Community Information Centre of Ottawa

...a free bilingual service linking Eastern Ontario citizens with community resources
211 Ontario Link



What is CICO and 211?


The Community Information Centre of Ottawa (CICO) is a non-profit, bilingual organization that helps to connect people through multilingual mediated access to community, social, health and government services in their community. The CICO provides a wide range of services to residents of the city of Ottawa and Eastern Ontario. Services include but are not limited to information and referrals, the 211 service across Eastern Ontario, data leasing, email broadcasts, community information bulletin, after hours I&R provision, service record management, service record translations, community needs data etc.


211 is an easy to remember, three digit, non-emergency telephone number that connects callers to a full range of community, social, government and health service information. Bilingual and certified information and referral specialists answer calls seven days a week. It is complemented by an on-line directory. 211 is free, confidential and multilingual (150) languages.

What is Ontario 211? is your connection to information about community and social services in the province of Ontario. It is your first stop for information about child care, language classes, job searches, housing, emergency shelters, services for persons with disabilities, home support, legal assistance, financial assistance, and much more.

Most of the services listed on are provided by non-profit, community-based or government organizations that provide a direct service to the public. However, you will find some private or commercial organizations that do not duplicate the work of non-profit, community and government organizations. Inclusion on is free. provides accurate and up-to-date information about services in a consistent format. Information on is updated on an ongoing basis, and changes are verified with a spokesperson from each organization or program.

How do I order a Directory of Ottawa Community Services (Blue Book)?

Under the products and service tab you can click on the Directory of Ottawa community services link and it will pull up a copy of our order form. You have a few options to complete your order. You may:

  1. Send in the order form by mail with a cheque or money order
  2. Send a copy of the order form by fax and make payment arrangements accordingly
  3. Send a copy of the order form by email and make payment arrangements accordingly
  4. Make an appointment in person to purchase the directory and bring order form upon purchase
How do I list an event in your Community Bulletin?

To have an event posted in our Community Information Bulletin, please send us a poster or flyer for your event in a PDF or Microsoft Word format to If you're interested in posting an employment opportunity in the non-profit sector, please send us a job posting or description in either a PDF or Microsoft Word format to the e-mail address listed above. For information on our inclusion and exclusion criteria for the bulletin, please access the bulletin from our home page and scroll down to find our posting criteria.

How do I register to receive the Community Bulletin?

To receive our weekly update e-mails for the Community Information Bulletin, please send us an e-mail at, indicating that you'd like to sign up to join our mailing list for the Community Information Bulletin.

How can I list my organization as part of your database?

To suggest that a new record be added to the Eastern Ontario database, simply click on the "Directories" tab, select the database in your area and click on "Suggest a new record". You can also submit a request by visiting

It is important to note that the records listed in the Eastern Ontario Database must correspond to the Community Information Centre of Ottawa's Record Inclusion Policy. Prior to submitting a new record suggestion, please refer to the Record Inclusion Policy by visiting InclusionExclusionPolicy.html

How can I update the information for my organization?

There are various ways to suggest an update for your organization's record in the Eastern Ontario Database.

  1. By clicking on the "Directories" Tab on our website, selecting the database in your area, searching for your organization's record and clicking on "Suggest an Update".
  2. By visiting, searching for and accessing your organizations' record and clicking on the "Update" tab.
  3. By calling us directly at 2-1-1
What is your Inclusion/Exclusion policy?

Database Information Collection and Maintenance Policy

Criteria for creating and maintaining a record in the Community Information Centre of Ottawa Database

The Community Information Centre of Ottawa shall be a comprehensive I&R service with the general public as its target group. The geographical area served shall be the City of Ottawa and will include Eastern Ontario as part of it's 211 expansion plans..

Subject to the priorities detailed in the next section, the 211 Ottawa/Eastern Ontario database includes organizations or programs that:

  • Provide a direct service to the public i.e. in person, telephone, internet (including email or online forum, etc)
  • 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 or second priority services
  • Are community development or social enterprise initiatives
  • Are organizations outside Ottawa/Eastern Ontario which provide a service not available locally such as community information centres, distress centres, hospital emergency departments and services for victims of violence and abuse, including sexual assault

Organizations should 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 under-funded service areas.

First Priority

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 services
  • Public and specialized transportation
  • Child care
  • Access to permanent affordable housing

Services for people who may experience barriers to service because of:

  • Language spoken
  • Ethno-cultural 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

Second Priority

Quality of life services, unless they are for people who may experience barriers to service:

  • Alternative health/medicine
  • Family physicians
  • Education, schools
  • Recreation , sports groups, community centres, meeting places
  • Arts, culture, heritage, cemeteries
  • Consumer assistance
  • Environment
  • Peace and disarmament
  • International development
  • Umbrella groups
  • Hobby and special interest groups (i.e. clubs, faith or political organizations)
  • Volunteer opportunities

Third Priority

Services that enable community engagement and mobilization, social research and planning, mobilization of resources and leadership and governance. These services would include but are not limited to:

  • Community initiatives
  • Committees, task forces, coalitions
  • Networks and forums (including online support groups)


We reserves the right to exclude from its database any organization that it has 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.

We also 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, with other organizations in the database providing similar services, or with individual of the Community Information Centre of Ottawa itself.

Decisions to include, exclude, or remove a service listing may be appealed by writing to the Executive Director after a reasonable attempt has been made to resolve the issue with editorial staff.