How do I file a claim with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario?

You can make a discrimination claim with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) by filling out an application.

The HRTO accepts applications by persons who believe they have been discriminated against under the Ontario Human Rights Code. To find out more about what the Code covers, read What human rights protection does Ontario offer?

Your application must be filed within 1 year of the incident(s). Late applications are only allowed in some circumstances.

The Human Rights Legal Support Centre (HRLSC) provides free help filling out the application. Contact them at 1-866-625-5179 for more information.

What happens when I file a claim with the HRTO?

The person who discriminated against you is called the respondent. When you file a claim, the HRTO sends the respondent a copy of the application.

The respondent is expected to make a written response and you will be given the chance to reply to it.

Everyone who files an application is asked if they want to participate in mediation to try to solve the issue. Both sides must agree to participate in mediation.

In mediation, a representative from the HRTO listens to both side's views and helps you come to an agreement together. If mediation is not selected or does not work out, the application will go to a hearing.

At a hearing, an HRTO adjudicator (decision-maker) listens to each side, reviews evidence and makes a decision. Depending on the case, it may be several months before you receive a decision.

The decision may require the respondent to make a remedy. This could be financial or non-financial.

For More Information

  • Preparing and Filing a Human Rights Application - A guide that explains what you need to know when submitting an application to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. From the Human Rights Legal Support Centre.
  • Human Rights Legal Support Centre (HRLSC) - The HRLSC provides free legal advice and support on human rights issues in Ontario, including help filling out applications to the HRTO. Information is available in many languages.
  • Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO): Frequently Asked Questions - Find out more about the HRTO, including the meaning of discrimination and harassment, how complaints are dealt with, and what to expect at HRTO proceedings.
  • Justice Ontario - This website has information about Ontario's legal system, including family and criminal law, lawsuits, human rights, wills and estates, and tickets and fines. You can get legal information in over 170 languages.
Last updated: May 24, 2023 4001557