Operational Updates

Last Updated: April 5, 2023

This page provides information on operational changes at Tribunals Ontario. Tribunals Ontario continues to hold hearings by videoconference, teleconference, and in writing and in-person for accommodation purposes. All in-person service counters are closed.

On this Page

Tribunals Ontario Introducing Mobile Access Terminal Service

April 5, 2023

Tribunals Ontario is enhancing access to justice for parties who have technology-related challenges by expanding the availability of Tribunals Ontario’s access terminal service from the current five hearing locations (Toronto, Hamilton, London, Ottawa and Sudbury) to almost anywhere in the province. Parties with an approved accommodation request because they do not have access to a telephone, computer, and/or the internet to participate in their virtual proceeding may now be accommodated almost anywhere in the province with our mobile access terminal service.

Based on approved accommodation requests, Tribunals Ontario will identify a suitable alternate venue and coordinate the required equipment, including a laptop and internet connection. Technical support will also be provided on the day of the proceeding to help parties with basic technology issues or questions.

Accommodation Options

Accommodations are arrangements to allow everyone, regardless of their abilities, to effectively participate in the tribunal process.

When making a request for accommodation, parties should provide as much detail as possible so that the tribunal can determine the best manner in which to address an individual’s needs.

Access terminals may be the most appropriate option where technology is an issue (for instance, because a person doesn’t own a computer or have access to the internet). A free phone program is also available to help parties attend their hearings by phone. In those cases, the tribunal will loan free mobile phones or provide airtime minutes to parties that do not have access to a telephone or have a prepaid or pay-as-you-go plan with limited airtime talk minutes.

For those deaf or hard of hearing, the tribunal can provide a sign language interpreter (American Sign Language, langue des signes québécoise), a deaf-blind intervener, real time captioning (CART), as well as other help if needed.

In-person hearings are granted where appropriate and necessary.

Each request will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and the tribunal will respond to the parties with its decision.

Tribunals Ontario remains committed to providing fair and equitable access to justice for all who need our services.

Quick Facts:

  • Access terminal hearing centres:
  • For mobile access terminals, the specific site will be determined by the tribunal in consultation with the person granted the accommodation.
  • A party can bring two additional individuals into the venue for the proceeding. If the party requires further support, they should ask the tribunal before the hearing; such requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
  • The Tribunals Ontario Practice Direction on Hearing Formats outlines Tribunals Ontario’s approach to determining the format of the hearing that will be held and how a party can request a different format.

Tribunals Ontario Expanding Access to Justice and Enhancing Digital Literacy

October 21, 2022

Tribunals Ontario is taking action to expand options to access our services and enhance digital literacy resources for users who may not be familiar with using technology so that everyone, regardless of their circumstances, is able to participate fully in tribunal processes.

New access options

New options Tribunals Ontario is introducing to make our tribunals more accessible include:

  • Access terminals: Expanding our access terminal service to our Sudbury office, which will enhance access to justice in Northern Ontario. These terminals allow parties who do not have access to a computer, phone or internet to participate in their virtual hearings at one of five locations in the province: Toronto, Hamilton, London, Ottawa and (now) Sudbury. Tribunals Ontario is actively exploring options to further expand coverage across the remainder of the province and is targeting to have a plan in place by the end of the year.
  • Free phone program: Facilitating telephone access to hearings by making our free phone pilot at the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) a permanent program, and extending it to parties before the Social Benefits Tribunal and Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. Our website and tribunal documents will be updated to provide more information about the free phone program so that users are better aware of the options available to them.
  • ServiceOntario: Working with partners to expand our LTB services so that more users can file LTB applications and documents in person, with three new ServiceOntario locations now accepting LTB filings.

Digital literacy resources

New digital literacy supports to help ensure users have the digital skills and ability to be full and active participants in their virtual proceedings include:

Tribunals Ontario remains committed to access to justice and will continue to explore opportunities to increase access and new tools that will improve digital literacy for all parties participating in virtual proceedings.