Here is a list of the Ontario non-profit corporations under the Ontario Corporations Act. There are 59,605 Ontario corporations on the list. The list is 1084 pages long. Some of the Ontario corporations are active and some are inactive. We think that it is important for organizations to be able to have a public list so that they can easily determine whether or not they are an Ontario corporation.
This is particularly important as the new Ontario Not-for-Profit Corporations Act (ONCA) will come into force one day that will affect many of the Ontario corporations. We don’t know when ONCA will come into force but it may be only January 2015. Although you can search Federal non-profit corporations on the Industry Canada website for free, there is unfortunately no similar free Ontario publicly available database. An organization can be set up as an unincorporated association, a trust, a Federal non-profit corporation, and a provincial non-profit corporation including Ontario non-profit corporation.
The list was released to our law firm as part of an access request under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). We had requested further information than that which is contained on this list. But it has taken us about 1.5 years of negotiation, FOI requests and mediation by the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario to have this information released. Perhaps one day I will post a blog on that little story.
Do you require legal advice with respect to Canadian or Ontario non-profits or charities?
Mark Blumberg is a partner at the law firm of Blumberg Segal LLP in Toronto and works almost exclusively in the areas of non-profit and charity law.