Income and Basic Needs Support in Peterborough City and County

Written by admin, April 28, 2015

April 29, 2015 – City of Peterborough Social Services

Delivers the Ontario Works (OW) Program to eligible clients including basic needs, shelter costs, basic dental and vision care for children, and prescription drugs, covered under the Ontario Drug Formulary.

Clients may be eligible for Special Diet Allowances and costs towards medical travel and transportation.  For the Special Diet Allowance a Physician, Nurse Practitioner, Dietician, or a midwife (if a woman needs a special diet because she is pregnant or breastfeeding) must complete a Special Diet Allowance Application form.

Also delivers the Discretionary Benefits Program for OW and ODSP clients.  Discretionary Benefits items and services provided in Peterborough include adult dental and vision care (Ontario Works adults only) dentures, hearing aids, and subsidized transit passes for adults.

Recreation Subsidy: Families who receive ODSP or OW can obtain $100 per child per year for children for recreational or sports activities.  The City of Peterborough also administers a recreation subsidy for low income families and the Jump Start program.  A total of up to $200 can be available.  For details and eligibility levels go to: /Recreation/Subsidy Program.htm

Social Services also administers a municipal Housing Stability Fund – for OW or ODSP clients to help with rent or utility arrears, last month’s rent and some costs related to establishing a new residence.  An eligibility assessment is required.

Case Managers also provide employment counselling, as well as outreach to County locations and three Emergency Shelters.

Application for Ontario Works can be made online at: online.aspx, or by phone, or in person.


178 Charlotte Street (Charlotte Mews)
Tel: 705-748-8830             Toll-free: 1-855-738-3755
After hours emergencies: 705-740-6222 *For emergency shelter and food
Interactive Voice Response (IVR): 1-800-808-2268 (client specific information)


Peterborough Children’s Services

Children’s Services administers a Child Care Fee Subsidy Program for eligible families in Peterborough City and County.  This provides full or partial coverage of child care fees for low income families and children with special needs.  Also provides subsidies for families returning to school, participating in community or work-related placements, entering the workforce, or social needs placements.

Contact information as above.

Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) – Local Office

ODSP provides income and employment supports to people who have a substantial physical or mental impairment that is documented by a health professional.  Other benefits include: prescription drugs covered under the Ontario Drug Formulary, basic dental services, eyeglasses, hearing aids and special medical necessities.  A financial assessment will be made to assess eligibility. Clients may be eligible for Special Diet Allowances and costs towards medical travel and transportation.  For the Special Diet Allowance a Physician, Nurse Practitioner, Dietician or midwife (if a woman needs a special diet because she is pregnant or breastfeeding) must complete a Special Diet Allowance Application form.

Peterborough Square
360 George Street North, 2nd Floor
Tel: 705-742-9292
Toll-free: 1-800-663-8560


Community Counselling & Resource Centre

Professional and confidential counselling services including credit counselling for people of all ages who are experiencing problems.  Credit counselling services include budgeting and money management counselling, debt repayment programs, and bankruptcy counselling.  Fees are geared to income and no one is turned away due to inability to pay.

340 George Street North
Tel: 705-742-4258


Housing Resource Centre (HRC)

The Housing Resource Centre helps low income people find and keep housing and prevents homelessness.  This includes vacancy listings, and financial assistance for needs such as overdue rent or utility bills.  All services are free and available to people of all ages.

The HRC also administers the Housing Stability Fund for low income people not receiving social assistance (OW and ODSP access through Social Services), as well as energy assistance funds for low income households.


540 George Street, North
Tel: 705-743-2272
Toll-free: 1-800-274-1611



Food in Peterborough

There is a comprehensive website addressing food security in Peterborough.  The site is divided into three sections for people who ‘Need food now’, who ‘Want to get involved’, or want to work to ‘Create long term change’. For people who need food now, the site contains a link to the monthly food calendar maintained by Social Services, with information about free meals offered every day in the City of Peterborough.


Food Calendar: Services/Social Services/Food Calendar.htm.


Dental Services

No-cost dental services are available for families who are receiving Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) or Ontario Works (OW) benefits.

The Healthy Smiles Ontario (HSO) program also provides no-cost dental services for children and youth, 17 or under, without dental insurance, living in households with an adjusted family net income of $21,683or less (this amount increases by approximately $1,628.00 for each additional dependent child).

The Children in Need of Treatment (CINOT) program provides dental services for children and youth up to the age of 17, who have an urgent dental condition identified during school oral health screening, or at Public Health Community Dental Health Centres.

Adults living in Peterborough City or County without dental insurance who are experiencing a dental emergency may be eligible for limited assistance through charitable funds (when available).

Eligible clients are able to access dental services through the dental office of their choice – Peterborough Public Health provides dental services at their Community Dental Health Centre located downtown at 360 George Street, and on their Mobile Dental Health Centre (a fully-equipped, fully-accessible mobile vehicle that travels across the City and County delivering dental services such as check-ups, cleaning, fluoride treatments, fillings, and more).

For more information and to assess eligibility, contact the Peterborough County City Public Health at:

Tel: 705-748-2230
Toll-free: 1-877-743-0101
Text only line: 705-868-5171


Peterborough Community Legal Centre

Free legal advice and/or legal representation for low-income residents of Peterborough City and County in the following areas:

  • Ontario Works/Welfare
  • Ontario Disability Support Program
  • Canadian Pension Plan
  • Housing (tenants only)
  • Workers’ Rights (Employment Insurance, Employment Standards, WSIB)
  • Consumer Protection and Education law

150 King Street, 4th Floor
Tel: 705-749-9355


Peterborough Family Resource Centre (PFRC)

PFRC provides families and child care providers with education, support, and information, including services for parents seeking child care.  Also provides a wide variety of programs, both prenatally and for children up to the age of 6, at multiple locations in both City and County.

201 Antrim Street
Tel. 705-748-9144

Peterborough has a variety of other services available to support families, children, and youth (e.g. child care, parenting, mental health, physical growth and development, etc.). For information on these services, visit this interactive community services map: Services/Social Services/Community Social Plan/Community Services Map.htm

New Canadians Centre

Support for immigrants, refugees, and other newcomers in the Peterborough and Northumberland regions.  Services provided include:

  • Settlement services
  • Assistance with employment
  • Information and referrals

221 Romaine Street
Tel: 705-743-0882


Veteran Affairs Canada

Services and benefits are provided to meet the health, social, and economic needs of veterans, current members of the Canadian Forces, and their dependents.

Possible benefits may include:

  • War Veterans Allowance
  • Canadian Pension Commission
  • Veterans Independence Program
  • Vocational, psycho-social, and medical rehabilitation

Veterans may also be eligible for eyeglasses, dental care, medication coverage, and/or other medical benefits.

Peterborough Square
360 George Street North, Suite 300
Tel: 1-866-522-2122

Free Eye Glass Program for Children “Eye See…Eye Learn”

This program is designed to encourage all parents of Junior Kindergarten children to get their childrens’ eyes tested in advance of starting school.



Peterborough Poverty Reduction Network (PPRN)

PPRN is a local collaboration of agencies and individuals working to reduce poverty in our community.  The Network consists of six Work Groups focused on Income Security, Food Security, Housing, Basic Needs, Employment and Training, and Neighbourhood Hubs.  The Work Groups support action on short-term issues, and advocate for policy changes that address the root causes of poverty.


418 Sheridan St., Lower Level
Tel: 705-874-3818 (office)
Cell: 705-868-5590


For a complete list of available community services and supports in Peterborough, visit:

Or telephone 2-1-1


Government Tax Credits and Benefits

Canada Revenue Agency – Disability Tax Credit

The disability tax credit (DTC) is a non-refundable tax credit used to reduce income tax payable on the income tax and benefit return.  A person with a severe and prolonged impairment in physical or mental functions may claim the disability amount once they are eligible for the DTC.


Canada Learning Bond

Money the federal government puts into a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP), for families receiving the National Child Benefit Supplement.


Canada Child Tax Benefit

Tax free monthly payment made to eligible families to help them with the cost of raising children.


Universal Child Care Benefit

Taxable benefit paid monthly to help families provide child care for their children.


Ontario Child Benefit

Tax free amount paid to help low and modest income families provide for their children.


Ontario Child Care Supplement for Working Families

For those not receiving fully subsidized day care and child under 7 years of age.


Ontario Trillium Benefit

Combines Ontario Sales Tax credit, Ontario Energy and Property Tax credit.



Children’s Activity Tax Credit

Helps parents with the cost of registering their children in organized activities.


Website to Calculate Ontario Benefits