Services in Ontario - COVID-19

Francophone legal advice lines

LAO has 4 free regional advice lines that can give legal information and advice in French over the telephone to people living in:

  • Eastern Ontario
  • Northern Ontario, and parts of central Ontario including:
    • Barrie
    • Parry Sound
    • Muskoka and Kawartha Lakes regions
  • Greater Toronto Area
  • Southwestern Ontario

The advice lines do not help with family law or criminal law matters.

Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General (MAG) – Find an Ontario Court

Go to MAG’s Find an Ontario court to find the courthouse closest to you.

Pro Bono Ontario – Free legal advice hotline

Website

https://www.probonoontario.org/hotline/

Contact Information

Phone 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:

  • employment
  • housing
  • 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.

Legal clinics

Website

https://www.legalaid.on.ca/services/legal-clinics/

Contact Information

Phone 416-979-1446 Toll-free 1-800-668-8258 TTY 416-598-8867 Toll-free TTY 1-866-641-8867

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:

Some specialty legal clinics provide free legal services in only certain areas of law:

Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) – Family Law Services

Website

http://www.legalaid.on.ca/en/getting/typesofhelp.asp

Contact Information

Phone 416-979-1446 Toll-free 1‑800‑668‑8258

During the COVID-19 situation, LAO is offering more telephone support. Call LAO’s summary advice line at 1-800-668-8258 for more information.

LAO has services for people with low incomes who have family law problems. This includes:

  • a free summary advice line that can give you up to 20 minutes of information and general advice about your family law matter
  • family duty counsel who can give you free legal advice if you don’t have a lawyer on the day of your hearing
  • a legal aid certificate program if you have a low income and if your legal issue is one that LAO covers

Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) – Criminal Law Services

Website

https://www.legalaid.on.ca/en/getting/type_criminal.asp

Contact Information

Phone 416-979-1446 Toll-free 1-800-668-8258 TTY 416-598-8867 Toll-free TTY TTY (teletypewriter) – Use Bell’s Relay Service: 1 800 855 0511

During the COVID-19 situation, LAO is offering more telephone support. Call LAO’s summary advice line at 1-800-668-8258 for more information.

LAO has services for people who have been charged with a crime. This includes:

  • a free summary advice line that can give you up to 20 minutes of information and general advice about your criminal law matter
  • criminal duty counsel who can give you free legal advice if you don’t have a lawyer on the day of your hearing
  • a legal aid certificate program if you have a low income and if your legal issue is one that LAO covers

Law Society Referral Service

The Law Society of Ontario has on online Law Society Referral Service that gives you the name of a lawyer or licensed paralegal who will give free legal advice for up to 30 minutes in any area of law.

If you can’t wait for a legal representative to call you back, or if you don’t have a call-back number, email lsrs@lso.ca. Or, if you’re in crisis or in custody, call 1-855-947-5255 or 416-947-5255, Monday to Friday, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Ontario Legal Information Centre

Website

https://www.centreinfojuridique.ca/en/

Contact Information

Phone 613-842-7462 Toll-free 1-844-343-7462

The Ontario Legal Information Centre offers a free 30-minute meeting with a lawyer to anyone in Ontario by telephone or in person at their Ottawa office in any area of law in English or French. You may have to leave a message, and a lawyer will call you back.

JusticeNet

Website

http://www.justicenet.ca

Contact Information

Phone 416-479-0551 Toll-free 1-866-919-3219

JusticeNet helps people find a legal professional if their income is too high to get legal aid but too low to afford legal fees. If your net family income is less than $59,000, they refer you to an online directory of lawyers, paralegals, and mediators who provide help at reduced rates.

JusticeNet is a non-profit organization. You must register and pay a fee to use the website. They may return the fee if you don’t find a professional to work with.

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