The Ministry of Tourism and Culture provides leadership for these two fast-growing sectors of the provincial economy which are fundamental to the prosperity and quality of life of Ontario citizens. Part of the Ministry’s mandate is to play a central role in attracting investment and international visitors to the province.

Working with the tourism sector, the Ministry helps to stimulate economic growth and investment and creates an environment that allows Ontario to compete successfully in the rapidly changing world of travel and leisure.

By providing leadership within the arts and culture community, the Ministry contributes to building a dynamic cultural environment in Ontario, a prosperous creative economy, vibrant liveable communities and encourages stewardship of heritage assets.

The Ontario Seniors’ Secretariat develops a wide variety of programs and services to meet the needs of seniors and help them to live safe, active and healthy lives. It also builds partnerships with seniors’ organizations across Ontario and guides the development of policies and programs across government on behalf of seniors.

Ministry Vision

The Ministry of Tourism and Culture works with the tourism and culture sectors, other ministries and other levels of government to strengthen Ontario as an internationally-recognized tourism destination and to build a strong and stable cultural sector. It does this through innovative policies, programs and services, and by supporting Ontario’s provincially owned tourism and culture agencies and attractions.

The Ministry supports a stronger, more competitive tourism industry by:

    • Undertaking vital market research in the areas of marketing, product development and investment to aid business decisions by both governments and industry; 
    • Encouraging private sector investment and new product development to expand Ontario’s tourism sector and promoting regional tourism economic development;
    • Facilitating the development of new experiences and destinations, marketing Ontario as a tourist destination, and investing in its tourism agencies and attractions.

The Ministry promotes and supports a strong cultural sector by:

    • Supporting innovation, investment and job-creation in the creative and cultural industries and helping Ontario to become a leader in the knowledge-based economy; 
    • Enhancing the contribution of the arts to Ontario’s social, cultural and economic well-being, protecting Ontario’s heritage, advancing the public library system, and investing in the ministry’s cultural agencies.

Responsibilities, Programs and Services

The Ministry has three divisions and one secretariat:

The Tourism Policy and Development Division is responsible for the Ministry’s strategic policy activities and research initiatives that support the tourism industry and generate increased tourist visitation and spending in the province.

The division also: 

    • Leads support for the Ministry’s development and investment activities, which include attracting private sector investment to Ontario's tourism industry, implementing the Regional Tourism Strategy, supporting tourism regional planning and economic development, and encouraging industry-led tourism development initiatives.

The Tourism Planning and Operations Division is responsible for developing the Ministry's tourism agencies and attractions as catalysts for regional economic development and as internationally-recognized travel destinations. The two attractions (Fort William Historical Park and Huronia Historical Parks) are branches of the Ministry which deliver required tourism programs and ensure heritage conservation.

The division also: 

    • Ensures good governance and accountability to meet the requirements of the Agency Establishment and Accountability Directive and applicable directives and legislation; and 
    • Maintains capital infrastructure through asset management and capital investment and assists agencies and attractions to ensure compliance with corporate initiatives.

The Culture Division is responsible for developing and implementing policies, programs and services that optimize the contribution of the entertainment and creative cluster, arts, heritage, archaeology, libraries, museums and cultural agencies to Ontario’s economic vitality and quality of life.

The division also: 

    • Collaborates with the Ontario Media Development Corporation and other partners to strengthen and grow Ontario’s entertainment and creative cluster; 
    • Invests in Ontario’s leading cultural agencies to support innovative programming and collections that showcase the province’s cultural diversity and creativity; and
    • Administers the Public Libraries Act, administers the Ontario Heritage Act, licenses archaeologists in the province, and provides funding support, advice and outreach to municipalities, libraries, museums and provincial heritage organizations.

Agencies and Attractions

The Ministry oversees the activities of its agencies and attractions that promote culture, tourism, economic growth and job creation. The agencies and attractions are the stewards of unique historic assets, built and natural heritage, major collections of art and historical artifacts, green space and parklands, and centres of excellence and innovation in regions across Ontario. Together, they offer educational, recreational, tourism, cultural and entertainment experiences for residents and visitors. 


    • Art Gallery of Ontario
    • McMichael Canadian Art Collection
    • Metropolitan Toronto Convention Centre Corporation
    • Minister’s Advisory Council for Arts and Culture
    • Niagara Parks Commission
    • Ontario Arts Council
    • Ontario Heritage Trust
    • Ontario Library Service – North
    • Ontario Media Development Corporation
    • Ontario Place Corporation
    • Ontario Science Centre
    • Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation
    • Ontario Trillium Foundation
    • Ottawa Convention Centre Corporation
    • Royal Botanical Gardens
    • Royal Ontario Museum
    • Science North
    • Southern Ontario Library Service
    • St. Lawrence Parks Commission


    • Fort William Historical Park
    • Huronia Historical Park

The Ontario Seniors’ Secretariat (OSS) advocates for, undertakes and supports policy initiatives that help improve the quality of life of Ontario seniors, and undertakes public education efforts for and about Ontario seniors.


OSS has two primary roles:

  1. Policy Role:
    • Supports the Minister Responsible for Seniors to advocate for new, and changes to existing, government policies and programs to reflect the changing seniors’ demographic;
    • Leads seniors’ policy initiatives with a multi-ministry or cross-jurisdictional focus; and
    • Contributes to policy activities in other ministries.
  2. Public Education and Awareness Role:
    • Develops and delivers (with Regional Services Branch involvement) educational programs that:
    • Inform seniors about the programs and services to which they are entitled;
    • Advocate for seniors to be actively engaged and promote healthy aging/lifestyles; and
    • Raise awareness for the broader public about the contributions seniors make to our families, communities, province and country.

In order to do both jobs well, OSS stays “connected” to Ontario seniors through the important seniors’ organizations that represent their interests. OSS maintains close contact with 11 of Ontario’s major seniors groups, and other seniors’ service organizations and involves them regularly in policy and public education work. 

Responsibilities, Programs and Services

Policy initiatives include:

    • Continued development of the regulations required to support the implementation of the Retirement Homes Act, 2010, which received Royal Assent on June 8, 2010;
    • Provision of ongoing implementation support and government oversight during the start–up phase of the Retirement Home Regulatory Authority;
    • Ongoing development and implementation of Ontario’s Strategy to Combat Elder Abuse;
    • Optimizing opportunities to promote age-friendly communities through the development of a toolkit of resources to assist communities in their assessments and plans to maximize health, participation and security of seniors; and
    • Collaborating with Federal/Provincial/Territorial (FPT) governments on Planning for Canada’s Aging Population, Ontario is hosting the 13th annual meeting of FPT Ministers Responsible for Seniors June 27-28, 2011, in Hamilton.  Ontario’s Minister Responsible for Seniors will host and co-chair the meeting with the federal Minister of State (Seniors).

Public education and awareness initiatives include:

    • Enhancing and maintaining The Collaborative Seniors’ Portal — a collaborative online resource that provides seniors, their families and service providers with easy access to information and services offered or funded by all three orders of government. It currently lists resources available in 29 Ontario communities;
    • Continuing to engage seniors via Seniors Information Fairs — available in French and developed in partnership with key seniors’ organizations to increase seniors’ awareness of healthy aging and seniors’ services. Seminar topics include Safe Meds for Seniors, Advance Care Planning, Falls Prevention, Drive Wise, among others;
    • Ongoing collaboration on Multicultural Seniors Outreach — examines special barriers faced by seniors from cultural communities and develops information modules and materials to improve access to programs and services to which they are entitled; and
    • Supporting Seniors’ Month activities – local Seniors’ Month activities celebrate the contributions seniors continue to make to their families, community, province and country.