Toronto chapter has all but been ignored. This article by Gabriel Eidelman and Maya Hoke is a step toward understanding the history of the Toronto Bureau, and its impact on urban policy and local government in the Greater Toronto area. The article tells the story of the Bureau’s genesis, the evolution of its mission and leadership over time, and its eventual demise, analyzes the Bureau’s body of work, identifying two common themes—efficiency and informed citizenship—and examines the Bureau’s tangible achievements, most apparent in areas of municipal finance and administrative reform in the 1910s, 1920s, and 1930s, as well as the Bureau’s enduring legacy, including the lessons its work holds for modern-day urban policy debates in Greater Toronto and elsewhere.

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