Province of Ontario


By Dana Hall

Posted on March 29, 2021

Province of Ontario

Official Language: English
Age of Majority: 18
Legal Drinking Age: 19

Getting a Health Card

Health coverage in Ontario is called Ontario Health Insurance Program (OHIP). OHIP starts on the day you apply. To be eligible, you will need to be in Ontario for at least 153 days of the year. During your first six months in Ontario, you can only leave the province for 30 days.

  • If you are a student, you cannot apply for OHIP. It is recommended that you get private health insurance during your time in the province.
  • If you have a work permit that is valid for at least six months, you can apply for OHIP.

To apply, you need to fill out the application form and submit documents to prove the following: your right to live in Canada, your identity, and your address. You can see a list of acceptable documents here.

You will need to apply in person at a Service Ontario location and have your picture taken.

Driving Information

How to get a licence:The legal age to drive in Ontario is 16. You earn your licence in three stages. The first thing you need to do is take a written test and pass an eye test. The test will ask questions about road signs and driving laws. You can buy a driving handbook to help study. You can take practice tests online to prepare.

When you pass your written test, you will be given a G1 licence. This allows you to drive with one other person who has had a licence for at least four years. You will have your G1 licence for one year. After a year, you can take a road test. If you take Driver’s Education, you only need to wait eight months to take your road test. Driver’s Education is recommended because it will teach you to be a better driver and give you discounts on insurance.

If you pass your road test, you will get your G2 licence. The G2 licence has some restrictions, which you can view here. You will have your G2 licence for a minimum of 12 months. After 12 months, you can take another road test. If you pass the second road test, you will be granted your full G licence. This licence allows you to drive cars, vans, and small trucks.

How to transfer a licence: If you have a licence from another country, you will need to transfer it to an Ontario licence. You should do this in your first 60 days of living in the province.

If your country has an exchange agreement with Ontario, you will only need to visit a Driver Test Centre to take an eye test and exchange your licence. If you live in Toronto, you can also go to the Service Ontario at Bay and College. The following countries have exchange agreements with Ontario:

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • France
  • Germany
  • Isle of Man
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • New Zealand
  • Republic of Ireland
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • United Kingdom

If your country is not on this list, you will need to show that you have at least one year of driving experience by showing a valid licence. If your licence is not in English or French, you need to have it translated by a certified translator. The translation must have been completed within six months of applying for your Ontario licence. You will also need a letter from your home country’s driving authority that confirms that your licence is authentic. The letter must be written in English or French.

If you have more than two years of driving experience, you will need to take a written test to confirm that you know the driving laws in Ontario. If you pass, you can book a road test right away. If you pass the road test, you will receive a full licence.

If you have fewer than two years of driving experience, you will need to take a written test to confirm that you know the driving laws in Ontario. If you pass, you can book a G1 road test right away. If you pass this first road test, you will get your G2 licence. After a year with a G2 licence, you’ll need to take a second road test to get a full licence. For more information on this process, please see the “how to get a licence” section.

For more detailed information on the application process and to see a list of document you will need to bring to your appointment, click here.

Ontario Public School Information

Children in Ontario can start school as early as age four, but it is not mandatory until age six. These are the different levels of education in Ontario:

  • Junior Kindergarten and Kindergarten: Ages 4–5
  • Elementary school (Grades 1–6): Ages 6–11
  • Junior high school (Grades 7–8): Ages 12–13
  • High school (Grades 9–12): Ages 14–17

Your child’s grade is determined by the year they are born. For instance, everyone born in the year 2015 will go into Grade 1 in 2021. That’s because they will turn six in 2021. The school year starts in early September and goes until the end of June. There is a short break at the end of December that lasts for two to three weeks. This is called winter break. School starts again in January. There is another week-long break in March called march break.

If you would like to homeschool your child, you can visit the Ontario Federation of Teaching Parents for information on how to register.

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