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Freedom of information

What is FIPPA?

The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act ("FIPPA") is provincial legislation that applies to most public institutions in Ontario, including hospitals. The Act has two main purposes:

  • To make public bodies more open and accountable by providing the public with the right of access to records; and
  • To protect personal information from unauthorized collection, use or disclosure by public bodies. 

I'm looking for:

» Medical records (personal health information)

» General records (for example, administrative and corporate records)

Anyone can make a request for general records under FIPPA — use the drop-down menus below to learn more about this process. 

What kind of information can be requested?

Under FIPPA, you may request records relating to administrative, operational functions and financial decisions of Sunnybrook. You also have the right to request access to, and correction of, your "personal information" held by Sunnybrook. Personal information includes your address, sex, age, education and other recorded information about you. Access to patient health records can be obtained by contacting Sunnybrook's Health Records Office at 416-480-4433.

Although most information is accessible, there are a number of exclusions and exemptions from the right of access. Examples of records excluded from FIPPA are: personal health information; clinical records; ecclesiastical records; records relating to the hospital foundation or charitable donations; clinical trials; research and teaching materials and any records from before 2007.

 Download our Corporate Records Directory (PDF)
 Download our Personal Information Banks Directory (PDF)

How can I request information?

View our online list of general records relating to the operations and expenditure of the hospital. If you are unable to obtain the information you require from our website, you may make a formal freedom of information request. For requests for personal information, please contact the Freedom of Information Office.

 Download the request form (PDF) 

Note: we do not accept credit card payments or online requests. All requests must be accompanied by a mandatory $5 application fee. Cheque or cash are the only accepted methods of payment. Please make cheques payable to Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.

How do I make a freedom of information request?

To make a formal request, please follow these steps:
  • Step 1: Complete a Sunnybrook request form ( PDF) or write a letter stating that you are requesting information under FIPPA.
  • Step 2: Be as specific as possible to the type of information you are seeking. Failure to be clear may delay the processing of your request. 
  • Step 3: An application fee of $5 must accompany all requests made under FIPPA. Please note that we do not accept credit card payments. Cheque or cash only. Please make cheques payable to Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.
  • Step 4: Forward the completed request form or letter and the $5 application fee to the Freedom of Information Coordinator at Sunnybrook. If you are requesting personal information, please be prepared to present valid identification.  

If you are unable to fulfill any of the above requirements due to a disability, please contact the Freedom of Information Office directly to arrange for an accommodation.

Additional fees may be charged for duplication of records, search time, preparation of records for release and postage charges. 

How long will it take to receive the information?

Under FIPPA, we must respond to a request within 30 calendar days of receipt. However, in limited circumstances this time period can be extended. You will be notified if such an extension is required.

Is there an option to appeal?

You may appeal to the Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner ("IPC") within 30 days after receipt of the decision letter. You must appeal in writing to the Registrar at the IPC. Your letter must contain the reasons as to why you are not satisfied with the decision or information provided. There is a $25 appeal fee when the information sought is general information (the appeal fee is $10 when the information sought is personal information). For more information, please visit the IPC's website.

Further information

If you require further information regarding FIPPA at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, you may contact:

Jeff Curtis
Chief Privacy and Access to Information Officer
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Phone: 416-480-6100 ext. 63538

Freedom of Information Coordinator
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Phone: 416-480-6100 ext. 685046

Collection and use of personal information

Sunnybrook respects your privacy and is committed to keeping confidential all personal information that you provide. Sunnybrook’s collection of personal information is governed by FIPPA. Sunnybrook may collect personal information according to FIPPA for purposes consistent with hospital activities such as assessing suitability for employment purposes or authorizing parking privileges. Read more about our collection and use of personal information. If you have any questions pertaining to the collection or use of your personal information please contact the Chief Privacy Officer and Access to Information Officer.

Contact us

Freedom of Information Office
In-person visits are by appointment only — unannounced walk-ins will not be accepted. Please call 416-480-6100 ext. 685046 to arrange an appointment and for general inquiries.