Services in Ontario - COVID‑19 Housing Law
During the COVID-19 situation, many community legal clinics are no longer meeting with people in person, but will provide services over the phone. Call ahead for more information.
Legal Aid Ontario funds legal clinics across Ontario. There are two types of legal clinics: community legal clinics and specialty legal clinics.
Community legal clinics provide free legal services to people with low incomes who live in their area. Most help with:
- Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program
- tenants’ rights
- the Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security, and the Guaranteed Income Supplement
- some employment issues
Some clinics can help with immigration and refugee problems.
Search for the clinic in your area using your postal code.
Some specialty legal clinics provide free legal services to specific groups of people with low incomes:
- Advocacy Centre for the Elderly
- Aboriginal Legal Services
- ARCH Disability Law Centre
- Black Legal Action Centre
- Centre Francophone du Grand Toronto
- Chinese and South Asian Legal Clinic
- Centre for Spanish Speaking Peoples
- HIV & AIDS Legal Clinic Ontario
- Justice for Children and Youth
- South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario
Some specialty legal clinics provide free legal services in only certain areas of law:
- Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario
- Canadian Environmental Law Association
- Income Security Advocacy Centre
- Industrial Accident Victims Group of Ontario
- Injured Workers Community Legal Clinic
- Workers Health and Safety Legal Clinic
For more help contacting a clinic, call Legal Aid Ontario at 1-800-668-8258 or 416-979-1446. For TTY, use Bell’s Relay Service at 1-866-641-8867 or 416-598-8867.
Tenant duty counsel
If you have a telephone hearing during the COVID-19 situation, you can sign up for free legal advice at tdc.acto.ca or call 1-877-374-0391.
Tenant duty counsel help tenants who don’t have a lawyer on the day of their hearing with the Landlord and Tenant Board. The Landlord and Tenant Board is the tribunal that decides issues between landlords and tenants.
Duty counsel are lawyers and legal workers paid for by Legal Aid Ontario. They can:
- give legal advice
- review documents and prepare forms
- help tenants and landlords agree on issues
- sometimes represent tenants during a hearing
If you have a telephone hearing, you can usually talk to duty counsel when you call in for your hearing. Try to call at least 30 minutes early.
Pro Bono Ontario – Free legal advice hotline
Contact InformationPhone 1-855-255-7256
The hotline can give you 30 minutes of free legal help and advice over the telephone on civil law matters, which include:
- consumer issues
- Powers of Attorney
- corporate law for charities, non-profits, and small businesses
It doesn’t help with family law or criminal law problems.
The hotline generally accepts calls Monday to Friday between 9:30 a.m. and 12 noon, and from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Rental Housing Enforcement Unit
Contact InformationPhone 416-585-7214 Toll-free 1-888-772-9277
If you have a disagreement with your landlord, the RHEU is a government office that can contact your landlord to discuss the situation. They might be able to get your landlord to stop doing something illegal, or to let you back in if you’ve already been evicted illegally
The Human Rights Legal Support Centre (HRLSC)
Contact InformationPhone 416-597-4900 Toll-free 1-866-625-5179 TTY 416-597-4903 Toll-free TTY 1-866 612-8627
The centre gives free legal information and advice to people who have experienced discrimination. They can:
- help you fill out an application to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario
- give legal advice about how to deal with discrimination
- provide legal representation at mediations and hearings, in some situations
They have an online tool that can help you figure out if your situation might be discrimination.