Contact Us
(613) 236-0428
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info@thegoodcompanions.ca
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Frequently Asked Questions

 

Facility

When is the Centre open?

Our Centre is open Monday – Friday from 8:30 am – 4:00 pm. The Centre is closed on weekends and on all stat and civic holidays.

How do I get to The Good Companions?

The Good Companions is conveniently located in Downtown Ottawa at the corner of Albert St. and Empress Ave. If traveling by OC Transpo, the following buses go directly to the Centre: 3, 8, 16, 18, 86, 87, 95, 96, 97 & 153 (from 10:20 a.m. to 3:40 p.m. only). Many members also travel by Para Transpo. You must be a registered user to travel with Para Transpo. Please call Para Transpo’s admin office at 613-244-1289 or contact your family doctor for more information.

Do you have parking onsite?

The Good Companions offers onsite parking for $2.15/day or $26.95/year. Please see the front desk to purchase your pass and register your car.

Is your building accessible?

The Good Companions does offer an accessible entrance and exit, accessible washrooms and elevators on every level.

Are tours of the facility available?

Weekly tours of the facility are available. They are led by knowledgeable staff and volunteers and take approximately 45 minutes. They are a great way to get to know the Centre and its programs and services. Call 613-236-0428 x 2100 to inquire about upcoming dates.

Can I rent a locker?

Members can rent a locker (located on our lower level) for $14/year (half locker) or $28/year (full locker). Members are responsible for providing their own locks. Please see the front desk to reserve your locker.

Can I rent a room or a hall for a meeting or banquet?

The Good Companions has many rooms available to rent for conferences, workshops, receptions, banquets, weddings, rehearsals and recitals. Please contact Vlodek Hnatiuk at 613-236-0428 x 2340 or Caitlin Hartigan at 613-236-0428 x 2101 for more information.

Can I donate my gently used clothing and books to the Centre?

Donations of gently used books and clothing are accepted and greatly appreciated. To make a donation of books, please drop them off in our library located on the 1st level next to the main washrooms. To donate clothing, handbags and shoes, please drop them off during the store’s operating hours with a volunteer sales associate. If this is not possible, please make advanced arrangements with Front Reception. Please ensure that the donations of clothing are cleaned and sized.

Membership

Who is eligible to become a member?

Adults over the age of 55 who are independent and capable of looking after their own affairs while at the Centre are eligible to become members. There is no geographic restriction to becoming a member.

Do I need a membership to come to The Good Companions?

A membership is required to participate in most programs and activities at our Centre

What is the cost of membership?

Membership is $35.50 annually. The membership fee can be paid by cash, cheque, debit or credit card.

How do I become a member?

Complete a Membership Form and submit it, along with your membership fee (cash or cheque), to 670 Albert St, Ottawa, ON K1R 6L2. Or stop by our front desk in person to make your payment with a debit or credit card.

When does the membership period start and end?

Membership is valid from April 1 to March 31.

Do I receive a discount if I buy my membership later in the year?

Only new members receive a reduced rate on membership if it is purchased later in the year. The annual $35.50 membership fee is reduced to $28.00 on August 1st, and $17.20 on December 1st.

If I’m already a member, how do I renew my membership?

Complete a Membership Renewal Form and submit it, along with your membership fee (cash or cheque), to 670 Albert St, Ottawa, ON K1R 6L2. Or stop by our front desk in person to make your payment with a debit or credit card.

Do you offer subsidies on membership to those in financial need?

Financial assistance is available to members with low incomes. Payment plans or reduced fees can be arranged on a case by case basis. Please contact the Membership Coordinator at 613-236-0428 x 2230 to see if you qualify.

Programs & Activities

What kinds of programs & activities do you offer?

The Good Companions offers a variety of programs to suit everyone’s interest. From fitness classes, dance classes, Spanish lessons, cards, bingo and crafts to informative seminars, health and wellness clinics, evening dances, birthday parties and many more special events. Please consult our quarterly bulletin and program guide for more details.

When can I sign up for programs?

Programs are offered during pre-scheduled sessions and members can register for upcoming programs during Program Registration. At the beginning of every season (January, April, June & September), three consecutive days are set aside (see our quarterly bulletin for programs and registration dates) from 10 am – 2 pm to allow members to come in person and sign up for their desired programs. Registration is still possible once Program Registration has closed, provided the class is not full or cancelled.

Are there costs to members to take programs?

A large majority of programs do have a registration fee. Please consult the quarterly program guides for more information on pricing. However, many programs are offered free to members, such as our Coffee Club, Sing-Along, Current Affairs and Scrabble, to name a few.

Can I register for programs by phone?

Registration is possible by phone if you are paying with a credit card. Please note that priority is given to members registering in person.

I’ll be out of town for a few of weeks. Will you give me a discount for my missed classes?

A discounted rate is not offered to members who miss classes.

Can I try a program for free before committing?

Members are welcome to observe one class, free of charge, before they commit. Prior arrangements must be made with a member of the Day Centre Staff.

Do you offer subsidies on programs for members in financial need?

Financial assistance is available to members with low incomes. Payment plans or reduced fees can be arranged on a case by case basis. Please contact Rachel Sokolsky at 613-236-0428 x 2230 or email rsokolsky@thegoodcompanions.ca to see if you qualify.

Are any of your programs, activities or events open to non-members?

Programs listed in the Program Guide are offered exclusively to members. However, potential members are welcome to come to the Centre for a maximum of three visits and participate in designated activities such as The Coffee Club or weekly movies before deciding if they would like to join. Please contact Rachel Sokolsky at 613-236-0428 x 2230 or email rsokolsky@thegoodcompanions.ca to arrange a visit. Additionally, members are also welcome to bring non-member guests to dine in our cafeteria or attend special events such as Teas and Birthday Parties. Lastly, the following activities and services are open to non-members at an elevated price: Thursday evening dinner & dance, bus trips, foot care, hair care, legal services, and the denture clinic.

Do I have to be over 55 to go on a bus trip?

To participate in a bus trip, you do not need to be over the age of 55. However, you must be accompanied by a person who is over the age of 55 and you will be charged the non-member rate.

Are there drop-in activities?

The following activities require no registration: Current Affairs, Drop-In Coffee Club, Diabetes Self-Help Group, History Armchair Travel, Wii, Cribbage*, Euchre*, Contract Bridge*, Chess, Scrabble, Bingo* and Old Time Sing-Along. Please consult your quarterly program guide for days and times.
*Weekly fee applies.

Can I bring a guest with me to the Centre?

Members are always welcome to bring guests to the Centre for lunches, special events, trips and dances.

Can I bring an attendant (e.g. guide dog or personal support worker) with me?

Members who require assistance navigating the Centre or with their personal care are welcome to bring attendants to the Centre. It is the member’s responsibility to provide their own attendant at their own cost. The attendant is not required to pay a membership fee or program fees, however, if the attendant is participating in a special event, trip or meal he or she is required to pay the applicable fee.

How do I become a member of the Adult Day Program?

All participants must be referred by their case worker from the Community Care Access Centre (CCAC). Please call the CCAC at 613-745-5525 for more information. Once The Good Companions receives your referral from the CCAC, a staff member will contact you to arrange a trial visit.

Can I get something to eat while at the Centre?

Beverages, fresh baked goods, sandwiches, snacks, and desserts are available:

Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Soup, salad, and a hot lunch are available:
Monday to Friday 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

The Good Companions also hosts a dinner & dance every 2nd Thursday of each month.
Dinner is $10 and is served at 5:45 p.m. A reservation is required for Thursday evening dinners. Dance tickets are $6 for members and $6.50 for non-members and are available at the door.

Please consult our Spring 2014 Menus and our Summer 2014 Menus for the daily menu.

Can I purchase tickets to lunches, events, trips… by phone?

Tickets can be purchased over the phone if you are paying by credit card. All ticket purchases must be made 2 days in advance of the event.

How do I make an appointment for the in-house services, such as Foot Care?

Appointments for Foot Care, Hair Care, Esthetics Services, Legal Services, Denture Clinic, Hearing Clinic, Walker Repair Clinic, Dental Hygiene, Ottawa Public Health Clinic and the MedsCheck Clinic can be made over the phone by calling 613-236-0428 x 2100 or in person at our Front Reception desk.

How can I find out about upcoming programs and special events?

Details about upcoming events can be found in your bulletin, on our website, on table tents in the dining room, on posters throughout the centre and on our bulletin boards in the main hall on the 1st floor. Also, be sure to attend the Members Meetings or the Monthly Birthday Parties for information on special events.

Volunteering

Do you offer tours and training?

Yes, absolutely! We offer tours and training to all of our volunteers. Tours can be reserved through Front Reception 613-236-0428 extension 2100. Tours are also available to those who are interested in learning more about The Good Companions to decide if we are the organization they wish to donate their time to. Training specific to the position will be offered to new volunteers. If needed, existing or new volunteers are encouraged to ask for clarification. We want to make sure everyone is on the right track, so we can make the most of your time with us.

Where can I find your volunteer opportunities?

Please visit Volunteer Services for a list of vacancies.

What is the minimum time commitment to volunteer?

To maintain quality and consistency in our programs and services, we request a minimum of six months. Exceptions may apply. Please contact Nikkie Snagg at 613-236-0428 x 2230 or email volunteer@thegoodcompanions.ca to determine if you would qualify for an exception. (e.g. Student Placement). Please Note: We are unable to accommodate last minute requests to volunteer.

What is the screening process?

The screening process is specific to the position. The highest screening level is an application, three references, a Police Record Check for Service with the Vulnerable Sector and any other requirements specific to the position.

Who qualifies as a reference?

Anyone that knows you well is welcome to provide a reference. This may include neighbours, friends, colleagues and up to 1 relative. Volunteers must be able to provide the first name, last name, daytime phone number and relationship to the reference provider. A signed release is required to give us permission to contact them about your application to volunteer. We strongly recommend all applicants notify their references in advance. This helps ensure they are comfortable speaking with us. Three references are required for most positions.

Do you require a Police Record Check?

A Police Record Check for Service with the Vulnerable Sector is required for most of our volunteer positions. This service is free for volunteers courtesy of the Ottawa Police Service. Please contact the Volunteer Coordinator at 613-236-0428 x 2230 or email volunteer@thegoodcompanions.ca to determine if it is required for the position you are applying for. Visit Ottawa Police Services online for current fees, turnaround times and acceptable forms of identification.

How do I obtain a Police Record Check?

Records Checks are to be obtained from the local police service (e.g. Ottawa Police Service or previous city of residence). The Volunteer Services Coordinator will provide the applicant with a letter to bring to the station in order to waive or reduce the processing fee. This service is usually free for volunteers courtesy of the Ottawa Police Service, unless you are a non-resident of Ottawa or require same-day service. Please visit Ottawa Police Services online for current fees, turnaround time and accepted identification.

What details show up on a Police Record Check?

Please consult the Background Clearances Department of the Ottawa Police Service at 613-236-1222 extension 5487.

How long is the Police Record Check valid for?

For our organization, we will accept an original Police Record Check for up to 30 days after the date of processing. Upon seeing the original, we witness it and make note in your file that it has been completed and we return the original immediately. For those without a qualifying Police Record Check, we do require a Police Record Check be conducted to qualify for a position.

Can I bring someone to volunteer with me?

Given our screening requirements, we are unable to host unscreened individuals to volunteer with you. Please Note: All applications are assessed on an individual basis.

Do you offer group volunteer opportunities?

We are active participants in the annual United Way/Centraide Ottawa’s Community Action Days (formerly Day of Caring). Volunteer groups interested in participating, may check their website (http://communityactiondays.com/) to determine if our projects are available. Projects are usually posted in August or September. Please Note: As we save up projects for this annual campaign, we are typically unable to accommodate group requests at any other time of year.

Do you offer summer volunteer opportunities?

Occasionally, we are able to accept summer volunteers. However, volunteers must apply before the summer to ensure sufficient time for the screening process. The screening process still applies to determine which candidates are the most compatible with the available position.