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 councillors, and the desirability of development charges.

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).
  • 2008. The Limits of Boundaries: Why City-regions Cannot be Self-Governing (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press). pp. 178.
  • 2000. Merger Mania: The Assault on Local Government, French translation entitled La frénésie des fusions: une attaque à la démocratie locale, (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press.
  • 1994. Governing Canada's City-Regions: Adapting Form to Function (Montreal: Institute for Research on Public Policy.
  • 1985. Governing the Island of Montreal: Language Differences and Metropolitan Politics (Berkeley: University of California Press), Reissued in 2020 in the Press’s “Voices Revived” series.

Refereed Journal Articles

  • 2022. "Reassessing the Case for Development Charges in Canadian Municipalities,” Canadian Planning and Policy, Volume 2022, pages 137-150.
  • 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

  • 2021. (with Christopher Alcantara), “Membership Rules for Democratic Communities: Canada and the United States” in Cameron D. Anderson and Laura B. Stephenson, eds., What is Democracy and How Do We Study It? (Toronto: University of Toronto Press), pp.108-26.
  • 2021. (with Martin Horak and Allison Bramwell), “Bob Young, Big Projects, and the Study of Local and Urban Politics in Canada” in André Blais, Cristine deClercy, Anna Lennox Esselment, and Ronald Wintrobe, eds., Across Boundaries: Essays in Honour of Robert A. Young (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press), pp.16-32.
  • 2018. What Happened to Incumbent Councillors in Greater Sudbury and London,Ontario, in2014? The Role of the Ontario Ombudsman’s Reports on Alleged Secret Meetings” in Sandra Breux and Jérôme Couture, eds.,Accountability and Responsiveness at the Local Level: Views from Canada (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press), pp.132-52.

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.