Practice Advisory re Video Conferencing for Civil Practice Court, Commercial List Chambers Matters and Estates List 9:30 appointments in the Toronto Region

The following Practice Advisory is in effect as of March 8, 2017.

  1. In accordance with rule 1.08 of the Rules of Civil Procedure, counsel and/or parties may appear by video conference, unless otherwise directed by the court, for (i) consent matters, (ii) unopposed matters and (iii) scheduling matters in the following types of events:
    1. Civil Practice Court appearances (as described in paragraphs 1 – 2 of the Consolidated Practice Direction for Civil Actions, Applications, Motions and Procedural Matters in the Toronto Region)
    2. Commercial List Chambers Matters (as described in paragraphs 25 – 27 of the Consolidated Practice Direction Concerning the Commercial List)
    3. Estates List 9:30 appointments (as described in paragraphs 11 – 15 of the Consolidated Practice Direction Concerning the Estates List in the Toronto Region).
  2. Parties or counsel who choose to appear by video conference for one of these events must make their own arrangements to do so, in accordance with rule 1.08(6); they may do so through one of the two methods set out below.

Appearing by video conference using CourtCall (no prior Court approval required)

  1. CourtCall is a third-party video conferencing service that is available for the court matters and events described in section 1.
  2. A CourtCall video appearance is voluntary. Any party or counsel wishing to appear by video using CourtCall must contact CourtCall directly to make the necessary arrangements, which include the following:
    1. If not already registered with CourtCall as a client, register at
    2. At least two (2) business days before the hearing, book the appearance by logging into the CourtCall website ( and completing a “New Appearance” request, or by contacting CourtCall at 1-888-882-6878.
    3. Pay the fee set by CourtCall for the video appearance.
    4. CourtCall will email or fax a confirmation upon completion of the booking and payment.
    5. The participant appearing by video must supply his or her own telephone and computer with a camera and internet connection with sufficient bandwidth to allow them to connect and participate.
    6. On the day of the hearing, the participant must initiate the video appearance by clicking on the link and dialing the toll-free teleconference number provided in the confirmation sent by CourtCall.
    7. A pre-hearing check-in is required fifteen minutes before the scheduled hearing time.
    8. For further information, please refer to the CourtCall website ( or contact CourtCall at 1-888-882-6878.
  3. The party/counsel must also advise the Court, in writing, that he/she will be attending the court event by video using the CourtCall service. This can be done by completing the appropriate section on the scheduling/confirmation form filed with the Court.
  4. All persons who have completed the necessary arrangements with CourtCall and advised the Court, in accordance with the steps outlined above, may assume that they have the Court’s permission to appear for the event by video, unless otherwise directed by a judge.

Appearing by other means (prior Court approval required):

  1. A party or counsel who wishes to appear for one of the court matters/events described in section 1 by video conference through means other than the CourtCall service or by telephone conference must (i) obtain the Court’s prior approval to appear by the means proposed (in accordance with rule 1.08(2) or (3)) and (ii) then make the necessary arrangement in accordance with rule 1.08(6).

Dated: March 8, 2017

Heather J. Smith
Chief Justice
Superior Court of Justice (Ontario)

Geoffrey B. Morawetz
Regional Senior Judge
Superior Court of Justice, Toronto Region

Note:  CourtCall can be used for video appearances at court dates on or after March 27 2017.  Counsel/parties can begin scheduling appearances on CourtCall’s website as of March 20, 2017.