Francophone Community

Over 31,000 Francophones live in the Central LHIN (InclusiveMulticultural, multigenerational group Definition)i.

The Central LHIN is guided by the Local Health System Integration Act and the Patient First Act to achieve French Language Services (FLS) Act requirements, and address the health care needs of the local francophone population.

To support FLS planning and implementation, the Central LHIN continuously engages and collaborates with many stakeholders (click here for engagement plan) – including the Ministry of Health (MOH), the Ministry of Francophone Affairs, our local French language health planning entity (Entité 4), over 80 local Health Service Providers, other LHINs, our Patient and Family Advisory Committee, and others.

By engaging with patients and caregivers, and health system stakeholders, the Central LHIN is committed to understanding the health needs and improving service access and outcomes for francophone residents.

Working Together with the Francophone Community

Francophone Population 

In the Central LHIN, 1.2% of the population reported French as their mother tongue, and 1.7% are Francophone under the Inclusive Definition of Francophone. The following chart provides more detailed information on a sub-region basis:

  French Mother
Francophones by Inclusive
Definition (IDF)
English Mother
No Knowledge of
English or French
North York West   1.0%  1.4%  49.5%  5.9%
North York Central  1.5%  2.3%  40.9%  5.1%
Western York Region   1.1%  1.6% 46.6%   4.7%
Eastern York Region  1.0%  1.4%  42.7%  9.1%
Northern York Region   1.4%  1.6%  80.5%  1.2%
South Simcoe  1.5%  1.8%  77.3%  1.6%
Central LHIN  1.2%  1.7%  50.0%  5.4%
Ontario  4.3%  4.7%  69.5%  2.4%


There are 26 areas across Ontario designated under the FLS Act. Within Central LHIN's catchment area, this includes:

  • City of Markham 
  • City of Toronto (North York is within Central LHIN catchment)

All provincial government offices and agencies located in these municipalities are legislated to offer French-language services in accordance with the Act. This includes the Central LHIN, a Crown Agency of the Government of Ontario, which has its head office in Markham.

Active Offer – 2016

To support government agencies and others in proactively offering services in both English and French, Ontario’s FLS Commissioner published the Active Offer of Services in French: The Cornerstone for Achieving the Objectives of Ontario’s FLS Act special report in 2016.

This report outlines some service areas and situations where the absence of actively offering services in French could be challenging for particularly vulnerable users. The report cites health care, social services and justice system institutions, and also emergency situations. The report also states that the elderly are among groups hardest hit by language barriers in health services.

Active offer outlines actions to support FLS being clearly visible, readily available, easily accessible and publicized.

Central LHIN Action Plan – 2016-2019

The Central LHIN collaborated with Entité 4, community members and other LHINs to develop our Towards Equitable Access to French Language Health Services 2016-2019.

This strategy is meant to guide decisions and actions to support our Francophone community engagement and French Language Health Services (FLHS) planning and delivery. This strategy is annually operationalized through a Joint Work Plan. The strategy and the Joint Work Plan are available to support and inform other stakeholders involved in offering FLHS.

Review the Funding and Accountability Agreement that Central LHIN, Central East LHIN and North Simcoe Muskoka LHIN share with Entité 4.

FLS Outreach – 2018/2019

In 2018/2019, the Central LHIN co-hosted and participated in several education and information sessions in support of French language health services.

In March 2018, the Central LHIN invited all Central LHIN-funded Health Service Providers to participate in an education session on Active Offer and to prepare for the City of Markham’s French Language Designation which took effect in July 2018.

In November 2018, the Central LHIN invited all local Health Service Providers along with members of the public to attend a special forum on health services for Francophone communities, hosted by Entite 4. This excellent session was entitled “Cap Sur Votre Santé”.

Also in 2018, the Central LHIN invited all local Health Service Providers to participate in a province-wide project to collect data on health sector capacity for the provision of services in French. Results from this activity are being used to identify current service availability and gaps.

If you have questions or suggestions for FLHS outreach, please feel welcome to contact us any time.

Designated/Identified Health Service Providers

To be Designated or Identified is an official recognition by the Government of Ontario reflective of an organization’s ability to provide FLS according to established criteria. Designated agencies are required to be able to provide health services in French, while Identified agencies are those agencies that have been identified to seek official designation at a future date. Within the Central LHIN, the following are FLS Identified agencies:

Many other local Health Service Providers also offer some, or all, services in French. Please feel welcome to ask a provider if you can be served in your language of choice.

Patients First Act – 2016

The Patients First Act, 2016 includes a requirement “to promote health equity, reduce health disparities and inequities, and respect the diversity of communities and the requirements of the FLS Act, in the planning, design, delivery and evaluation of services.”

Additional Resources for Health Service Providers

Additional Resources for Patients, Caregivers and Family Members


For more information on Central LHIN’s planning for French Language Health Services, contact Daniel Mainville at



iInclusive Definition of Francophone, 2011 Census IDF, Health Analytics Branch, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

*Francophones are defined as “those persons whose mother tongue is French, plus those whose mother tongue is neither French nor English but have a particular knowledge of French as an Official Language and use French at home”, as per the inclusive definition of the Francophone population (IDF) adopted by the Ontario government in 2009.