Frequently asked questions about 211

What is 211 Greater Montréal?

It is:

  • An information and referral telephone and chat service, referring towards near 6000 socio-community resources; it is accessible 7 days/7, free, confidential and available in 200 languages thanks to an interpretation service.
  • An on-line directory,, that geo-localizes each organization and details the services and programmes that are offered, the targeted clientele and eligibility criteria.
  • A social analysis tool based on the calls. It details the met and un-met needs of citizens which will enable key players in the field and elected officials to eventually fill the gap of services that are lacking.


In what type of situations can 211 help me?

Anybody with an either temporary or permanent social need can contact 211. 211 will help find suitable community, public and para-public services and programmes located close by. It is important to call us or search on-line before the problem gets worse or turns into a crisis.


Here are some examples:

  • I am having a hard time meeting my basic needs (food, housing, furniture, clothing).
  • I would like to get back on the job market.
  • I am looking for services for my elderly parents (seniors' residence, medical transportation, accompaniment)
  • My daughter needs public services for a mental health issue.
  • I would like to join a support group so I can meet others in the same situation as me and break out of my isolation.
  • I am a newcomer and need welcoming services and help with integration (help finding Government programmes, French classes, etc.)
  • I am handicapped and looking for services that can help me.
  • I am looking for supervised apartments.
  • I am a social counselor and looking for temporary shelter for a female client.
  • I am looking for legal advice so I can know my rights regarding housing.
  • I need help filling out my income tax forms.
  • My parents do not accept that I am gay and I would like to talk to someone that understands what I am going through.


What is the territory served by 211 Greater Montréal?

211 Greater Montréal is offered in the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal territories:

  • L'île de Montréal;
  • Laval;
  • Montérégie : agglomeration of Longueuil, regional municipality of Roussillon (except Mercier), and the city of Sainte-Julie.
  • Lanaudière : regional municipalities of des Moulins and Assomption;
  • Laurentides : Mirabel, regional municipalities of Deux-Montagnes and Thérèse-De-Blainville.

The service is also available in the regional municipalities of Jardins-de-Napierville and Vaudreuil-Soulanges (except Rigaud). 


Can I have access to 211 outside of Greater Montréal?

Absolutely! 211 is also accessible in the areas of Capitale-Nationale, Chaudière-Appalaches and the MRC Haute-Yamaska. Please go to:


For elsewhere in Canada, please go to:


In which languages can I be served?

Our counselors speak French and English. Some of them also speak Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese and Creole.


211 has a telephone interpretation service that enables us to answer in 200 languages. This service is free and accessible in only a few minutes.


What happens during a call to 211?

The caller phones 211 and explains to the counselor his/her need or the services he/she is looking for. Using the caller’s postal code, the counselor then searches in the 211 database and provides the contact information of 3 organizations able to meet the caller’s need and that are near him/her.


How is 211 different from 911, 811 and other N11 numbers?

The services provided by N11 numbers are distinct and complementary. 811 Info-Social provides follow-up and psycho-social intervention. 211 is an information and referral service for community and public services and programmes. We do not make diagnoses or interventions. Here is a graphic summarizing the differences.




Why are Centraide and the Information and Referral Centre of Greater Montréal the promoters/managers of 211 Greater Montréal?

InformCanada, the Canadian organization of information and referral providers, as well as, United Way/Centraide received authorization from the CRTC to reserve the 211-telephone number for Canadian community information and referral centres. Since then, InformCanada and United Way/Centraide are responsible for implementing 211 in Canada. The Information and Referral Centre of Greater Montréal (IRCGM) has been providing info-referral services in Greater Montréal for over 60 years. IRCGM obtained the licence for providing the 211 service by meeting the quality criteria requested by Centraide Canada.


Who are 211 Greater Montréal's partners?

The Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal is a major partner, its municipalities financing the service along with municipalities from Jardins-de-Napierville and Vaudreuil-Soulanges. The Québec Government and Centraide of Greater Montréal are also partners. 


Since December 15th, 2020, 211 Greater Montréal has also been serving the Laurentides, Lanaudière,  Outaouais and Montérégie areas thanks to the Emergency Community Support Fund, an Employment and Social Development Canada programme put in place to support the community sector during the COVID 19 pandemic. Centraide United Way Canada (CUWC) will be administering the funds for this implementation project until March 31st, 2021.


Organizations, MRC, officials...........we can also answer your questions!


My organization is not listed on the 211 on-line directory, how can I register for it?

Just contact and leave your contact information. We will then communicate with you to verify the status of your organization and check if it is admissible according to the Inclusion and Exclusion Policy for the organizations at 211. Once everything checks out, we will send you your organization’s file so that you may validate and complete the information. Upon your approval of the content, we will add your organization to our database and on the 211 website.


How can we get a copy of the organizations in our town?

You can create your own PDF directory and even print it free of charge by selecting your area, MRC or borough in Montréal. Consult the Directories section. Go to: 


What is 211’s role during the handling of disasters and catastrophes?

The 211 telephone number is an essential tool for information on emergency resources during natural disasters (floods, severe public health situations, earthquakes, major fires, terrorist acts, etc.) For example, we can guide people seeking help to resources in food assistance, shelter, other material resources, support groups, etc., that are available on the territories served. Thus, the authorities could inform 211 of the specific resources put in place to help during emergency situations and we can then correctly refer the population.