Ontario Real Estate Association

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The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) represents the 60,000+ real estate brokers and salespeople who are members of Ontario's 40 real estate boards. In addition, OREA provides all real estate licensing courses in Ontario through the OREA Real Estate College. As well, OREA produces standard forms used in real estate transactions, and supports shelter-related charities through the Ontario REALTORS Care(R)Foundation.

The story of the Ontario Real Estate Association is about commitment to a cause. It's about the dedicated effort made - mostly by volunteers - over 90 years to bring standards, respect, and public trust to an emerging profession. It has been a challenging road, but one that has led to Ontario real estate professionals being recognized as among the most knowledgeable and best educated in the world.

The Ontario Association of Real Estate Boards (later renamed the Ontario Real Estate Association) was founded in 1922 to organize real estate activities on a province-wide basis. Initial goals included promoting higher standards, protecting the general public from unscrupulous trading activity and championing the interests of members to government.

The general consensus of real estate men held by the public at that time was described by Charlie Purnell, President of the Hamilton Real Estate Board, 1940–1942 in this statement[1] “The forming of the Hamilton Real Estate Board by the men interested, was not so much to increase their earnings, but to better the image of the real estate business generally, which was looked down upon to such an extent, that people going into the real estate business were referred to as going into a racket.”

After eight years of lobbying the provincial government, the Ontario Association (of which all local boards were members) scored a major victory, when the government brought into law the Real Estate Brokers Act (1930). The government of Ontario, at the urging of the Ontario Association of Real Estate Brokers, found it necessary to codify and regulate the Real Estate Brokers occupation. A new law was enacted, under the supervision of the Ontario Securities Commission called ‘Act for Registration of Real Estate Brokers and Salesmen’.

Bill 150 was introduced into the Legislature on March 21, 1930 by Mr. Ferguson MPP, 2nd Reading was March 26, 1930, House in Committee March 26, 1930, 3rd Reading March 27, 1930 and Royal Assent was given on April 30, 1930. It took only 12 days to become law after having been introduced into the Legislature. An attempt was made to search for Legislative debates on this issue but none were found. It appears there was not much opposition for the passage of this Bill. One could make an inference from the lack of debate, that the disreputable practices of unregulated real estate brokerages had attracted attention for some time.

The Regulations, Chapter 247 of the Real Estate Brokers Act (1930) stipulated the rules which had to be followed, if one wanted to practice real estate in Ontario. Initially, the rules were not very stringent.[2] If one wanted to practice, all that was required was to make an application in writing on the forms provided by the Registrar, accompanied by the prescribed fee, and supply a $500 surety bond. A Broker who carried on business in a city, or within 5 miles from the boundaries of a city, having a population of 100,000 paid a $15.00 fee, and all other Brokers paid $5.00. Salesmen also required to be registered through a registered broker. The fee for Salesmen was $3.00 and there was a $1.00 fee for a salesmen notifying that he had changed brokers, or for any other change in registration such as an address change. In 1931 there were 668 Brokers and 400 salesmen registered under the new Act.

The Act was amended in 1940 and again in 1949 but there were still no academic qualifications required and no formal training in the real estate business was required.

The Ontario Association started an educational program in four different locations in the Province in 1954.[3] Finally, in 1959 individuals had to pass a short examination, on their knowledge of the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act.

By 1975 the Ontario Association was successful, in convincing the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations in Ontario, (who by that time was responsible for supervising the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act,) that mandatory education, for registration of all registrants in the province, be elevated to 150 hours of study, with an examination that had to be passed with a 75% pass mark. There were also new Broker courses introduced, along with a new Certificate Program, which had to be passed with the same 75% mark, to qualify for registration as a Broker.

An articling program was launched in 1988, which required all new registrants to complete and pass, three more forty hour courses, within their first two years of registration, failing which, they would not have their registrations renewed, until these requirements were satisfied. The Ontario Real Estate Association and the provincial government signed an agreement in 1997 which granted the right to self-management and [4] The Real Estate Council of Ontario was established to administer the Real Estate Brokers Act, on behalf of the Provincial government.

To be registered as a salesperson with the Real Estate Council of Ontario and trade in real estate in Ontario, you must complete the Salesperson Registration Education Program. In the Pre-registration Segment of the Salesperson Registration Education Program, you will complete the courses required to become eligible to apply to the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) for your initial registration as a salesperson.

The courses must be completed in order, as follows: Real Estate as a Professional Career; Land, Structures and Real Estate Trading; The Real Estate Transaction - General PLUS either The Residential Real Estate Transaction OR The Commercial Real Estate Transaction.

In October 2005, OREA succeeded in its lobbying to amend legislation that could have subjected Ontario REALTORS to regulation by the Law Society of Upper Canada.[5][6] The current President of OREA is Patricia Verge.


  • 1918 - The Windsor Essex County Real Estate Board is the [7] oldest Real Estate Board in Ontario,incorporated April 12, 1918 with 25 member brokers. It was initially called The Border Cities Real Estate Board.
  • 1920 - Toronto Real Estate Board founded; Canada's largest real estate board
  • 1922 - OREA founded
  • 1997 - RECO founded to administer the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act (REBBA)
  • 2002 - Ontario Real Estate College formed, assuming all the duties of the OREA Education Department

Mandate and Programs[edit]

OREA's Mission Statement is to: "To help Ontario REALTORS, Member Boards and Associations succeed."

The OREA Real Estate College is currently RECO's nominee to provide Real Estate educational courses, and to administer examinations leading to registration of salespersons, brokers, and brokerages.

OREA provides Real Estate Boards with advice and support concerning day-to-day operations.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Real Estate publication by Charlie Purnell, “Eighty Years of Progress”, Ontario Real Estate Association, publication, Don Mills Ont. 2002
  2. ^ Real Estate Brokers Act, Statutes of Ontario and Regulations (1930),
  3. ^ Revised Statutes and Regulations of Ontario(1949) Real Estate Business and Brokers Act., Queens Printer, Toronto.
  4. ^ Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, and Regulations of Ontario (2002).
  5. ^ "Issue Summary: Access to Justice Act (Bill 14)". 2006-08-01. Retrieved 2007-04-06. 
  6. ^ "REALTORS avoid Law Society regulation". 2006-10-19. Retrieved 2007-04-06. 
  7. ^ The Windsor Star, Commemorative Feature, 90th Anniversary The Windsor Essex County Real Estate Board, Saturday,May 24, 2008, sec. I,p1.