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Overseas Security Advisory Council
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Canada 2020 Crime & Safety Report: Toronto

This is an annual report produced in conjunction with the Regional Security Office at the U.S. Consulate in Toronto, Canada. OSAC encourages travelers to use this report to gain baseline knowledge of security conditions in Ontario. For more in-depth information, review OSAC’s Canada country page for original OSAC reporting, consular messages, and contact information, some of which may be available only to private-sector representatives with an OSAC password.

Travel Advisory

The current U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory at the date of this report’s publication assesses Canada at Level 1, indicating travelers should exercise normal precautions. Review OSAC’s report, Understanding the Consular Travel Advisory System.

Overall Crime and Safety Situation

Crime Threats

The U.S. Department of State has assessed Toronto as being a LOW-threat location for crime directed at or affecting official U.S. government interests. The overall crime rate for Toronto may be low, but crimes of opportunity and all other categories of crime do occur Toronto recorded a relatively violent year in 2019, with a marked increase in gun-related crime. Much of the increase was in firearm-related and gang-related incidents. Police reported that officers had recovered 485 handguns in 2019, 39 fewer than in 2018. Gun-related homicides increased nearly 14% from 2018. Assaults against police officers, thefts from vehicles, sexual assaults, and breaking and entering incidents increased slightly. There is no evidence that U.S. citizens are direct targets for criminal activity.

Toronto Police Service initiated a “gun buy-back” program to remove firearms from the street. The program resulted in the surrender of 2,200 long guns and 900 handguns. The public surrendered a total of 3,100 firearms.

While the downtown area is an enjoyable area of tourist attractions, business centers, shopping, and restaurants during the day and early evening, drug dealing and prostitution activity occurs with occasional incidents of violence outside the bars as they close. In addition, aggressive panhandling occurs near the Consulate and across the downtown area. In three separate incidents in 2019, emotionally disturbed homeless individuals assaulted U.S. Consulate staff in the areas surrounding the Consulate.

Transnational organized crime groups in Ontario are “national policing priorities” and “national high-level threats,” receiving additional police resources. Greater Toronto has experienced active memberships of Chinese Triad Groups, Nigerian Black Axe, Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs, and Italian Cosa Nostra, among others. Police intelligence has begun to see Latin American criminal organizations, such as MS-13, within Greater Toronto.

Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs have expanded and may continue doing so in Ontario for the foreseeable future. These groups are involved in narcotics trade, violence, intimidation, cocaine importation, financial crimes, and money laundering, either directly or through subordinate organizations, to maintain control of the Toronto drug territory, considered the largest illicit drug market in Canada.

Vehicle thefts are common, even from locked garages. Vehicle break-ins are common, with GPS units, electronics, bags, identification, and loose change alluring. Review OSAC’s report, All That You Should Leave Behind.

Crime across all of Canada, as measured by both the crime rate and the Crime Severity Index (CSI), increased for the fourth consecutive year in 2018. (Nationwide 2019 statistics are not yet available.) The CSI measures the volume and severity of police-reported crime in Canada and has a base index value of 100 for the year 2006. The change in the CSI in 2018 was the result of higher police-reported rates of numerous offenses. Ordered by their relative impact on the CSI, these offenses include fraud (+13%); sexual assault without a weapon or evidence of bodily harm (+15%); shoplifting of $5,000 or under (+14%); and theft over $5,000 (+15%). Decreases in other offenses (e.g. breaking and entering down 1%, and robbery down 3%) partially offset these increases.

Police reported more than two million Criminal Code incidents (excluding traffic offences) in 2018, almost 70,000 more than in 2017. At 5,488 incidents per 100,000 population, the rate of crime reported to police increased 2% in 2018, but was 17% lower than in 2008.

It is important to note that the police-reported crime rate and the CSI include only those incidents that come to the attention of police, either through reporting by the public or through pro-active policing. Results from the most recent General Social Survey on Victimization found that victims reported just under one-third (31%) of violent and non-violent incidents.

The CSI increased in two-thirds of Canada's largest cities (census metropolitan areas [CMAs]) in 2018, with the largest increases in Windsor, Ontario (+21%); Moncton, New Brunswick (+15%); and St. Catharines–Niagara, Ontario (+15%). Breaking and entering was an important contributor to the increases in Windsor and St. Catharines–Niagara, while fraud was an important contributor to the increases in Moncton and Windsor.

After increasing in 2017, Canada's homicide rate declined 4% in 2018, from 1.82 to 1.76 homicides per 100,000 population. Police reported 651 homicides in Canada in 2018, 15 fewer than the previous year. Despite the decline, the homicide rate was higher than the Canadian average over the previous decade.

Visitors to large cities and popular tourist destinations should be aware that criminals regularly target parked cars for opportunistic smash-and-grab thefts. Avoid leaving any unattended possessions in a vehicle, even in the trunk. Due to the high incidence of such crimes, motorists in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, and other jurisdictions can receive fines for leaving their car doors unlocked or for leaving valuables in view. Exercise precaution to safeguard property.

Review OSAC’s reports, The Overseas Traveler’s Guide to ATM Skimmers & Fraud and Taking Credit.

Review OSAC’s reports, Hotels: The Inns and Outs and Considerations for Hotel Security.

Cybersecurity Issues

Cybersecurity and internet-related crime issues are like those identified in the U.S. Travelers to Canada should continue to practice smart internet use and guard all financial transactions.

Canada’s National Cyber Security Strategy, released in 2018, recognizes that robust cyber security is an essential element of Canadian innovation and prosperity. The Strategy is adaptable and to account for a continuously changing cyber landscape, introduces a new strategic direction, and defines goals to achieve its vision of security and prosperity in the digital age.

Canada distributes cyber security operational capabilities across different departments and agencies. Though measures are in place to ensure good communication and coordination, ambiguity concerning roles and responsibilities and the inherent difficulty in coordinating multiple decision makers is a problematic. The new Canadian Centre for Cyber Security (the Cyber Centre) within the Communications Security Establishment (CSE) will address this gap as a single, unified team of government cyber security technical experts that will be the definitive source of unique technical advice, guidance, services, messaging and support on cyber security operational matters for government, critical infrastructure owners and operations, the private sector, and the Canadian public. The Centre will also provide cyber security expertise to support lead agencies in the delivery of their core functions, including collaborating with the RCMP’s NC3 and its law enforcement efforts to address cybercrime.

The RCMP will establish the National Cybercrime Coordination Unit (NC3 Unit) to coordinate Canadian police operations against cybercriminals and to establish a national mechanism for Canadians and businesses to report cybercrimes to police. Additionally, the RCMP will also enhance its operational capacity (e.g. investigations, intelligence, specialized technical investigative services, international presence, and specialized cyber expertise) to take federal enforcement action against priority domestic and international cybercrime activity.

Review OSAC’s reports, Cybersecurity Basics, Best Practices for Maximizing Security on Public Wi-Fi, Traveling with Mobile Devices: Trends & Best Practices, and Satellite Phones: Critical or Contraband?

Transportation-Safety Situation

Road Safety and Road Conditions

Ontario’s new distracted driving laws came into effect in 2020, with stiffer fines and long-term consequences for distracted drivers in Ontario. Drivers caught, talking, texting, dialing, or emailing on a handheld device will receive fines of up to $3,000 — more than double the previous fine levels. Additional penalties include up to 30 days license suspension and up to six demerit points.

Driving conditions are very similar to the U.S., but severe winter weather conditions may make traveling by road dangerous. Due to harsh winters with snow and ice, in addition to road treatments, public roads are often in a state of constant repair/maintenance. Consider carrying roadside emergency kits, especially in inclement weather. Quebec and British Columbia require snow tires in the winter. Winter conditions and wildfires may prompt the sudden closure of highways. Provincial ministries of transport typically post closures and other alerts about road conditions on their websites.

Road safety and road conditions signage may be bilingual (English/French). Speeds are in kilometers per hour. Drivers should be cautious of deer, elk, and moose while driving at night in rural areas. Police routinely conduct vehicle checkpoints on main roads/highways to interdict impaired drivers; they also routinely station plain-clothes officers to observe and ticket vehicle operators using electronic devices without hands-free attachments.

Do not leave valuables in the car. If you must leave items in the car, keep them locked in the trunk. Never pick up hitchhikers.

All provinces except Ontario require drivers to keep their vehicle’s headlights on during the day. All ten provinces have some form of cell phone/distracted driving legislation in place. Motorcycles cannot share a lane, and safety helmets for motorcycle riders and passengers are mandatory. Running a red light is a serious concern throughout Canada. Pause before proceeding when a light turns green. It is illegal to take automobile radar detectors into Québec, Ontario, Manitoba, the Yukon, or the Northwest Territories, regardless of whether they are in use. Police there may confiscate radar detectors, operational or not, and impose substantial fines.

Alcohol and cannabis related driving offenses, such as driving while intoxicated (DWI), driving while ability-impaired, and driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or cannabis, are criminal offenses in Canada. Penalties are heavy, and any prior conviction (no matter how old or how minor the infraction), is grounds for exclusion from Canada. If you have a DWI record, you will not be able to enter Canada without Canadian authorities finding you to be “rehabilitated.”

Review OSAC’s reports, Road Safety Abroad, Driving Overseas: Best Practices, and Evasive Driving Techniques; and read the State Department’s webpage on driving and road safety abroad.

Public Transportation Conditions

Public transportation (i.e. bus, subway, and streetcar) is safe and is similar to most public transportation systems found in the U.S. Thefts and assaults can and do take place. Travelers should protect purses and bags while in crowds.

Aviation/Airport Conditions

Severe winter weather conditions may make air travel difficult at times. Harsh winter weather can cause flight delays, cancelations, and re-routed flights. Remain updated on current weather conditions and the status of individual flights when traveling during the winter, and be prepared for itinerary changes and delays.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Canada’s Civil Aviation Authority as compliant with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Canada’s air carrier operations.

The United States conducts preclearance operations at Toronto’s Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) and seven other airports across Canada, more than in any other country. Canada is the only country in the world with which the United States has signed a new Preclearance agreement that covers all modes of transportation across the shared border.

Review OSAC’s report, Security In Transit: Airplanes, Public Transport, and Overnights.

Terrorism Threat

The U.S. Department of State has assessed Toronto as being a LOW-threat location for terrorism directed at or affecting official U.S. government interests.

Canada’s Integrated Terrorism Assessment Centre (ITAC) assesses the terrorism threat in Canada to be “Medium.” This means extremist groups and individuals located in Canada and abroad, have both the intent and capability to carry out an act of terrorism in Canada. Such an attack could occur in Canada. Terrorists have identified uniformed personnel as a particularly desirable target.

The issue of returning foreign fighters is an ongoing national security concern. The number of Canadian citizens leaving to join terrorist causes decreased in 2019. Terrorism remains a threat as some of those individuals return to Canada. 20% of these foreign terrorist fighters are female.

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) has publicly commented that there are international terrorist organizations active in Canada, in part due to the porous southern border with the U.S. and Canada’s political asylum policies.

The principal terrorist threat to Canada and Canadian interests continues to be that posed by individuals or groups inspired by violent ideologies and terrorist groups, such as ISIS or al-Qa’ida (AQ). Fewer Canadians are seeking to travel abroad to support groups like ISIS or AQ. A small number of individuals maintain intentions to travel and some have made attempts. When authorities prevent travel plans, some individuals may turn their extreme intentions to the domestic environment. Canada continues to be a source country for recruitment, fundraising, and other activities that facilitate violent extremist activity abroad. Social media also remains a key tool for individuals in Canada and abroad who wish to communicate with other terrorists and violent extremist actors.

In the past year, individuals not formally connected to any terrorist group continued to conduct attacks. These individuals, often inspired by other attacks, adopt terrorist methods when conducting a violent act. Over the course of the last year, terrorist groups and their followers falsely claimed responsibility for attacks, when in fact they had no involvement or foreknowledge of these acts. For example, in July 2018, 29-year-old Faisal Hussain opened fire in the busy Danforth neighborhood in Toronto. While law enforcement officials confirmed that there was no terrorism nexus, ISIS falsely claimed responsibility for the attack soon after it occurred.

In early 2019, authorities charged a minor Canadian permanent resident with terrorism-related offences in Kingston, Ontario. Authorities charged two individuals with terrorism-related offences in 2017. In 2016, police shot a man after he detonated an explosive in a taxi in Strathoy, Ontario; the confrontation followed a tip from FBI to Canadian authorities that taxi driver had made a martyrdom video.

Canada also continues to face threats from individuals that support terrorist groups, such as Hizb’allah. Since the early 1980s, Hizb’allah has been responsible for, or linked to, multiple large-scale terrorist attacks worldwide; none of these attacks have occurred in Canada.

Political, Economic, Religious, and Ethnic Violence

The U.S. Department of State has assessed Toronto as being a LOW-threat location for political violence directed at or affecting official U.S. government interests.

Civil Unrest

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the right to protest, as well as the rights of freedom of conscience and religion, expression, association, and peaceful assembly.

The U.S. Consulate General was the focus of 27 demonstrations in 2019. The demonstrators protested U.S. foreign policy and the lack of U.S. support/aid to other countries. Review OSAC’s report, Surviving a Protest.

Religious/Ethnic Violence

Right-wing extremism (RWE) is traditionally driven by hatred and fear, and includes a range of individuals and groups. Often coming together in online communities, right-wing extremists back a wide range of issues and grievances, including, but not limited to anti-government and anti-law enforcement sentiment, advocacy of white nationalism and racial separation, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, anti-immigration, male supremacy (misogyny), and homophobia. The threat of violence from any individuals, including those holding extreme right-wing views, may manifest in terrorist activity or other forms of criminal violence. However, while those espousing racism, bigotry, and misogyny may attempt to undermine the fabric of Canadian society, ultimately, they do not usually result in threats to national security.

In Canada, individuals who hold extreme right-wing views are active online, leveraging chat forums and online networks to exchange ideas, as opposed to openly promoting violence. These individuals leverage online chats and forums in attempt to create an online culture of fear, hatred, and mistrust by exploiting real or imagined concerns.

Traditionally, violence in Canada linked to the far-right has been sporadic and opportunistic. However, attacks perpetrated by individuals who hold extreme right-wing views and other lesser-known forms of ideological extremism can occur. A recent example is a 2018 van attack in Toronto, which resulted in the deaths of ten people and alerted Canada to the dangers of the online “incel” movement.

Right-wing extremism is not unique to Canada. Some European RWE groups have established chapters in Canada. Likewise, some Canadian RWE groups have far-right connections in Europe.

Anti-U.S. Sentiment

Although protest activity against U.S. government policies occurs, there is little anti-U.S. sentiment among the Canadian populace.

Post-specific Concerns

Environmental Hazards

Natural disasters are rare, but winters can be extremely cold.

The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change produces an hourly Air Quality Index report, with forecasts ranging from good to moderate air quality, similar to moderately sized U.S. cities.

Critical Infrastructure

Public Safety Canada identifies ten sectors of critical infrastructure (i.e. Health, Food, Finance, Water, Information and Communication Technology, Safety, Energy and Utilities, Manufacturing, Government, and Transportation). Canada’s critical infrastructure is massive, geographically dispersed, and owned by many different players, mostly in the private sector. Public Safety works with its partners to manage risks and reduce vulnerabilities across these sectors. Federal, provincial, and territorial governments, together with critical infrastructure owners/operators, share responsibility for critical infrastructure. Individuals also have a responsibility to be prepared for disruption and ready to cope for at least the first 72 hours of an emergency.

Canada and the United States share cross border critical infrastructure that govern the movement of people and goods. With refineries, nuclear facilities, large manufacturing operations, and other infrastructure located in close proximity to the border, as well as energy, critical supply and transportation networks that cross the border, impacts from disruptions can and do cross international jurisdictions. The Canada-United States Action Plan for Critical Infrastructure promotes resilience and an integrated approach to critical infrastructure protection by enhancing coordination of activities and facilitating continuous dialogue among cross-border stakeholders.

Ontario is home to over one quarter of the farms and nearly half of food and beverage processing in Canada. The agriculture and food industries, including livestock farming, comprise a multi-billion-dollar segment of the Ontario economy. Therefore, several federal acts that govern food products regulate food contamination (microbial, chemical, or physical).

Economic Concerns

The RCMP, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and other Canadian law enforcement agencies are responsible for undertaking coordinated action to counter the threats posed by intellectual property crime within Canada. The RCMP is a partner agency at the U.S. National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center. In 2019, the York Regional Police charged eight individuals related to a 2018 seizure of thousands of counterfeit goods at the Pacific Mall near Toronto. This investigation received support from CBSA, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the New York Police Department.

According to INTERPOL, Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) crime has confirmed links to organized crime and terrorism. In addition to the tremendous losses to government tax revenues and the legitimate Canadian economy, recent seizures of counterfeit goods (e.g. pharmaceuticals, electrical products, auto parts, contaminated shampoo/food products) show that unscrupulous counterfeiters can jeopardize the health and safety of consumers.

Canada remains the only G7 country identified in the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) 2019 Special 301 Report on IPR. Canada’s Priority Watch List standing reflects a failure to resolve longstanding deficiencies in protection and enforcement of intellectual property. The most significant step forward Canada has taken is its agreement to important IPR provisions in the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). After implementation, these commitments will substantially improve the IP environment in Canada, including with respect to areas where there have been long-standing concerns with enforcement against counterfeits, inspection of goods in transit, transparency with respect to new geographical indications (GIs), national treatment, and copyright term.

There is relatively low risk to privacy concerns in Canada. Canada has two federal privacy laws. Oversight of both federal Acts rests with the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, who receives and investigates complaints.

The Privacy Act governs the personal information handling practices on some 250 federal institutions. It limits the collection, use, sharing, and disclosure of individuals’ personal information. It also gives individuals the right to access and request correction of personal information about themselves held by the federal government.

The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) applies to the collection, use, or disclosure of personal information (e.g. age, name, ID number, ethnic origin) in the course of commercial activity. Organizations and businesses must obtain an individual’s consent before collection, and individuals have the right to access and challenge the accuracy of their personal information held by an organization. PIPEDA is exempt in provinces that have similar provincial privacy legislation; Quebec, British Columbia, and Alberta have adopted private-sector legislation deemed substantially similar to the federal law.

Personal Identity Concerns

Police-reported hate crimes targeting sexual orientation rose 16% in 2017 (the most recent data available) to 204 incidents. The law prohibits discrimination against LGBTI+ persons in housing, employment, nationality laws, and access to government services, including health care, and the government enforced the law. The law prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression, and the criminal code provides penalties for crimes motivated by bias, prejudice, or hate based on personal characteristics, including sexual orientation. There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in Canada. Review the State Department’s webpage on security for LGBTI+ travelers.

The B’nai Brith Canada League for Human Rights received 2,041 reports of anti-Semitic incidents in 2018, a 16% increase from 2017. There were 1,809 incidents of anti-Semitic harassment in 2018, up 28% from 2017. Quebec, for the first time, had the greatest number of anti-Semitic incidents, with more than one-third of all occurrences in the country, despite Ontario having the largest Jewish population of any province. Review OSAC’s report, Freedom to Practice, and the State Department’s webpage on security for faith-based travelers.

The constitution and law prohibit discrimination against persons with physical, sensory, intellectual, and mental disabilities, including their access to education, employment, health services, transportation, the judicial system, and other state services. Federal and provincial governments effectively implement laws and programs mandating access to buildings, information, and communications for persons with disabilities, but regulation varies by jurisdiction. The federal Accessible Canada Act became law in June to “identify, remove, and prevent” accessibility barriers in areas that fall under federal jurisdiction. Review the State Department’s webpage on security for travelers with disabilities.

In 2018, over 2,000 incidents motivated by hate were reported to police, an increase of 47% over the previous year. The increase was largely attributable to an increase in police-reported complaints motivated by hatred of a religion or of a race or ethnicity. Hate crimes targeting the black population represented 16% of incidents.

The overall violent victimization rate (which includes sexual assault, assault, and robbery) for indigenous persons in 2014 was more than double the rate of nonindigenous persons.

Drug-related Crime

Canadian law prohibits trafficking of controlled substances and narcotics, including those that may be legal to possess under the law of certain states. Even though Canada legalized the personal consumption of recreational cannabis in 2018, Canadian law prohibits taking cannabis across Canada’s national borders, whether you are entering or leaving Canada. Smugglers risk substantial fines, a permanent bar from Canada, and imprisonment.

Methamphetamine use occurs in parks in metro Toronto. Police continue to pursue and interdict drug operations. Organized crime is present, and centers around drug trafficking and outlaw motorcycle gangs.

Illicit drug use continues to rise, and the number of deaths attributed to overdose is climbing. The City of Toronto provides “safe injection” sites to allow users to inject illegal drugs under sanitary conditions. These sites are not secure and have no foreseeable security plan, as the Toronto Police Service will not provide police officers to a site that fosters the use of illegal drugs.

Canada is a producer of cannabis for its domestic drug market and for export to U.S.; the use of hydroponics technology permits growers to plant large quantities of high-quality marijuana indoors. Canada has increasing ecstasy production, some of which is destined for the U.S.

Kidnapping Threat

Kidnapping for ransom is rare. However, dozens of international parental child abductions occur each year between the United States and Canada, with courts in both countries applying the Hague Abduction Convention. All provinces have their own central authority, which have strong relationships with the United States. They generally coordinate directly with the Department of State’s Office of Children’s Issues on international child abduction cases, so the Embassy rarely becomes involved.

The National Centre for Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains is an RCMP unit that maintains a national database for finding missing people and identifying human remains that links investigators nationwide when their cases match. The database provides support to police, coroners, and medical examiners and lets them compare their findings.

Review OSAC’s report, Kidnapping: The Basics.

Other Issues

Firearms control is stricter in Canada than in the United States. Violation of firearms restrictions may result in prosecution and imprisonment. Visitors bringing any firearms or ammunition into Canada must declare the firearms in writing using a Non-Resident Firearm Declaration form. Visitors planning to borrow and use a firearm in Canada must obtain a Temporary Firearms Borrowing License in advance. You must present these forms in triplicate and sign them in front of a CBSA officer at the border; it is not possible to make photocopies at the border. Full details and downloadable forms are available at the Canadian Firearms Program website, under the heading "Visitors / Non Residents." Canadian law requires that officials confiscate any firearms, ammunition, and other weapons from persons crossing the border who do not declare having the items in their possession. Authorities will not return confiscated firearms, ammunition, or weapons. Inspect all belongings thoroughly prior to travel to Canada to avoid the accidental import of firearms or ammunition. Read the State Department’s webpage on customs and import restrictions for information on what you cannot take into or out of other countries.

In recent years, there has been an increase in random checks of electronic media of travelers entering Canada. Canadian officials may search your computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices without a warrant at the border and illegal content can result in the seizure of the device as well as detention, arrest, and prosecution of the bearer.

Police Response

The emergency line in Canada is 911. The Toronto Police Services (TPS) are the local law enforcement, and the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is the equivalent of state police for Ontario. Both police services are extremely proactive and responsive in addressing criminal activity surrounding the U.S. Consulate in Toronto.

Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is the largest deployed police force in Ontario and the second largest in Canada. The service is responsible for providing policing services throughout the province in areas lacking police forces. OPP also offers specialized support to smaller municipal forces, investigates province-wide and cross-jurisdictional crimes, patrols provincial highways, and is responsible for many of the waterways in the province.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) is the national police service and an agency of the Ministry of Public Safety. The RCMP is unique since it is a national, federal, provincial, and municipal policing body. The RCMP provide a total federal policing service to all Canadians and policing services under contract to the three territories, eight provinces (except Ontario and Quebec), more than 190 municipalities, 184 Aboriginal communities, and three international airports.            

Medical Emergencies

The emergency line in Canada is 911. A high level of medical care (comparable to that in other industrialized countries) is available throughout the country, although medical care in remote areas may be inadequate or not meet international standards. Adequate medical care for routine minor-care medical situations and stabilization prior to evacuation is available in remote areas. Find contact information for available medical services and available air ambulance services on the Embassy’s Medical Assistance webpage.

Hospitals generally require up-front payment by cash or credit card, up to the total of all anticipated charges, from foreigners prior to services or treatment. Hospitals may waive up-front payment of other than a modest deposit if they have existing cashless agreements with at least some major international insurance providers. All hospitals provide some services free to Canadian citizens. All hospitals must provide emergency stabilization without regard to ability to pay. The U.S. Department of State strongly recommends purchasing international health insurance before traveling internationally. Review the State Department’s webpage on insurance overseas.

The CDC offers additional information on vaccines and health guidance for Canada.

Review OSAC’s reports, The Healthy Way, Traveling with Medication, I’m Drinking What in My Water?, Shaken: The Don’ts of Alcohol Abroad, Health 101: How to Prepare for Travel, and Fire Safety Abroad.

OSAC Country Council Information

There is an OSAC Country Council in Toronto. Interested private-sector security managers should contact OSAC’s Western Hemisphere Team with any questions or to join.

U.S. Consulate Contact Information

360 University Ave, Toronto, Ontario M5G 1S4

Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday 0800-1700 by appointment only

Consulate Operator: 416-595-1700

Website: https://ca.usembassy.gov/embassy-consulates/toronto   

Other U.S. Diplomatic Posts In Canada

Embassy Ottawa, Consulate Calgary, Consulate Halifax, Consulate Montreal, Consulate Québec, Consulate Vancouver, Consulate Winnipeg

Helpful Information

Before you travel, consider the following resources:

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