Learn about what is available to you on e-Laws.
e-Laws provides online access to official copies of Ontario’s statutes and regulations.
A statute, also known as an Act, is a law passed by a Legislature.
Regulations are rules that set out the details and practical applications of the law. They are made under the authority of statutes.
Laws viewed on or downloaded from e-Laws are official copies of the law (see Part IV of the Legislation Act, 2006). Printouts of those copies are also official copies of the law. A copy of a law on e-Laws that is not intended to be official will have a disclaimer.
If you are unsure about any terms used on e-Laws, please check the definitions page.
Types of law on e-Laws
You can access four types of law on e-Laws:
- current consolidated law
- source law
- period in time law
- repealed, revoked and spent law
What’s not on e-Laws
e-Laws does not contain:
- Hansard and committee proceedings
- Orders in Council
- pre-January 1, 2000 source law
- unconsolidated statutes
- unconsolidated regulations
- municipal by-laws
Certain laws apply to Ontario, but are not hosted on e-Laws:
- federal laws, including the Criminal Code of Canada and constitutional laws
- selected Imperial statutes relating to property and civil rights (R.S.O. 1980, Appendix A)
A consolidated statute or regulation refers to a version that incorporates all amendments or other changes into the original text.
Under current consolidated law, you can find the most recent versions of all consolidated public statutes and regulations.
The currency of a consolidated law is indicated in its consolidation period. The consolidation period is the period during which the consolidation accurately represents the law, as of the date on which the law is accessed on e-Laws.
Current consolidated laws are usually current to the e-Laws currency date. Today, March 31, 2020 the e-Laws currency date is March 26, 2020.
You may come across a consolidation period in which the “from” date is later than the “to” date. In that case, the consolidation is actually current to the “from” date.
Private statutes and some older public statutes and regulations are not available in consolidated form.
Note that any provision of a statute or regulation that a court has ruled is of no effect continues to appear in the consolidated law. While a court’s decision may affect the interpretation, operation or application of a law, it does not actually amend or change the wording of the law. If a law is subsequently amended by the lawmaker to reflect a court’s decision, those amendments would then be published and consolidated on e-Laws.
Source law contains statutes passed by the Ontario Legislature and regulations filed with the Registrar of Regulations, starting with the year 2000. New source law usually appears within 2 business days.
Period in time law
Period in time law contains historical consolidated versions of statutes and regulations. These consolidations provide a snapshot of statutes and regulations as they existed at various periods in time. The consolidation period near the top of each historical consolidated version is the period during which that version accurately represented the law.
You can find historical versions of consolidated statutes and regulations for amendments going back to January 2, 2004.
Repealed, revoked and spent law
These are consolidated versions of public statutes and regulations that are no longer in force.
You can find:
- all public statutes and most regulations from the Revised Statutes of Ontario, 1990 or Revised Regulations of Ontario, 1990, or that were enacted or filed after 1990, and that were repealed, revoked or became spent on or after January 1, 2004
- some public statutes and regulations repealed, revoked or spent between January 1, 1995–December 31, 2003
- very few public statutes and regulations repealed, revoked or spent between January 1, 1991–December 31, 1994
- nothing repealed, revoked or spent before January 1, 1991
Not-yet-in-force law (grey-shaded text)
All new source law is published on e-Laws, whether or not it is in force. Not-in-force provisions are also incorporated into consolidated versions of laws. Not-in-force provisions appear in consolidated law as grey-shaded text, and are accompanied by related editorial notes.
Accessibility: Alternative text
Images in laws on e-Laws are usually accompanied by alternative text that identifies and describes the image. Some alternative text is apparent only to users of text-to-speech screen readers. Other alternative text appears in the copy of the law as a note following the image. In either case, the alternative text is provided for convenience only and does not form part of the official law.
Ministerial responsibility for laws
Ministerial responsibility for the administration of public statutes is shown in the table of Public statutes and ministers responsible. Ministerial responsibility for the administration of public statutes is set out in Orders in Council made under the Executive Council Act. These Orders in Council are published in The Ontario Gazette and online on an Ontario Government website.
e-Laws provides information to help determine the legislative history of statutes and regulations. Legislative history information can be found in the following tables:
Legislative history information is also available in consolidated statutes and regulations. This information is detailed at the statute/regulation level and, for statutes, also at the section level.
Statute and regulation level legislative history information is provided at the beginning of the consolidation (click on “Legislative History”). It includes citations of all amendments to the statute/regulation. All 2000 and later amendment citations are linked to the source amending legislation on e-Laws.
Section level legislative history information for statutes includes citations for all amendments relating to that section, and commencement dates to determine which period in time versions might be of interest (citations will indicate if the amendment is not yet in force). All 2000 and later amendment citations are linked to the amending provision in the source amending legislation. Click on “Section Amendments with date in force (d/m/y)” at the end of the section.
Provisions in the consolidated versions of statutes and regulations are often followed by footnotes, which are citations to the statutes or regulations that made or amended the provisions.
Referring to Ontario statutes and regulations
Ontario statutes and regulations can be referred to or cited in different ways, and Ontario’s Legislation Act, 2006 provides some guidance. Sections 5 and 30 of the Act say that a person may cite an Ontario statute or regulation as follows:
- for a statute set out in the Revised Statutes of Ontario, as “Revised Statutes of Ontario, (year)” or “R.S.O. (year)”
- example: the Courts of Justice Act may be cited as R.S.O. 1990, c. C.43
- for any other statute, as “Statutes of Ontario” or “S.O.”
- example: the Municipal Act, 2001 may be cited as S.O. 2001, c. 25
- for a regulation set out in the Revised Regulations of Ontario, as “Revised Regulations of Ontario, (year) , Regulation (number)” or as “R.R.O. (year), Reg. (number)”
- example: the Asparagus-Marketing regulation under the Farm Products Marking Act may be cited as R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 390.
- for any other regulation, as “Ontario Regulation” or “O. Reg.” followed by its filing number, a forward slash and the year of its filing (the year may be shown in full or by the last two figures in the year, for example, “2007” or “07”)
- example: the Integrated Accessibility Standards regulation, made under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 may be cited as O. Reg. 191/11