Vanauley Street YMCA

Everyone deserves a chance to lead a healthy and prosperous life

Opening its doors in 2015 to homeless and street-involved youth, the holistic Toronto Vanauley Street YMCA Centre offers support services and emergency shelter to at-risk youth, aged 16-24 – all under one roof in the Queen West and Spadina community. Since 1986, the YMCA of Greater Toronto has been supporting youth overcome hurdles such as homelessness, substance abuse, mental illness, and lack of education.

Exterior of Vanauley Street YMCA

About the project

In an effort to increase high-demand services for street-involved youth in the Queen West and Spadina community, the YMCA took over the lease of 7 Vanauley Street from YouthLink in 2012 and began providing drop-in services to youth experiencing homelessness. Programming soon shifted to 485 Queen St. W. as renovations began on 7 Vanauley Street.

The Vanauley Street Y offers more than a place to sleep. It is a Centre of Community - a diverse and trans-positive space for youth experiencing homelessness. Working with the City of Toronto and community partners, the Vanauley Street Y provides youth access to pre-employment development and employment support programs, drop-in and outreach programs, and housing supports. The Centre’s 40-bed emergency shelter (known as Y House) is an LGBTQ2S and trans-positive space available to young men, aged 16-24.

The Vanauley Street YMCA is part of our ambitious Strong Start, Great Future Campaign to build new centres across the GTA.

2015-2016 Impact

  • 9,286 street involved youth visited the Vanauley St. Y drop-in centre
  • 258 street involved youth accessed the Vanauley St. Y shelter
  • 30,155 young adults received counselling, referrals or substance awareness sessions through a YMCA program

Latest News

During the 2016 holiday season, the YMCA of Greater Toronto expanded its clothing and food drive in support of street-involved youth, read about the drive here.

The Vanauley Street Y is serving a large need for at-risk youth in the downtown area, find out how in this article.

Read a good news shelter story (for a change).

How it’s funded

The 11,400 sq. ft. fully accessible Vanauley Street Y was the first Y to open its doors as part of the organization’s strategic plan, Strong Start, Great Future, to build new centres in the GTA.

The project’s funding came from a combination of donations and YMCA reserves.

For information about donating or raising funds to support the Toronto Vanauley Street YMCA Centre, contact the Fundraising team at giving@ymcagta.org

Frequently asked questions

Services are available to young men experiencing homelessness, aged 16-24. Gender is self-identified and the Vanauley St. YMCA is an LGBTQ2S and trans-positive space.

The drop-in centre offers supportive programs and services, medical and counselling services, as well as an emergency shelter. It also offers employment services for youth. The shelter (Y House) has 40 beds and provides harm-reduction and trauma-informed residential services, and also provides housing supports to enable youth to secure and maintain permanent, affordable accommodation.

The Centre is located at 7 Vanauley Street, near Queen and Spadina, and is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you or someone you know needs an emergency place to stay, call the Vanauley Street Y at 416-504-9700.

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