Ontario's Child and Family Services Act states that a child under the age of 16 may not be left unattended "without making provision for his or her supervision and care that is reasonable in the circumstances." Typically, if a child is under 12 years of age, they cannot be left alone at home. But if a child Is between the age of 13 to 15 years old, based on their maturity level and home training, they could be left alone for a short period of time only and not extended period of days. Sometimes, children with certain mental problem are more risky to be left alone at home because they could harm themselves and in this case, hiring a babysitter would be a good option.
Children should be taught what to do when a stranger comes to the door or calls at the phone line, and also to deal with certain emergencies such as fire, water or gas leakage. I know it seems extreme to be teaching these stuffs to kids at this young age, but believe me, kids these days are very mature compared to the previous generations. Humans are evolving at each new generation and younger generation are learning and doing things that previous older generation would never dream of or think of at that young age. So it is high time, that the minimum age for child to stay at home should be changed to reflect the reality of maturity level of the kids mind these days. A 16 years old would be considered still kids during the 18th or 19th century, but these days, 16 years old are more like young adults judging at their physical and mental side.