CLEO’s History

CLEO’s long and rich history dates back to 1974. To celebrate our 50th anniversary, we created this digital timeline to highlight some of our important milestones. 


How it all started

CLEO begins as Toronto Community Law School. A group of Osgoode Hall Law School students created the School in response to the public’s need for basic information about their legal rights.  


Incorporates as a registered charity

The Toronto Community Law School incorporates and becomes a registered charity called the Toronto Community Law Program. 


Hosts first symposium

CLEO and the Ontario Business Education Association hosts Fusion ’76. Two hundred Ontario high school law teachers attend and work on developing law courses. 


Public legal education sessions 

Besides library programs and printed booklets for the general public, CLEO begins to hold regular sessions to train community workers about the law. 


Legal name change

The Toronto Community Law Program becomes Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO). The bilingual name comes later.


Focus on legal needs of people with low incomes

Working with Ontario’s community legal clinics, CLEO defines its mandate to develop plain language legal materials.


Expand information to family and criminal law 

In areas of law where no clinic partners exist, CLEO reaches out to community partners to develop new material.


CLEONet launches

CLEONet is the first online resource for community workers that features a collection of public legal education resources.


Steps to Justice launches 

CLEO brings together justice sector and community organizations from across the province to launch Steps to Justice. The website offers accurate, practical, and easy-to-understand legal information.