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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The Ontario Legal Information Centre (our Centre) provides bilingual legal information and referral services to anyone in Ontario with a legal problem.

Whether in the form of a one-on-one appointment or in a group legal information session, our Centre’s mandate is to provide you with general explanations of the law as well as to help you understand your legal issues and the possible ways to resolve them. However, the Centre does not offer legal advice or representation services.

Who can use our Centre’s services?

It’s simple! Anyone with a legal problem in Ontario can use our Centre’s services, by telephone or videoconference. There are no eligibility criteria.

What can your Centre do for me?

Our Centre offers you a free 30-minute personalized appointment with a lawyer, during which we can:

  • Provide you with legal information, i.e. general explanations of the law and of various legal issues, both at the federal and Ontario levels;
  • Explain the steps involved in a case and present you with the options available;
  • Provide you with the appropriate legal forms and explain the procedure;
  • Provide you with resources and tools to help you move forward; and
  • Refer you to community partner organizations, as needed.

What can your Centre not do for me?

Our Centre offers general legal information. We cannot:

  • Offer you legal advice regarding any legal action you should take (or not);
  • Act as your lawyer, represent you in court or file documents with the court on your behalf;
  • Follow up on your behalf with another party;
  • Draft legal documents, such as affidavits, or provide legal advice on the specific content of your documents;
  • Witness the signing of documents.

For legal advice, it is necessary to consult a lawyer outside our Centre.

Our Centre provides general legal information, not legal advice.

Here is the difference between the two:

  • Legal information: Explaining the law, procedures, forms and presenting the available options. This is what our Centre does.
  • Legal advice: Applying the law to your particular situation and providing a legal opinion on the best course of action. For legal advice, it is necessary to consult a lawyer outside our Centre.

Yes, our Centre answers general questions on all legal topics in Ontario and at the federal level.

The legal topics most frequently asked include:

  • Family;
  • Housing;
  • Employment;
  • Immigration;
  • Consumer Protection;
  • Income Assistance; and
  • Small Claims.

It is important to note that some legal topics and questions, by their complexity, require the intervention of a practicing lawyer who can provide legal advice and an indicator on your chances of success.

Our Centre therefore has a limited scope of services in certain specialized legal topics, including, but not limited to:

  • Appeals to the Court of Appeal of Ontario and the Supreme Court of Canada;
  • Bankruptcy;
  • Tax Law;
  • Intellectual Property; and
  • Corporate Law.


What sort of questions can our Centre answer?

Our Centre answers your legal information questions, such as:

  • I’m a step-parent. Do I have to pay child support to my ex-spouse?
  • How do I enforce my court order?
  • I’ve been fired. How can I get my last pay cheque?
  • Can my landlord kick me out during the winter?
  • I made an online purchase. Can I get a refund?
  • My neighbour’s dog bit me. What can I do about it?
  • I want to appeal a court order. What are the steps involved?

What sort of questions can your Centre not answer?

Our Centre cannot respond to your requests for legal advice, or legal opinions, such as:

  • I want to stay in Canada. Can you help me fill out my refugee claim form?
  • What is the best next step I should take?
  • Should I sign this contract?
  • Can I hire you as my lawyer to represent me in court?
  • Can you act as a witness for my will?
  • Can you draft my affidavit?
  • Can you recommend a specific lawyer?
  • What are my chances of winning?
  • Can you give me legal advice on the best way to run my business?

For legal advice, it is necessary to consult a lawyer outside our Centre.

Can I ask more than one question per appointment?

Yes, as long as the appointment does not exceed 30 minutes, you can ask as many questions as you would like.

I have more questions. Can I use the services of your Centre a second time?

Yes! As long as you have new legal questions, you can use our services again.

Typically during your first appointment, the lawyer will give you resources to consult, organizations to contact or legal forms to fill-out. Once this has been completed, you may wish to use our services again to discuss the next steps or get answers to new questions.

Please note that we reserve the right to refuse services to a person who asks the same legal questions repeatedly, and to whom we have already provided the relevant legal information on more than one occasion.

My question is urgent. Do you have faster availability than what I see online?

Generally speaking, whether you call us or book an appointment online, we have the same availability.

We understand that in some cases, due to the nature of your legal problem, availability for an appointment may seem far away. As we serve all of Ontario free of charge, we receive a very high volume of appointment requests, which may cause delays in obtaining an appointment. With that being said, we invite you to check our availability regularly, as we may have last-minute cancellations that become available online.

For an urgent matter, we invite you to call us at 1 (844) 343-7462 to discuss your legal issue with our reception; there may be options available for urgent matters such as being placed on an appointment cancellation list or a spontaneous call-back list.