Changes to Ontario’s Retirement Homes Legislation

In 2010, the Government of Ontario modernized the Retirement Homes Act, effective 2012, to better protect seniors living in these facilities. Provincial legislative changes requires the City of Toronto has to update its by-laws. I successfully moved motion MM54.6 at July’s Toronto City Council meeting asking staff to report back to Council to ensue the City’s compliance with the updated law.

Under the new rules, retirement homes are required to apply for an operating license. There are no exceptions to this rule. Seniors living in retirement homes can expect improved safety and a number of protections against abuse. Sprinkler systems are being installed in government run long-term care facilities to increase fire safety for residents. Other safety measures are documented at

The Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority ( is responsible for administering the Retirement Homes Act. The Act sets out the RHRA’s role, responsibilities and authority. Moreover, it establishes safety standards in Ontario’s retirement home industry.

My query to the RHRA on behalf of some residents resulted in the following response:

“Therefore, all retirement homes are subject to city by-laws and must operate in accordance with them. Please also note that there is no community public consultation when an application is received, nor do neighbours have any input into licensing a retirement home. If anyone suspects a home is operating without a licence, they should report this to the RHRA Intake Department at 1-855-275-7472 or by email at”