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Tenant Resources in Ontario


by Robert Levitt (v1.8) Jan 2016 (Copyright)
Versions have been issued on the Internet since March 1995


This text is meant as a resource for tenants in Ontario.

I am posting this to give tenants sources of information and some basic information so that you can help yourselves.

The following are just a few of the issues that are now facing tenants. For the other particular problems see the Ontario Tenants Most Asked Questions and Their Answers


TENANT ORGANIZATIONS


Remember the only rights you have are the rights you are informed about and stand up for.

There are tenants' organizations that not only help to inform you, they also help you to organize yourselves, and they lobby for tenant rights with our governments. They lobby with the governments to keep rents at reasonable affordable levels, and for regulations to ensure safe and decent housing, and so deserve your support.

Landlords have their own lobbying organizations who successfully convinced the provincial government to reduce tenant rights and are further lobbying to loosen building and health standards.


There is a listing of community legal clinics throughout Ontario at the end of this text for low-income tenants you can access by clicking here.

You can often get assistance from your City Councillor or MPP's offices. You can find out how to reach them through my Government Web links page


The Ontario government's Residential Tenancies Act, which came into effect on January 31, 2007, repealed the Tenant Protection Act though it has many similarities. If you are upset about this law you will likely want more information from your community legal and information clinic and tenants' association. If you are upset over the governments landlord tenant act, you should both write and call your MPP and Premier Wynne, and on letters be sure to write "Personal and Confidential" on the envelope.


The Premier can be called at (416) 325-1941, FAX at (416) 325-7578.


Her address is:

Premier Kathleen Wynne
Room 281, Legislative Building,
Queen's Park,
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1A1.


The Residential Tenancies Act can be read at: RTA


What is known, is that:

There continues to be Vacancy Decontrol. Whenever a tenant moves out of a unit, the landlord will be able to charge the new tenant anything they wish. This is a direct financial incentive for unscrupulous landlords to force tenants out to get huge rent increases.

The Ontario Rental Housing Tribunal is being renamed the Landlord and Tenant Board and adjudicators continue to be government appointees. All decisions are final and can NOT be appealed in court.

If each and every tenant does not sign and is therefore not included in any tenant application, they will not reap the benefits of such a tenant application. Under the old Rent Control Act if even one tenant applied for a rent decrease and the Ministry found the condition applied to all units, their order would automatically apply to all units whether or not the others knew about the application; they would all benefit. Under this new law it is very important if you have a bad landlord to organize a tenants' association in your building.


Housing is regulated by the province and municipalities. Housing issues are regulated by the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing primarily under the Residential Tenancies Act, and by your particular municipality primarily under their Building's Inspections, Fire, and Health departments. Rent increases are the jurisdiction of the province, and building standards are first the jurisdiction of the municipality but can also be taken to the province's Landlord and Tenant Board for a fee.

The Ontario Ministry of Housing has publications that not only inform you of your rights but also your obligations as a tenant. It is a good idea to call the government's Landlord and Tenant Board at 1-888-332-3234 (416-645-8080 in the 416 calling area) to get all the available forms and literature or go to the site for the Landlord and Tenant Board.


GETTING REPAIRS DONE AND THE HEAT TURNED

  • Contact your neighbours. They may have similar problems. If you act together you will be more effective.

  • Call your landlord and tell them about the problem(s). Ask when they will be fixed. Keep a written diary of the dates of telephone calls and their subject as well as copies of all letters you send or receive for future reference.

  • Write a letter to the landlord asking for the repair to be done. Give the date you first told the landlord about the problem. Put in the date you expect the repair to be done by.

  • If the repair is not done in reasonable time, call the local government department that looks after your problem. (eg. Buildings and Inspections Department and/or their Health Department) Make an appointment with an inspector to inspect your apartment (this is FREE). You can find the telephone numbers in the blue pages section of your telephone (white) pages.

    If you do not get the service you expect, call your alderperson/city councillor or the Mayor's office to help you. Your local M.P.P.'s constituency office can also be of help.

  • If the repair is still not done, contact a legal clinic or lawyer. You may need to take your landlord to court, or take other legal action to get the work done.

REMEMBER: Document everything you can. This documentation will be necessary if you take your landlord to the Tribunal, or if you want to get a rent reduction for a lack of services. Otherwise it will just be your word against the landlord's.

Examples of repair problems include: no heat, no water, cockroaches, mice, noise-problems and dirty conditions.



COMMUNITY LEGAL AND INFORMATION CLINICS

These clinic will assist you with specific legal problems, if you are have a low income. You should pick the one that is the most appropriate, or that is closest to you. They may ask you your address to see if you are in their area and if you are not, they should direct you to the most appropriate clinic.

They do have income criteria and only provide assistance to those with lower incomes. If you do not qualify and need legal advice, the Law Society of Upper Canada do provide a ($6 charge on your phone bill) lawyer referral service that includes a free one-half hour consultation: Their lawyer referral service phone number is 1-900-565-4577 and remember it will cost you $6 for the call.

Listings are first by general area. sorted by telephone area code, and then are alphabetical, so look thoroughly through the list to find the clinic most appropriate for you. There may be more than one clinic in your town or area.

Please call them and make an appointment with them before you go visit their offices.

Click below on your telephone area code to find your community's legal aid clinics
Speciality Clinics Area code 289 Area code 416
Area code 519 Area code 613 Area code 647
Area code 705 Area code 807 Area code 905

SPECIALTY CLINICS (For across Ontario)

Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA)
They only handle situations where tenants are not being let into a building (given a lease) because of discrimination on the basis of family status, gender, race, martial status, income, etc.
416 - 944-0087
or if you are outside of the greater Toronto Area 1-800-263-1139

Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto
415 Yonge St
Toronto
416 - 408-3967

Advocacy Centre for the Elderly
2 Carleton Street, Suite #701
Toronto
416 - 598-2656

Advocacy Resource Centre for the Handicapped
425 Bloor Street East, Suite 110
Toronto
Voice: 416 - 482-8255 or toll-free 866 - 482-ARCH (2724)
TTY:   416 - 482-1254 or toll-free 866 - 482-ARCT (2728)
FAX:  (416) 482-2981 or toll-free 866 - 881-ARCF (2723)

African Canadian Legal Clinic
250 Dundas Street West, Suite #402,
Toronto
416 - 214-4747 or Toll-Free: 1-888-377-0033

Centre for Spanish-Speaking Peoples
2141 Jane Street, 2nd Floor
Toronto
416 - 533-8545

Metro Toronto Chinese & Southeast Asian Legal Clinic
180 Dundas Street West, Suite 1701
Toronto
416 - 971-9674


AREA CODE 416/647 (Metropolitan Toronto)

Centre francophone de Toronto
2 Carleton Street Suite 600
Toronto
416 - 922-2672

Downsview Community Legal Services
540 Finch Avenue West,
Downsview
416 - 635-8388

East Toronto Community Legal Services
1320 Gerrard Street East
Toronto
416 - 461-8102

Flemingdon Community Legal Services
1 Leaside Park Drive Unit 1
Don Mills
416 - 441-1764

    Satellite Office - Crescent Town Club
    2nd and 4th Wednesdays of each month. 6:00p.m - 8:00p.m.
    Walk-ins welcome. For appointments call: 416-441-1764 Ext 28
    2A The Market Place, East York

Jane Finch Community Legal Services
1315 Finch Avenue West, Suite #409
Downsview
416 - 398-0677

Kensington-Bellwoods Community Legal Services
489 College Street, Suite #205
Toronto
416 - 924-4244

Neighbourhood Legal Services
333 Queen Street East
Toronto
416 - 861-0677

Parkdale Community Legal Services
1226 Queen Street West
Toronto
416 - 531-2411

Rexdale Community Legal Clinic
21 Panorama Court, Suite 24,
Rexdale
416 - 741-5201

Scarborough Community Legal Services
695 Markham Road, Suite #9
Scarborough
416 - 438-7182

South Etobicoke Community Legal Service
5353 Dundas Street West, Suite 210
Toronto
416 - 252-7218

Unison Health & Community Services
1651 Keele Street
Toronto
416-653-5400

West Scarborough Community Legal Services
2425 Eglinton Street East, Suite 201
Scarborough
416 - 285-4460

West Toronto Community Legal Services
2333 Dundas St West Suite 404
Toronto
416 - 531-7376

Willowdale Community Legal Services
245 Fairview Mall Drive, Suite #106
Willowdale
416 - 492-2437


AREA CODE 519 (South-western Ontario)


BRANTFORD

Community Legal Clinic - Brant, Haldiman, Norfolk
1100 Clarence St. South, Suite 203
Brantford
(519) 752-8669

CAMBRIDGE

Waterloo Region Community Legal Services
Meetings can be arranged with clients in Cambridge by appointment.
Book an appointment by calling the Kitchener office 519-743-0254 for:
Langs, 1145 Concession Road, Cambridge, Monday afternoons; or
Cambridge Self-Help Food Bank, 54 Ainslie Street, S., Friday mornings.

CHATHAM

Chatham-Kent Legal Clinic
6 Harvey Street
Chatham
(519) 351-6771

GUELPH

Legal Clinic of Guelph and Wellington County
11 Wyndham Street
Guelph
(519) 821-2100 or Toll-free: 1-800-628-9205

KITCHENER-WATERLOO

Waterloo Region Community Legal Services
450 Frederick St Unit 101
Kitchener
(519) 743-0254

LONDON

Neighbourhood Legal Services (London and Middlesex)
151 Dundas Street Market Tower, Suite 507
London
(519) 438-2890

OWEN SOUND

Grey Bruce Community Legal Clinic
Owen Sound Professional Centre
945 3rd Avenue East, Suite 2
Owen Sound
(519) 370-2200

SARNIA

Community Legal Assistance Sarnia
201 Front Street North, Suite 407
Sarnia
(519) 332-8055

ST. THOMAS

Elgin-Oxford Legal Clinic
98 Centre Street
St. Thomas
(519) 633-2638 or Toll-free 1-866-611-2311

STRATFORD

Huron-Perth Legal Clinic
59 Lorne Avenue East
Stratford
(519) 271-4556

WINDSOR

Legal Assistance of Windsor
85 Pitt Street East
Windsor
(519) 256-7831

Windsor/Essex Bilingual Legal Clinic
1770 Langlois Avenue
Windsor
(519) 253-3526 (or TTY for the hearing impaired519-253-5393)


AREA CODE 613 (Eastern Ontario)

BELLEVILLE

Community Advocacy & Legal Centre
158 George Street, Level 1
Belleville
(613) 966-8686 or Toll-free: 1-877-966-8686

CORNWALL

Clinique Juridique Stormont Dundas and Glengarry Legal Clinic
1 McConnell
Cornwall
(613) 932-2703 or Toll-free: 1-800-267-2434

HAWKESBURY

Clinique juridique populaire de Prescott et Russell
352 Main Street West, Suite 201
Hawkesbury
(613) 632-1136 or Toll-free: 1-800-250-9220

KINGSTON

Kingston Community Legal Clinic
345 Bagot Street
Kingston
(613) 541-0777

OTTAWA-CARLETON REGION

Community Legal Services (Ottawa-Carleton)
1 Nicholas Street, Suite #422
Ottawa
(613) 241-7008

Ottawa Immigration & Refugee Law Office
73 Albert Street Ground floor
Ottawa K1P1E3
613-238-7931

South Ottawa Community Legal Services
1355 Bank Street, Suite #406
Ottawa
(613) 733-0140, (TTY Telephone device for the hearing impaired 1-613-733-4113)

West End Legal Services
1301 Richmond Road
Ottawa
(613) 596-1641

PERTH

The Legal Clinic
10 Sunset Blvd.
Perth
(613) 264-8888 or Toll-free: 1-800-597-4529

RENFREW

Renfrew County Legal Clinic
236 Stewart Street, Suite #101
Renfrew
(613) 432-8146 or Toll-free: 1-800-267-5871


AREA CODE 705 (Northern Ontario)

BRACEBRIDGE and the Muskoka area

Lake Country Community Legal Clinic
8-B Ontario Street
Bracebridge
(705) 645-6607 or Toll-free: 1-800-263-4819
(Services are available in French and English)

ELLIOT LAKE

Elliot Lake & North Shore Community Legal Clinic
31 Nova Scotia Walk, Suite 300
Elliot Lake
(705) 461-3935 or Toll-free: 1-800-465-2479

KAPUSKASING

Clinique Juridique Grand Nord
2 Ash Street
Kapuskasing
(705) 337-6200 or Toll-free: 1-800-461-9606

MOOSONEE

Keewaytinok Native Legal Services
40 Revillon Road North
Moosonee
(705) 336-2981

NORTH BAY

Nipissing Community Legal Clinic
107 Shirreff Street, Suite #214
North Bay
(705) 476-6603, and (TTY telephone device for the hearing impaired 705-476-5370)
(Services are available in French and English)

ORILLIA

Community Legal Clinic - Simcoe, Haliburton, Kawartha Lakes
71 Colborne Street East
Orillia
(705) 326-6444 or Toll-free: 1-800-461-8953

    Satellite Offices: For all satellite offices, please call 1-800-461-8953
  • Allison, 39 Victoria Street East in the Town Hall Building, every first and third Thursday (subject to demand)
  • Barrie, 85 Bayfield Street, Tuesday and Thursday afternoon (subject to demand)
  • Collingwood, 275 First Street, every first and third Tuesday
  • Christian Island Family Services Building, as required
  • Haliburton, 69 Eastern Avenue, Point in Time Centre for Children, Youth and Parents, as required
  • Lindsay, Kent Place Mall, Suite 214, every Tuesday
  • Midland, 551 Dominion Street, John Winter Family Law Office, every other Monday
  • Minden, Heritage Plaza, Lower Level, (Haliburton Highlands Mental Health Services office), every other Friday

PETERBOROUGH

Peterborough Community Legal Centre
150 King Street, 4th Floor
Peterborough
(705) 749-9355

SAULT STE. MARIE

Algoma Community Legal Clinic
473 Queen Street East Suite 301
Sault Ste. Marie
(705) 942-4900 or Toll-free: 1-800-616-1109

SUDBURY

Sudbury Community Legal Clinic
40 Elm Street, Rainbow Centre, Unit 272
Sudbury
(705) 674-3200 or Toll-free: 1-800-697-8719
(Services are available in French and English)

TIMMINS

Timmins-Temiskaming Community Legal Clinic
119 Pine Street South, Suite 212
Timmins
(705) 267-0300 or Toll-free: 1-866-382-0300
(Services are available in French and English)


AREA CODE 807 (North-western Ontario)

FORT FRANCES

Northwest Community Legal Clinic (Rainy River)
206 Scott Street
Fort Frances
(807) 274-5327 or Toll-free: 1-800-799-2485

KENORA

Northwest Community Legal Clinic (Kenora)
308 Second Street South, Suite 6,
Kenora
(807) 468-8888 or Toll-free: 1-800-403-4757

THUNDER BAY

Family Law Office
209 Van Norman St.
Thunder Bay
(807) 346-2950 or Toll-free: 1-800-393-8140
(Services are available in French and English)

Kinna-aweya Legal Clinic
86 South Cumberland Street
Thunder Bay
(807) 344-2478
For everybody

Nishnawbe-Aski Legal Services
86 South Cumberland Street
Thunder Bay
(807) 622-1413
Serving the Nishnawbe Sski Nation Territory


AREA CODE 905/289 (The "Golden Horseshoe" excluding Toronto)

BRAMPTON

North Peel & Dufferin Community Legal Services
24 Queen Street East, Suite #601
Brampton
(905) 455-0160 or Toll-free: 1-866-455-0160

COBOURG

Northumberland Community Legal Centre
1005 William Street, Suite #301
Cobourg
(905) 373-4464 or Toll-free: 1-800-850-7882

GEORGETOWN

Halton Community Legal Services
72 Mill Street
Georgetown
(905) 877-5256

HAMILTON

Hamilton Community Legal Clinic
100 Main Street East Suite 203
(2nd floor) - Landmark Place
Hamilton, ON L8N 3W4
905-527-4572

and,
1320 Barton St., East,
Hamilton, ON L8H 2W1
905-528-0163, extension 3253

MISSISSAUGA

Mississauga Community Legal Services
130 Dundas Street East, Suite # 504
Mississauga
(905) 896-2050

OSHAWA

Durham Community Legal Clinic
111 Simcoe Street North
Oshawa
(905) 728-7321

ST. CATHARINES

Niagara North Community Legal Assistance
8 Church Street
St. Catharines
(905) 682-6635

RICHMOND HILL

Community Legal Clinic of York Region
21 Dunlop Street, Suite 200
Richmond Hill
(905) 508-5018 or Toll-free: 1-888-365-5226

WELLAND

Justice Niagara
15 Burgar Street Suite 100
Welland
(905) 735-1559




Community legal clinics do not handle criminal cases. For those, you need to go directly to your Legal Aid Ontario office to get a certificate to use with a private lawyer who takes such certificates. You can find the list of Legal Aid Clinics, (and specialty injured workers clinics, Toronto only) in your area by clicking here


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Places to visit on the site:
Ontario Tenants homepage         |       Residential Tenancies Act       |     Finding an apartment
Ontario Landlord and Tenant Q&A   |   Housing and poverty reports   |   Elections
Tenant rights and social justice     |     Renters muncipal issues     |     Rent Control
Apartment safety & security  | Tenant health: Toxic mould, cockroaches  | Consumer Information
Tenant association organizing   |    Utility costs: Ontario hydro, natural gas   |    Ontario MPP list