211 Ontario and its affiliates collect, maintain and disseminate human service information that enables people to make informed choices to improve their quality of life.
Inclusion in the database of human services listed on the Website is free and is not dependent upon the purchase of a membership, products or separate advertising space from 211 Ontario or any of its affiliates.
Subject to the priorities detailed in the next section, the database includes organizations or programs primarily located in or serving the area that:
- Provide a direct service to the public
- Are networks or coalitions of direct service providers
- Are involved in licensing, planning or coordinating direct services
- Are not-for-profit, community-based or government organizations
- Are commercial organizations that provide first priority services not offered by the nonprofit sector
- Are commercial organizations licenced by the government or with special contractual agreements to operate long term care facilities, child care centres and certain home care services
Organizations must demonstrate the ability to provide ongoing reliable services and have an established funding base or the support of an established parent organization. Exceptions may be made in emerging or underfunded service areas.
First and Second Priorities
It is the policy of 211 Ontario to set first and second priorities for the listing of services on the Website. For first-priority areas, every effort is made to have comprehensive listings of all eligible services. For second-priority areas, collection depends on local data partner practices, staff resources, agreements with other agencies, and the ability of other agencies to collect and disseminate information. Rather than collect comprehensive information in second-priority areas, 211 Ontario may collect information regarding representative or umbrella groups, or refer Users to other telephone or Internet-based services.
211 Ontario gives first priority to basic subsistence and survival related services, including:
- Food, clothing and shelter
- Emergency assistance
- Crisis intervention
- Financial assistance
- Legal and correctional services
- Victim services
- Immigrant and refugee services
- Physical and mental health services
- Employment and training services
- Home support
- Public and specialized transportation
- Child care
- Access to permanent affordable housing
211 Ontario also gives first priority to services for people who may experience barriers to service because of:
- Language spoken
- Ethnocultural group
- Age, including risk factors associated with infants, children, youth or seniors
- Low income, unemployment or lack of education or literacy
- Physical, mental or developmental disabilities
- Homelessness or social isolation
- Immigration or refugee status
- Fear of violence
211 Ontario gives second priority to the following quality of life services, unless they are for people who may experience barriers to service:
- Consumer assistance
- Peace and disarmament
- International development
211 Ontario reserves the right to exclude from the database any organization that it has, in its own discretion, adequate reason to believe may spread hatred or have a philosophy that could be hurtful to the well-being of individuals, groups or the community as a whole.
Potential grounds for exclusion or removal from the database may include, but is not limited to, service non-delivery, fraud, misrepresentation, discrimination, criminal activities, or operating outside licensing mandates.
211 Ontario reserves the right to refuse to list or to discontinue listings for organizations that have had serious complaints lodged against them with any regulatory body or with other organizations in the database providing similar services, or with 211 Ontario itself.
Decisions to include, exclude, or remove a service listing may be appealed by writing to 211 Ontario or its affiliates after a reasonable attempt has been made to resolve the issue with the editorial staff.
Referral to Other Services
211 Ontario provides links to external Websites for some frequently sought services not listed on the Website, such as consulates and embassies.
Users unable to find the information they need are invited to call 211. Also, 211 centres are part of Ontario’s extensive network of Community Information Centres. Many of these multi-service agencies focus on specific communities or neighbourhoods and may provide comprehensive local information on service clubs, schools, sports and hobby groups, etc.
Inclusion of an organization and information about its programs and services on the Website does not imply endorsement by 211 Ontario nor does exclusion indicate lack of endorsement.
Links to other websites are provided to help users locate other Internet resources that may be of interest. Parties other than 211 Ontario independently developed these other Websites and therefore 211 Ontario does not assume responsibility for the content of any third party Website, nor does it make any representation or warranty of any kind regarding any third-party Website including, without limitation, (i) regarding the legality, accuracy, reliability, completeness, timeliness or suitability of any content on such third-party Websites, (ii) regarding the merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose of any material, content, software, goods, or services located at or made available through such third-party Websites, or (iii) that the operation of such third-party Websites will be uninterrupted or error free, that defects or errors in such third-party Websites will be corrected, or that such third-party Websites will be free from viruses or other harmful components.
In providing links to other Websites, 211 Ontario is not acting as a publisher or disseminator of the material contained on these other Websites and does not seek to control the content of, or maintain any type of editorial control over, such Websites. A link to another Website should not be construed to mean that 211 Ontario is associated with or is legally authorized to use any trademark, trade name, logo or copyrighted symbol that may be reflected in the link or the description of the link to such other Websites. In addition, the mention of another party or its products or services on the Website should not be construed as an endorsement of that party or its products or services.
The information on the Website is provided for information purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical, legal or professional advice whatsoever and should not be relied upon in that respect.
THE WEBSITE AND THE CONTENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS”. WHILE 211 ONTARIO ENDEAVOURS TO PROVIDE INFORMATION THAT IS CORRECT, ACCURATE AND TIMELY, 211 ONTARIO MAKES NO REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, REGARDING THE WEBSITE AND THE CONTENT INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, NO REPRESENTATION OR WARRANTY THAT (I) THE CONTENT CONTAINED IN OR MADE AVAILABLE THROUGH THE WEBSITE WILL BE FIT FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, (II) THE WEBSITE OR CONTENT WILL BE ACCURATE, COMPLETE, CURRENT, RELIABLE, OR TIMELY, (III) THAT THE OPERATION OF THE WEBSITE WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED OR ERROR-FREE, (IV) THAT DEFECTS OR ERRORS IN THE WEBSITE OR THE CONTENT, BE IT HUMAN OR COMPUTER ERRORS, WILL BE CORRECTED, (V) THAT THE WEBSITE WILL BE FREE FROM VIRUSES OR HARMFUL COMPONENTS, AND (VI) THAT COMMUNICATIONS TO OR FROM THE WEBSITE WILL BE SECURE AND/OR NOT INTERCEPTED.
Most organizations listed on the Website are asked annually to complete a written questionnaire or to update their information by telephone, fax or e-mail. In addition, the editorial team monitors service changes, and major changes are made as soon as the information is known and verified with the service provider. Nevertheless, community services change so rapidly that some omissions and inaccuracies are inevitable.
211 Ontario encourages organizations to use the Website to notify the editorial team of service changes throughout the year by using the update information option found on all records on the Website. 211 Ontario reserves the right to verify each change with the service provider.
The amount of detail, the language used and the presentation of information in describing a service or organization is at the discretion of 211 Ontario.
211 Ontario encourages organizations to use the Website as a central collection of quality information. If you would like to link to the Website, we request that you:
- Inform us that you are creating a link by sending a message to email@example.com. Please indicate the URL of the page where the link will be placed.
- Link to the Website home page instead of specific pages within the Website.
While 211 Ontario encourages links to the Website, it does not wish to be linked to or from any third-party Website which contains, posts or transmits any unlawful information of any kind, including, without limitation, any content i) that constitutes or encourages conduct that would constitute a criminal offence, give rise to civil liability or otherwise violate any local, state, provincial, national or international law or regulation; ii) that may be damaging or detrimental to the activities, operations, credibility or integrity of 211 Ontario; or iii) that contains, posts or transmits any information, software or other material which violates or infringes upon the rights of others, including material which is an invasion of privacy or publicity rights, or which is protected by copyright, trademark or other proprietary rights.
211 Ontario reserves the right to prohibit or refuse to accept any link to the Website, including, without limitation, any link which contains or makes available any content or information of the foregoing nature, at any time. You agree to remove any link you may have to the Website upon the request of 211 Ontario.
The framing, mirroring and deeplinking of the Website or any of its Content in any form and by any method is strictly prohibited. You may not cause any advertisement including any pop-up or banner advertisement to appear at, or on, or after exiting, the Website.
211 Ontario Complaints Policy
Ontario 211 Services is committed to the highest standards of conduct, and acknowledges the right of the public to provide feedback when dissatisfied with a service. Ontario 211 Services further believes that by encouraging this important feedback, there is an opportunity to learn and improve for the future.
The purpose of this policy is to provide a fair and transparent complaints procedure, which is clear and easy to use for anyone wishing to make a complaint.
- To provide a fair method of receiving and responding to external complaints.
- To publicize the existence of our complaints procedure, so that the public knows how to contact 211 to make a complaint.
- To ensure all complaints are investigated fairly and in a timely, fair, respectable and accountable manner.
- To ensure that complaints are, whenever possible, resolved and relationships are repaired.
- To gather data and information regarding complaints, which will act as a foundation for continuous improvement.
Process for Raising a Concern
If you believe you did not receive the service you expected, you are encouraged to contact Ontario 211 Services. Your complaint will be acknowledged within two (2) business days, and we will respond and work to resolve to your complaint within five (5) business days.
You can contact us by:
Telephone: Dial 2-1-1
Complaints received by telephone will immediately be documented. For your complaint to be considered valid, you must provide your name and the date the incident took place. You will be connected to the supervisor or manager at the contact centre, who will address your concerns within five (5) business days.
Complaints received by email will immediately be documented. For your complaint to be considered valid, you must include your name and the date the incident took place in your email and a brief description of the complaint. Your complaint will be forwarded to the supervisor or manager at the contact centre, who will address your concerns within five (5) business days.
One St. Clair Ave. West
10th Floor, Suite 1000
Toronto, ON M4V 1K6
Complaints received in writing will immediately be documented. For your complaint to be considered valid, you must include your name, the date the incident took place and a brief description of the complaint in your correspondence. Your complaint will be forwarded to the supervisor or manager at the Contact Centre, who will address your concerns within five (5) business days.
Escalation of Complaints
Should you feel that your complaint has not been satisfactorily resolved, the Executive Director of Ontario 211 Services will be notified. At this stage, the Executive Director will investigate the case, or delegate senior personnel to do so. Your complaint will be acknowledged within five (5) business days, and 211 will work to resolve the issue within ten (10) business days.
Ontario 211 Services ensures that all complaint information will be handled in a timely, sensitive and confidential manner, and the organization will follow any relevant data protection requirements.
Ontario 211 Services is committed to addressing concerns about its service, and the data gathered will act as a foundation for continuous improvement.
Ontario 211 Services (“Ontario 211 Services”, “we”, “us” and “our”) is a not-for-profit organization that oversees (a) an online database of Ontario’s community and social services (the “Database”); (b) the website located at: www.211Ontario.ca (the “Website”); and (c) email, online chat service, or our helpline (collectively, the “Services”). It is our goal to connect people with the right information and services in an effort to strengthen Canada’s health and human services, help Canadians become more engaged with their communities, and assist people navigate the complex network of human services.
We also assist third parties to provide people with their services by allowing them to use parts of our technical infrastructure. These third parties may include, but are not limited to, ReportON, Good2Talk, the Ontario Caregivers Association, Kids Help Phone, The Centre for Excellence, Connex, and other regional service providers.
You acknowledge and agree that Ontario 211 Services is not responsible for the collection, use, or disclosure of your personal information by any third parties. This includes any personal information you provide to a third party that we have referred you to, such as a clinic, food bank, or shelter when you contact us.
Even though some third parties and regional service providers use parts of the Ontario 211 Services’ technical infrastructure they are not provided with access to the personal information that you share with us when you interact with us in connection with your use of our Services. The third parties and our regional service providers will only have access to the personal information that you provide them and will only use this information for the purposes that the information was collected. Please see section 6 below for more details.
Our Services contain links to other websites and digital platforms that have their own policies and that may be subject to less stringent privacy standards. These links are provided for your convenience only and you assume all risk by clicking on these links to other websites and digital platforms. We cannot and do not assume any responsibility for the privacy practices, policies, or actions of the third parties that operate these websites. You should review the privacy policies of these websites before providing them with personal information.
If we make any material changes we will notify you as required by law, but encourage you to check back often for updates.
What is personal information
Personal Information that you give to us
We collect and maintain different types of personal information in respect of the individuals with whom we interact. This personal information may include, but is not limited to:
- contact and identification information, such as your name, email address, address, and telephone number;
- demographic information, such as your age, sex, gender;
- personal health information, such as information relating to a physical or mental health condition that you disclose to us when accessing or using the Services
- any additional personal information that you provide when accessing or using the Services;
Personal Information that we receive from third parties
As a general rule, we collect personal information directly from you. In most other circumstances, where personal information that we collect about you is held by a third party, we will obtain your permission before we seek out this information. This permission may be given directly by you or implied from your actions.
We may utilize the services of third parties and may also receive personal information collected by those third parties in the course of the performance of their services for us or otherwise. Where this is the case, we will take reasonable steps to ensure that these third parties have represented to us that they have the right to disclose your personal information to us.
For example, we use regional service providers to assist us in responding to your calls and other communications. These regional service providers may provide you with assistance directly or may refer you to another resource where you can find the assistance or information that you need. When interacting with you, our regional service providers may collect certain personal information from you on our behalf. The type of personal information that our regional service providers collect and how they use and share that personal information will depend on the reason for your call and the assistance you are requesting.
- Call Recordings. Your call will be recorded when you use the Services unless you ask us not to record the call. We store the recording of your call for a period of 30 days before it is deleted. If you do not consent to your call being recorded, our regional service providers will not record your call.
- Call Reports. During your use of our Services, our regional service providers will record certain of the personal information that you provide manually into call reports. These reports are saved in our database and we and our regional service providers may refer back to these call reports to provide you with further assistance or when you make a subsequent call. For example, a note may be included in a call report that you are to be contacted within a certain time period to remind you of an upcoming appointment or to provide you with information that you requested that we provide.
In addition to the personal information that you may provide to us, we automatically collect certain device and statistical information to make our Website and Services work better for you. This information includes your IP address and non-identifiable information about the visitors to our Website such as ages, gender, and other similar characteristics.
Most internet browsers allow you to remove or manage cookie functions and adjust your privacy and security preferences. For information on how to do this, access the “Help” menu on your internet browser or visit http://www.aboutcookies.org/how-to-control-cookies/. Please note that disabling our cookies may result in your inability to take full advantage of all the features of our Website and Services.
We only collect personal information from you that is necessary to operate our Website, provide you with the Services, and to enable us to manage, maintain, and develop our operations. For example, we collect information in order to:
- establish, maintain and manage our relationship with you, including by contacting you, so that we may provide you with any resources, services, or communications that you have requested through our Services;
- verify your identity and eligibility to access and use our Services, receive our communications and otherwise interact with us and on and through our Services;
- allow you to use and interact with the Services and the various functions available on and through the Services;
- be able to comply with your requests (e.g., if you ask to be contacted at a certain email address and advise us of your preference, we will use this information to contact you at that number);
- understand your preferences and tailor communications and services to you and to send you information about Ontario 211 Services and its partners;
- protect Ontario 211 Services against error, fraud, theft and damage to our Services, assets or other properties;
- conduct analysis and evaluations to understand usage and trends to improve our Services, communications and operations;
- enable us to comply with applicable laws or regulatory processes; and
- any other reasonable purpose to which you consent.
By consenting to our collection, use, and disclosure of your personal information, you allow us to fulfill the purposes for which we collect your personal information.
When we collect your information for research and development purposes, we ensure that any information used for our analysis and reports will be de-identified and aggregated in a manner that will not identify you. For example, we de-identify and aggregate personal information that is included in call reports before it is input into our business intelligence software and used for modelling and reporting.
We will collect your consent prior to sending you any commercial electronic messages, unless an exception to obtaining your opt-in consent applies under Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL). You will have the opportunity to opt-out of receiving commercial electronic messages at any time.
We may use your personal information:
- as permitted or required by applicable law or regulatory requirements;
- for any additional purposes for which we have obtained your consent to use your personal information.
We may use your personal information without your knowledge or consent where we are permitted or required by applicable law or regulatory requirements to do so.
General disclosure practices
We may disclose your personal information to our affiliates and our respective employees, contractors, consultants, service providers and other parties who require such information to assist us with managing our relationship with you. Your personal information may also be disclosed:
- as permitted or required by applicable law or regulatory requirements;
- to comply with valid legal processes such as search warrants, subpoenas, or court orders;
- as part of Ontario 211 Services’ regular reporting activities under applicable law and to protect the rights and property of Ontario 211 Services;
- during emergency situations or where necessary to protect the safety of a person or group of persons; and
- for any additional purposes for which we have obtained your consent to disclose your personal information.
Duty to report
As noted above, your personal information may be disclosed pursuant to legal requirements. If you ask us to provide your information to another organization, we or that organization may have a duty to report certain of the information you provide to us to the police or other relevant authorities. For example, if you report concerns about alleged abuse or neglect of adults with a developmental disability using on or through our Services and ReportON, the Ministry of Community and Social Services may use that information to investigate the report and may share that information with the police in connection with its investigation. With your consent, your name and contact details may be used to contact you in connection with the report you filed, including to direct you to community based information, resources, and referrals that may be helpful.
When you file a report through governmental organizations, governmental agencies, and other third parties you are referred to through our Services, we and such third parties may not be able to guarantee that your personal information will remain anonymous depending on the nature of your interaction.
Your consent to our disclosure of your personal information
Your personal information may be collected, used, processed, stored, and disclosed outside of your jurisdiction of residence, including in the United States and other countries whose law may not provide for the same level of data protection as where you live. As a result, your personal information may be accessible to law enforcement and other authorities of another jurisdiction which could impact your rights.
If you have any questions about our disclosure of your personal information, please contact our Privacy Officer using the contact information provided in section 15 below.
It is important to us that we collect, use or disclose your personal information only when we have your consent to do so. Depending on the sensitivity of your personal information, your consent may be implied, deemed (using an opt-out mechanism) or express. We may collect, use, or disclose your personal information without your knowledge or consent where we are permitted or required to do so by applicable law or regulatory requirements.
You may change or withdraw your consent at any time, subject to legal or contractual obligations and reasonable notice, by contacting our Privacy Officer using the contact information set out below. All communications with respect to such withdrawal or variation of consent should be in writing and addressed to our Privacy Officer. If you withdraw or vary your consent, we may not be able to provide you with the communications, resources, and/or services you request through our Services.
We will endeavour to maintain commercially reasonable physical, technical, and procedural safeguards that are appropriate based on the sensitivity of the personal information in question. These safeguards are designed to prevent your personal information from loss and unauthorized access, collection, use, disclosure, copying, modification, disposal, or destruction.
You can ask to access the personal information that we have received from or possess about you. If you want to review, verify, update, delete or correct your personal information, please contact our Privacy Officer. Our Privacy Officer will respond to your request no later than one (1) month from the date of receipt of the request.
When requesting access to your personal information, please note that we may request specific information from you to enable us to confirm your identity and right to access, as well as to search for and provide you with the personal information that we hold about you. If you require assistance in preparing your request, please contact our Privacy Officer.
There are instances where applicable law or regulatory requirements allow or require us to refuse to provide some or all of the personal information that we hold about you. In addition, the personal information may have been destroyed, erased or made anonymous in accordance with our record retention obligations and practices. If we cannot provide you with access to your personal information, we will inform you in writing of the reasons why so long as we are permitted to do so by applicable law.
We keep your personal information as long as is reasonably necessary for us to complete our dealings with you, or as may be required by law, whichever is longer. As noted above, when we record your call we store the recording of your call for a period of 30 days before it is deleted.
Ontario 211 Services
One St. Clair Avenue West
10th Floor, Suite 1000
Toronto, Ontario M4V 1K6
**If you choose to communicate with us via email, please be aware that email is not a 100% secure medium for sending any personal or confidential information to us.**