an innoVative centre in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

helping families in ottawa, canada become self-sufficient contributing members of society

The Incredible Directory from the Parent Resource Centre is a source of very useful information for parents.

Your Physical and Emotional Health

Ontario Health Card

You can register, renew or replace an Ontario Health Card at:

Ontario Health Office

ad1st Floor, 75 Albert Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1P 5Y9
Phone: 1-888-376-5197

Hours of Operation:
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday, 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Closed on public holidays.

The Ontario Health Card is also available at these two Government Service Centres operated by the City of Ottawa:

Government Service Centre in Ottawa
110 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, Ontario
K1P 1J1
Phone: 3-1-1 or 613-580-2400

Hours of Operation:
Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Closed on public holidays

Government Service Centre in Kanata
indexMain level
580 Terry Fox Drive
Kanata, ON
K2L 4C2
Phone: 3-1-1 or 613-580-2400

Hours of Operation:
Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Closed on public holidays.

Physician Availability

There are a number of sources available to help families without a primary health care provider find a doctor:

connectHealth Care Connect is a program run by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to help Ontarians without a family health care provider find one.

You will not be able to sign up for Health Care Connect if you are already registered with a health care provider. For information on how to change your current provider, please refer to Frequently Asked Questions.
How does Health Care Connect Work?

The program refers people without a regular family health care provider to physicians and nurse practitioners who are accepting new patients in their community.

Academy of Medicine - Provides telephone services to assist in locating a primary care Family Physician who is still accepting patients in Ottawa.
1867 Alta Vista Dr
P.O. Box 8223
Ottawa, Ontario
K1G 3H7
Phone: 613-733-2604
(Mon. To Fri., 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.)

Dental and Eyeglass Subsidies

This program provides free dental services to children and adults who are Ontario Works recipients, belong to low-income families, or are recipients of the Ontario Disability Support Program and also provides financial assistance for special items such as eyeglasses

OttawaCity Dental Clinics

40 Cobourg Street (Le Patro) 613-580-9633
2525 St. Laurent Boulevard (near Conroy Road) 613-580-9632
400-1580 Merivale Road 613-580-9631

Roberts/Smart Centre

The Roberts/Smart Centre serves young people facing the most serious of mental health challenges. They have developed expertise in helping adolescents who have severe behavioural and emotional problems and for whom other interventions have failed.

Smart1199 Carling Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario
K1Z 8N3
Phone: 613-728-1946
Toll-Free: 1-800-279-9941
Fax: 613-728-4986

Sexual Health Centre

Free, confidential, birth control, pregnancy, STDs, hepatitis B. Drop-in clinic for those 19 years of age and older. Satellite clinic services available if under 19.
Appointments are available on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings. Call 613-234-4641 to book.
(Telephone lines are in operation 8:30 am to 12:30 pm and 1:30 pm to 4:00 pm)

Ottawa179 Clarence Street,
Ottawa, Ontario
K1N 5P7
Phone: 613-563-2437
Toll Free: 1-800-267-7432

Mental Health Help in Ottawa is a non-profit initiative providing information about mental health services and resources for all ages.They provide online anonymous, confidential information, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year on a variety of topics:

1) Where to go for local mental health help,
2) When local mental health events are happening and
3) Information about various mental health topics and conditions. is an initiative of the Provincial Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health, dedicated to improving the mental health of children, youth and families

Addiction and Problem Gambling

There is a range of treatment options available in Ontario for individuals concerned about their own or someone else's gambling, including initial assessment and treatment planning, community treatment, residential treatment, day/evening treatment, and telephone counselling.

GamblingOntario Problem Gambling Helpline can provide you with information about problem gambling treatment services in Ontario. Among their many services, they provide a searchable database of problem gambling treatment programs offered by organizations in Ontario

Sandy HillAddiction and Problem Gambling Services of Ottawa provides a confidential and supportive environment to help individuals make choices about gambling, drug and/or alcohol use. Some services provide inpatient 21 or 28 day residential facilities to help youth to adults find recovery.

221 Nelson Street, Ottawa, K1N 1C7

Dave SmithDave Smith Centre - The Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre is a non-profit, community-based agency dedicated to helping youth, between the ages of 13-18, overcome substance abuse issues and other related challenges in order to achieve a healthier lifestyle.

A full range of evidence-based treatment programs are available to help youth progress through the treatment continuum, all in a supportive environment.

All programs and services offered by the Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre are provided free of charge to clients.
786-B Bronson Avenue,
Ottawa, ON
K1S 4G4

DrugDrug and Alcohol Registry of Treatment (DART)
DART can provide you with information about drug and alcohol treatment services in Ontario.

Call the Drug and Alcohol Treatment Infoline at 1-800-565-860

Your call is toll-free, confidential and anonymous. This service is open 24 hours

RideauwoodRideauwood Addiction and Family Services
Rideauwood works to improve the health well-being and functioning of individuals, families and communities affected by alcohol drugs and gambling. Their services focus on providing education and counseling to help clients assess their current situation, prioritize choices, set goals and successfully address their addiction.
312 Parkdale Avenue,
Ottawa, ON
K1Y 4X5

Crisis Line

What Is A Crisis?

They leave that up to you! If you are feeling overwhelmed as a parent or youth then you can call them for support.

A crisis for one person may not be considered a crisis for another. The event itself, therefore, does not define whether one is in crisis. Rather, it is the response (or lack of response) to an event which defines this term.
(613) 260-2360


YSBYouth Services Bureau of Ottawa

The Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa serves youth aged 12 and older. We focus on youth with difficulties affecting their physical and/or emotional well-being and development. We support youth in making positive health and lifestyle decisions.
2675 Queensview Drive,
Ottawa, ON
K2B 8K2
Phone: (613) 729-1000

OPSVictim Crisis Unit, Ottawa Police Service

Made up of professional mental health workers who provide: counselling to people in crisis and assessment and referral services to people who are victims of crime or involved in serious accidents and to persons with mental health problems who come into contact with the law.
474 Elgin St.,
Ottawa, On
K2P 2J6
Phone: (613) 236-1222 ext. 5822

Caring for Your Child

The Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario has noticed a growing need for mental health help for young people. They've seen an increase in the number of children across the region who are being diagnosed with mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and panic attacks.

As part of their strategy to address this need, CHEO has a web site filled with lots of useful information for parents grappling with this serious issue. Please click here to view this web site for yourself.

Applying online for a birth certificates is fast and simple. Most requests are processed in 15 days.

You may apply for your child's birth certificate at any time after the statement of Live Birth has been registered with the office of the Registrar General. To Apply for a birth certificate, connect to the appropriate page on Service Ontario's web site by clicking here. You can also obtain the required form by mail, or from most local municipal offices, passport offices, and Ontario Land Registry Offices.

Healthy Babies, Healthy Children
A prevention and early intervention initiative to provide support and services to families with children. There are seven Ontario Early Years Centres across Ottawa. Early Years Centres are primarily funded by the Provincial Ministry of Children & Youth Services with some supporting funding from the City of Ottawa.

The Ontario Early Years Centres help support parents in their crucial role of ensuring their child gets the best possible start in life. Early Years professionals are available to answer questions about their child's development and provide information or services for children up to the age of six.
Ottawa Public Health
100 Constellation Cres.,
7th Floor East,
K2G 6J8
Phone: Ottawa Public Health Info: (613) 580-6744

Crossroads Children's Centre

The Mission of the Crossroads Children's Centre is to work with children and their families struggling with severe emotional, behavioural, and social difficulties. This is accomplished through a wide range of services and targets children up to the age of twelve.


The Parent Resource Centre of Ottawa
Being a parent is sometimes difficult. The Parent Resource Centre of Ottawa staff understands and is here to support and help parents and caregivers. Check these links for help:

The Resource Phoneline - Are you concerned about your child? Are you wondering what help is available? If we can't answer your question we can connect you with someone who can.

Drop-In and Playgroups - Looking for a stimulating place to bring your child or the children in your care during the day? Want a refreshing change to your routine?

Postpartum Depression & Baby Blues - Are you feeling blue after giving birth? You are not alone, and there is help.

Childcare Subsidy Calculator A Child Care Subsidy is available to parents living in Ottawa who are working, or looking for work, and need financial help.

To apply for subsidy, you must file an income tax return as the information shown on Line 236 on your most recent Notice of Assessment/ Reassessment, and the amount of your Universal Child Care Benefit (if applicable) will be used to calculate the amount you will have to pay for Child Care. If you are a recent immigrant to Canada, you can still apply but you will need to provide this information when you file your first tax return.

Assets and expenses will no longer be considered under the income test. If you already receive a fee subsidy, your fee will be recalculated when you come for your next scheduled review. An exception may be made at your first review if you have a child or children under the age of six; however your Notice of Assessment/ Reassessment is still mandatory.

Canadian Mothercraft of Ottawa-Carleton
Offers a range of services for children, families, parents and caregivers. Our programs include a variety of licensed child care services, an Ontario Early Years Centre, prenatal classes, parent/ caregiver education courses, infant and child CPR classes and Birth and Parent Companion Program.
475 Evered Ave.,
Ottawa, ON
K1Z 5K9
Phone: (613) 728-1839

Children's Place Wellness Centre
Open Monday to Friday from 6:30am to 6:30pm. A licensed childcare option for children recovering from mild illness, injury or hospitalization. Your child can recuperate in a child friendly environment with quiet programme, individual attention and rest provided by professionals.
1160 Carling Ave.,
Ottawa, ON,
K1Z 7K6
Phone: (613) 725-9995

Children's Welcome Centre
Non-profit, volunteer-oriented babysitting facility for children aged 2-6. Children may be dropped off for up to 3 hrs. at a time. Offers support, in a friendly relaxed environment, for stay at home parents and caregivers. Acts as a drop-in centre for parents of children 0-2 years. Open Mon. to Fri., 9-12 and 1-4.
2514 Innes Rd.,
Gloucester, ON
K1B 3J9
Phone: (613) 834-7075

Buns in the Oven, Prenatal Nutrition Ottawa
Provides information and advice on all aspects of prenatal and postnatal health in the welcoming and supportive environment for pregnant youth and women living in difficult circumstances. A healthy meal is cooked and shared. Professional and peer support, childcare, bus tickets, milk and food available. Call for locations. Self-referrals accepted.
780 rue de I'Eglise,
Ottawa, On,
K1K 3K7
Phone: (613) 749-4584

Child Care Providers Resource Network
Free community meetings, facilitated by volunteers, for parents looking for home based child care and for child care providers providing home-based childcare. Offered in various locations throughout the city of Ottawa by child care Providers Resource Network of Ottawa-Carleton, caregivers and parents working together to establish and maintain satisfactory child care arrangements.

30 Colonnade Road, Suite 275,
Ottawa, ON
K2E 7J6
Phone: (613) 749-5211 ext 24

Andrew Fleck Child Care Services
Bilingual information and referral services, maintains a centralized waiting list, and comprehensive inventory of available child care options in Ottawa, counsels families on their child care choices and works closely with the community and development of needed support services. Maintains list of licensed nursery schools in Ottawa. A program of Andrew Fleck Child Care Services.
600-700 Industrial Ave.,
Suite 600,
Ottawa, ON
K1G 0Y9
Phone: (613) 248-3605

Andrew Fleck Child Care Services Home Child Care
Supervised home childcare licensed under Day Nurseries Act (DNA) Caregivers working in their own homes are carefully screened, meet DNA requirements, and receive support and consultation from qualifies staff who also offer services to parents. Quality care for 3 months to 10 years. (160 caregivers).
700 Industrial Ave.,
Suite 600,
Ottawa, ON
K1G 0Y9
Phone: (613) 736-1913 ext. 243 or 246

Additional Vaccines Protect Young Children against Life-threatening Diseases

By Genevieve Richer-Brule,
Public Health Nurse with Ottawa Public Health

Immunization is the most effective way to protect children from serious childhood diseases. Children attending licensed day cares or schools in Ontario are required by law to be immunized against certain diseases or to have a valid exemption.

Ottawa Public Heath (OPH) collects and maintains vaccination records. It is a parent's responsibility to contact OPH every time his or her child is vaccinated; your health care provider does not send immunization updates. Visit to enter your child's latest vaccination quickly and easily.

In recent years, three vaccines have been added to the recommended immunizations for young children and offer them even better protection from common childhood illnesses.

These are the new vaccines:

Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine
- Provides protection against bacterial infections caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae (or pneumococcus). This type of bacteria can cause pneumonia, infection of the blood (septicemia) or meningitis. It is also a frequent cause of ear infections in children.
- Pneumonia, septicemia and meningitis are all serious illnesses that can cause death or permanent damage, especially in children with chronic medical conditions. Frequent use of antibiotics for infections, even for ill- nesses like ear infections, can result in antibiotic resistance.
- The vaccine is publicly funded for all infants and children under five years of age. The number of doses recommended will depend on the age of the child when the first dose is given.

Meningococcal vaccine
- Meningococcal disease is caused by bacteria. Ten per cent of the population carries the bacteria at the back of their throat or nose without feeling sick.
In rare instances, bacteria overcome the body's natural defenses and cause serious diseases, including meningitis (infection of the lining of the brain) and septicemia (widespread infection involving the blood and multiple organs).
- There are a number of vaccines, which protect against some of the various strains that cause meningococcal disease. Speak to a health care provider about vaccines appropriate for each age group.

Chickenpox vaccine
- Chickenpox spreads easily within families, in schools and in daycare centres. Before a vaccine was available, 90 per cent of children had chick enpox by 12 years of age. Approximately 10 to 15 per cent of those who had chickenpox as a child will have a recurrence of the virus, known as shingles, later in life.
- Children with chickenpox will have flu-like symptoms such as fatigue, headache and fever up to 39.25C, chills and an itchy, red, blistery rash.
Complications that can result include bacterial skin infections, including the serious "flesh-eating" disease, pneumonia and infection of the brain (encephalitis).
- The vaccine is available through health care professionals as a single dose for children after the first birthday and for five-year-old children who have not had chickenpox.
Talk to a doctor or nurse if you have questions about vaccines or your child's health.

More information can also be found at:
- Ottawa Public Health
- Canadian Coalition for Immunization Awareness and Promotion
- Canadian Paediatric Society
- Public Health Agency of Canada
- Ontario Ministry of Health
- Health Canada

Contact the Ottawa Public Health Immunization Program at 613-580-6744 ext. 24108

Your financial, accommodation, food & Legal Needs

Financial Assistance
Emergencies 613-580-2400
Applications (Intake Screening Unit) 613-560-6000 or 1-888-644-3444
Local Office 613-560-0618

"Are you considering separating or divorcing from your spouse? Are you concerned about what will happen to your children after the break up? When two people have a child, each parent has an equal right and equal responsibility to raise the child. This is true whether the parents are married or not.

When parents don't live together, they are faced with important decisions about the care of their children. They must decide where the child will live, how much time the child will spend with each parent and how important decisions relating to the child will be made. Each parent's financial support of the child will also have to be determined.

Your Law: Family Law in Ontario provides you with information and access to resources on the emotional, financial, legal and social considerations relating to child custody, access and child support and will help you make the best decisions for you and your family."

University of Ottawa Community Legal Clinic

17 Copernicus Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 6N5
613- 562-5600

"The University of Ottawa Community Legal Clinic provides legal services to the Ottawa community. Staffed by lawyers and law students, the University of Ottawa Community Legal Clinic provides public legal education, legal advice, representation at court for a variety of civil, criminal, and tenant-related matters. We also assist women who have been victims of violence obtain compensation, and have a unique aboriginal division with aboriginal law students who provide legal services to members of Ottawa's aboriginal community.

The University of Ottawa Community Legal Clinic primarily serves low income people, students, and members of historically disadvantaged groups. Our services are provided free of charge. Our services are provided by law students who are supervised by staff lawyers. We provide our services in both French and English."

Community Legal Services of Ottawa-Carleton
Suite 422,
1 Nicholas Street,
K1N 7B7
There are four Community Legal Clinics serving the low income residents living in the amalgamated City of Ottawa. Depending on where you live and what your problem is, you may be referred to a legal clinic serving your area. We are funded by Legal Aid Ontario and are responsible to a local community board of directors or steering committee.

We can give you advice if your income is within our guidelines. You may be screened for your financial eligibility even for telephone advice.

Housing Help
116 Lisgar St,
Suite 202,
Ottawa, ON
K2P 0C2
A one-stop, drop-in service to help people with their practical housing problems.

Social Housing Registry of Ottawa
2197 Riverside Dr.
5th floor,
Ottawa, ON
K1H 1A9
The Social Housing Registry of Ottawa (The Registry) is a non-profit organization that maintains the central waiting list for people applying for rent-geared-to-income (RGI) housing. The Registry keeps the list according to rules set out by the Province of Ontario in the Social Housing Reform Act.

The Registry includes housing providers and community housing agencies working together to make it easier to apply for subsidized housing in Ottawa.

What tenants need to know about the law

This booklet, prepared by CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario)describes some important things about the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) and some ways it is different from the Tenant Protection Act, which it replaced.

Topics covered include:

rent increases,
deposits and other charges,
repairs and maintenance,
moving out,

To download a PDF version of this booklet, click here.

Emergency Housing

Family Residential Services,
City of Ottawa
8th Floor East K1G 6J8
100 Constellation Cres.,
Ottawa, ON
Family Residential Services, Operated by the City of Ottawa, provides secure, temporary shelter in a supportive environment to families who are homeless and assists them to obtain appropriate housing in the community. Specifically, the City operates two family shelters and after regular business hours provides referral for both families and single individuals to other shelters and overflow facilities.

The Food Bank
1317B Michael St.
Ottawa, On.
K1B 3M9
Supplying emergency food assistance to over 38,000 people each month (nearly half are children) via more then 110 social services agencies throughout the National Capital Region. Agencies Include: The Shepherds of Good Hope, The Union Mission, shelters, school breakfast programs, emergency food programs and more.

Centertown Emergency Food Centre
507 Bank Street,
Ottawa, K2P 1Z5
(Provides a 3-day emergency food hamper to Centertown residents once per month. Monday and Thursday noon-2:30pm. Tuesday and Friday noon-2pm.

Dalhousie Food Cupboard
343 Bronson Ave, Ottawa
Provides a two to three day supply of food to residents of Dalhousie Ward once a month.

Debra Dynes Emergency Food
Unit 85,
955 Debra Ave,
Ottawa, ON
K2C 0J5
Emergency food bank. Provides emergency food once a month. After-four nutrition program for grades 1-6. Emergency baby cupboard one time per month.
Area served: North-South: Baseline Rd to Hunt Club Rd East-West: Riverside Dr to Merivale Rd

Emergency Food Programme, Overbrook-Forbes Community Centre
225 Donald St,
Suite 120,
Ottawa, ON
Clients may make one request per month. Clients must bring proof of their address and identification
Area Served: Overbrook, Forbes, Castle Heights, Carson, Manor Park, Lindenlea, Rockliffe, New Edinburgh, residents with K1K and, in some cases, K1G and K1M postal codes

Parkdale Food Centre
N, Lower Floor
29 Bayswater Ave
Ottawa, On
K1Y 2E5
Food bank: 2-3 days worth of emergency food per month.
People served:
Those with low incomes
Area Served: North-South: Ottawa River to Carling Ave East-West: Bayswater Ave to Island Park Dr

Gloucester Emergency Food Cupboard
2040 Arrowsmith Dr.
Ottawa, ON
K1J 6G4
The Mission of the Gloucester Emergency Food Cupboard is to collect and distribute food products and other necessities of life for needy persons in Gloucester, to support and encourage reform and social change that would eliminate the need for emergency food assistance, and to treat all persons involved with the Food Cupboard with due respect and dignity regardless of gender, race, age, religion or sexual orientation.

Heron Emergency Food Centre
2nd Flr
1480 Heron Rd,
Ottawa, ON
K1V 6A5
Emergency food program. There are no deliveries. Clients usually receive food once per 30 days. Enough groceries to last 2-3 days.
Area Served: Eligibility South East Ottawa residents North-South: Industrial Ave to railway tracks East-West: St Laurent Blvd to Riverside Dr

Samaritan Support Services of Ottawa Carleton
1820 Carling Ave
Ottawa, ON
K2A 1E2
613-729-3172 ext 2

Although time and money are in short supply these days, help is available from a variety of sources to prepare healthy - but inexpensive - family meals. For example, the City of Ottawa has produced a short booklet entitled Everybody's Food Budget Book that contains useful and practical advice on how to stretch a food budget as well as a number of simple recipes that are both nutritious and easy to prepare.

For example, take a look at this vegetarian chili recipe. It's quick to make, inexpensive and good tasting.

1 - 19 oz (540 mL) can red kidney beans
1 - 19 oz (540 mL) can chickpeas
1 - 28 oz (796 mL) can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup rice
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tbsp. oil
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 stock cube
Chili powder to taste
Salt and pepper to taste.

1. Drain then rinse kidney beans and chickpeas.
2. Heat large saucepan on medium heat for about 30 seconds. Add oil, chopped garlic and onion. Fry until softened*.
3. Add all other ingredients except chilli powder and bring to boil.
4. Reduce heat and add chilli powder and salt and pepper and any other spices to taste. Simmer for about 1 hour, adding water if necessary.
Serve topped with grated cheese. Enjoy with a green salad and whole wheat bread for a complete meal.
*For Chilli con carne (chilli with meat) add ground beef when cooking the onions and garlic.
Other vegetables you could add are corn, chopped celery, pepper and/or chopped potato.

There are a several ways you can obtain a copy of this booklet: You can read it online at the City of Ottawa's web site by clicking here. You can download a PDF version of it by clicking here or you can pick up a printed copy of the booklet at any City of Ottawa service centre.

Keeping up with the latest product recalls is both difficult and time consuming. These web sites will help you cope with this ever changing information:

Consumers Union (CU) is an expert, independent, nonprofit organization whose mission is to work for a fair, just, and safe marketplace for all consumers and to empower consumers to protect themselves. The organization was founded in 1936 when advertising first flooded the mass media. Consumers lacked a reliable source of information they could depend on to help them distinguish hype from fact and good products from bad ones. Since then CU has filled that vacuum with a broad range of consumer information. To maintain its independence and impartiality, CU accepts no outside advertising and no free samples and employs several hundred mystery shoppers and technical experts to buy and test the products it evaluates.

The Canadian version of Consumer Reports contains information about products specifically available in this country.

The Canadian Toy Testing Council (CTTC) is a non-profit, voluntary, registered charitable organization, working for parents since 1952. Their job is to test toys and to help you make good toy purchases.

Every year, hundreds of toys are selected as representative of those being offered on the market. These toys are then tested by Canadian children in everyday settings, to assess design, function, durability and play value. The Council rates each toy, awarding Three Stars, Two Stars, One Star, Novelty or Not Recommended.