Last Updated: September 20, 2021
On this page you will find operational updates or process changes for the Assessment Review Board (ARB). For a PDF copy of any of the memos posted here, please email the ARB registrar.
On This Page
- July 2021 - September 2021
- September 20, 2021 – National Day for Truth and Reconciliation September 30, 2021
- July 5, 2021 – Launch of Navigate Tribunals Ontario
- April 2021 - June 2021
- June 22, 2021 – SPPA Amendments
- June 18, 2021 – ARB’s Digital-First Approach – Update
- May 13, 2021 – Transitioning to Zoom Proceedings
- April 09, 2021 – Emergency Order Province Wide Restrictions
- January 2021 - March 2021
July 2021 - September 2021
September 20, 2021 – National Day for Truth and Reconciliation September 30, 2021
Recently the federal government passed legislation that designated September 30 as a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to commemorate the history and legacy of Residential Schools in Canada.
The Ontario government will be observing September 30, 2021 as a day of commemoration to reflect on the tragic history and ongoing legacy of Residential Schools.
In order to properly honour the day at Tribunals Ontario, all tribunals, including the Assessment Review Board and Tribunals Ontario offices will be closed on September 30, 2021, providing an opportunity for staff and adjudicators to learn about and reflect on the history of Residential Schools and to honour the lives lost.
Those parties who have hearings and case conferences scheduled for September 30 will be notified and we will reschedule these matters as soon as possible. We apologize for any inconvenience caused.
In case you have questions, please contact us at email@example.com
July 5, 2021 – Launch of Navigate Tribunals Ontario
We are delighted to announce that the Ministry of the Attorney General’s Justice Accelerated Strategy has enabled the launch of Navigate Tribunals Ontario at the Landlord and Tenant Board.
Navigate Tribunals Ontario empowers users by guiding them to information about their rights and responsibilities and the processes at the LTB. The online tool asks the user a series of questions and offers options tailored to their situation. In some cases, it helps the user determine which application to file.
The new tool makes it easy and convenient to access information about the Residential Tenancies Act and LTB processes, and its launch is part of the government’s ongoing efforts to speed up access to justice and move more services online.
- A series of questions guides users along pathways tailored to their situation.
- Info-sheets and summary reports, which include next steps and links to relevant resources, can be printed, emailed or downloaded at any time.
- A unique access code gives users the option to exit the navigation and come back later to pick up where they left off.
- No requirement to log in or provide personal details.
We have some enhancements to Navigate Tribunals Ontario planned for later this summer – we’ll be launching new pathways with information about co-operative housing evictions, care home and mobile home tenancies. At the same time, we’ll be updating content in the tool to reflect September 1 amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act.
We will be expanding Navigate Tribunals Ontario to help users of our other tribunals as well and we look forward to sharing that news with you in the near future.
We hope you will take a moment to visit navigatetribunalsontario.ca
April 2021 - June 2021
June 22, 2021 - SPPA Amendments
Effective June 3, 2021, a new section 29 has been added to the Statutory Powers Procedure Act making it an offence to record or publish a tribunal hearing unless an exception applies. Exceptions include unobtrusive recordings made by a party, representative or member of the media if authorized by the tribunal. The amendment was included in the Ontario government’s Supporting Recovery and Competitiveness Act, 2021.
This provision is similar to restrictions on recording court proceedings contained in the Courts of Justice Act. This amendment will help Tribunals Ontario ensure the integrity and fairness of its proceedings.
Tribunals Ontario remains committed to delivering administrative justice in a manner that is transparent, fair, independent, and accessible in accordance with the open court principle. This amendment does not restrict or change a person’s ability to attend an open tribunal hearing or engage in public comment on tribunal proceedings. The public can contact the Assessment Review Board to inquire about access to hearings.
If you have any questions, please contact us at ARB.Registrar@ontario.ca
June 18, 2021 – ARB’s Digital-First Approach – Update
We are writing to provide you with an update to our January 29, 2021 memo about our digital-first approach to providing services. The Assessment Review Board (ARB) is continuing to implement its digital-first approach to meet the diverse needs of Ontarians and enhance the quality of its dispute resolution services.
The ARB has made several updates to the following E-Services:
E-File: Use this fast, secure, reliable and “real-time” filing system to file and pay for your appeal. You will receive immediate confirmation of receipt of your appeal upon completion of e-filing. E-filing eliminates the delays from mailing your appeal to the ARB and having it processed manually.
In preparation for the next assessment cycle, we will be improving our e-filing service to allow you to e-file some tax appeals.
All assessment appeals must be filed by the e-filing system only.
Email Communication: As part of the digital-first approach, we have implemented a new rule that establishes how we communicate with parties. The ARB introduced Rule 18 in the new Rules of Practice and Procedure, which took effect April 1, 2021, stating that:
All parties to a proceeding shall provide an email address to the Board for purpose of correspondence with the Board. The Board may direct a party to a proceeding to provide the Board with any email address in its possession for another party in the proceeding.
This means anyone who files an appeal with us must provide an email address. Updates on your appeals will only be provided by email. There are many options available to create an email address if you do not already have one. If you have not provided an email address for us, we will be reaching out to you to ask that you provide one immediately for communication purposes.
Electronic Document Format and Filing Requirements Guideline: The ARB has issued a guideline providing direction on the requirements for naming documents that will be filed with the ARB electronically.
Elimination of Paper Notices: To eliminate paper notices, the ARB has created a data file for serving the Notice of Hearing. The ARB will be piloting this initiative with two municipalities, the City of Toronto and City of North Bay in the coming months. During the pilot period, we will be evaluating the information and looking for feedback from the participating municipalities. We will be asking the municipalities to identify an email address to ensure that there is a dedicated source for data delivery.
The ARB will be issuing a practice direction to support this initiative, which will be served on all 444 municipalities and will be posted on our website.
In the future, we hope to develop a secure website as a drop box for all notices such as: notice of hearings, schedule of events, commencement dates, new appeal information and decisions. We also expect to include the tax representatives and law firms.
Some of the digital services we would like to remind you of are:
- ARB Website:
Our website is the main portal to access information about the Board. By visiting our website you can:
- find information about managing the appeal process and news updates
- access our E-Services and other important resources
- view appeals and appeal commencement dates, which are updated monthly
- review the ARB Rules of Practice and Procedure
- download forms
- stay informed about operational updates
- Tax Calculator:
This is an interactive online reference tool that helps potential appellants calculate estimated savings from a possible change in assessment value. Potential appellants can then determine if any potential savings offset the costs related to filing an appeal.
Thank you all, for your continued support.
May 13, 2021 – Transitioning to Zoom Proceedings
Effective July 2021, the Assessment Review Board will be using Zoom’s videoconference platform to conduct external proceedings and engage with stakeholders.
As you know, over the last year we have moved to a digital-first approach to enhance access to justice and to modernize our services and meet the needs and expectations of our users. In response to feedback from across all our stakeholder groups for a more user-friendly platform, we have decided to transition to Zoom as our video conferencing platform. We are confident that the tools and functionality in Zoom will create a better experience for those who access our services.
To help adjust to the new platform, we have developed a Zoom how-to guide to assist parties for their proceeding.
Rest assured that the transition to Zoom will be done thoughtfully and in a phased manner to ensure it is smooth and coordinated.
This change is part of our continuing efforts to improve operations and enhance the quality of dispute resolution for the thousands of people across the province who access our services.
If you have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 09, 2021 – Emergency Order Province Wide Restrictions
On April 1, 2021, the Ontario government issued a further restriction to the Emergency Order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) effective April 3, 2021 for 28 days and on April 7th, a Stay-at-Home order for 28 days effective April 8th.
After a review of the Emergency Order and the Board’s ability to exercise its discretion, the Assessment Review Board will not be suspending any timelines.
- Schedule of Events.
- Dismissal of appeals.
- Requests for Reviews under Part 15, Rules 101-105.
- Requests for late appeals under Rule 26.
All such requests will proceed in accordance with the Rules of Practice and Procedure.
- Requests to extend the Request for Reconsideration under section 40(4) of the Assessment Act.
Hearing events before the Board
- All hearing events that are scheduled before the Board will proceed.
- Any requests for settlement conferences and hearings through a filing of the mandatory meeting form, or a request by the parties, will be scheduled in accordance with our timelines.
Please review your appeals and if there is an opportunity to move any appeals to earlier dates in the process or to a settlement conference and/or hearing event, the ARB is available to meet the needs of the parties.
We understand that this is a difficult time. The ARB is striving to balance the health and safety of our staff and adjudicators with the safety of the parties, while providing fair and accessible services to the public.
The ARB strongly encourages all parties to continue working towards a resolution of the appeal and maintain timelines established through the Schedule of Events. If parties are unable to meet a deadline, or require an extension and/or an adjournment, they can submit an Expedited Board Directions form. The ARB will review each request and each case will be determined on its own merits.
Please continue to visit the ARB website for updates.
We appreciate your understanding and commitment to the ARB’s processes.
January 2021 - March 2021
March 19, 2021 – Appeals Resolution Strategy – 2021 Taxation Year
The Assessment Review Board (ARB) is committed to fulfilling its mandate of resolving property assessment disputes within the regular four-year assessment cycle, however, with the postponement of the general reassessment for the 2021 taxation year, the common understanding is that the current assessment cycle has increased to a five (5) year assessment cycle.
We are writing to advise you of our expectations in resolving appeals before the next assessment cycle begins, including with newly filed 2021 appeals.
We are now at the end of the four-year assessment cycle, and the Board continues to evaluate its caseload and improve processes that were established at the beginning of 2017. Building on the Board’s successes to date, with the continued focus on our digital-first approach to providing services, please note the following updates:
- New Rules of Practice and Procedure: come into effect on April 1, 2021. The Board provided a consultation period from October to November 2020 so that stakeholders could provide feedback and/or recommendations on updates made to the Rules. This feedback resulted in reducing the schedule of events for the General stream from 66-104 weeks to 40-49 weeks.
- 2021 Appeals: New appeals filed for 2021 will be assigned a schedule of events.
- Legacy Appeals Initiative: The Board will continue to monitor legacy appeal proceedings and, where required, will schedule a case conference to provide any necessary direction to ensure the timely resolution of these appeals. As of January 2020, there were approximately 7600 legacy appeals. As of March 2021, there are 1369 appeals.
- Tax Appeals: Where a tax appeal is currently assigned to the General proceeding along with Assessment Act appeals, and the Assessment Act appeals are resolved, the Board will assign an earlier due date for filing documents to be relied on at the hearing, and schedule a Summary proceeding hearing.
- Hearing Months Assigned: All current appeals assigned to be heard by general or summary proceeding have been assigned a hearing month. Where a hearing is necessary, the parties are expected to proceed with the hearing by the assigned hearing month. Parties may request a hearing at a later date by completing an Expedited Board Directions Form (EBDF). This request must be submitted within one week of the completion of the settlement conference. Where the request is granted, the Board will schedule the hearing event.
- Hearing Timelines: All current appeal proceedings assigned to be heard by general proceeding, which are not resolved at the Mandatory Meeting stage, will be scheduled to a settlement conference within eight weeks of the Mandatory Meeting Form due date. If the appeal is not resolved at the settlement conference, the appeal will be scheduled within eight weeks. Unless the parties have complied with the Board’s Rules to elect to obtain additional expert reports, the Board requires that all parties complete all their pre-hearing work, including the exchange of disclosure, no later than the due date for filing the Mandatory Meeting Form.
- Deeming: Any appeal proceeding that has not been resolved by March 31, 2021, will be deemed to have a 2021 appeal.
- E-filing: Remember to e-file your appeals. The Board is currently considering a policy of only accepting e-filed appeals.
- Ongoing Digital Improvements: Where it can, the Board will continue to reduce the use of paper documents, improve and update its processes and systems, work with parties to modernize the transfer of information, and explore ways to improve the use of technology to provide faster and more efficient services.
The Board’s goal is that 85% of all appeals should be resolved before the beginning of the next assessment cycle. The Board expects that all parties continue working collaboratively, towards resolving their appeals.
The Board will continue to review all outstanding appeals to determine whether a case conference should be scheduled. The Board requests that all representatives review their active caseloads to assess whether there is any opportunity to expedite the completion of an appeal proceeding. If so, please contact the Registrar, or submit a request for an EBDF.
As the next assessment cycle approaches, the Board will be issuing an Appeals Resolution Strategy for Active Appeals. The Board looks forward to working with all stakeholders to efficiently resolve appeals in a timely manner and appreciates your commitment and dedication in achieving this goal.
January 29, 2021 - ARB Digital-First Approach – Looking Ahead
The ARB continues to enhance its operations and processes using a digital-first approach to providing services. Some of the digital services we remind you to use are:
Website - Our website is the main portal to access all information about the Board. By visiting our website you can:
- find information about managing the appeal process and news updates;
- access our E-Services and other important resources;
- view appeals and appeal commencement dates, which are updated monthly;
- review ARB Rules of Practice and Procedure;
- download forms; and
- stay informed about Operational Updates.
Tax Calculator – This is an interactive online reference tool that helps potential appellants calculate estimated savings from a possible change in assessment value. Potential appellants can then determine if any potential savings offset all related costs for filing an appeal.
E-Filing – Our appeals are primarily filed electronically. We encourage you to continue to use our safe, secure, reliable and “real time” filing system for filing your appeal. You will receive immediate confirmation of your appeal once all information is entered and payment is received. E-Filed appeals receive a $10 discount off the filing fee.
Email Addresses - As the Board continues to pursue its digital-first approach to meet the diverse needs of Ontarians and enhance the quality of dispute resolution services, anyone who files an appeal with the Board must provide us with an email address. There are many different options available to create an email address if you do not already have one. Email is the most efficient way of communicating with the Board; it’s fast and reliable. Appeals may take longer to process without the ability to communicate with all parties by email.
Email Communication – The Board is committed to communicating with all parties by email. This means that an email address must be provided by appellants for the purpose of resolving appeals. It is the Board’s intention to issue a Practice Direction outlining this requirement.
Electronic Document Guideline – The Board will be issuing a guideline providing direction on the requirements for naming documents that will be filed with the Board electronically.
As we continue to look forward, the ARB is interested in further reducing our paper footprint. The ARB is currently researching ways to eliminate the paper notice to the municipalities by creating a data file that can be sent electronically. We are still in the early stages of this research however we will soon be reaching out to the municipalities to gather more information.
If you are interested in having an “early thinking” discussion with the Registrar, please contact the Board at ARB.Registrar@ontario.ca.
January 19, 2021 - Ontario Declares Second Provincial Emergency
On January 12, 2021, the Ontario government issued a second Declaration of Emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) effective January 14, 2021 for 28 days until February 10, 2021.
The ARB now conducts all of its administrative and adjudicative processes using a digital-first approach. Parties have been successfully communicating and participating in these electronic processes, particularly since the first Declaration of Emergency on March 16, 2020. The ARB has reviewed it discretion under the second Declaration of Emergency and confirms that its current practices and procedures allow the ARB to provide its services in a manner consistent with the “stay at home” order. The ARB will not be suspending any timelines.
The Schedule of Events will continue as published with no changes or suspension to the timelines set. The ARB anticipates all parties will continue to meet their timelines accordingly. The ARB understands that these times can present difficult and sometimes unanticipated challenges. If, despite all efforts, parties are unable to meet a deadline, or require an extension and/or an adjournment, they may submit a request to the ARB though an Expedited Board Directions request form. The ARB will review and determine each request on its own merits.