Andrew Sancton


D. Phil., Oxford University
Telephone: 519-619-3646

Research Interests

Professor Sancton is interested in all aspects of urban politics and local government, but especially municipal institutions and boundaries in large metropolitan areas. He also has a longstanding interest in electoral boundaries at all levels of government and the constitutional politics of allocating seats in the Canadian House of Commons to the various provinces.  More recently, he has undertaken research relating to disputes about the role of Ontario ombudsman in determining the legality of informal meetings of small groups of municipal councillors, the professionalization of the role of municipal councillor, and the significance in Canada of municipal charters.

Current Research Projects

Professor Sancton retired in January 2017. He does not anticipate beginning major new research projects or accepting new PhD students.

Selected Publications


  • 2021: Canadian Local Government: An Urban Perspective, 3rd edition. (Toronto: Oxford University Press).
  • 2015: Canadian Local Government: An Urban Perspective, 2nd edition. (Toronto: Oxford University Press).
  • 2015: Citizen Participation at the Local Level in Canada and China, co-edited with Chen Zhenming (Boca Raton FL: CRC Press).
  • 2011: Canadian Local Government: An Urban Perspective (Toronto: Oxford University Press).
  • 2009: Foundations of Governance: Municipal Governments in Canada’s Provinces, co-edited with Robert Young (Toronto: University of Toronto Press).
  • 2008: The Limits of Boundaries: Why City-regions Cannot be Self-Governing (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press). pp. 178.

Refereed Journal Articles

  • 2015: 'What is a Meeting? Municipal Councils and the Ontario Ombudsman,"Canadian Public Administration, LVIII-3 (September).
  • 2012: “‘Democratic policing’: Lessons from Ipperwash and Caledonia,” Canadian Public Administration, LV-2 (September), 365-83.

Book Chapters

  • 2014: (with Christopher W. Hoene and Darrene Hackler), "North America" in UCLG ed., Basic Services in an Urbanizing World: Providing Access for All: Third Global Report on Decentralization and Local Democracy (London: Routledge, 2014), pp. 184-203.
  • 2012: “Metropolitan Governance in Canada,” in Peter K. Spink, Peter M. Ward, and Robert H. Wilson, eds., Metropolitan Governance in the Federalist Americas: Strategies for Equitable and Integrated Development (Notre Dame IN, University of Notre Dame Press), pp.44-64.
  • 2011: “Fixing the Ontario Side of the Federal Capital Region” in Rupak Chattopadhyay and Gilles Paquet, eds., The Unimagined Federal Capital: Challenges for the Federal Capital Region (Ottawa: Invenire Books), pp.79-85.
  • 2010: “Restructuring and Reform: Canada” in Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly and John F. Martin, eds., Local Government in a Global World: Australia and Canada in Comparative Perspective (Toronto: University of Toronto Press), pp. 109-29.
  • 2010: “Local Government” in John C. Courtney and David E. Smith, eds. The Oxford Handbook of Canadian Politics (New York: Oxford University Press), pp.131-49.

Recent Conference Presentations

  • 2015: "The Training of Municipal Councillors: Professionalization in a Mid-sized Canadian City" Association française de science politique, Aix-en-Provence, 22 June.
  • 2015: "The False Panacea of City Charters: The Case of Toronto" Urban Policy Program Symposium, School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary, 3 June.
  • 2012: “Finding a Balance between Voter Parity and Communities of Interest or Identity” Conference on Redistribution of Federal Electoral
    Districts 2012, Elections Canada, Ottawa, 22 February.

Awards and Distinctions

  • 2016: Dean’s Excellence Award for Teaching (Social Science)
  • 1997: J.E. Hodgetts Award for the best English-language article in Canadian Public Administration in 1996.