Due to ongoing issues relating to a telephone system upgrade, callers to our Service Access Unit may experience a longer-than-normal wait for service. Please stay on the line even if you don’t hear a voice.

Need a meeting room? Talk to us!

Hold your next meeting or workshop at Family Service Toronto! Rooms are available at our Sterling Road location during weekdays for a full or half day or by the hour. The state-of-the-art rooms are equipped with projection and screens and ceiling audio.  Learn more.  

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Free counselling on Wednesdays

Family Service Toronto offers walk-in sessions for those in need of immediate or urgent counselling one night per week.

The sessions are offered Wednesdays from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. to individuals, couples and families on a first-come first-served basis at our Downtown West location at 202-128A Sterling Road, two blocks west of Lansdowne Avenue between Bloor Street West and Dundas Street West. Limited parking is available onsite. Further information on TTC access is available on our Office Locations page. Download our flyer for a map and directions.

All members of the community are welcome with no restrictions based on age or address. Please arrive by 6:15 p.m. at the latest. Our last appointment starts at 6:30.  There may be times when all people who attend the walk-in cannot be seen due to capacity issues.

The Walk-In program is not able to provide child care/ child minding services.  If your child(ren) require supervision, please make arrangements for a child minder to take care or your child(ren) at home or, if necessary, you can bring your child minder with you to the walk-in.  Please be aware that young children are not permitted to attend sessions with their parents due to the sensitive nature of the work done in each session. 

No appointment or referral is required. Counselling is offered in English. Some of our counsellors are fluent in other languages (French, Mandarin, Farsi, Spanish and possibly other languages; to confirm call 416-595-9618).

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Congrats to United Way Toronto & York Region

FST joins supporters across the city in congratulating the United Way of Toronto and York Region on its successful 2015 fundraising campaign which raised $100.25 million. That is $250,000 above the $100-million goal it set in the fall.

Family Service Toronto played its part in fundraising for the target with employee/board contributions totalling more than $29,000.

United Way President and CEO Susan McIsaac described the 2015 campaign as a “major success.”

“Everybody’s feeling really great about it,” she told the Toronto Star. “It was a tough year, so people are really, really pleased.”

Money raised will be invested in United Way’s 220 frontline member health and social services agencies, including Family Service Toronto and others working with youth, seniors, single-parent families, the poor and disabled.

Ottawa urged to focus on child care

FST’s Director of Social Action and Community Building says child care will be key in addressing the federal government’s pledge to work with the provinces to develop a national anti-poverty strategy.

“We have always seen it as an important element in the fight against child and family poverty,” Anita Khanna told the Toronto Star this week.  “We know it requires a long-term vision, but that doesn’t preclude action in the short term.”

Khanna also co-ordinates the national poverty coalition Campaign 2000, which has urged Ottawa to live up to its promise to end child poverty. It has called on the new federal government to invest at least $500 million in its first budget to immediately address child-care affordability for families and quality in the system.

Ontario urged to champion child care on national stage, Toronto Star, Jan. 26, 2016

TSO celebrates what Syrians bring to Canada

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra has celebrated the arrival of Syrian refugees to Canada through the international language of music.

The orchestra has created a video to welcome arriving Syrian refugees with the help of renowned Syrian musician Kinan Azmeh, who flew to the city for one day to lend his talents (and a composition) to the project.

Azmeh met with the assembled orchestra members for only a few minutes before playing his chosen piece alongside them and the stunning result is posted on YouTube.

Website geared to those assisting Syrian refugees

An online resource has been launched for sponsors and others wishing to assist Syrian refugees settle in Ontario.

The Welcome Ontario – Syrian Refugee Assistance Information website was created and maintained by OCASI, the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants, whose mission is to achieve equality, access and full participation for immigrants and refugees in every aspect of Canadian life.  Family Service Toronto is a member of OCASI.

The site also provides potential volunteers or donors with information on local settlement agencies working directly with refugees. There is also a Forum on the website for Lifeline Syria members to discuss and collaborate.

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FST staffer recognized by City of Toronto

Farah Mawani, who joined Family Service Toronto as our grant writer in November, is the recipient of this year’s City of Toronto Access Award given to a person, group or organization that has made a significant contribution towards improving access for people with disabilities in Toronto.

Farah has been a long time champion of human rights and equity, particularly marginalized populations experiencing mental and physical disabilities. Most notably she founded and leads a growing program in Toronto called Building Roads Together – a community-based peer support walking (and rolling with mobility aids) program designed to reduce mental health inequalities and promote inclusion and empowerment by building capacity for people to lead peer walking groups.

The award was presented Dec. 2 in a ceremony at Toronto City Hall in advance of the UN’s International Day for Disabled Persons on Dec. 3 and Human Rights Day on Dec 10.

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One in five children live in poverty

More than 1.34 million Canadian children – almost one in five – are living in poverty, according to this year’s national poverty report card from Campaign 2000, a non-partisan coalition of 120 groups and individuals co-ordinated by Family Service Toronto.

Canada’s new government appears poised to tackle the issue with progressive measures including a new national benefit that could lift 315,000 out of poverty, states the report entitled  Let’s Do This: Let’s End Child Poverty for Good.

The report card also includes the latest statistics on child and family poverty and the impact poverty has on multiple dimensions of children’s lives – including health, mental health, educational achievement and future employment opportunities.

Toronto Star, Nov. 24, 2015: High hopes for federal action to end child poverty

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City laneway named for former FST staffer

Rosemarie Popham

An Upper Beaches laneway has been named for Rosemarie Popham, a social worker and child and family advocate who died of cancer in 1998.

Popham campaigned for the eradication of child poverty as FST’s social action director in the 1980s and 1990s and was also co-founder and national co-ordinator of Campaign 2000, a national non-partisan coalition promoting support for the 1989 unanimous House of Commons resolution to end child poverty by the year 2000.

Former and current FST colleagues attended the laneway naming ceremony on Oct. 24.

Live Construction Camera            

View the building progress of our new downtown office as it takes shape on Church Street two blocks south of Carlton Street.

FST has partnered with Tridel for their Alter condominium project which will sit 29 storeys above our new four-storey office podium fronting Church Street.

FST previously occupied the site and has temporarily relocated its counselling and central administrative services to 128A Sterling Road in the city’s west end.

Watch for our return to a redeveloped Church Street location tentatively in late 2017.

FST Programs and Services

Early Warning Signs Homepage
Campaign 2000 Homepage
100 for 100 Homepage
FST YouTube channel homepage
United Way Toronto homepage