Massage Therapy Education in Ontario

In Ontario, diploma programs in Massage Therapy are offered at a number of Colleges, as well as Private Career Colleges, registered with and approved by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development. The CMTO does not grant approval to educational institutions to market programs as having been approved by the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario.

Ontario Schools Approved by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development

The following educational programs are approved by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities and lead to Registration with the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario and the right to use the protected titles “Massage Therapist” and “Registered Massage Therapist.”

Algonquin College of Applied Arts & Technology

Bryan College of Applied Health and Business Sciences
 North York

Canadian College of Massage and Hydrotherapy
 Cambridge, Toronto

Canadian College of Health Science and Technology 

CDI College – Business Technology Healthcare North York

Centennial College of Applied Arts and Technology 

College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Canada 

Collège Boreal 

D’Arcy Lane Institute 

Durham College Oshawa  (As of September 2017)

Elegance College of Healthcare Services and Cosmetology 

Fanshawe College 

Georgian College 

Humber College of Applied Arts & Technology

Institute of Complementary & Alternative Therapies 

International Academy of Massage Inc. 

Kikkawa College 

Lambton College of Applied Arts & Technology 

Medix School 
Brampton, Kitchener, London, Scarborough, Toronto

Mohawk College of Applied Arts and Technology 
Hamilton, Ontario

National Institute 

Northern College 

Ontario College of Health & Technology 
Stoney Creek

Oxford College Burlington, Mississauga, Peterborough, Toronto

Pharma-Medical Science College of Canada 
North York

Protégé School 

Royal Canadian College of Massage Therapy 

Sir Sandford Fleming College of Applied Arts & Technology

Sutherland-Chan School 

Trillium College 
Kingston, London, Oshawa, Ottawa, St. Catharines, Toronto

Westervelt College 

General Overview

Prerequisites: Grade 12 or equivalent

A background in Biology is helpful

Program Length: Two to three years
Course Content: Anatomy, Hydrotherapy, Physiology, Pathology, Histology, Massage Treatment, Massage Theory Terminology, Kinesiology, Remedial Exercises, Ethics & Professionalism, Business Management, Communication Skills, Public Health, Nutrition, Clinical Practice, Self Care for Practitioners
Financial Aid: The Ontario Student Assistance Program (O.S.A.P.) may be available for those who qualify

Please contact the OSAP Office of the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities

Programs: For information on a particular school or to determine whether its program is approved, please contact the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.

Certification and Registration

Once you have graduated from a Massage Therapy program, you will be required to take certification examinations administered by the College. Your education must be no more than three years old on the date you are scheduled to take an examination.  If your education is more than three years old, you must successfully complete a CMTO-approved refresher course no more than 15 months before the date you are scheduled to take an examination. Upon successful completion of these examinations, you will be able to apply to become registered with the College and practise Massage Therapy in the province. More information about the certification examinations and registration process can be found in this section of the website.

On December 7, 2015, the Council of the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (CMTO) has determined that up-to-date education is an important requirement, both at the time the Certification Examinations are completed and at the time of Initial Registration.  More information about this Policy is available here. La version Française est également disponible ici.

Tips on Choosing a School

In considering a career as a Registered Massage Therapist, choosing the school is one of the most important decisions to make. It is both a large investment of time and money so investigate and talk to as many different schools as possible. The following suggestions are a guide in considering a potential school:

Personal Needs and Preferences

  • What size school is preferred?
  • Living in a small town? In the city?
  • Calculate living expenses and what is affordable?
  • Is commuting a viable option?
  • What kinds of living arrangements are available?
  • Are good supports (friends and family) close by?
  • Is adequate child care available?


The “Feel” of the School

  • Is the staff friendly and helpful?
  • Are classes open for visits to and to sit in?
  • Does the school set appropriate admission standards?
  • Are written materials provided that clearly explain the school’s policies, tuition and other expenses, and application process?
  • Does the school sign a contract with its students?
  • Is the atmosphere of the school welcoming?
  • Is there the opportunity to speak to current students and/or graduates? Is the Introduction / Message from the Registrar resonating?


The School’s Reputation and Standing

  • How long has the school been in business?
  • Does it have a reputation for high standards?
  • What is its history of success at the College of Massage Therapist of Ontario certification exams? (see our Annual Examination Statistics by School on the right side of this page)
  • Is the school in good standing with the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities?
  • What is its Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) default rate?
  • Does it have external program accreditation from a respected accreditation agency?
  • Does the school have positive name recognition with employers?
  • Will being a graduate of this school enhance employability/opportunities for successful practice?
  • Does the school participate actively in the Massage Therapy profession and the regulation of Massage Therapists?
  • What are its professional affiliations?


The Quality of the School and the Program

    • Does the school’s curriculum meet the Massage Therapy Competency Standards set by the College?
    • Are its facilities adequate to deliver its program?
    • How many direct clinical care hours does each student receive?
    • Do the clinical experiences provide diversity of involvement with many types of clients and health conditions?
    • Does the school have a community outreach program?
    • Are all student placements fully supervised by on-site Massage Therapists?
    • What are the student/teacher ratios in the school’s various educational experiences?
    • Does the school have teachers with strong reputations in the subjects they teach?
    • Are there Massage Therapists on staff in all subject areas?
    • What is the school’s faculty turnover rate?
    • Does it have an on-going instructor professional development program?
    • Does it have a continuing education program for its graduates?
    • Can students pursue their particular interests in the school’s program?
    • Are the school’s academic policies clearly stated?
    • What happens if a student fails?
    • Are students given transcripts/progress reports during the program?
    • Does the school have a code of ethics and support the principles of professionalism?


Services Available to Students

  • Does the school have a library and quiet study area?
  • Does it have a student lounge?
  • Is tutoring available?
  • Are there remedial clinics?
  • Is there study skills support?
  • Are there services for students with special needs?
  • Is there a student guidance/counselling service?
  • Do the students have a representative voice that is listened to?
  • Are students fully covered for insurance?
  • Do students feel well served by the school?