Several media reports say the official announcement is expected Monday.
Saunders would succeed Chief Bill Blair, who is retiring at the end this week.
The deputy chief has been with the Toronto Police Service for 32 years and is currently in charge of Specialized Operations Command where he oversees 1,200 police officers and 154 civilian members.
Saunders is the Co-Chair of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police Organized Crime Committee and, according to the TPS website, participates as a mentor for the Black Community Consultative Committee.
He is also the TPS’s executive sponsor of the Toronto Pan Am/Parapan American Games, responsible for safety and security, and he's credited with establishing the Toronto police department's cybercrime unit.
Saunders, who also served as the Unit Commander of Canada's largest homicide squad, had been considered one of two frontrunners for the job of Toronto's top cop.