Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services :: About the OCC/OFPS/CFS

Forensic Services and Coroner’s Complex

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About the Office of the Chief Coroner

  • The Office of the Chief Coroner (OCC) investigates fatalities to help keep our communities safe. The OCC’s investigations are often used in the criminal justice system.
  • The OCC conducts 16,000 forensic death investigations every year, 7,500 of which are in the Greater Toronto Area.
  • The OCC is also responsible for storing human remains, signing cremation certificates and out-of-province shipments, inspecting Schools of Anatomy in Ontario, managing the provincial Multiple Fatality Plan, and supervising and educating investigating coroners and pathologists across the province.

About the Ontario Forensic Pathology Service

  • The Ontario Forensic Pathology Service (OFPS) was created in July 2009 following amendments to the Coroners Act. Under the leadership of the Chief Forensic Pathologist, registered forensic pathologists in the OFPS perform autopsies ordered by coroners. Forensic pathologists regularly provide expert witness testimony in the inquest court, the Ontario Court of Justice, the Superior Court of Justice and sometimes the Ontario Court of Appeal.
  • OFPS pathologists perform approximately 6,000 coroner-ordered autopsies each year. Many of these autopsies occur in Forensic Pathology Units located in Toronto, Hamilton, Kingston, London and Ottawa. Pathologists employed in community hospitals also provide autopsy services through the OFPS.
  • The OFPS works closely with the Office of the Chief Coroner to ensure a coordinated and collaborative approach to death investigation in the public interest. Together, the Chief Forensic Pathologist and Chief Coroner provide dual leadership for the death investigation system in Ontario.

About the Centre of Forensic Sciences

  • The Centre of Forensic Sciences (CFS) supports the criminal justice system and front line officers, firefighters, emergency personnel who keep our communities in Ontario safe.
  • CFS provides forensic examinations for cases involving injury or death in unusual circumstances and in crimes against persons or property. It investigates more than 10,000 cases per year.
  • CFS also provides scientific support to coroners, pathologists, police, fire investigators, educational institutions, and Crown and defence attorneys.