One fact about the municipalities of Ontario is that the Canadian government designates each municipality as upper tier or lower tier, depending on the level of policing, utility and social services that the city provides its residents without regional assistance. Toronto is a municipality in Ontario with a unique single-tier designation, which means that the Toronto government provides all government services directly to its residents without assistance from the greater Canadian government.
There are 444 municipalities in Ontario as of 2015, according to the Association of Municipalities Ontario. Municipalities sit in larger geographic areas called counties. Canadian municipalities assume responsibility for a number of government functions, including operation of local airports, snow removal, sewer and animal control. Municipalities also oversee ministerial functions such as arts and culture and economic development efforts.
Most of the funding for municipal services in Ontario comes from property taxes. Many municipalities also charge user fees for municipal services such as public parks. Each municipality sets its own tax rate. The tax rates sometimes vary within a municipality by the type of property assessed, such as commercial, residential or industrial. Ontario's municipalities also receive income through parking fines and other assessed penalties.
The municipality of Niagara Falls boasts 82,997 residents. While tourists flock to see Niagara Falls, the 177-foot waterfall named the Horseshoe also provides the municipality and other Canadian regions with green electricity. Industry in the municipality of Niagara Falls includes food processing, paper goods and chemical manufacturing.