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Community of Hope Blog

Thanks to you - a Community of Hope

By Kathryn Hill

With the holiday season around the corner we want to thank everyone who has generously donated to our Community of Hope campaign. Thanks to you, our modern family shelter will be a welcoming sanctuary for families in crisis. It will provide the restorative and positive environment that families in crisis desperately need. Together we are building a community of hope.

Photos of Families

Honouring Leslieville's Past

By Kathryn Hill

In this photograph from early November 2019 you can see construction work being done on the roof of the new mixed-use development at the south-west corner of Queen Street East and Logan Avenue. This is the condo and retail side and not part of the new family shelter. Bricks, unique fascias, sills, and cornices from the pharmacy building originally built circa 1888, were removed during demolition and preserved to be reused in the new development. This was an important decision by the developer that honours the past while building for the future.

Brick Building with Crane

Community of Hope – Checking on Construction Progress

By Kathryn Hill

Today we toured the new family shelter building with Sara Reid, City of Toronto Project Manager, and had a chance to see how construction has progressed. We are fortunate to have a good relationship with our partners at the City of Toronto and we look forward to outfitting the new shelter soon so we can open in Spring 2020.

For more information:

two people sitting on a bench holding a Red Door sign

Dedicated Programming Space will Help Kids Heal

By Kathryn Hill

Last year the Red Door served 361 families, including 359 children and teens. It takes more than emergency shelter to help create new beginnings for homeless families. It also takes specialized support services delivered by caring staff and volunteers. That’s why we’re so glad that our new family shelter will have plenty of space for the programming that families need; such as an after-school club for the kids, workshops on tenants rights for vulnerable families, art therapy for healing, and much more.

Major Boost to Fundraising Campaign - September 2016

By Kathryn Hill

In September 2016, Mr. Marc Odette, Community of Hope Campaign Cabinet member, made a surprise announcement at the cabinet meeting. He shared that together the P. & L. Odette Charitable Foundation and the E. & G. Odette Charitable Foundation would match new gifts to the $3M campaign up to a total of $500,000. This wonderful announcement led to more donations and $430,000 was raised towards the matching gift challenge within 14 months.

a child's abstract drawing with the words "Thank you to all the donors!!!"

A Legacy of Service – The Neighbourhood House

By Kathryn Hill

When the Neighbourhood House opened next to the WoodGreen United Church in 1958 it was described as “a gem out of the centre of one of the city’s most crowded, industrial sections”. It was used as a community space for chaplaincy, community work and counselling. Rev. McCleary passed away in 1967 and the building became a shelter in 1982 in response to the need for winter respite, and housing for refugees. Our new, modern shelter at the same site will allow us to continue Rev. McCleary’s legacy of shelter and caring for the community.

a colourful mural with names of different countries

A Legacy of Service – The First Red Door

By Kathryn Hill

The Red Door is proud to continue a legacy of service by Rev. Ray McCleary. Upon his arrival in the neighbourhood in the 1930s he promptly painted his front door red as a beacon of hope and sanctuary for those in need. He said: “It was the depths of the depression, and people were so dispirited they needed something to cheer them up. Well, that door sure gave them something to talk about.” It was Rev. McCleary who opened a Neighbourhood House next to the church in 1958, later the site of our family shelter from 1982.

$1M Raised for Community of Hope Campaign: January 2016

By Kathryn Hill

In January 2016 the Campaign Cabinet volunteers celebrated reaching another key milestone in the fundraising campaign. Together they had raised just over $1,000,000 towards the $3M goal. Donors included banks, law firms and local businesses as well as generous individuals. All of the new donors understood the need for a purpose-built family shelter and were excited that the new development would be the first of its kind in Toronto to combine a shelter, residential condos and retail all on the same site.

Early success with the Community of Hope campaign: September 2015

By Kathryn Hill

In September 2015 volunteers on the Campaign Cabinet celebrated achieving the first major milestone in the fundraising campaign. They had raised $500,000 towards the $3M goal. Funds had been donated by Red Door staff and board members, the cabinet members, and some generous charitable foundations. Donors were inspired by the opportunity to be part of a historic occasion – Toronto’s first purpose-built family shelter designed as a welcoming sanctuary for families in crisis.

A sign that reads "I stand with a Red Door"