Halton Community Services Directory - Terms of Use

HIP collects, maintains and disseminates human services information that enables people to make informed choices to improve their quality of life. Human services cover a broad range of programs and services, from access to basic necessities of life to enhancement of personal and social growth.

As members of InformOntario (the provincial association of community information centres), InformCanada (the national federation of information and referral providers) and of the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS) our international partner, we subscribe to the policies, principles and standards of those organizations.

If you have questions about linking to the website or our Halton Community Services Directory, or copying information from the directory, please email HIP@oakville.ca.

Please read this agreement (the "Agreement") carefully. It governs your use of this Directory (the "Directory") operated by the Halton Information Providers ("HIP"). The Agreement states the terms and conditions under which you (the "User") may access and use the Directory and all written and other materials displayed or made available through the Directory (the "Content").


HIP may unilaterally revise this Agreement from time to time, in which case we will provide you with a notice of such revision by posting the amended Agreement on this Directory. Use of the Directory after such notice will signify your acceptance of these revised terms. You should visit this page periodically to review this Agreement.

1.1 Listing Policy

Inclusion in the Halton Community Services Directory is free and completely unrelated to whether an organization is a partner in any other collaboration of HIP.

Inclusion in the HIP Directory does not imply endorsement nor does exclusion indicate lack of endorsement. HIP does not make comparative judgments of the quality of service provided by organizations in the Directory. Staff do not recommend services.

Subject to the priorities detailed in the next section, the Directory includes organizations or programs primarily located in Halton or that serve all or part of the population of Halton (Oakville, Burlington, Milton and Halton Hills), and that:

  • provide a direct service to the public
  • are networks or coalitions of direct service providers
  • are involved in licensing, planning or coordinating direct services
  • are not-for-profit, community-based or government organizations
  • are members of a non-profit, community-based organization with whom a HIP partner has a contractual agreement
  • are commercial organizations that provide first priority services not offered by the nonprofit sector
  • are commercial organizations licenced by the government or with special contractual agreements to operate long term care facilities, child care centres and certain home care services 
  • are other organizations being maintained for special views which may or may not be displayed in the main Halton Community Services Directory

A service must be available to all or part of Halton Region (Oakville, Burlington, Milton and Halton Hills), unless it falls into one of the exceptions listed.

For communities outside Halton Region, HIP lists only critical services which are not available in Halton or services regularly used by Halton residents.  Provincial or national offices outside Halton may also be listed if they provide essential services not available at local branches.  Services outside Canada will be included only if providing a unique service.

Services must be available to the community-at-large. Organizations that provide services only to their own members with no type of service to the public are excluded, unless membership or activities are available to the community at large, and membership fees (as opposed to service fees) are minimal or on a sliding scale. Associations of human service workers whose purpose is to serve the community, may be included, even if services are only to their own members.

Organizations must demonstrate stability and the ability to provide ongoing reliable services. Stability will be evaluated based on length of time in existence (minimum 1 year), existence of staff and a permanent office, having an established funding base or the support of an established parent organization and/or are a registered charity. Exceptions may be made in emerging or underfunded service areas.

The criteria for self-help groups may vary. They may be included if they have been in existence for at least a year and there is a regular contact person even if they do not meet all the above requirements.

The inclusion of for-profit groups will be allowed in certain customized views where the organization or association requests the listing and is approved by the HIP lead agency management. These listings will be included in the view for an annual fee and may not be visible to the public within the main community service directory.

1.2 First and Second Priorities

It is the policy of HIP to set first and second priorities for the listing of services on the Directory. For first-priority areas, every effort is made to have comprehensive listings of all eligible services. For second-priority areas, collection depends on staff resources, agreements with other agencies, and the ability of other agencies to collect and disseminate information. Rather than collect comprehensive information in second-priority areas, HIP may collect information regarding representative or umbrella groups, or refer Users to other telephone or Internet-based services.

HIP gives first priority to basic subsistence and survival related services, including:

  • Food, clothing and shelter
  • Emergency assistance
  • Crisis intervention
  • Financial assistance
  • Legal and correctional services
  • Victim services
  • Immigrant and refugee services
  • Physical and mental health services
  • Employment and training services
  • Home support
  • Public and specialized transportation
  • Child care
  • Access to permanent affordable housing

HIP also gives first priority to services for people who may experience barriers to service because of:

  • Language spoken
  • National or ethnic origin or background, colour, race
  • Religion
  • Age, including risk factors associated with infants, children, youth or seniors
  • Low income, unemployment or lack of education or literacy
  • Physical, mental or developmental disabilities
  • Homelessness or social isolation
  • Immigration or refugee status, citizenship
  • Fear of violence
  • Human trafficking
  • Sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression
  • Marital of family status

HIP gives second priority to the following quality of life services, unless they are for people who may experience barriers to service:

  • Education
  • Recreation and sports
  • Art, heritage and culture
  • Hobby and interest
  • Consumer assistance
  • Environment
  • Peace and disarmament
  • International development

1.3 Exclusion

HIP reserves the right to exclude from its Directory any organization that it has, in its own discretion, adequate reason to believe may contravene the Ontario Human Rights Code or the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Potential grounds for exclusion or removal from the Directory may include, but are not limited to, service non-delivery, fraud, misrepresentation, discrimination, criminal activities,  operating outside of licensing mandates, or is non-responsive to requests to provide updates to the their listing.

HIP reserves the right to refuse to list or to discontinue listings for organizations that have had serious complaints lodged against them with any regulatory body, or with HIP itself.

Decisions to include, exclude, or remove a service listing may be appealed by writing to the HIP lead agency Manager, Community Development & Engagement after a reasonable attempt has been made to resolve the issue with editorial staff.

Decisions to include, exclude, or remove a service listing be appealed by writing to the HIP executive team (project members from Oakville, Burlington, Milton and Halton Hills) after a reasonable attempt has been made to resolve the issue with the lead agency Manager, Community Development & Engagement

Oakville Public Library’s CEO retains the authority to exclude or remove any listing that may be under appeal and not resolved with editorial, executive team or the Manager, Community Development & Engagement.

1.4 Referral to Other Services

HIP provides links to external Websites for some frequently sought services not listed on the Directory that may be beyond HIP’s scope or HIP staff resources on which to maintain comprehensive information.

1.5 Uniform Application of this Policy

Requests for inclusion in the Directory can be made to any HIP partner organization either verbally or by submitting the “Suggest a New Record” form from the Directory.

  • All requests are checked by HIP’s local editors who call the organization or service directly to verify the information and fill in any blank fields specifically verifying:
    • location of service and or areas served
    • that the organization or service fits the first or second priority requirement
    • target group and eligibility meets criteria and standards
    • accessibility and stability of program or service meets inclusion policy
  • Requests for inclusion that do not fit the location or area served criteria may be referred or forwarded to another data partner.
  • If the editor has any concerns regarding the organization or service they will consult with the Coordinator.
  • The HIP Coordinator or delegate also checks all new records to provide quality control, assigns Service Categories, tags for inclusion in publications and views and discusses any concerns with the manager of community information.

Inclusion of an organization and information about its programs and services in the Directory does not imply endorsement by HIP nor does exclusion indicate lack of endorsement.

Links to other websites are provided to help users locate other Internet resources that may be of interest. Parties other than HIP independently developed these other Websites and therefore HIP does not assume responsibility for the content of any third party Website, nor does it make any representation or warranty of any kind regarding any third-party Website including, without limitation, (i) regarding the legality, accuracy, reliability, completeness, timeliness or suitability of any content on such third-party Websites, (ii) regarding the merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose of any material, content, software, goods, or services located at or made available through such third-party Websites, or (iii) that the operation of such third-party Websites will be uninterrupted or error free, that defects or errors in such third-party Websites will be corrected, or that such third-party Websites will be free from viruses or other harmful components.

In providing links to other Websites, HIP is not acting as a publisher or disseminator of the material contained on these other Websites and does not seek to control the content of, or maintain any type of editorial control over, such Websites. A link to another Website should not be construed to mean that HIP is associated with or is legally authorized to use any trademark, trade name, logo or copyrighted symbol that may be reflected in the link or the description of the link to such other Websites. In addition, the mention of another party or its products or services on the Website should not be construed as an endorsement of that party or its products or services.

The information in the Directory is provided for information purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical, legal or professional advice whatsoever and should not be relied upon in that respect.


HIP is not responsible for any content or information that you may find undesirable or objectionable.

The information in the Directory is verified with each listed organization annually, at minimum. In addition, the editorial team monitors service changes, and major changes are made as soon as the information is known and verified with the service provider.

HIP encourages organizations to use the Directory to notify the editorial team of service changes throughout the year by using the update information option found on all listings in the Directory. HIP reserves the right to verify each change with the service provider.

The amount of detail, the language used and the presentation of information in describing a service or organization is at the discretion of HIP.

Changes submitted will not appear automatically or immediately in the Directory. Changes are first verified and processed by editorial staff. Listings in this Directory are refreshed once a day.

HIP encourages organizations to use the Halton Community Services Directory as a central collection point of quality information. If you would like to link to the Directory through your website please:

  • Email HIP@oakville.ca and include the URL of the page where the link will be placed.
  • Link to the Website home page instead of specific pages within the Website.

While HIP encourages links to the Directory, it does not wish to be linked to or from any third-party website which contains, posts or transmits any unlawful information of any kind, including, without limitation, any content i) that constitutes or encourages conduct that would constitute a criminal offence, give rise to civil liability or otherwise violate any local, state, provincial, national or international law or regulation; ii) that may be damaging or detrimental to the activities, operations, credibility or integrity of HIP; or iii) that contains, posts or transmits any information, software or other material which violates or infringes upon the rights of others, including material which is an invasion of privacy or publicity rights, or which is protected by copyright, trademark or other proprietary rights.

HIP reserves the right to prohibit or refuse to accept any link to the Directory, including, without limitation, any link which contains or makes available any content or information of the foregoing nature, at any time. You agree to remove any link you may have to the Directory upon the request of HIP.

The framing, mirroring and deep-linking of the Directory or any of its Content in any form and by any method is strictly prohibited. You may not cause any advertisement including any pop-up or banner advertisement to appear at, or on, or after exiting, the Directory.

The Halton Community Services Directory and its Contents are protected by copyright law and are owned by HIP, operating as a coalition of the Oakville Public Library (as lead agency), Burlington Public Library, Halton Hills Public Library, Milton Public Library, and The Halton Resource Connection, except where content is identified as the copyright property of another entity. The Directory application and design is the property of HIP. HIP grants to the User a limited, non-transferable and non-exclusive license to access, view and use (display or print) a reasonable number of search results for their own personal, non-commercial use, provided the information is not modified and that all copyright, trademark and other notices contained in the Directory are maintained. You shall be fully responsible for any consequences resulting from such use. None of the information may be otherwise reproduced, republished or re-disseminated in any manner or form without the express prior written consent of HIP.

HIP retains the right to take appropriate legal action to enforce its rights.

HIP disclaims any liability for unauthorized use of reproduction of any portion of this Directory.

The Directory contains public sector Datasets made available under the Town of Oakville’s Open Data Licence v2.0 (see Town of Oakville website).

The system used to index the services on this Website is the Canadian Taxonomy of Human Services, based on the AIRS/211 Los Angeles County Taxonomy of Human Services, © 1983-2023. No part of this taxonomy may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the express prior written consent of 211 L.A. County.  Full details are available at 211taxonomy.org.

To find out how the information on the Website can be customized to your needs, please send an e-mail to HIP@oakville.ca.

No part of this Directory should be taken to constitute an offer or solicitation to buy or sell products or services.

Certain words, phrases, names, titles, graphics, icons, designs, logos and trademarks displayed in the Directory may constitute registered or unregistered trademarks, service marks or trade names of HIP or third parties. While certain trademarks of third parties may be used by HIP under license, the display of any such marks or names in the Directory does not imply that HIP or other entities have granted a license or authorization of any kind.

Any use of the trade-names, trademarks, service-marks and logos (collectively "Trademarks") displayed on the Directory, except as expressly provided in this Agreement, is strictly prohibited. Nothing appearing on the Directory or elsewhere shall be construed as granting, by implication, estoppel, or otherwise, any license or right to use any Trademarks displayed on the Directory.

9.1 Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPP)

This material is intended for general information purposes only and should not be distributed, copied or disclosed to anyone else. Its contents are protected by privilege, and all rights to privilege are expressly claimed and not waived. Further, any information that is confidential or personal will be subject to the FOIPP Act and other relevant legislation.

9.2 Confidentiality Warning

Halton's five community information centers and referral lines offer free confidential service, and HIP strives to ensure similar confidentiality in e-mail communication concerning community services. Nevertheless, absent the use of encryption, the Internet is not a secure medium and privacy cannot be ensured. Internet e-mail is vulnerable to interception and forging. HIP will not be responsible for any damages you or any third party may suffer as a result of the transmission of confidential information that you make to HIP, or that you expressly or implicitly authorize HIP to make, or for any errors or any changes made to any transmitted information.

HIP does not use “cookies” or other tracking methods to gather data on Internet users. It does measure overall site usage but does not collect or maintain information on the identity of such users.

9.3 Submissions

All information submitted by organizations about their services to HIP via the Directory shall be deemed and remain the property of HIP. HIP shall be free to use, for any purpose, any ideas, concepts, know-how or other techniques contained in information provided to HIP through the Directory or sent through e-mail. HIP shall not be subject to any obligations of confidentiality regarding any such information submitted to it unless specifically agreed to by HIP, or required by law.

HIP may use comments submitted by users about the Directory for promotional purposes. HIP will seek written permission of the user before publishing personal name, organization or program name or direct comment. HIP may combine comments and attribute them to pseudonyms without seeking permission of the users.

The User is prohibited from posting or transmitting on or through the Directory any unlawful, threatening, violent, libelous, defamatory, obscene, indecent, inflammatory, pornographic or profane material or any material that could constitute or encourage conduct that would be considered a criminal offence, give rise to civil liability, or otherwise violate any law. In addition, the User is prohibited from posting or transmitting on or through the Directory any information which (a) infringes the rights of others or violates their privacy or publicity rights or (b) is protected by copyright, trademark or other proprietary right, unless with the express written consent of the owner of such right.

Furthermore, you may not, nor may you allow others to, directly or indirectly:

  • use the Directory in any manner that could damage, disable, overburden or impair it;
  • use the Directory or its Content for commercial or philanthropic prospection purposes (including by use of unsolicited commercial e-mail or SPAM);
  • interfere with the security of, or otherwise abuse, the Direcotry or any services, system resources, accounts, servers or networks connected to or accessible through the Website or affiliated or linked Websites;
  • disrupt or interfere with any other person's use or enjoyment of the Directory or affiliated or linked Websites;
  • upload, post or otherwise transmit on the Directory any items, including without limitation computer viruses, Trojan horses, worms or other harmful, disruptive or destructive files or computer programs; or
  • use any robot, spider or other automatic program or device, or manual process to monitor, copy, summarize, or otherwise extract information from the Directory or the Content in whole or in part.

You agree that you are solely responsible for all your actions and communications undertaken or transmitted in the course of your usage of the Directory, and that you will comply with all applicable laws concerning the use of or activities on the Directory or in respect of the Content. You shall be solely liable for any damages resulting from any infringement of copyright, trademark or other proprietary right, or any other harm resulting from your use of the Directory.

In no event shall HIP be liable for damages of any kind, including, without limitation, any indirect, special, incidental or consequential damage or any other damages whatsoever and howsoever caused, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Directory or in reliance on the information available on the Directory, including, without limitation, any loss of use, lost data, lost business profits, business interruption or any other loss incurred in connection with the use or misuse of the Directory, regardless of the cause and whether the action is in contract, tort (including negligence), civil liability or otherwise. The foregoing limitation shall apply even if HIP knew of or ought to have known of the possibility of such damages.

You agree to defend, indemnify and hold harmless HIP and all third parties mentioned in the Directory, from and against any and all claims, actions or demands, including without limitation reasonable legal and accounting fees, resulting from your use of the Directory or your breach of this Agreement.

While every effort is made to ensure that all information provided in the Directory does not contain computer viruses, the User should take reasonable and appropriate precautions to scan the User's computer systems for computer viruses and to protect them against the harmful effects of such viruses, including by means of maintaining a complete and current backup of the applicable items or information contained on the User's computer system.

HIP reserves the right to remove and/or disable access to the Directory, with or without notice, to any User who violates this Agreement. If the User violates any provision of this Agreement, the User's permission to use the Content automatically terminates and the User must immediately destroy any copies it has made of the Content. HIP retains also the right to take any other appropriate legal actions to enforce its rights and disclaims any liability for unauthorized use or reproduction of any portion of the Directory.

The User agrees that all matters relating to the access to, or use of the Directory and its Content shall be governed by the laws of the Province of Ontario and the laws of Canada notwithstanding any otherwise applicable conflict of laws rule. The User hereby consents and submits to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of the Province of Ontario in any action or proceeding instituted under or related to this Agreement.

If any provision of this Agreement is found to be unlawful, void or for any reason unenforceable, then that provision shall be deemed to be severed from the rest of this Agreement and shall not affect the validity and enforceability of any remaining provisions.

The provisions of this Agreement will inure to the benefit of and be binding upon the parties and each of their respective successors and assigns.

No waiver, express or implied, by HIP of any breach of or default by User under this Agreement will constitute a continuing waiver of such breach or default or be deemed to be a waiver of any preceding or subsequent breach or default.

Any rights not expressly granted by this Agreement are reserved to Halton Information Providers.

If you are experiencing difficulties in using the Website or if you have any questions or comments regarding the Website, please contact us at HIP@oakville.ca.

Authors: Halton Information Providers

Originally published 2003; Last revised: Oct 2022