Books relating to human rights on a library shelf

This guide is general information only. It is not legal advice about your situation. This guide is not a substitute for a lawyer’s research, analysis and judgment. This guide is reliable as of the date of publication (January 2021). You should be aware that the law and procedures under the Human Rights Code (Code) and at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) are subject to change without notice.

The Application Process

This section provides information and guidance on filing HRTO Application forms, as listed at the bottom of this page.

Personal Contact Information
Provide Applicant’s name, address, telephone number, fax number, cell number and e-mail address. A self-represented Applicant must advise the HRTO what method of communication they prefer (i.e., mail, e-mail or fax)


Litigation Guardians
A Litigation Guardian is a person who files an application on behalf of someone who is not legally able to file on their own. See Practice Direction on Litigation Guardians before Social Justice Tribunals Ontario.

There are two situations where a Litigation Guardian is needed:

1. Where the person who has been discriminated against is a minor (under 18 years of age):

  • Application must be filed by an adult (usually a parent or legal guardian) on behalf of the Applicant
  • Person filing the Application must complete and file a Form 4A requesting to be approved as a Litigation Guardian

2. Where the person who has been discriminated against does not have the mental capacity to file on their own:

  • Mental Incapacity- cannot understand information needed to make decisions about the case or cannot understand the consequences of such a decision
  • Person filing Application must complete and file a Form 4B requesting to be appointed as Litigation Guardian

Application on Behalf of Another
34(5) A person or organization, other than the Ontario Human Rights Commission, may apply on behalf of another person to the Tribunal for an order under section 45.2 if the other person:

(a) would have been entitled to bring an application under subsection (1); and
(b) consents to the application

The person/organization seeking to file an application on behalf of another person must file a Form 27 along with a completed Form 1.

See Practice Direction on Filing Applications on behalf of another person under Section 34(5) of the Code




This section allows for an Applicant to provide an alternative address for delivery of all HRTO correspondence, which is useful where:

  • An Applicant may not have a permanent address (i.e. post-secondary student living in residence, person living in a shelter or temporary housing); or
  • An Applicant wishes to keep their address private, as the Respondent will only be provided with the Alternative Contact address.

IMPORTANT: If Applicant completes this section, all correspondence from the HRTO will go to the Alternative Contact and the Applicant will not receive any direct communication from the HRTO.

If the Applicant retains a lawyer or paralegal, they must authorize that person to represent them and provide their contact information, indicating the best way to send information to them (i.e., mail, e-mail or fax).

Three (3) options for representation at the HRTO:

  1. Self-representation;
  2. Representation by a lawyer or paralegal licensed by the Law Society of Ontario (LSO); or
  3. Representation by an unlicensed person if that person falls within a category the LSO has exempted from its licensing requirements

Exemptions include:

  • An unpaid friend or family member;
  • An employee or volunteer from a trade union; or
  • Students, volunteers and employees of Legal Aid clinics

A person who is not licensed, whose license is suspended or who is not in a exempted category will not be permitted to act as a representative in an HRTO proceeding.
See Practice Direction on Representation before Social Justice Tribunals Ontario.

You provide contact information for every organization and/or individual you wish to name as a Respondent.

It is important to name the correct parties as Respondents to ensure all organization(s) and/or individual(s) liable for the discrimination are included in the proceeding from the beginning. BUT the HRTO discourages the unnecessary naming of Respondents.
See Practice Direction on Naming Respondents.

You must use the correct legal name of an organization:

  • Employment—check name on ROE, paystub, or T4 slip
  • Housing—check name on lease or rent receipts
  • Goods, Services and Facilities—check name on invoices or other paperwork

It is usually not necessary to name an individual as a Respondent, as an organization is liable for the actions of its employees that are performed in the course of their duties.

One exception is in cases involving harassment, where an employer may not be held liable – in such cases, it is important to name the harassing person individually.

Additional information on Section 4.


You must indicate what Code prohibited grounds of discrimination you believe are relevant to an Applicant’s experience of discrimination and/or harassment.

Put an ‘X’ in the box next to the applicable ground(s), which include:

  • Race, colour
  • Ancestry
  • Place of origin
  • Citizenship
  • Ethnic origin
  • Creed (religion)
  • Receipt of social assistance (housing only)
  • Sexual orientation
  • Marital status
  • Family status
  • Record of offences (employment only, must have been pardoned)
  • Age
  • Disability
  • Sex (includes being pregnant, sexual harassment)
  • Gender identity and expression

You must indicate which social area you believe the Applicant has experienced discrimination in.

You must also complete the supplementary form:

  • Form 1A – Employment;
  • Form 1B – Housing;
  • Form 1C – Goods, Services and Facilities;
  • Form 1D – Contracts; or
  • Form 1E – Membership in a Vocational Association

If you are using the HRTO Smart Form, the correct supplementary form will automatically be added.

You must indicate whether:

  • The events happened in Ontario and in what city or town;
  • The date of the last event; and
  • If you are applying more than one year from the last event, you must explain the delay in filing your application

Limitation Period
Are you filing within one (1) year of the date of the last event in your Application? If you are not, then you must provide a good explanation for filing late. It must be a very compelling reason, such as a serious medical illness.

NOTE: The HRTO is very strict with this deadline. You must determine when your limitation period will run out and file before that date.

The Applicant must set out ALL the allegations of discrimination in as much detail as possible:

  • Respondent(s) are entitled to notice of allegations and would be unfairly disadvantaged by a lack of detail and clarity in application;
  • Applicant could be unable to proceed with an allegation not properly described in their application. A new allegation may be added later by requesting an amendment, but this requires permission from the HRTO

Additional information on Section 8.

The Applicant must describe how the discriminatory events alleged in the application affected them financially, physically, socially, and emotionally:

  • Financial hardship caused by loss of a job;
  • Depression, anxiety, insomnia and general stress;
  • Negative effect on relationships with family and friends; or
  • Loss of confidence and self-esteem

Effect of discriminatory events on the Applicant is a key factor in determining the amount of damages to be awarded.

Section 10 has three subsections, to match the three provisions in section 45.2(1) of the Code.

  1. Monetary Compensation S.45.2(1): “pay monetary compensation… for loss arising out of the infringement, including compensation for injury to dignity, feelings and selfrespect”
  2. Non-Monetary Remedies S.45.2(2): “make restitution… other than through monetary compensation, for loss arising out of the infringement, including restitution for injury to dignity, feelings and self-respect”
  3. Remedies for Future Compliance S.45.2(3): “do anything that, in the opinion of the Tribunal, the party ought to do to promote compliance with this Act”

Additional information on Section 10.

Mediation at the HRTO is voluntary. Both parties must consent before a mediation (or settlement conference) will be scheduled. The Applicant must indicate in this section if they are willing to attempt mediation.

You can list documents you believe are important and indicate why they are important. You do not have to send copies of these documents when filing the application.

NOTE: This list of documents does not finally determine the evidence you will be allowed to rely on at a hearing

You can list any witnesses you intend to rely on in the event of a hearing. This witness list is confidential. The HRTO does not sent this list to the Respondent(s).

NOTE: This list of witnesses does not determine what witnesses you will be allowed to call upon to testify at a hearing.

If there is any other important information that is relevant to your application that you believe the HRTO should be aware of, you can set that information out in this section.

Check off the appropriate box and complete one (1) or more of the following supplementary forms in order to complete your application:

Form 1A–Employment

Form 1B–Housing

Form 1C–Goods, Services and Facilities

Form 1D–Contracts

Form 1E – Membership in a Vocational Association

If you are using the HRTO Smart Form, the correct supplementary form will automatically be added.

If you indicated in sections 12, 13, 14 or 15 that there is (or was) another legal proceeding, you must check the appropriate box and provide a copy of the originating document of the other legal proceeding with the application:

  • Statement of claim (Section 12);
  • Any previously filed complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission (Section 13);
  • Union grievance or claim before another board, tribunal or agency (Section 14); or
  • Acopy of any final decision issued on a union grievance or claim before another board, tribunal or agency (Section 15)

The Applicant must date and sign the application before submitting it to the HRTO. If submitting application electronically, the Applicant must check box under signature line to electronically sign the document.

Send your application and any attachments to:

Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario
655 Bay Street, 14th Floor
Toronto, Ontario M7A 2A3
Fax: 416-326-2199
Toll free: 1-866-355-6099