You're using an outdated browser. This website will not display correctly and some features will not work.
Learn more about the browsers we support for a faster and safer online experience.

Optometry Act, 1991

S.O. 1991, CHAPTER 35

Historical version for the period June 4, 2007 to December 14, 2009.

Last amendment: 2007, c. 10, Sched. B, s. 17.


1. In this Act,

“College” means the College of Optometrists of Ontario; (“Ordre”)

“Health Professions Procedural Code” means the Health Professions Procedural Code set out in Schedule 2 to the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991; (“Code des professions de la santé”)

“member” means a member of the College; (“membre”)

“profession” means the profession of optometry; (“profession”)

“this Act” includes the Health Professions Procedural Code. (“la présente loi”) 1991, c. 35, s. 1.

Health Professions Procedural Code

2. (1) The Health Professions Procedural Code shall be deemed to be part of this Act.

Terms in Code

(2) In the Health Professions Procedural Code as it applies in respect of this Act,

“College” means the College of Optometrists of Ontario; (“ordre”)

“health profession Act” means this Act; (“loi sur une profession de la santé”)

“profession” means the profession of optometry; (“profession”)

“regulations” means the regulations under this Act. (“règlements”)

Definitions in Code

(3) Definitions in the Health Professions Procedural Code apply with necessary modifications to terms in this Act. 1991, c. 35, s. 2.

Scope of practice

3. The practice of optometry is the assessment of the eye and vision system and the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of,

(a) disorders of refraction;

(b) sensory and oculomotor disorders and dysfunctions of the eye and vision system; and

(c) prescribed diseases. 1991, c. 35, s. 3.

Authorized acts

4. In the course of engaging in the practice of optometry, a member is authorized, subject to the terms, conditions and limitations imposed on his or her certificate of registration, to perform the following:

1. Communicating a diagnosis identifying, as the cause of a person’s symptoms, a disorder of refraction, a sensory or oculomotor disorder of the eye or vision system or a prescribed disease.

2. Applying a prescribed form of energy.

2.1 Prescribing drugs designated in the regulations.

3. Prescribing or dispensing, for vision or eye problems, subnormal vision devices, contact lenses or eye glasses. 1991, c. 35, s. 4; 2007, c. 10, Sched. B, s. 17 (1).

College continued

5. The College is continued under the name College of Optometrists of Ontario in English and Ordre des optométristes de l’Ontario in French. 1991, c. 35, s. 5.


6. (1) The Council shall be composed of,

(a) at least eight and no more than nine persons who are members elected in accordance with the by-laws;

(b) at least seven and no more than eight persons appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council who are not,

(i) members,

(ii) members of a College as defined in the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, or

(iii) members of a Council as defined in the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991; and

(c) one person selected, in accordance with a by-law made under section 12.1, from among members who are members of a faculty of optometry of a university in Ontario. 1991, c. 35, s. 6 (1); 1998, c. 18, Sched. G, s. 40 (1, 2).

Who can vote in elections

(2) Subject to the by-laws, every member who practises or resides in Ontario and who is not in default of payment of the annual membership fee is entitled to vote in an election of members of the Council. 1991, c. 35, s. 6 (2); 1998, c. 18, Sched. G, s. 40 (3).

President and Vice-President

7. The Council shall have a President and Vice-President who shall be elected annually by the Council from among the Council’s members. 1991, c. 35, s. 7.

Imposition of duties on the Optometry Review Committee

8. The Council may give the Optometry Review Committee appointed under the Health Insurance Act duties that are not inconsistent with the Committee’s duties under that Act. 1991, c. 35, s. 8.

Restricted titles

9. (1) No person other than a member shall use the title “optometrist”, a variation or abbreviation or an equivalent in another language.

Representations of qualification, etc.

(2) No person other than a member shall hold himself or herself out as a person who is qualified to practise in Ontario as an optometrist or in a specialty of optometry.


(3) In this section,

“abbreviation” includes an abbreviation of a variation. 1991, c. 35, s. 9.

Notice if suggestions referred to Advisory Council

10. (1) The Registrar shall give a notice to each member if the Minister refers to the Advisory Council, as defined in the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, a suggested,

(a) amendment to this Act;

(b) amendment to a regulation made by the Council; or

(c) regulation to be made by the Council.

Requirements re notice

(2) A notice mentioned in subsection (1) shall set out the suggestion referred to the Advisory Council and the notice shall be given within thirty days after the Council of the College receives the Minister’s notice of the suggestion. 1991, c. 35, s. 10.


11. Every person who contravenes subsection 9 (1) or (2) is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not more than $25,000 for a first offence and not more than $50,000 for a second or subsequent offence. 2007, c. 10, Sched. B, s. 17 (2).


12. (1) Subject to the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council and with prior review by the Minister, the Council may make regulations,

(a) specifying the drugs that a member may use in the course of engaging in the practice of optometry;

(b) designating drugs for the purposes of paragraph 2.1 of section 4. 2007, c. 10, Sched. B, s. 17 (3).

Individual drugs or categories

(2) A regulation made under subsection (1) may specify or designate individual drugs or categories of drugs. 2007, c. 10, Sched. B, s. 17 (3).


12.1 The Council may make by-laws respecting the qualifications, selection and terms of office of Council members who are selected. 1998, c. 18, Sched. G, s. 40 (4).


13. A person who, on the day before this Act comes into force, held a licence issued under Part V of the Health Disciplines Act shall be deemed to be the holder of a certificate of registration issued under this Act subject to any term, condition or limitation to which the licence was subject. 1991, c. 35, s. 13.

14., 15. Repealed: 2007, c. 10, Sched. B, s. 17 (4).

16. Omitted (provides for coming into force of provisions of this Act). 1991, c. 35, s. 16.

17. Omitted (enacts short title of this Act). 1991, c. 35, s. 17.