211 Greater Montreal Celebrates National 211 Day

by: Lucie Kechichian

211 Greater Montreal Celebrates National 211 Day Today

An Established Canadian Information and Referral Service for the Public


Montreal, February 11, 2020 — The 211 service, which puts citizens in touch with local community organizations and public services, is celebrating National 211 Day to highlight its impact on communities. 211 Greater Montreal, in operation since 2018, is becoming increasingly well known to residents looking for help to deal with difficult or precarious situations and can be proud of its first two years of service.

211 Greater Montreal: Elected representatives, responders and organizations serving residents

211 Greater Montreal was established in January 2018 to serve the citizens of the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal (CMM). 211 Greater Montreal began as www.211qc.ca, a website listing more than 5,000 community organizations. The launch of the 211 phone service followed in April 2018. Almost two years later, the counsellors and employees of 211 Greater Montreal have a lot to be proud of: 72,000 calls have been received and 950,000 people have used the website to find food assistance, family and elder support, mental health resources and tenant assistance resources.

“211 Greater Montreal is a success thanks to the close cooperation of elected officials, responders and the 5,000 community organizations and public services in Greater Montreal. We firmly believe in the importance of referrals and their social impact in communities. In this era of information overload, 211 proves that people are still looking for a dependable resource and, more than ever, they want to speak to a human being to get help. We are working hard to help more and more people, and we are succeeding thanks to the support of our much-appreciated partners: Centraide of Greater Montreal, the CMM and the government of Quebec,” said Pierrette Gagné, Executive Director of the Information and Referral Centre of Greater Montreal.



Centraide of Greater Montréal

“On this 211 Day, I would like to highlight the great effort of the team at the Information and Referral Centre of Greater Montreal, under the direction of Pierrette Gagné, to deploy this service throughout the Greater Montreal area. Thanks to their work, tens of thousands of our fellow citizens can call 211 to find resources that meet their needs. This service is also a valuable tool to document and better understand social challenges in real time so that we can find better ways to respond to them. The Solidaires Award that Centraide gave to Pierrette Gagné last week attests to her leadership in making this project a reality,” said Lili-Anna Pereša, President and Executive Director of Centraide of Greater Montreal.

Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal

“The 211 Greater Montréal service has succeeded in becoming an indispensable referral tool, extremely reliable and efficient, on which citizens can count on to quickly find the right resources and the help to overcome various hardships, stated Mrs. Valérie Plante, Mayor of Montréal and President of the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal. “This service is a concrete way of strengthening our social safety net and the CMM is proud to be an important link in the North American 211 network.”

211: A well-established Canadian information and referral network

Canadians have access to fifteen 211 services centers across the country, in eight out of ten provinces and in major cities and metropolitan areas. In 2001, InformCanada, the national organization of information and referral centres in Canada, and Centraide/United Way Canada were authorized by the CRTC to reserve the 211 telephone number for Canadian community information and referral centres. Quebec has had 211 service for 11 years in the Capitale-Nationale and Chaudière-Appalaches regions, as well as MRC Haute-Yamaska. 


A national social media campaign to celebrate 211

A variety of visuals promoting 211 will be released on February 11. The Make the right call / Composez le bon numéro campaign is designed to raise people’s awareness of the proper use of 911, 811, 311 and 211 and the differences among them. We encourage you to share these visuals, to use the hashtag #211day and follow 211 on social media at the following addresses:


Twitter: https://twitter.com/CentreReference

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/211GrandMontreal/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/211grandmontreal/


About the Information and Referral Centre of Greater Montreal—Since 1956, the Information and Referral Centre of Greater Montreal’s mission has been to provide help through information. The Centre manages the Drugs: Help and Referral, Gambling: Help and Referral, 211 Greater Montreal and the TeleCounseling program for excessive gamblers.

About Centraide of Greater Montreal—Centraide of Greater Montreal is active in Laval, Montreal and the South Shore. Close to 57,000 volunteers are involved in the 350-some organizations it supports, and more than 22,000 volunteers work on its annual campaign. Centraide is present in 18 regions of Quebec and is supported by businesses, private, public and parapublic institutions and major trade unions. The money raised is invested locally to break the cycle of poverty and social exclusion. 

About the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal (CMM)—Created in 2001, the CMM is a planning, coordination and funding body for 82 municipalities made up of four million people spread over more than 4,360 km2. The CMM exercises authority in the areas of land use, economic development, social housing, public transit and the environment. For more information, visit https://cmm.qc.ca/


Information and interviews

Lucie Kechichian

Director, Communications and Community Relations

Phone: 514-527-1388, extension 215        Cell: 514-577-3471