Goods, services and facilities
You have the right to be free from discrimination when you receive goods or services, or use facilities. For example, this right applies to:
- stores, restaurants and bars
- hospitals and health services
- schools, universities and colleges
- public places, amenities and utilities such as recreation centres, public washrooms, malls and parks
- services and programs provided by municipal and provincial governments, including social assistance and benefits, and public transit
- services provided by insurance companies
- classified advertisement space in a newspaper.
Relevant policies and guides:
2003 - The Report provides an in-depth picture of human rights issues relating to disability and education in the province of Ontario. It outlines “Actions Required” of key players in the education system to address the practices and attitudes that limit the ability of students with disabilities to access education equally. It also includes specific Commission commitments which are steps that the Commission will take to help combat discrimination against students with disabilities. The Commission’s analysis and recommendations are informed by the comprehensive input received from stakeholders throughout the course of the consultation.
April 2004 - In the spring of 2001, the Commission began its efforts to engage the restaurant industry to promote the accessibility of its services and facilities for persons with disabilities in Ontario. The audit focused on the physical premises and services of seven select restaurant chains totaling 28 locations across the province.
April 2008 - In October 2007, in response to recent developments and ongoing concerns in the area of transit accessibility, the Commission began an inquiry into whether transit providers across the province announce transit stops. Through this initiative, the Commission hoped to improve awareness in the transit sector of the importance of announcing all stops for the purposes of inclusion and accessibility, and to secure commitments toward quickly developing and implementing stop announcement plans.
2002 - Under the Ontario Human Rights Code, transit service providers have a legal responsibility to ensure that transit systems are accessible to all Ontarians. Many older persons depend of public transit services to go to work, to get to medical appointments, to go to the grocery store, to participate in recreational activities and to visit family and friends. Transit services that are not accessible can cause isolation and prevent participation of older persons in our communities.
Section 1 of the Code prohibits discrimination based on family status in the social areas of services, goods and facilities. This is an extremely broad social area, covering everything from corner stores and shopping malls, to education, health services and public transit. The issues are therefore also extremely diverse. However, very little attention has been paid to these issues.
Under the Code, service providers have a duty to provide services that are free from discrimination and harassment. “Services” is a very broad category and includes services designed for everyone (shops, restaurants or education), as well as those that apply specifically to people with mental health disabilities and addictions (the mental health system or addiction treatment centres).
March 1 2013 - The OHRC recognizes that accessibility requirements have been enhanced with each new edition of the Building Code regulation and welcomes the latest proposal for new barrier-free design requirements. The OHRC also has a number of concerns about the proposed changes as well as additional recommendations for barrier-free requirements in the Building Code regulation.
July 2006 - For the past five years, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (the "Commission") has been working closely with the restaurant industry to improve accessibility for persons with disabilities, older individuals, and families with young children. Moving Towards Barrier-Free Services is the OHRC’s final public report on this initiative.
January 2001 - Access to public transportation services is a human rights issue. Transportation is fundamental to the capacity of most persons to function in society. Transit services facilitate integration into public and social life in our communities, as well as allow people to access work, and basic goods, services and facilities. However, certain persons who are protected under the Ontario Human Rights Code face significant barriers in using transit services. While the issue of transit accessibility is most often discussed in the context of persons with disabilities, it also impacts on others, such as older persons and families with young children.
2002 - Under the Ontario Human Rights Code, every citizen of Ontario has a right to equal treatment in receiving public services, which include public transit services.Transit providers have a legal responsibility to ensure that transit systems are accessible to all Ontarians. For many, access to public transit is a necessity - in order to obtain an education, find and keep a job, or use basic public services like health care.