211 FAQ

Who can use 211?

Everyone! There is no age, income, gender or any other eligibility requirement. 211 is available across Ontario and in many other provinces in Canada.

Why would I call 211?

Life can be hard, finding help can be easy. 211’s information and referral service can help you find relevant information and programs to help you and your loved ones. 211 can refer you to supports for your circumstances that are available locally. 211 Specialists are knowledgeable, provide a human touch, and can help you navigate the services that exist.

What can I expect when I call 211?

  • When you call 211 you will initially be greeted by a recording asking if you want service in French or English.
  • You will then be given the choice to participate in a survey to help improve the 211 service. The survey is completely optional and you can change your mind at any time.
  • Your call will then be answered by the next available specialist.
  • The specialist will introduce themselves and ask you a few questions in order to understand your unique needs. These questions will help them find the most suitable service particularly concerning eligibility, location and type of service.

How much information do I need to give 211?

The specialist will ask about your location – your postal code is the most useful. You will not be asked for any ‘official’ identification like a health card, or driver’s licence etc.

The information you provide is confidential and is used to help determine what resources may be most helpful for you. However, share only what you are comfortable providing.

How much does it cost to use 211?

211 is free to use – from any land line, or through our online channels!

If you are using a cell phone cost will depend on your plan. If your cell phone carrier charges you for calls there may be a fee, and the call might use your minutes.

Can I use 211 if English isn’t my first language?

Yes, the 211 phone helpline can provide interpretation in up to 150 languages. Just ask for the language you want to speak in and hold while an interpreter is brought on the line. Chat and email are available in French and English only.