Historically in Ottawa, social services were focused in the downtown core. The goal of the Board of the P/Q Centre was to make these services available in the far west end. The overriding concern at the time was the fact the west end area had six public housing communities representing 30% of the rent-to-income housing. It was often very difficult for residents who were often single parents or disabled persons who relied on the bus system to get downtown to access these much needed services.
Ottawa had at the time one community legal clinic, Community Legal Services of Ottawa-Carleton, located downtown on Daly Street (now located at 1 Nicholas). When the Board of Pinecrest-Queensway became aware that monies were available from the Ontario Legal Aid Plan for the funding of other clinics, they immediately formed a committee and made a successful application to the Ontario Legal Aid Plan (now known as Legal Aid Ontario) to establish a clinic in the west end of Ottawa. This committee became the first Board of the clinic. The Board then hired the staff, one of which was community legal worker Mary Garrett, who is still with the clinic today, and the clinic was opened for business in February of 1982.
Three decades later, the clinic is viewed as a vital part of the west end community which is largely to do with the high quality legal services provided by staff, by the many partnerships formed with community partners sharing the same vision, by the strong leadership and guidance of the Board of Directors and the continued interest that the membership has shown in their community legal clinic.