How is 211 different from 311, 411 and 911?

How is the 211 helpline different from 311, 411, 511 and 911 services?

You can dial any of the below three-digit phone numbers to reach them.

211 – Information and referral helpline to community, social, government and health services in Ontario.

311 – Customer service and municipal information helpline for the following regions/cities only. (Toronto, Halton, Windsor, Brampton, Mississauga, Ottawa, Greater Sudbury).

411 – Telephone directory and business listings. You can also search to find local businesses.

511 – Public information on provincial highway travel in order to improve safety and reduce congestion.

911 – Emergency number for police, fire and ambulance for life threatening situations.

What is 211
211 Ontario is Ontario’s most comprehensive source of information on government and community-based health and social services to help navigate the complex network of human services quickly and easily, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The phone helpline can provide interpretation in over 150 languages.  You can chat online with a specialist Monday to Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Links to chat can be found at the top of every page and can chat in English and French. Highly trained specialists answer the 211 service and update the database.

Call 2-1-1 for information on and referrals to:

Non-emergency police number


Abuse/assault services

Child abuse services


Sexual assault support


Other programs

Community legal clinics

Consumer, complaint and ombudsman services

Food programs

Food banks

Community meals

Good Food Boxes

Meals on Wheels

Community gardens

Other food programs located in a community or school food programs

Types of financial assistance, grants or loans for specific needs/situations

Federal income supports

Provincial income supports

Housing subsidy

Rent Bank

Utility and energy bill relief programs

Grant or loan programs for targeted needs

Health services

Walk-in clinics

Community health centres

Home-making help

Ontario Health Teams

Pregnancy/post-natal support

Transportation to medical appointment for seniors/people with disabilities

Chronic disease programs

Health related charities

Health helplines

Mental health and addiction services

Addiction counselling and treatment

Community mental health services

Crisis lines

In-person crisis services

Psychiatric programs

Support groups

Child, youth and family counselling

Housing supports

Health related temporary housing

Housing help programs

Home renovation/accessibility

House expense assistance

Retirement homes

Homeless respite

Homeless shelters

Street outreach

Settlement help for newcomers to Canada

English as a second language classes

International skills evaluation


Newcomer employment programs

Refugee services

Youth programs

Youth shelters

Youth and summer employment

Young parenting

Drop-in centres

After school programs

Family and community programs


Child care

Parent/child programs

Community and recreation programs

Computer access

Public libraries

Disability supports

Assistive devices

Developmental disabilities

Disability employment programs

Learning disabilities

Ontario Disability Support Program

Transportation for people with disabilities


Is your urgency an emergency? In an emergency, call 911 immediately.

An emergency is any situation that requires immediate assistance from the police, fire department or paramedics.

  • A fire
  • A crime, especially if in progress
  • A car crash, especially if someone is injured
  • A medical emergency, such as someone who is unconscious, gasping for air or not breathing, experiencing an allergic reaction, having chest pain, having uncontrollable bleeding, or any other symptoms that require immediate medical attention


Where to find services and goods to help with life’s other challenges? is an easy to search website to find pest control services, plumbers, TV repair services, taxi companies, locksmiths and other services to help. Home supply stores like Canadian Tire and Home Hardware are great places to learn about pest control sprays and traps.

If your rent your home the Steps to Justice website has information on what your landlord is and isn’t responsible for. For example, what if my place has cockroaches, mice, or other pests?

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