Discrimination in housing


The right to employment free from discrimination is governed by the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Canadian Human Rights Act.

  • You cannot be discriminated against or harassed on any of the following Code grounds:

    • race
    • ancestry
    • place of origin
    • colour
    • ethnic origin
    • citizenship
    • creed (faith, religion or system of beliefs)
    • sex (including gender identity)
    • receipt of public assistance (like OW)
    • you have children
    • sexual orientation
    • age
    • marital status
    • family status
    • disability (or perceived disability)

  • However, there are some situations where discrimination is allowed. You can be discriminated against if the reasons for the discrimination are reasonable and bona fide.
  • You have the right not to be discriminated against on any Code grounds:
    • during the application process when trying to secure rental housing; or
    • while living in rental housing
  • Your landlord or agent of your landlord cannot treat you differently because of Code grounds in situations such as when:
    • subletting your unit
    • your unit requires repairs
    • you want access to amenities such as recreational facilities that are available to all residents
  • You have the right not to be discriminated against because of your association with another person identified by a Code ground
  • Your landlord has the duty to accommodate you up to the point of undue hardship if you have a disability that requires changes to your unit or building
  • You have the right to be free from:
    • harassment by your landlord, agent of your landlord, or another occupant in your building
    • sexual harassment by your landlord, agent of your landlord, or another occupant in your building
    • unwelcome sexual advances made by your landlord or another person in a position of power
    • reprisal or threat of reprisal for rejecting such advances
  • You have the right to contact the Human Rights Legal Support Centre, consult a lawyer or file a human rights application with the Human Rights Tribunal, without reprisal or threat of reprisal, if you believe your rights have been violated.
  • To complain about a federally regulated organization, contact the Canadian Human Rights Commission:
    • Federally regulated entities include: airlines, radio, television stations, banks, shipping lines, federal civil service and railways

Learn more

  1. Decide if your legal problem relates to human rights at work.
  2. Read Frequently Asked Questions to learn more about your human rights at work.
  3. Follow the Steps for instructions on how to enforce your rights if they have been violated.
  4. Review the Resources to find new and in-depth legal information.
  5. See the Links for news and other helpful websites

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DisclaimerLast updated 07/30/2009