As of January 1, 2016, the Ontario Ombudsman can take general complaints about the province’s 444 municipalities. This is in addition to complaints about closed municipal meetings, which were added to the Ombudsman’s jurisdiction in 2008.

Anyone with an unresolved concern about a municipality including citizens, councillors, or special interest groups can contact the Ombudsman by using the online complaint form here. Complaints can also be filed by phone (1-800-263-1830), or email

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Local complaints are best resolved locally: How to create an effective municipal complaint policy

Ontario Ombudsman General Counsel, Laura Pettigrew, spoke at the Ontario East Municipal Conference 2017 about how to create an effective municipal complaint policy on September 14, 2017.

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What kinds of issues can the Ombudsman help with?

The Ombudsman can review complaints about the administrative actions and decisions of municipalities. The Ombudsman is an office of last resort. This means that you should try to address your issue through any available complaint or appeal mechanisms before contacting our Office.

The Ombudsman may be able to help with issues such as concerns about municipal services (e.g., snow removal, parking, garbage collection); programs (e.g., recreation programs, housing, Ontario Works), administration of taxes, municipally-owned hydro utilities, conduct of council members, conflicts of interest, or the work of local accountability officers. If you're not sure whether or not an issue falls within our jurisdiction, contact us, and our team can refer you appropriately.

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