The objective of this study is to document the use of hormonal therapies in treating prostate cancer in Ontario in the last decade. Drug utilization data were extracted from the Ontario Drug Benefit Program, while surgical orchidectomy rates were calculated from Hospital Medical Records Institute data. The provincial rate of orchidectomy showed a 55% relative increase from 1981 to 1991. There was a 6.4-fold variation in orchidectomy rates among counties in Ontario. As well, the expenditures on new hormonal therapies rose 38-fold between 1985 and 1990, and doubled between 1990 and 1992. There was no consistent relationship between use of orchidectomy and hormonal drug therapy at the county level. We conclude that both forms of hormonal therapy have increased in Ontario. The wide variation in surgical orchidectomy rates observed in Ontario suggests differences in practice styles and possible medical uncertainty. Guidelines for the hormonal therapy of prostate cancer may be a helpful step forward for practitioners and patients.