Skip to main content


ontario human rights commission.png

Accessibility, equal rights, religious freedom, sexual harassment, an end to racial profiling and discrimination — discussion and advocacy for continued progress on these human rights issues continues in Ontario. This exhibit explores the history of human rights in this province, highlighting significant decisions made by the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO - formerly named the Ontario Board of Inquiry from 1962-2002). The HRTO is an administrative tribunal created to hear cases brought forward under the Human Rights Code of Ontario. Passed on March 29, 1961 and having taken effect in 1962, the Code prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, colour, gender identity or expression, sex, sexual orientation, disability, creed, age and other grounds. The decisions of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario and the Board of Inquiry tell a story of evolving attitudes and laws related to sexual orientation, disability, creed, race and sex from a uniquely Ontarian perspective. On display are a selection of books, newspaper clippings and reports, drawn mainly from the University of Toronto Libraries’ collections, alongside a selection of the Board of Inquiry’s Decisions from 1962 through 2002. Most of the photographs on display are courtesy of the Toronto Star Photo Archives. Several libraries and institutions generously loaned materials featured in the exhibition, including:

  • Gerstein Science Information Centre
  • Bora Laskin Law Library


Curator: Amal Hussien, Toronto Academic Library Intern, User Services Department, Robarts Library

Coordinator: Jesse Carliner, Communications & User Services Librarian

Graphic Designer: Maureen Morin 

Editor: Margaret Wall, Communications & User Services Librarian

Additional support provided by Sam-chin Li, Christy Thomasson, Emily Chapman and Edmund Shalhoub