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Use the religious and cultural observances calendar to assist you in planning course activities, exams and events

September 06, 2023
Someone writing on a calendar

How to use the religious and cultural observances calendar to assist you in planning course activities, exams and events 

To: Faculty and staff

Toronto Metropolitan University is committed to respecting the religious, cultural and spiritual beliefs and practices of all university community members. We want students, faculty and staff to bring their whole selves to the university and we want to support them so that they feel a greater sense of belonging on campus. 

In addition to this, there are obligations under the Ontario Human Rights Code and TMU’s Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Policy that protect people and outline that everyone is entitled to be free from discrimination and harassment on a number of protected grounds, including creed (i.e. religion, faith or lack of religion or faith). This right also incorporates the entitlement to have one's religious and spiritual observances and practices accommodated within the university’s learning and working environments. 

We are pleased to share the 2023 calendar of religious and cultural observances. This calendar is meant to serve as a scheduling tool as you plan course activities and exams, events and conferences. The 2024 calendar is coming soon.

Consult the calendar to determine how certain major observances coincide with your course outlines and events

As part of our collective responsibilities to embrace diversity and foster inclusion among students, faculty and staff, we encourage you to consult the calendar and consider if there are any opportunities to adjust deadlines or event planning to accommodate major observances. Scheduling courses, activities and exams, as well as planning university events and conferences in an inclusive manner is a reflection of our values, and we encourage you to allow for the maximum participation of all community members. 

The duty to accommodate students on the basis of creed

TMU’s Policy 150: Accommodation of Student Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observance addresses creed-based accommodation for students. Creed-based accommodations typically represent the right to have time away from study to participate in religious, cultural or spiritual observances or practices, as long as it does not cause the university undue hardship. The duty to accommodate is mandatory, not discretionary. Faculty are required to accommodate students to the greatest extent possible. 

Accommodation requests from students

If a student is requesting accommodation due to a religious, spiritual observance and/or Indigenous cultural practice, they must submit their complete request form via the online Academic Consideration Request (ACR) system within the first two weeks of the class. For a final exam, they must complete the request within two weeks of the posting of the exam schedule. If the required absence occurs within the first two weeks of classes, or the dates are not known well in advance as they are linked to other conditions, these requests should be submitted with as much lead time as possible in advance of the required absence.

Instructors will respond to written accommodation requests in writing within five business days of receiving the request.

Requests from employees

For information on religious observance accommodation for faculty and staff, please review the Accommodation of Religious Observances details on the Human Resources website.


If you have any questions regarding the duty to accommodate students, faculty and staff on the basis of creed, please contact Human Rights Services at

Learn more about creed, a protected ground of discrimination under the Ontario Human Rights Code.