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Ontario Film Authority


Home Videos & Video Games

Home Videos

Films classified on or after January 1, 2006, other than adult sex films or video games classified by the Entertainment Software Rating Board, will be required to contain the film’s classification on the cassette or exterior container. The labelling provided under the voluntary industry-based Canadian Home Video Rating System (CHVRS), which is administered by the Canadian Motion Picture Distributors Association, fulfills this requirement.

Under the CHVRS, after the Film Review Boards across Canada that participate in the process (Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and the Maritimes) have given their classification decisions on the film, an average is taken which then becomes the film’s classification.

These are the classifications for the Canadian Home Video Rating System:

Video Ratings Chart

At the present time, videos do not have warnings or information pieces.


Video Games

The video and computer games industry has a voluntary classification system in place. The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), issues these classifications. Most video and computer games released since 1994 contain an ESRB classification.

The ESRB rating consists of two components - the classification which indicates age-suitability; and content descriptors that give more detail about the product in terms of violence, sexual themes, language, and other areas.

ESRB video and computer game classifications were adopted by the Ontario Film Review Board (Board) on March 7, 2005. Under the Film Classification Act, 2005, and Ontario Regulation 452/05 classification decisions that have been made by the ESRB for video games that are not adult sex films are classifications for the purposes of the Act. Accordingly, video games that are classified as "Mature" may not be sold, rented or exhibited to a person under the age of 17 and video games that are classified as "Adults Only" may not be sold, rented or exhibited to a person under the age of 18.

Video and computer games not classified by the ESRB are exempt from the provisions of the Film Classification Act, 2005, pursuant to Ontario Regulation 452/05 clause 23(1)(j) unless the game contains a scene or scenes of a type referred to in subsection 23(4) of the Regulation. Games that are not exempt must be submitted to the Board for screening, and classification prior to being distributed or exhibited.

Persons that distribute or exhibit only video games and no other types of films are not required to be licensed under the Film Classification Act, 2005.

Click here for the It's your Choice brochure that explains film and video game classifications.

Click here for Entertainment Software Association of Canada’s publication Essential Facts which provides information about the Canadian video game industry.