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Records Management Section Freedom of Information (FOI)

FOI BrochureRichmond Hill Respects Your Right To Information
The Town of Richmond Hill is committed to the security and privacy of records as well as providing access to information as required under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (the "Act"). The Town’s designated head under this legislation is the Town Clerk.

What Information Can I Request Access To?
The "Act" allows access to records held by the municipality in accordance with the following principles:
  • Information should be made available to the public;
  • Individuals should have access to their own personal information;
  • Exemptions to access should be limited and specific;
  • The privacy of individuals with respect to the personal information the municipality collects and maintains shall be protected; and
  • Decisions on the disclosure of government information may be reviewed by the Information and Privacy Commissioner.

  • What Information Cannot Be Disclosed?
    Every individual has a right of access to a record that is in the Town of Richmond Hill’s custody or control, unless it falls within one of the exemptions defined below or, the Town Clerk determines that the request for access is frivolous or vexatious. The "Act" sets out mandatory and discretionary exemptions to access which are listed below.

    Mandatory exemptions require a government organization to refuse to disclose certain kinds of records, including:
  • Information received in confidence from other governments;
  • Third party information, if supplied in confidence, and where disclosure could prejudice the interests of a third party; and
  • Personal information about individuals other than the requester.

  • Discretionary exemptions allow a government organization to decide whether to disclose certain other kinds of records, including:
  • Draft bylaws, draft private bills and records of meetings that are authorized by statute to be held in the absence of the public;
  • Advice or recommendations within the organization;
  • Law enforcement information;
  • Information which could prejudice the financial or other specified interests of the organization;
  • Information subject to solicitor-client privilege;
  • Information which could endanger the health or safety of an individual; and
  • Information already available to the public or soon to be published.

  • Routine Disclosure
    The Town has practices that have been developed to encourage the routine disclosure of information to provide easier public access to information. Routine disclosure occurs when:
  • a request for a general record can be granted routinely either inside or outside of the formal access process prescribed by the "Act", or
  • information or records are periodically released (without any request) pursuant to a specific strategy for release of information.

  • How Do I Make A Freedom of Information Request?
    • 1) Complete a Freedom of Information Request form available from the Office of the Clerk or linked below:

    Freedom of Information Request Form [PDF]

    • 2) Submit the completed Freedom of Information Request form and mandatory $5 application fee (please refer to fee chart linked below as additional fees may apply). Payment can be made in the form of cash, cheque or money order payable to 'Town of Richmond Hill' by mail or in person to the address below (please do not send cash in the mail). Email or fax requests cannot be accepted:

    Access Richmond Hill
    225 East Beaver Creek Road, Ground Floor
    Richmond Hill, ON L4B 3P4 
    What Happens After I Submit My Request?
    • 2) Department staff notified of request and prescribed time to respond (requester’s name is confidential and is not disclosed).
    • 3) Information sent to and reviewed by Office of the Clerk to determine whether exemptions under the "Act" apply and ensure confidential information is not included.
    • 4) Requester may receive an interim decision letter requesting further information (e.g. fee estimates, third party notices, time extensions, etc.) and/or further payment.
    • 5) If deemed acceptable under the "Act", requested information along with a decision is issued within 30 days after date of receipt of application in most cases.
    If you are not satisfied with the decision issued by the Town, within 30 days of receiving the decision you may request in writing that the decision be reviewed by the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario at

    Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario
    2 Bloor Street East, Suite 1400
    Toronto, ON M4W 1A8
    Tel: 416-326-3333 or 1-800-387-0073
    Fax: 416-325-9195

    Still Have Questions?
    The Town of Richmond Hill welcomes you to contact us if you are interested in a particular matter. Should you have a request for information, please contact the department responsible for the particular area. If you are uncertain about which department to contact or have difficulty in obtaining the information that you have requested, please direct your request to: 

    Access Richmond Hill (Office of the Clerk)
    225 East Beaver Creek Road
    Richmond Hill, ON L4B 3P4
    Tel: 905-771-8800

    *** Information Available in Alternative Formats Upon Request ***

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