Toronto’s municipal government planning to phase out its fax machines | Council |
Fax machines at city hall will soon go the way of teletype machines, pneumatic tube transit systems and other antique modes of inter-office communication starting in 2022, as the city

Fax machines in Toronto’s city hall will soon bid farewell, as the city embarks on a new plan starting in 2022 to phase out the technology, making way for a more streamlined communication system. Paul Ainslie, chair of Toronto’s Government Management Committee, has emphasized the move during the recent meeting on November 30th.

In response to a direction from Toronto council, the city has laid out a plan to transition away from the 1,355 fax lines currently in use. The annual cost for maintaining these lines sits at $113,000 for the 406 analog lines and $34,000 for the internet lines.

But it’s not just about the cost. The new plan is to transition to a virtual fax solution, a process that takes away the need for a physical device. Faxes will continue to be sent to existing fax numbers, only to be converted into email attachments. The system is designed with privacy in mind, ensuring the secure emailing of scanned documents.

The change does not mean an abrupt goodbye to faxing, but a transformation into a more efficient method. The city will kick off 2022 by working on this shift and upgrading about 80 offices that currently lack the bandwidth to support virtual faxes.

In the words of Ainslie, “And we continue to get rid of our fax lines as we move into 2022.” The plan’s approval is a clear indication of the city’s commitment to modernizing without discarding the tried and true methodology of faxing. The move is a nod to a new era while recognizing the continuous utility of the technology that has kept Toronto connected in different ways.

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