1,700 to 7,000 youth experience homelessness in Toronto. 66% don’t have a high school diploma and 77% are unemployed. The Wagner Green YMCA opened in 2015 to bring these youth emergency shelter and free drop-in supports from help returning to school and finding work, to substance use counselling, mental health support, legal services and more.
Formerly known as The Vanauley Street YMCA, The Wagner Green YMCA is an 11,400 square-foot emergency shelter and drop-in centre for youth experiencing homelessness. Located at 7 Vanauley Street, we support youth in the underserved Queen West and Spadina community, where the need for these services is high.
Last year, over 11,000 youth visited the Y to access immediate crisis support, mental health counselling, employment training, substance use referrals, help navigating legal issues, support finding long-term affordable housing, and more.
Diverse youth from across the GTA come to The Wagner Green Y when they are street involved, transient, precariously housed, or living in shelters operated by other organizations. All young people between the ages of 16 and 24 are welcome, regardless of gender identity and gender expression, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religious heritage, and/or ability.
Working with the City of Toronto and community partners, The Wagner Green YMCA drop-in program aims to provide a safe place where youth living in vulnerable situations can rebuild their trust in people and access the services they need. Whether visiting the drop-in centre or staying in the shelter overnight, youth access a variety of wrap-around supports, including:
77% of youth experiencing homelessness in Toronto are unemployed. Programming at The Wagner Green YMCA helps put them on the path towards landing a job.
On June 29, 2022, Toronto and East York Community Council recommended our application for approval to permit a six-storey addition to the existing Wagner Green YMCA. This addition would contain 31 affordable dwelling units for youth at risk of homelessness. It would complement The Wagner Green YMCA’s emergency shelter and drop-in centre, where youth currently access services substance including use counselling, mental health support, legal services, help finding a job or returning to education, and more.
The addition of 31 affordable dwelling units would help support The Wagner Green YMCA’s ultimate goal, which is to help young people secure and maintain permanent and affordable housing — a key piece of the foundation they need to grow into healthy adults.
The Wagner Green YMCA is a diverse and 2SLGBTQ+ positive space available to young men age 16–24. Gender is self-identified.
“I was lost and without a roof over my head. I found The Wagner Green YMCA, and since then, the staff have helped me apply for college as well as getting my benefits working. Since I’ve been here, I’ve felt okay and relaxed. You have made me feel at home.” —Justin, resident at The Wagner Green YMCA
This year, thousands of youth will find wrap-around support at the Y thanks to the incredible generosity of David Green, Daphne Wagner, and their children, Lita and Michael Green.
We are so grateful to these long-time YMCA supporters for their transformational gift to the Strong Start, Great Future Capital Campaign.
It's because of donors like them that the YMCA can continue working to bridge the inequity gaps in our community and give more youth the chance they deserve to shine.
The Wagner Green YMCA is part of our ambitious Strong Start, Great Future Capital Campaign to build new YMCAs across the GTA. It was the first to open its doors as part of this project.
You can make a real difference in your community by donating to the Campaign. Make your gift online, or contact Tony diCosmo, Vice President, Campaign Giving to discuss your support: