UPDATE: PBO temporarily halts Toronto, Ottawa Law Help Centres, boosts Hotline in Response to COVID-19

UPDATE: PBO temporarily halts Toronto, Ottawa Law Help Centres, boosts Hotline in Response to COVID-19


Need legal advice? Our Hotline remains open — call 1-855-255-7256

Hours: Monday to Friday, 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM


March 13, 2020 [TORONTO]: In our efforts to respond to the evolving situation created by the COVID-ID virus, Pro Bono Ontario (PBO) has temporarily closed its court-based Law Help Centres in Toronto and the David W. Scott Centre for Justice in Ottawa.

PBO has developed a continuity plan that sees in-person assistance shifted to the Free Legal Advice Hotline. Members of the public can call 1-855-255-7256 for legal advice and legal drafting assistance. Volunteers are encouraged to sign-up for remote shifts to take Hotline calls from work or from home.


March 12, 2020 [TORONTO]: Effective Friday, March 13, 2020, Pro Bono Ontario (PBO)’s court-based Law Help Centres at 393 University Avenue and 47 Sheppard Avenue East in Toronto will be closed until further notice. Members of the public can still access summary legal advice and legal drafting assistance though the Free Legal Advice Hotline by calling 1-855-255-7256. The Hotline is available Monday to Friday from 9:30 am – 12:00 pm, and 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

PBO’s service priority during this time will be to maintain the operation of the Hotline, and to increase its capacity to the extent possible to meet the anticipated surge in demand. PBO has asked all volunteers currently scheduled for either the court-based centres or the Hotline to take calls on the Hotline remotely from their homes or offices. The Hotline runs on the Salesforce platform, which can be accessed from a browser on most computers. Both IT support staff and a program lawyer will be available to support volunteers remotely with any issues that may arise.

“This is an evolving issue and PBO is taking precautionary measures out of an abundance of concern for the well-being of our volunteers, clients and employees,” says executive director, Lynn Burns. “We have been planning for an event like this and are fortunate to have the infrastructure in place to maintain services during these temporary closures. We are grateful for the flexibility of our volunteers as we work to respond to changing conditions while continuing to serve our clients.”

For further information and updates, please visit www.probonoontario.org, Twitter (@probonoontario) or Linkedin.

About: PBO is an access to justice charity created in 2001 to bridge the gap between low-income Ontarians who cannot afford a lawyer and lawyers who want to donate their services. PBO focuses on civil, non-family, law which represents about 60% of unmet legal needs in Ontario. In 2019, PBO helped 29,671 clients who had nowhere else to turn. PBO is funded in part by the Law Foundation of Ontario.

Media Contact: Lynn Burns, [email protected], 416-977-4448 ext. 925