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E-file: Approval Authority FAQs

Governance and usage requirements

How will appellants know they are submitting an appeal to the correct group of offices? (e.g., clerks, committee of adjustment, city council)

The appellant can match the filing entity listed in public communications with what’s listed in the e-file menu. To ensure these align, OLT requires approval authorities to provide:

  • the exact name of their filing entity or entities as it should appear in e-file
  • a sample of their public communications on the appeal process
What should we do if we receive an appeal that should have gone to a different approval authority?

If you identify an appeal that was filed in error with your approval authority, please contact the appellant immediately to redirect them to the appropriate approval authority so they don’t miss the appeal filing deadline. You can contact the OLT if assistance is needed.

Becoming a registered e-file service provider is not currently a legislated requirement.

Specific scenarios

Where the municipality is itself an appellant

To file an appeal with OLT where your municipality or approval authority is the appellant, follow the e-file instructions for public users (appellants). If you are not filing directly with the OLT, you will need to make sure that the approval authority you are filing with is registered on e-file. If they are not registered, you will have to file manually using the A1 Form. Otherwise, select Ontario Land Tribunal as the Approval Authority.

Late appeals

You can submit late appeals through e-file with a cover letter explaining that it was late. The Tribunal will then determine whether to open the appeal. If the appeal relates to a case that has already been submitted to OLT, e-file will have locked the case for further additions. In this circumstance, note the related e-file case number in your cover letter.

Duplicates of appeals

You should merge the two sets of documentation in e-file:

  • scan any documentation received on paper
  • upload the documents as attachments to your case package in e-file
  • include a note with the name of the appellant(s) who submitted duplicate appeals.

Appeals affecting more than one legislative section

Can the appellant select more than one section at a time per appeal or must they complete another form?

The appellant can only select one appeal type at a time (e.g., Zoning, Official Plan Amendment and Site Plan). We are working on a multi-selection option for a future release of e-file.

Can approval authorities group multi-section appeals together into one case?

The Tribunal considers appeals related to different instruments as separate but related cases. Each would receive its own OLT case number with one being the lead case. For example, you would have to create:

  • one case for the Official Plan Amendment (with all related appeals grouped); and
  • another case for the Zoning By-Law Amendment (with all related appeals grouped).

You can then connect a case to a related case. There are two ways of doing this:

  • If the case has already been submitted to OLT, use the “Related Case” look-up function in e-file. The option to add a related case appears near the end of the case submission process flow after you have uploaded your documents.
  • If you are submitting two related cases at the same time, please make a note in the “Additional Information” section or add as a note in a cover letter that you upload/attach to the submission.

Yes. We are working on a solution to this. An update will be provided once available.

Extended time periods for dispute resolution

Withdrawal of an appeal

You can identify any withdrawn appeals in your cover letter that you attach as part of your documents submission. You must still transmit the e-filed appeal to the Tribunal, even if the appeal that is being withdrawn is the sole appeal. Include a covering letter (no checklist documents are required), so that the appeal can be disposed of in the system and any refund(s) processed.

Appeals filed in error

You can submit the appeal to the Tribunal through e-file to resolve. Provide an explanation in the “additional information” section or in your cover letter. We are working on developing a better solution for this scenario in a future release.

Documentation and record-keeping

How do we get a PDF of the Appeal Form?

The approval authority is copied on all appeal confirmation emails to the appellant (or their representative). A PDF of the Appeal Form is attached to this email. Please keep this for your records, as this PDF is not available directly within the e-file portal.

How do we access the documents attached to an appellant’s appeal?

You can only access these documents when the appeal is in the “Appeals Pending Review” and “Appeals Review in Progress” stages. Please be sure to download a copy of these documents for your records at this stage. IMPORTANT: Once you group the appeals into a case, you cannot access the documents.

If you forget to download the documents at this stage, ask the Tribunal for them after you submit the case package in e-file. We are working towards a better solution for this in a future release.

The Case Summary screen provides a record of all the data you submit. To access this screen:

  • Go to the Approval Authority Cases
  • Select “Submitted Cases.”
  • Click on the relevant case appeal package ID number.

To download or print a copy of this screen:

  • Right-click anywhere on the screen to access your web browser’s pop-up settings.
  • Select Print from the settings box.
  • Once the Print dialog box appears, you may choose to print or save as a PDF.

We are also working on a fully formatted PDF of the Approval Authority/Municipality Submission Form, which will be available soon.

Email notifications

How will the approval authority be aware that someone has submitted an appeal to them on e-file?

The approval authority receives the same appeal confirmation email issued to the appellant. The approval authority will receive a PDF of the Appeal Form attached to this email. Please keep this for your records, as this PDF is not available in the e-file portal.

Each approval authority user’s email address used to register for e-file (Level-1 and Level-2) will be copied on the appeal confirmation email.

How do we make sure the notification email is going to the right person at the approval authority office?

Only approval authority user’s email addresses that were used to register for e-file (Level-1 and Level-2) will be copied on the appeal confirmation email. If a user wishes to receive email confirmations, a Level-1 user can add them as a Level-2 user. They don’t have to use the e-file portal but will receive copies of all appeal email confirmations. A larger approval authority will likely have multiple users registered.

Does e-file provide email notifications when case status changes?

Currently, e-file is only for the submission of the initial case package. You can check the case status on the OLT website at: Case Status | Ontario Land Tribunal (

Does e-file provide notifications when an appeal deadline is coming up?

We don’t currently have a way of triggering the system to notify you when a deadline is coming up. E-file allows you to enter the appeal expiry date. It will also provide a time/date stamp of when an appeal is submitted.

Secure email service

Does e-file completely replace the OLT’s secure email service for document submission?

No. We are keeping secure email as a back-up for certain situations that may arise and for approval authorities to submit appeal packages if they are not yet registered for the e-file service.