This article examines the transition and short-term effects of municipal consolidation on five recently amalgamated municipalities in Canada. The data for this study were collected from provincial and municipal legislations, tax-rate by-laws and finance reports, as well as surveys and interviews with a variety of municipal officials and mayors. The analysis shows that municipal consolidation involves a complex reorganization of intricate administrative and political structures. Many of the problems encountered, and successes achieved, were particular to the circumstances of the municipalities that amalgamated. Ultimately, the success of consolidation in achieving greater efficiency and effectiveness in governance and service delivery will depend on the distinct history, as well as the spatial and economic circumstances, of the region considering reform. The five case studies, however, provide some useful lessons on how to improve the success of consolidations.