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clear gif spacer clear gif spacer Frequently asked questions about . . . clear gif spacer
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Birth, death, marriage and divorce

Question Where do I get a birth, death or marriage certificate?
Answer Births, deaths and marriages are recorded by the province through the Office of the Registrar General.

Marriage applications must be submitted in person at a civic centre, but can be downloaded ahead of time.

For information see Registry Services marriage licence information or call 416-392-7036.

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Question How do I register my child's birth?
Answer Birth registration is done by the Province of Ontario, through the Office of the Registrar General.

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Question How do I find out where someone is buried?
Answer A Statement of Death Certificate (long form), obtained only by the next living kin or by the executor/estate administrator, details date of birth, date of death, place of death, cemetery and often more detailed information, including name of deceased's parents, etc.

The Ontario Cemetery Finding Aid has lists of over 2 million internments.

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Question How do I get married?
Answer Information about licences, requirements, office locations, foreign divorce requirements and fees can be found on our pages.

You can also download a marriage licence application.

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Question Where can I get married?
Answer You can get married just about anywhere you like provided you have a licenced minister to perform the ceremony and the proper permit if holding the ceremony in a public space. The City offers wedding chamber rentals at four civic centres - York CC, East York CC, North York CC and Scarborough CC.

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Question Are couples of the same sex allowed to marry in Ontario?
Answer On June 10, 2003, the Ontario Court of Appeals redefined, effective immediately, the common law definition of marriage as the "voluntary union for life of two persons to the exclusion of all others". As a result of this decision, marriages between same sex couples are now legal in Ontario and marriage licences are being issued by the City of Toronto.

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Question What is the difference between a marriage licence and a marriage certificate?
Answer A marriage licence must be issued by the municipal government before you are married. A marriage certificate is issued by Provincial Government - Registrar General, Ministry of Consumer & Business Services after the marriage ceremony and registration. See instructions for getting a Marriage Licence and download a Marriage Certificate Application Form from the provincial government's website.

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Question Do I need a permit to have my wedding or take wedding photographs in a park?
Answer Permits are required for wedding photography and costs vary depending on the park and length of time requested. Marriage ceremonies are only permitted in the following parks: Edwards Gardens, Rosetta McClain Gardens, Guildwood Park (at Guild Inn), St. James Gardens, Sunnyside Pavilion, Allen Gardens Conservatory, and Centennial Gardens Conservatory. Very small ceremonies (40 max.) are permitted at the Music Garden but there is no parking at this location. Call our Parks Permit office at 416-392-8188 for reservations and more detailed information.

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Question Who deals with divorce matters?
Answer A divorce is a legal procedure which falls under the jurisdiction of the provincial government. A copy of a Divorce Certificate can be obtained from the court where the divorce was heard. The address and telephone numbers of the various court offices may be found on the Ministry of the Attorney General's website.

If you were divorced in Toronto, contact the Family Law Office of the Superior Court of Justice with the Ministry of the Attorney General at 416-327-5542 for further information.

If you choose not to use the services of a lawyer you may purchase the necessary forms from a stationery supply store or the Publications Ontario located at 880 Bay Street. You can also order publications on-line.

To help you choose a lawyer The Law Society of Upper Canada has a lawyer referral service. Legal Aid offices and Community Legal Clinics offer legal services in areas of law that affect people with low incomes. Clients who meet financial eligibility guidelines may be represented in court by clinic staff. Call ahead for an appointment at
416-979-1446.

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Question I'm divorced. Do I need to do anything specific in order to get married again?
Answer If you were divorced in Canada, you must provide the original or a court-certified copy of your certificate of divorce, or Decree Absolute. Photocopies will not be accepted. A certified copy of your certificate of divorce may be obtained from the court office that granted the divorce.

If you were divorced, or you marriage dissolved or annulled outside of Canada, you must get authorization from the Minister of Government Services before a marriage licence can be issued to you. Visit the Service Ontario website or call 416-325-8305 to learn how to obtain this authorization.

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Question How do I get a licence for a fundraising event, bingo or lottery?
Answer Registry Services issues licences for bingos, bazaars, break-open tickets and raffles. Please consult with Registry Services staff located at City Hall. Their phone number is 416-392-7037.

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