PLEASE NOTE THAT OUR OFFICE WILL BE CLOSED:
FRIDAY APRIL 19, 2019 AND MONDAY APRIL 22, 2019
WE ARE OPEN at our new location is at 163 Queen Street East #101 (at Jarvis). Currently our hours are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday; 10 am - 5pm, Tuesdays; 10 am - 1pm. We are still working out some glitches and appreciate your patience. Call or drop by our office during the above listed hours. We have changed our intake procedures and we no longer have Social Assistance drop-ins on Wednesdays or Housing drop-ins on Thursdays. Our # is 416-861-0677.
NLS is a non-profit and independent community legal clinic that has been serving the community since 1973. We provide FREE legal services and assistance to low income individuals who live within our catchment area and qualify for our services.
We are funded by Legal Aid Ontario
We are part of the Association of Community Legal Clinics of Ontario
Megan Lee worked as a staff lawyer at NLS from 2016-2017 and passed away on September 23, 2018.
She was an amazing advocate for her clients and a wonderful colleague. She was incredibly hard working, compassionate, kind and completely dedicated to social justice. She is missed every day. She received a well-deserved Lawyer of the Year award from the Federation of Asian-Canadian Lawyers posthumously.
FEDERAL COURT DECISION
The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration affirms that subsection 5(4) of the Citizenship Act is available to applicants facing “special and unusual hardship” to request an exemption from application and processing fees, and that these requests will be considered and adjudicated.
Download Decision Below
260 Wellesley Street East Situation
Heat & hydro returned to all 33 floors.
In the meantime, sanitary water (not suitable for drinking) will continue to be made available for tenant use from Toronto Fire. Bottles of water for drinking will be provided to each floor. Hot meals from the property owner are available for the tenants at the property management office at 240 Wellesley St East. The Wellesley Community Centre remains open for tenant use.
Important Legal Information provided by Neighbourhood Legal Services and posted on Kristyn Wong-Tam's website:
From last night's meeting.
Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam is collecting tenant emails: https://www.kristynwongtam.ca/260wellesleyeastupdates
The Landlord has set up a website to provide updates: www.260wellesley.ca
The fire marshall has determined that there is no present fire danger in the building and that it is safe to occupy. This is not the same thing as meeting basic housing maintenance standards, but it was decided that people are safer to stay in the building than to try and disperse and rehouse 1000+ people with an evacuation order. The following measures are in place to ensure continued safety:
The fire department is providing some services to help make the building more liveable:
There is a restoration company that’s been hired to do the repair as quickly as possible. They need 48 hours to dry out the electrical system so they can test it; then they will know if it is functional, or whether they need to do work on it. This could lead to a prolonged power outage, and the possible need to take measures to evacuate the building. They have no idea whether this will be necessary.
Power was cut after a burst pipe flooded the electrical room on Tuesday afternoon.
No evacuation order has been issued for the building, however if the electrical problem cannot be fixed within the next day or two they may require tenants to evacuate.
If they can’t fix it in the next 24 hours it will probably take at least a week to have the problem resolved.
The City is planning a public meeting to inform residents about what is happening. The date, time and location are yet to be confirmed but they are hoping to hold it tomorrow night (the 24th) in a nearby location.
The City is taking a very strong stance that the Landlord is responsible for making arrangements for displaced residents, and covering the costs of temporary accommodations.
We will continue to provide updates as we receive them. You can also call Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam's office at 416-392-7903.
Social Assistance Reform Announcements:
These announcements were made by Minister Lisa MacLeod on November 22nd. It will probably taking many months before any of the changes are implemented. The biggest take away from the announcements:
*The definition of disability for ODSP will be changed to align with the federal government's guidelines. This change will make it harder for people to qualify for ODSP.
*ODSP/OW workers will provide wrap around services-which means they will assist clients with other aspects of their lives; referrals for housing, health care, mental health services etc
*Change to earning exemptions for both OW & ODSP .
For more details please see this release from Income Security & Advocacy Centre's (ISAC) website.
More details will be posted when they become available.
650 Parliament Fire
On August 21, 2018 there was a major fire at 650 Parliament St. As a result the residents were evacuated from the 300+ unit apartment building. At this time the landlord is not able to confirm a date when tenants can return to their homes.
The fire originated in the building’s main electrical room and spread throughout the building’s electrical system and caused extensive damage to that system and much of the equipment. Presently the building is without general power and has only very limited functioning. The lack of power means that fire and life safety systems, including fire alarms are not operative, there is very limited elevator service and individual apartments have no power. Obviously normal living in the building is not possible.
The Toronto Fire Marshall has dictated that access to the building must be limited and granted only on very restrictive terms:
NLS HAS MOVED
Our new office at #101- 163 Queen St. E. is now open for business.
To contact us please call our regular number (416-861-0677) or send us an email at NLSst1@lao.on.ca.
We apologize for any inconvenience during this period and look forward to meeting you at our new office.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.
E-FILING AT THE LANDLORD & TENANT BOARD
Tenants can now electronically file applications about Tenant Rights and Maintenance through the Landlord & Tenant Board's website. Click here to e-file your application.
OUR HOUSING DROP-IN HOURS ARE CHANGING
As of June 1, 2015, there will only be one weekly drop-in for housing issues every Thursday from 2pm to 4pm. We will no longer offer drop-in services on Mondays. Please click here to learn more about our drop-in services.
Clients can continue to contact us during regular office hours in person or over the telephone to complete intake and schedule appointments.
NLS is participating in CASSA's 5th Annual Racism Free Ontario initiative. CLICK HERE to get involved and learn more about the campaign.
In commemoration of our 40th Anniversary, we compiled an overview of our history of serving the community since 1973. Click here to read Our History, or find it under 'About Us' in the navigation menu.
You can find older events that were advertised on this website on our Events Archive.
Middle-class injustice: Too wealthy for legal aid, too pinched for 'average' lawyers' fees
Canadian Groups to Urge UN to Press Canada on Housing, Poverty and Justice
Ontario Simplifies Medical Reviews for People on Disability Support
Supreme Court's Historic Judgement on Humanitarian & Compassionate Decisions
Employment Law Services For Low-Income Workers
Child Poverty & Canada's Immigration Policies
Access and Justice
Kanthsamy and the 30th Anniversary of the Supreme Court's Singh Decision
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Legal Clinics are looking at how we can improve our services
Right to Housing Case: NLS Representing Intervenors
Why do people become homeless?
Vision Report: The GTA Clinics Transformation Project
Submissions to the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration on Bill C-24 - Strengthening Canadian Citizenship and Immigration Act
Submission to the Law Society on Accrediting Trinity Western University's Law School
This Family Day, NLS Celebrates Launch of Family Reunification Knowledge Hub
Buried Alive: The Human Rights Implications of Compulsive Hoarding in a Landlord-Tenant Context
Submission to the Land Use Planning and Appeal System Consultation
Supreme Court Strikes Down Prostitution Laws
Ontario has reinstated basic health care for refugees
Addressing trauma is part of recovery
New Co-op Housing Laws: Less than meets the eye
Immigration Law Update: Proposed Changes to the Definition of "Dependent Children"
NLS: Past and Future
Important Changes to Social Assistance (OW and ODSP)
Landmark 'Right to Housing' Case dismissed by Superior Court
Access to Justice in Canada is "abysmal"
Key Issues in ODSP Reform
200 Wellesley Street Fire - Class Action Law Suit Settled
Ontario tenants hammered with double-digit rent hikes
Legal Advocates Call for Action by TCHC, City of Toronto, the Province: Ombudsman Finds Seniors in Community Housing Unfairly Evicted
Co-operative Housing, Eviction and Rent-Geared-to-Income (RGI) Subsidies
Apply for Citizenship Now to Protect your Status!
Toronto’s Housing Stabilization Fund Replaces Community Start up & Maintenance Benefit