Figure 1: Map of Ontario’s Ministry of Labour Enforcement Regions

Map of Ontario’s Ministry of Labour Enforcement Regions depicts Central East region as orange, Central West as green, East as purple, North as blue and West as grey.

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Central East

Central East Region is the most densely populated and one of the fastest growing geographic areas in Canada. It hosts many complex construction projects and has the highest volume and dollar value of building permits in Canada. Toronto leads North American cities in high-rise construction activity with approximately twice as many projects as in the next most active markets: New York City and Mexico City. A large number of hospitals and health care facilities are located in the City of Toronto’s downtown core, and the city is home to a thriving tourist industry. Its many hotels, restaurants and entertainment venues employ thousands of workers. Major employers include: Hydro One, Ontario Power Generation (Pickering and Darlington), the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) distribution warehouses and the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services. The region has a dynamic workforce and is headquarters for many trade unions and special interest groups.

Two offices strategically located in North York and Scarborough deliver the ministry’s core business in health and safety and employment standards to the City of Toronto and Durham Region.

Central West

Central West Region delivers Occupational Health and Safety and Employment Standards programs within Peel Region, York Region, Dufferin County and Simcoe County.

This diverse multicultural area is one of the fastest growing parts of Canada. Over the past 20 years, Central West Region has had the highest number of building permits of any part of Canada. It has the largest and most complex construction projects in Ontario, with large numbers of trade unions and special interest groups. With more than 25 languages commonly spoken in the workplace, inspectors face special challenges in communicating effectively with workplace parties.

The larger employers within the Region of Peel include Daimler Chrysler, Greater Toronto Airport Authority, Coca Cola, Petro Canada and a large number of hospitals and other healthcare facilities and school boards, including William Osler Health System, Trillium Health Partners, Peel District School Board and Dufferin-Peel Catholic School Board. In terms of size, employers range from Honda in Alliston with over 4,500 workers to small restaurants with three or four employees.

Other sectors include retail and service industries, hospitality and recreational facilities, office and school premises, and farming and forestry operations. Major employers include: Bacardi, Chrysler, Beer Store Warehouse, Canadian Tire Warehouse, Amazon, Loblaws Headquarters, Maple Lodge Farms, Sofina Foods, Olymel, Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care, Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services (Central North Correction Centre), Ministry of Children and Youth Services (Roy McMurtry Youth Centre), Magna International, Royal Plastics and Paramount Canada’s Wonderland.

Two offices, strategically located in Mississauga and Newmarket, deliver the ministry’s core business in health and safety, and employment standards in the region.


Eastern Ontario is made up of 113 municipalities and more than 200 communities.

Its two million residents are spread over a large rural area as well as several major urban centres, including Ottawa, Cornwall, Kingston and Peterborough. Key sectors are education (six universities, seven community colleges, and 18 school boards), health care (42 acute care facilities and 131 long-term facilities) and agriculture. The Eastern Region also attracts millions of tourists each year to popular destinations such as the Rideau Canal, the Thousand Islands and the Trent Severn Waterway.

This region is an important business hub. It has excellent transportation linkages by road, rail and seaway between Canada and the U.S., including Canada’s fifth busiest, U.S. border crossing: the Lansdowne/Alexandria (Thousand Islands Bridge), which connects to Interstate 81 and significant distribution centres.

The region covers Prescott and Russell, Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry, Ottawa, Renfrew, Lanark, Leeds and Greenville, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington, Hastings, Prince Edward, Northumberland, Peterborough, Haliburton, Muskoka and Kawartha Lakes.

The Eastern Region’s enforcement is subdivided into five districts. The five district offices operate out of Ottawa (3), Kingston and Peterborough.


The Northern Region covers almost 90% of the province’s land mass and is the ministry’s largest region. It includes 144 municipalities, 10 territorial districts, 106 First Nations, and over 150 unincorporated communities, including 46 local services boards.

Northern Ontario borders Quebec, Manitoba, Minnesota, Michigan, Hudson Bay and James Bay. Its vast area creates many unique challenges, including large distances between workplaces and urban centres and many remote worksites. The North is characterized by extreme temperatures: extremely cold in the winter and hot in the summer.

The region’s economy is primarily resource based, including: mining, forestry, fishing and oil and gas industries. In 2016, these resource industries accounted for close to 6.2% of the North’s total employment compared to 0.8% for the province as a whole. Mining, a relatively small and highly organized industry, is the most complex and diverse in terms of occupational health and safety.

Northern Ontario is also more reliant than other regions on public sector employment, including public administration, education and health care. In 2016, these sectors accounted for 31.75% of the North’s total employment compared to 25.47% for the province as a whole. The two largest hospitals in the North (Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre and Health Sciences North Sudbury) each employ nearly 4,000 workers.

The Northern Region covers Nipissing, Parry Sound, Manitoulin, Timiskaming, Sudbury, Algoma, Cochrane, Thunder Bay, Rainy River and Kenora.

The Northern Region has five district offices, one dedicated program office (the Provincial Claims Centre) and one satellite office. With the exception of the Provincial Claims Centre, which handles solely employment standards claims, the district offices provide service to our clients in all Ministry of Labour programs.


The Western Region includes the counties of Bruce, Grey, Huron, Wellington, Perth, Brant, Oxford, Lambton, Middlesex, Essex, Kent, Elgin and Haldimand-Norfolk as well as Halton Region, Region of Waterloo, the Niagara Region and the City of Hamilton.

This diverse, geographically demanding region is one of the fastest growing in Canada. The Western Region is home to many diverse complex construction projects, and large numbers of trade unions and special interest groups. It has the second highest number and dollar value of building permits in Canada after the greater Toronto area. Each fiscal year, the number of building permits issued for commercial, industrial and agricultural development in the region exceeds the number for the previous year.

The Western Region also has the largest number of health care, education, steel, auto and transport workplaces as well as significant underground mining (soft rock) and aggregates. The borders and waterways surrounding the region contribute to jurisdictional issues.

The ministry has five offices in the region, located in Hamilton, London, St. Catharines, Waterloo and Windsor. All sites have administrative staff and management. The region’s Hamilton office also operates the Ministry of Labour’s Health and Safety Contact Centre for the province.