How is giftedness defined in Ontario?

Each province and territory differs in its definition of giftedness.

There is no universally accepted curriculum with which to teach gifted learners, and perhaps because of this, there is a wide discrepancy in how giftedness is defined.

Within each province or territory, the educational opportunities available to gifted learners differ on a school-division-by-school-division basis.

In Ontario, the definition of giftedness is currently:

An unusually advanced degree of general intellectual ability that requires differentiated learning experiences of a depth and breadth beyond those normally provided in the regular school program to satisfy the level of educational potential indicated.


The Association for Bright Children of Ontario (ABC Ontario), a charitable advocacy group, offers a more in-depth definition of intellectual giftedness:

Asynchronous development characterized by measurable, advanced intellectual abilities which accompanied by any or a combination of the following: heightened intensity, exceptional creativity, persistent intellectual curiosity, rapid acquisition and mastery of concepts, superior reasoning and problem-solving skills, leadership capacity, potential for advanced achievement in a specific domain or general academic aptitude.

ABC Ontario3


1. Ontario Ministry of Education. (2017). Special education in Ontario: Kindergarten to Grade 12. Retrieved from

2. Ottawa-Carleton District School Board. (2016). OCDSB gifted program review: Final report. Retrieved from

3. ABC Ontario. (2014). Defintion for intellecutal giftedness exceptionality. Retrieved from