Living in French
The Franco-Ontarian community, just like the general population of Ontario, is diverse and vibrant. For many years, it has welcomed Francophones from Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Europe.
Franco-Ontarians have access to a school system that goes from junior kindergarten to high school as well as selected French and bilingual postsecondary institutions across the province. Francophones can also take advantage of the French services offered by community and health care centres, festivals, art galleries, publishers, and numerous media. The community draws its energy from the numerous French institutions and associations in the fields of education, culture, health, justice, the economy and communications, constituting a network that contributes to the construction and growth of the Franco-Ontarian identity.
The French presence in Ontario dates back 400 years ago. French people were the first to explore the province and establish permanent settlements, as shown on this interactive map. The French language and culture are an integral part of Ontario's past and current history. See L'écho d'un peuple, Francophone community profile of Ontario, for more information.
The green represents summer and white represents winter. Together the two colours represent the diversity of Ontario's climate. The lily evokes the French-speaking community worldwide, whereas the trillium is the floral emblem of Ontario.
- The passage of the Courts of Justice Act in 1984 gives French Official Language status in Ontario's court system along with English.
- In 1986, the Ontario government adopts the French Language Services Act. This Act consolidates existing policies and recognizes the right of Francophones to receive government services in French in the 25 designated areas of the province.
- The Office of Francophone Affairs is created under the French Language Services Act to ensure that Francophones have access to provincial government services in French in the 25 designated areas and guarantee their participation in the social, economic and political life of the province, while maintaining their linguistic and cultural heritage. The Office works in conjunction with the French Language coordinators of the Ontario government ministries to monitor the application of the act.
- In 1995, the Ontarian Public French Television channel becomes TFO (in French) gaining self-governance in 2006. The Office des télécommunications éducatives de langue française de l’Ontario (OTÉLFO) (in French) is created on April 1, 2007. It is the producer and distributor of French educational televised programming and cultural multimedia products.
- The 2001 Franco-Ontarian Emblem Act officially recognizes the Franco-Ontarian flag, first unveiled on September 25, 1975 at the University of Sudbury as the official emblem of the Francophone community of Ontario.
Viens vivre en Ontario
Ontario's Municipal Francophone Immigration website, Viens vivre en Ontario (in French) provides local information about French services and local information on education, business, employment and health in various communities across Ontario.
- History of the French presence in Ontario
- Profile of Ontario's Francophone Community 2009
- Multicultural History Society of Ontario
Important Links You Will Find in This Section
The Office of Francophone Affairs helps Francophones, as full members of Ontario society, to prosper while respecting their cultural diversity.
Welcome to Ontario, a Guide to Programs and Services for Newcomers to Ontario offered in several languages.
Etablissement.org (in French) provides reliable information to newcomers about all aspects of settlement, including services close to their home. This site has been developed for Francophones. A similar site is available in English.
Inmylanguage.org also provides you with information to help you settle in 11 languages.
Find the social or community service you need by using the 211Ontario directory.
You can find employment services in your area by using the Employment Ontario’s search tool.
Use the Cliquezsanté.ca (in French) directory to find a French-speaking health or social service professional in your area.
Legal Aid Ontario gives low-income families access to a range of legal services tailored to meet their legal needs.
Cliquez Justice (in French) is Web portal that provides simplified legal information in French on careers in justice and the functioning of the judiciary. The site also answers questions on legal issues, namely regarding family law, employment as well as citizenship and immigration.
The phone line Fem'aide (in French) helps Francophone women experiencing violence by providing support, information and referral services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A similar service is available in English.
NewYouth.ca is an online community for newcomer youth.