The Retirement Homes Act, 2010 (Ontario)

The Retirement Homes Act, 2010 (Ontario)

Retirement homes are regulated and must follow legislation called the Retirement Homes Act, 2010 (the Act). The Act provides protections for retirement home residents so they can live with dignity and make choices about their care. The Act is enforced by the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority (RHRA).

Under the Act, the RHRA is responsible for:

• Informing the public and educating the retirement home sector and residents about the Act, regulations and role of the RHRA

• Licensing retirement homes and maintaining a Public Register (available at


• Inspecting retirement homes using a risk-based approach, overseeing compliance and enforcing the Act for the protection of residents

Among other consumer protection measures, the Act sets out a Residents’ Bill of Rights. Operators must post these rights in the home and ensure staff members receive training about them.

The Residents’ Bill of Rights includes:

1. The right to:

  • know what care services are provided and how much they cost
  • be informed before fees for a care service(s) are increased
  • receive notice before a care service(s) is discontinued

2. The right to apply for publicly funded care services and assessments

3. The right to be informed about and apply for care services and assessments from an external care provider (i.e. not by the home)

4. The right to have choice of care services provided by qualified and trained staff

5. The right to:

  • participate fully in making care decisions
  • participate fully in the plan of care (e.g. development, revision and review)
  • give or refuse informed consent to any treatment, care or service where consent is required by law

6. The right not to be restrained except in keeping with the common law (i.e. permitted if risk of serious bodily harm to self or others)

7. The right to privacy during treatment and care

8. The right to live in a safe and clean environment with dignity and respect

9. The right to have lifestyle choices respected

10. The right to raise concerns or recommend changes in policies and services without fear of coercion, discrimination or reprisal

The Act does not regulate what retirement homes charge residents for or how much they charge, but residents do have the right to:

  • know what care services are provided in the home and how much they cost; and
  • be informed in advance of any increases in charges for care services provided in the home.

Retirement homes are also required to provide residents with an information package which must include a list of care services provided in the home and their price.

You can read the Retirement Homes Act, 2010 at Visit, or call 1 (855) ASK-RHRA (275-7472), for more information about the RHRA.