Drawing on research that is part of the five-year Major Collaborative Research Initiative project examining public policy in Canadian municipalities, this article provides an overview of the federal-municipal machinery developed to facilitate urban policy and program development. The "federal-municipal machinery" refers to the many programs and initiatives that have been used to structure federalmunicipal relations and influence urban policy and development. The research time frame begins with the period leading up to the creation of the Ministry of State for Urban Affairs, in 1971, and continues through four decades to include recent events of note such as the creation of the Prime Minister's Caucus Task Force on Urban Issues, the subsequent announcements of the New Deal, and the Gas Tax Fund for Canada's cities and communities. The authors begin with a discussion of why federal governments involve themselves in municipal and urban affairs and then provide an overview of their analysis by identifying patterns and trends in the evolution of federal-municipal machinery. They then discuss the effectiveness of the machinery, over three periods, and conclude by considering the implications of their findings for the future of federal-municipal relations in the context of the growing pressures facing urban Canada.