What is the age of Consent to Sexual Activity in Canada?

The age of consent in Canada, generally, is 16. There must not be a relationship of trust, authority or dependency between the parties, because this can impact the validity of the consent. No other form of exploitation can be present.

The most important thing to remember when engaging in any sexual activity is to ensure that the consent of all parties is obtained at all stages of the activity in question. This consent must be free from pressure, informed, and valid. The laws of consent apply to all forms of sexual activity, ranging from kissing to intercourse.

Exceptions for Partners Close In Age

An exception exists for those sexual partners who are close in age, albeit under 16.

A 14- or 15-year-old can consent to sexual activity if their partner is less than 5 years older than they are, and no relationships of trust, authority or dependency, or any exploitation in general, exist. If the age of the partner exceeds this 5-year threshold, any sexual activity is a criminal offence, as the 14- or 15-year-old is considered to be legally incapable of consenting to the activity.

A 12- or 13-year-old can consent to sexual activity with a partner who is less than 2 years older than they are. There must be no exploitation involved, and no relationship of trust, authority, or dependency. If the partner is 2 years older or greater, the 12- or 13-year-old is legally incapable of consenting to the sexual activity in question.

Charged with a Sexual Offence? 

Sexual Assault charges are a unique and difficult area of Canadian Criminal Law. Our team of lawyers have a wealth of experience dealing with all sexual offences.

Hiring a lawyer at Collett Read means having access to a team of trained professionals who will work on your case on your behalf. From the moment of your arrest to the end of your trial, and everything in between, we will be on your side to ensure that you have a fighting defence and achieve the best outcome possible. Your questions will never go unanswered, as we are available 24/7 to speak to you.

Contact the Collett Read LLP team 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Call (905) 541-2228