History

When the late Cardinal Carter found kids sleeping outside his downtown office, he rallied community support to open Covenant House to serve these vulnerable youth.

Our doors officially opened in February 1982 as Covenant House Toronto—the second international site of the highly recognized childcare agency Covenant House International. Today, the 31-site network spans from Alaska to Latin America.

For nearly 40 years, our agency has maintained steadfast dedication to our mission: supporting the vulnerable youth who come through our doors with absolute respect and unconditional love.

Since the day we first opened our doors, Covenant House Toronto has offered opportunity and hope to more than 95,000 young people.

Milestones

1982 - Opened doors to a 30-bed shelter

1983 - Opened on-site health centre

1987 - Began prevention-focused presentations in schools

1988 - Opened on-site high school

1992 - Launched employment services program

1994 - Opened new building and consolidated all programs in one space, increasing residential capacity by 48 per cent

2002 - Opened longer-term residence, CIBC Rights of Passage

2008 - Built a rooftop garden to provide youth with educational and therapeutic opportunities

2011 - Launched culinary arts program, Cooking for Life, to help youth find jobs

2013 - Began rent-reduced community apartment program

2015 - Opened two dedicated crisis beds in our shelter for sex trafficking victims

2016- Advocated for changes to child welfare for youth in care

2016 - Opened The Rogers Home, a transitional housing program for young female victims of sex trafficking

2016 - Launched hotel industry training program to spot and report trafficking in hotels

2018 - Opened Avdell Home, a second transitional housing program for female victims of sex trafficking.

2018 - Conducted and released national IPSOS research study to better understand the attitudes and behaviours that put young girls at risk of trafficking

2019 - Opened two new supported lodging homes