What human rights protection does Ontario offer?

In Ontario, human rights are protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Ontario Human Rights Code.

The Ontario Human Rights Code is Ontario's anti-discrimination law. It is illegal for anyone to discriminate against another person on the basis of:

  • Race;
  • Ancestry;
  • Place of origin;
  • Colour;
  • Ethnic origin;
  • Citizenship;
  • Creed (religion);
  • Sex;
  • Sexual orientation;
  • Age;
  • Marital Status;
  • Family Status;
  • Disability;
  • Receipt of public assistance (in accommodation only); or
  • Record of offences (in employment only).

All people have the right to be treated fairly in employment, accommodation, goods, services and facilities, contracts, and membership in vocational associations.

You cannot be punished or threatened with punishment for trying to exercise your rights under the Ontario Human Rights Code.

The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) hears complaints of discrimination based on the grounds in the Ontario Human Rights Code. Human Rights complaints are filed and decided at the HRTO.

The Ontario Human Rights Commission educates the public about discrimination under the Ontario Human Rights Code. It is an arm's length agency of the provincial government.

Contact the Human Rights Legal Support Centre (HRLSC) for free legal support about your situation if you believe you have been discriminated against under the grounds in the Ontario Human Rights Code.

If you suffer discrimination based on any of these grounds, contact the HRTO to make a complaint or to get more information at 1-866-598-0322.

For More Information

  • Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario - This body investigates complaints of discrimination and harassment based on the Ontario Human Rights Code.
  • Ontario Human Rights Commission - This body provides leadership for the promotion, protection and advancement of human rights, and builds partnerships across the human rights system.
  • Human Rights and Mental Health - Information about your rights, if you have a mental health disability or an addiction. It looks at your rights in the workplace, housing and accessing services. From the Ontario Human Rights Commission.
  • 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: June 19, 2023 4000355