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Community Caring in the ‘6: Zelek’s Story

The Children & Youth department at Dixon Hall has been offering summer camp and youth programs to the Regent Park neighbourhood and surrounding areas for 40 years. Our young community members join our programs at various points during their youth or adolescence, and often choose to stay involved in the community right into adulthood.

Dixon Hall Housing Services Supporting Clients at Bond Place Hotel

On August 21, Dixon Hall began operations at the Bond Place Hotel, at 65 Dundas Street East. The new accommodation provides services to adult couples and singles of all genders.

2019-2020 Impact Report: Inspired by Community

This year’s Impact Report celebrates the accomplishments and milestones achieved by our clients, volunteers, staff and community, and by our agency overall. In our report you’ll learn about Dixon Hall’s departments and services; program developments in the community; the inspiring journeys of clients and volunteers; and have a glimpse into our early efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Welcome to the Bill Graham Youth Centre

It is with great joy that we can at last confirm that the construction of our new building is officially complete! And we are thrilled to let you know that the building has been named in honour of the lead donor from our capital campaign.

(Re)building Community: Revitalizing Cabbagetown Rooming Houses

Following on the successes of the work done by our Housing Department’s Rooming House Project, Dixon Hall is thrilled to announce that we will be renovating and revitalizing several Cabbagetown rooming houses to provide affordable housing options for those in need.

Kids Deserve a Summer of Fun

For more than 40 years Dixon Hall Summer Camp has provided young campers a summer of opportunity, the chance to try new things, and to build relationships and memories that will last a lifetime. Dixon Hall remains committed to helping our young friends look ahead to a safe and enjoyable summer.

Stay Safe, Stay in Touch

Today we are honored to celebrate Audrey Campbell’s 100th birthday! This celebration will be quite different from festivities in the past, but that won’t stop Audrey from living her 100th birthday to the fullest.

Neighbours Helping Neighbours

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an enormous impact on Dixon Hall and the many community agencies we work with in the city. No one could have imagined the health crises, the economic turmoil, the stress placed on systems across the city and beyond. And, yet, through this dark time, moments of light and warmth have shone through.

Tuning in for Music Lessons

As closures of services and businesses were mandated in the city of Toronto earlier this year, Dixon Hall Music School adapted quickly to ensure continued support for its young musical community. 

Don’t Just Stand There

Many years ago, I had the privilege of completing my Master’s degree in conflict analysis and management with some of the world’s leading practitioners in this field. At the time, I was unable to articulate how important I knew this learning was going to be in my life, and why I was so interested in conflict resolution. Today, there is no need to explain it.

Dixon Hall’s Rooming House Project Members Step Up to Help During COVID-19

When you live in a rooming house practicing physical distancing can be difficult. Our team has been heartened to see Rooming House Project tenants coming together to support each other during these challenging times.

A Loss for Dixon Hall

Today, Dixon Hall mourns the loss of a member of our community. Joseph Chibala, born May 17, 1967 in the Republic of Congo, came to Dixon Hall to stay in November 2018. He resided at our men’s shelter, Schoolhouse, until April 16, 2020. On that date, Joseph underwent testing at St. Michael’s Hospital; he passed away from Covid-19 on May 8 at Etobicoke General Hospital.

Joseph spent many years in the shelter system here in Toronto. Staff who knew him remember him as a quiet man who was always very respectful to staff and other guests. Joseph has also volunteered his time for Dixon Hall in the past, supporting others in the community.

He was meticulous about his appearance and referred to himself as a proud Torontonian. Joseph was known and will be missed at the Regent Park Community Centre and at Toronto Haven. We will certainly miss his steady smile, his

Remembering Ada Slaight

This week, we mourn the loss of Ada Slaight who passed away peacefully at the age of 89.

COVID-19 Update – Housing Supports

An update on a few of the shifts we’ve been undertaking, in partnership with the City of Toronto and Toronto Public Health, to support those in need of housing.

COVID-19 Update – We Need Your Support Now, More Than Ever

Dixon Hall needs your support. Because of COVID-19, we are doing work we never imagined, for a length of time that remains unknown, and serving numbers of people that are increasing every day.

The Women of Dixon Hall

We are lucky to have a tremendous staff of women working to support and protect the most vulnerable people in our community.

COVID-19 Update – Meals on Wheels Program Modifications

To safe-guard the health and well-being of our clients, volunteers and staff, several changes have been made to Meals on Wheels operations.

Our response to Covid-19

An update on our current operations as they relate to Covid-19.

Education and foot care program helping seniors live healthier with diabetes

Dixon Hall is pleased to partner with Sun Life to provide a type-2 diabetes program, including ongoing foot care to seniors over the next year.

December Recap: How We Ended the Year with Holiday Cheer at Dixon Hall

We are leaving 2019 behind and entering a new decade! Here’s how we celebrated the spirit of the holiday season and got ready for 2020.

Ways to Get Involved this Holiday Season

The holidays can be the most magical and exciting time of the year, but for many of the community members we serve they can be extremely challenging and isolating.

Music For Life 2019: Our Most Successful Gala to Date!

Music For Life 2019 was our most successful event to date! Together, we raised $290,000 to provide access to music education in Regent Park and surrounding neighbourhoods.

Fall at Dixon Hall = Exciting New Partnerships & Programming!

Fall is flying by – and we have exciting new partnerships + programs to share! Plus, a new Music School video, our recent volunteer appreciation dinner, and more.

Youth Centre Construction Update: Exterior Cladding, Windows and Doors Complete!

Fall is nearly over and Thanksgiving is behind us,  but we are still embracing the spirit of gratitude at Dixon Hall as we continue to work on our new youth centre! This project is a wonderful example of how a shared vision for a supportive community space can become a reality: in this instance as a new space for young people in Regent Park. In this modern facility, the nearly 1,000 youth we work with every year – through both our Music School and our general Children & Youth programming − will know there is a community of champions who believe in them, and who believe in their potential.

We’re happy to share another project milestone – the one year anniversary of breaking ground on the centre and beginning the construction phase of our journey! Construction has progressed quickly over the last 12 months, and we have completed the exterior cladding,

Introducing our new Director of Philanthropy & Communications

Dixon Hall is pleased to announce the appointment of Laura Stenberg as the Director of Philanthropy & Communications. In this role, Laura will oversee all aspects of fund development, donor stewardship and engagement, as well as agency communications and brand development.

The Out of the Cold 2019-2020 Season Calendar is Here

The calendar for the 2019 – 2020 Out of the Cold season is now here.

Download or print the 2019/2020 OOTC Site Schedule

You can get involved with the Out of the Cold program by volunteering or donating.  If you’re interested in supporting one of the 16 OOTC sites, please contact the site of your choice to understand their needs. 

Capping Off Our Summer of Community… with a Fall of Connection!

Short and sweet summer is officially over. Here are some highlights from our summer of community!

Our New Impact Report is Here!

Our 2018-2019 Impact Report has arrived! This year’s report, “Care & Community: 90 Years of Support” celebrates Dixon Hall’s 90th year anniversary through historic photos and agency milestones, alongside current news and developments from our work, and client stories + staff profiles.

Housing Services at Dixon Hall: How We’re Working with People Experiencing Homelessness

The homelessness crisis in the city of Toronto continues to grow. In response to the changing needs in our city, our team and programming have grown too.

Summer Camp 2019: New Opportunities for Celebration, Growth, and Emotional Processing

Summer camp is often a highlight for young people in Regent Park and for our Children & Youth team. This summer, our campers have had exciting new activities like their own Caribbean Carnival, and drama programs with Djennie Laguerre.

The Rooming House Project One Year Later: What We Learned from Supporting the Precariously Housed in Cabbagetown

It’s been a year since we launched the Rooming House Project. Here’s some of the insights our tenants have shared with us about their experiences in the Toronto Housing and social services spectrums.

Remembering Elspeth Heyworth: A Life Lived in Service

Elspeth Heyworth is a former Executive Director of Dixon Hall who was known for her progressive and welcoming attitude, her commitment to social justice, and her passion for empowering women from all backgrounds..

The Elspeth Heyworth Bursary: For Young Women in Regent Park Seeking to Further Their Education

The Elspeth Heyworth Bursary is for women in the downtown east who are pursuing further education but are facing financial difficulties. Funds can be used for tuition, textbooks/school supplies, and/or daycare or transportation costs.

Youth Centre Construction Update: Pouring Concrete Floors and Onto Exterior Work

Amid the changing seasons, construction has continued on our new youth centre and we’re beginning exterior work on the building.

Calling all Youth Looking for Job Opportunities – Join the Incubator Program!

The Incubator Program starts on June 24 and prepares youth for a job in hospitality or carpentry. Must be an Ontario Works recipient to join.

Respecting and Protecting Seniors at Dixon Hall

June marks Seniors’ Month in Ontario, an opportunity to officially celebrate the seniors in our lives.

Dixonlicious 2019: a Record Year!

Dixonlicious 2019 was a milestone event for the agency and our community. We raised a record-breaking $105,000 to support our food programs in the downtown east!

Youth Centre Construction Update: Celebrating our Progress with our Supporters and Community Leaders

On Wednesday, April 24th, Dixon Hall hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the start of construction at our new youth centre.

Food Insecurity in Toronto is on the rise

1 in 7 households in Toronto struggle with food insecurity. But what exactly does that mean, and why does it matter?

Report Release – Calling Home: Exploring Homelessness in our City

In February 2018, Dixon Hall embarked on our first research project, thanks to funding from the Government of Canada’s Innovative Solutions to Homelessness program. Today, we’re thrilled to share our final report titled “Calling Home: Exploring Homelessness in Our City” which provides a comprehensive overview of the experiences of Out of the Cold guests and shelter residents.

Youth Centre Construction Update: Excavation Complete, Onto Steel Frame & Floor Deck

Construction on our new youth centre has continued throughout the winter! We were fortunate to have mild weather in December, which resulted in favourable working conditions for our construction partner, Cambria Design Build.

Food at Dixon Hall: The Connecting Thread

Dixon Hall has a long legacy of providing food to those in need – the agency started as a soup kitchen in 1929! Today, we’re examining the importance of food at DH, and the different ways we use it in our work with vulnerable populations.

Event Alert: Calling Home: Exploring Pathways to Homelessness in our City

Join us for a discussion exploring paths to homelessness in our city and solutions moving forward. This event will feature key findings from the Innovative Solutions to Homelessness Project.

Where do I belong? Reflecting on the Significance of Black History Month

CEO Mercedes Watson shares her thoughts on the importance of black history month, and highlights some of her experiences as a black woman who immigrated to Canada.

The Rooming House Project: The Importance of Tenant Engagement

As the Rooming House Project continues and evolves based on tenant needs, we explore the importance of tenant engagement as a key metric of project success.

The Rooming House Project: Building Relationships & Community Connections

In our second blog post exploring the work of the Rooming House Project, we examine the importance of building relationships and community connections for tenants.

The Rooming House Project: Providing Crucial Supports to Rooming House Tenants in Cabbagetown

As the homelessness crisis in Toronto continues to grow, we’re introducing one of our newest projects in Housing Services: The Rooming House project, designed to support precariously-housed individuals who live in rooming houses scattered throughout Cabbagetown. The project aims to help tenants build a better quality of life and stabilize housing.

Holiday Volunteering Opportunities

The holidays can be the most magical and exciting time of the year, but for many of the community members we serve they can be extremely challenging and isolating. Embrace the spirit of the season and give back to your community through our volunteer opportunities.

Youth Centre Construction Update: We Broke Ground!

Our new Youth Centre has been a major area of focus at Dixon Hall over the last several years. The journey to the construction process was long, and we’re thrilled to share that we have broken ground. We’ll be sharing updates throughout the construction process, as we complete this agency milestone.

What resilience looks like: My first 90 days at Dixon Hall

Dixon Hall’s new CEO, Mercedes Watson reflects on her first 90 days at the agency and shares her candid thoughts on the resilience she’s witnessed in the Regent Park community.

Addressing digital literacy gaps through short-term training interventions

Director of Employment Services, Haris Blentic shares how his team is adapting programs to the changing job market.

Amplifying Impact: Overnight Camp’s Effects on Music School Students

Dixon Hall Music School’s overnight summer camp for students provides students with increased access to teachers resulting in significant progress in their skills.

Meet Alex Zsager: Advocate, Activist, Community Researcher

Alex Zsager is a community researcher, an integral part of the Innovative Solutions to Homelessness project. His personal, lived experiences with homelessness and his determination and strength to get himself out of the shelter system have made him profoundly impactful to the project, and an excellent resource for participants. This is his story.

How Data Will Shape Our Strategies: The Innovative Solutions to Homelessness Project

We’ve embarked on a new research project to try and find better solutions to end homelessness.

Supporting Caregivers of People Living with Dementia

Our Caregivers Support group offers a safe space to connect and cope with the challenges of supporting a loved one with dementia.

Out Of The Cold 2017-2018: How Seasonal Programs Can Inform Permanent Solutions To Homelessness

Read our second annual Out of the Cold report, analyzing 2017-2018 season stats, and more.

Getting Musical in our Alzheimer Day Program

June is Seniors month in Ontario, and inspired by 2018’s theme “Now’s the Time to Try Something New”, our Alzheimer’s Day program introduced new music programs including the ukulele, African drums, and hand chimes. Music therapy has many different benefits for seniors who are affected by dementia.

Announcing our new CEO, Mercedes Watson

Dixon Hall is pleased to welcome our new CEO, Mercedes Watson. Mercedes joins the agency with an extensive background in leadership, advocacy, and a deep commitment to supporting vulnerable populations.

Building Friendship through Volunteering: Fourth Saturday

Fourth Saturday, a volunteer group who gathers on the fourth Saturday of every month, recently volunteered with our Meals on Wheels program. Here’s how the group came together, and what they experienced by supporting Dixon Hall.

Meet the bands from Girls Rock Camp 2018

Girls Rock Camp returned at Dixon Hall for it’s third consecutive year. Here are the bands our campers created.

Working with Young Women and Mothers in Regent Park

Our Children & Youth department work closely with young women and mothers in Regent Park to create strong and healthy women. To celebrate International Women’s Day, we’re recognizing the different ways we empower women and help them recognize their strengths.

A Dixon Hall Love Story

Meet Dixon Hall’s sweethearts, Pablo and Monica, who are passionate about living their shared values and improving their community.

Governments of Canada, Ontario and Toronto invest in Dixon Hall Youth Centre

We’re thrilled to announce we’ve completed fundraising for our new youth centre in the heart of Regent Park, thanks to a generous donation from our federal, provincial, and municipal governments. This project also received incredible support from the business community throughout the duration of our Capital Campaign.

Showing Love in Regent Park: Using Food to Maximize Social Return

Our Social Enterpise restaurant, the Show Love Café has recently undergone some big changes – including a menu refresh!

Harm Reduction: Working with Marginalized Populations to Minimize Risk and Encourage Healthy Change

Lessons in harm reduction principles from our Harm Reduction Worker, Chris Snodgrass.

Camp is in Session!

Welcoming Dixon Hall’s counselors and campers for Summer 2017 and reflecting on some of the skills they’ll learn over the summer as part of their jobs.

Living Your Best Life – Seniors Month and Ending Isolation

Seniors Month takes place in Ontario every June. The theme for 2017 is “Living Your Best Life,” How does our Seniors Department work with seniors every day to live their best lives? Though we have 17 different programs, they all work to end isolation.

Children and Youth Manager Kenneth Slater wins Bhayana Family Foundation Award

Dixon Hall Manager of Children and Youth Kenneth Slater wins a Bhayana Family Foundation award.

Catching up with Dixon Hall Music School Alumna Talena

Talena Jackson took piano lessons at Dixon Hall Music School throughout the 90s. She shares some of her fondest memories from her lessons and summer camp with us.

Beyond Fun in the Sun: Dixon Hall’s Summer Camp and Youth Mental Health

Director of Children & Youth programs Sandra Costain explains the positive impact of summer camp on youth mental health.

A Case of Serendipity: Q&A with the irreplaceable volunteer Vivien Dzau

National Volunteer Week takes place annually in April. To mark this 2017’s event, we turned the spotlight on one of our long-time volunteers: Vivizen Dzau to find out what volunteering at Dixon Hall means to her.

First Annual Out of the Cold Report is Here

Dixon Hall is pleased to present the first annual Out of the Cold program report – analyzing statistics around program usage and demographics.

Out of the Cold Toronto – 30 Years Later – A Growing Crisis 

Out of the Cold – Program Milestones and Evolution

Dixon Hall Housing Services Director David Reycraft reflects on milestones of the Out of the Cold Program and the evolution of the program over the last 30 years.

Celebrating Dixon Hall’s Strong Women Leaders

To celebrate International Women’s Day 2017, we chat with Christine Chow, our Director of Seniors Services to find out more about her work , career path, and her thoughts on issues affecting women today.

Dixon Hall Announced as United Way Anchor Agency

Dixon Hall is named as a United Way Anchor Agency on February 23rd, 2017. Being an anchor agency means we can keep investing in Regent Park and building a stronger neighbourhood.

How Do You #ShowLove?

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, Dixon Hall embarked on a mission: to connect with our staff, volunteers, and clients to understand what showing love means to them.

Remembering Ali Rizeig

Remembering and honouring Ali Rizeig, a young man from our community whose life was cut tragically short.

Watch Daniel Sheikh’s New Video

Watch our Music School student Daniel Sheikh’s newest video here

Literacy and Basic Skills Program is Moving

The LBS program will be moving to Regent Park Community Centre (402 Shuter St) as of February 1st, 2017.

You can access the Regent Park Community Centre via the TTC — by taking the 501 Queen Streetcar to the Queen & Sackville stop and walking to Shuter St.

For detailed trip planning information, please use the TTC Trip Planner.

 

A Year in Review: Reflecting with Gratitude

CEO Neil Hetherington reflects on 2016 and practices gratitude, highlighting key moments ahead of the journey into 2017.

Recent music video

Watch Heart Attack Monday’s most recent music video, ‘I Need You Now’ Click Here

We are currently accepting students for Drums, Voice, Violin and Choir (group lesson)!

Music School Registration Form

November Free Workshop Calendar

Regent Park Employment Services Centre
Free Events Calendar
November 2016

Because of Aleshia

At Dixon Hall, we have no shortage of women who make a difference in the lives of some of our city’s most vulnerable residents every day. One of the many extraordinary women who work at Dixon Hall is Aleshia Nigh-Neverson,

Houzayfa’s Basketball Diary

14-year-old Houzayfa was born and raised in Regent Park. Two years ago, when he was in Grade 6, Houzayfa became the youngest player to ever participate in our basketball league.

Hayley’s Musical Journey

Each year, our Music School must say goodbye to some of our students as they head off to their post secondary studies.

Sophie’s Triumphant Return

Recently, a former client from our Out of the Cold program dropped by for a visit.Staff recall that Sophie (whose name has been changed to protect her privacy) was possibly the most challenging but brilliant client they’ve ever known.

Rachel’s Journey from Heartbreak to Hope

Rachel is a member of our Children & Youth programs. She’s a vibrant young lady who hasn’t had an easy life.

What will Lili cook next?

Lili has been a volunteer in the Mandarin program at the Elderly Persons Centre for more than 5 years. She first heard about the Mandarin program

It might have been a brutally cold evening outside,

But the warmth and compassion of our volunteers was palpable once the doors of St. Patrick’s Church were opened

For Mary, an 87 year-old senior living alone in a St. Lawrence area apartment,

Last year was the first holiday season she spent on her own since her husband passed away.

Travis is a teenager who was uprooted last year by the redevelopment of Regent Park.

He comes from a single-parent home where his mother struggles to raise 3 young children.

Summer at Dixon Hall Neighbourhood Services

Summer is always an exciting time at DHNS – especially for our youth who get to take part in one of our Summer Camps.The opportunity to try new things abounds for our

Neil Op-Ed

On Friday, September 30, affordable housing community leaders attended the Toronto Housing Summit. At the gathering, there were discussions with the mayors of some

National Housing Strategy Position Paper

CEO Neil Hetherington shares Dixon Hall’s recommendations re: the National Housing Strategy with The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos P.c., M.P. Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

Bill Finds a Home

Back in 1995, Bill Cook found himself living in Dixon Hall’s Heyworth House shelter with no one to turn to. He had hit rock bottom and was in need of support from our shelter staff.

O’Neil’s Living Proof

Growing up in Regent Park, O’Neil was exposed to the dangers the community was known for. On a path towards crime and considered a youth at-risk, he was feared by many – but not by those at Dixon Hall.