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Community Services Mapping


Interactive mapping applications provide an easy way to find, access and view information.  

  211 Community Services mapping tool is an interactive map with information in English and French for 4,000+ community, health, social and government services available to individuals and families in Simcoe County.

How it works:

The map pairs 211 community services data with a GIS system to enable specialized search criteria including a main category, subcategories and optional age categories.
Sub-categories include but are not limited to: 
  • Rent & Housing Assistance (Under Financial Assistance)
  • Addiction Counselling / Treatment (Under Mental Health/Addictions)
  • Social Assistance (Under Financial Assistance)
  • Food Banks (Under Food)
  • Income Tax Clinics (Under Financial Assistance)

Service locations appear on the map as red dots:
  • ​Click each location to display the organization name, description, and a website link. 
  • Click the view details link to display information on the complete services provided by the organization, including eligibility, hours of service, accessibility, contact information, languages provided and service fees. 
Computer Map

Video 1: Introduction to the Community Services Mapping Tool

Video 2: Updating Agency/Organization Records on the Infosimcoecounty.ca Website

Data source: 

The information is digitally pulled from the community services database maintained by Community Connection for the 211 Ontario Network.  Information is updated at a minimum of once a year by Certified Data Curators who have expertise in gathering, organizing, indexing, and disseminating information about human service programs and the organizations that provide them. Agencies can also suggest updates at anytime on the 211 webpage. 

How it can be used:

​This map can be used by service providers when face to face with clients or shared virtually. This map is also available for public use. 

Examples of use:

  • Find services near by
  • Calculating distance of mapped services to specific addresses
  • Sharable: Printing, e-mail, social media
  • User update suggestions

How it came to be:

This project builds upon several mapping projects with Community Connection that began in 2015. 

About Community Connection/211:

Community Connection is an information and referral organization located in Collingwood. Their work is to help people find and access essential services through helplines and online directories.

Community Connection delivers services through the national, bilingual, 24/7 helpline 211, in person walk-in assistance, online search, chat, text and email, as well as other specialized phone lines and online directories.

A database of community services is used by Community Connection's Navigators to locate essential services for callers in need of income assistance, community health services, housing and utilities programs, mental health support, transportation and food hampers.

The database of community services in Simcoe County is maintained by a long-standing partnership Community Connection has with other community information and referral organizations.​ ​

Need more help? Community Connection is here to help: www.infosimcoecounty.ca

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Community Services Mapping Tool User Guide

​​​​​Finding Services Near By:

  • Open tool from landing page
  • Choose category, sub category and age category if applicable 
  • Zoom into area using mouse scroll or fingers 
  • Right click 'save as default extent' if this is the area you will always be working in 
  • New map opens to saved default extent 
  • Click globe to see county view again 
  • Right click 'save as default extent' 
  • Turn on other layers if interested (libraries, hospitals, transit, Service Ontario, Service Canada)

 ​​​Click here to access the 211 Community Services Map

Feedback and Updates:

There are two ways to provide user update suggestions.

1.    Using the Feedback button. This feedback goes to the County of Simcoe GIS department and collects feedback on the user experience, information about what the tool is used for, user rating and the option for follow up on your feedback.

  • This feedback option is good if there are features about the map or tool you would like added or to understand better

2.    When viewing the information box for a specific program/service, there is the option to view full details on the 211 Community Connection website. Once on the full details page (opens in new tab) there is the option to 'Suggest Update'. Clicking this option will allow a user to submit feedback to Community Connection's team of data curators. Users can also select 'Suggest Record' on top menu bar to suggest a new listing.

Note: If you can't find a listing or would like to see a list of records by agency or category, email 211data@communityconnection.ca.


Click here to access the 211 Community Services Map​​

211 Inclusion exclusion criteria:

Private businesses likely will not show up, unless there is a private business filling the gap, example taxis, mental health councillors.

211 Community Connection and local database partners collect, maintain, and disseminate human service information that enables people to make informed choices to improve their quality of life. Human services are defined as the continuum of programs that address human needs ranging from basic living needs such as food and shelter through life improvement services such as education, to life enhancement programs such as cultural programs. In general, the database includes organizations or programs primarily located in or serving the local area 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 commercial organizations that provide priority services not offered by the non-profit sector (local examples include taxi services, mental health practitioners and personal support workers)
  • Are commercial organizations licensed by the government or with special contractual agreements to operate long term care facilities, childcare centres and certain home care services

How does 211 get information?

211 Community Connection's team of data curators have established procedures to identify new human services in the community, changes to those in existence, as well as new volunteer opportunities. These procedures include:

  • Providing opportunities for agencies to submit feedback and suggest new listings on all local websites
  • Internet research of online resources including:
    • Municipal websites
    • Chambers of commerce websites
    • Online directories
    • Local newspapers
    • Service/program research (e.g. child care services)
  • Other sources of information would include but not be limited to:
    • Site visits to key social service agencies
    • Follow-up Surveys
    • Community Surveys
    • Local directories
    • Google Alerts
    • United Way media promotions
    • Internet – Google and Google Local
    • Business cards (as received, picked up)
    • Brochures (as received, picked up)
    • Networking (as it occurs)
    • Radio (as it occurs)
    • Local service providers proactively informing/ updating us (as it occurs)
    • Word of mouth (as it occurs)
    • Caller feedback (as it occurs)

Note: despite the source of the information, including the organization's own website, all new resource records will be confirmed with the organization to ensure its accuracy before marking the record as complete/fully updated and making it public on websites.

Organizations should email 211data@communityconnection.ca or go online to inform 211 about new programs/ services

​​​Click here to access the 211 Community Services Map

When 211 records are updated how quickly is the map information updated?

The data is refreshed daily. Changes to records may take 3-5 days to be processed and be visible on the Community Services Mapping Tool.   

Becoming familiar with the categories:

Categories and subcategories were developed for the Community Services Mapping Tool based on feedback from multiple subject specific working groups in Simcoe County. The goal of these categories is to present searching options using straight forward, everyday language that is common for public use. To that end, the same subcategories may appear under more than one main heading. For example, the subcategory 'Rent & Housing Payment Assistance' can be found under both the 'Housing / Shelter / Housing Support' category and under the 'Financial Assistance' category.

Note: If you have taken the time to explore the categories and have suggestions, feedback can be sent via the feedback button on the GIS site, or by emailing 211 directly at 211data@communityconnection.ca.

​​​Click here to access the 211 Community Services Map

Calculating distance of mapped services to specific addresses

  • ​T​​​ools
  • Search address 
  • Zoom out 
  • See searches close by (note scale in the bottom right to gage distance)

​​​Click here to access the 211 Community Services Map​​

Sharable: Printing, e-mail, social media

URLs can be shared for users to access the default view of the tool via e-mail and social media. 

​Note: filters applied will not show up.

Snipping tool is the best way to capture the view you have created and share it. This option is good for printing or e-mailing the map you have created.

The 211 full program details can be shared by sending the link to the 211 record.

Map view can be adjusted for different purposes such as printing in black and white

  • Topo 
  • Street 
  • Moving the box 
  • Drawing lines 
  • Be sure to capture the scale at the bottom 
  • Add landmark layers (hospitals, libraries etc.)

  • Tools 
  • Print is another way to print the map although the view looks a little different than the view on the screen (does not show service box).

Reset the View:

Click themes to choose new filters

Click the globe to see Simcoe County view of map

Refresh page to start fresh

Still finding strange things on your map:

  • Check layers (unclick unwanted layers) 
  • Check my map (click and unclick items or advanced options delete all)

Other GIS Training

Visit: https://county-of-simcoe-gis.github.io/SimcoeCountyWebViewer/ for additional information about map functions.

Accessing additional information about the Community Services Mapping Tool

Note: If you need guidance on how to use the map for a specific purpose not covered in this document please use the Feedback button. 

Accessing Information in Multiple Languages:

The Community Services Mapping Tool can be switched to French by clicking 'Voir en Français'. 


The 211 full program details can be accessed in other languages by using the 'Select Language' drop down. 

Need more support? 211 is available 24/7 in over 170 languages!​