Ministry of the
Solicitor General

Death investigations

Death Investigations in Ontario

About Death Investigations in Ontario

In Ontario, death investigation services are provided by the Office of the Chief Coroner and the Ontario Forensic Pathology Service.

The Office of the Chief Coroner works closely with the Ontario Forensic Pathology Service to ensure a coordinated and collaborative approach to death investigation in the public interest. Together, the Chief Coroner and Chief Forensic Pathologist provide dual leadership for Ontario’s death investigation system that strives to provide services of the highest calibre.

The Office of the Chief Coroner serves the living through high quality death investigations and inquests to ensure that no death is overlooked, concealed or ignored. The findings are used to generate recommendations to help improve public safety and prevent further deaths.

In Ontario, coroners are medical doctors with specialized training in the principles of death investigation. Coroners investigate approximately 17,000 deaths per year in accordance with section 10 of the Coroners Act.

The Ontario Forensic Pathology Service provides forensic pathology services in accordance with the Coroners Act. It provides medicolegal autopsy services for public death investigations under the legal authority of a coroner. The Ontario Forensic Pathology Service performs over 7,500 autopsies per year.