• OTF Grant Kicks Off Abrigo Revitalization

    14 June 2021 / Uncategorized / 0 Comment

    Media Release

    OTF Grant of $110,000 Cooks Up New Kitchen and Safety Measures for Abrigo 

    TORONTO, ON (June 3, 2021) - While the clients and volunteers in Abrigo’s Life and Hope seniors’ program have be under pandemic lockdown, something has been cooking at their beloved agency. Thanks to a $110,000 Capital grant awarded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) in 2019, volunteers within that program will soon be able to take their culinary skills to unprecedented heights with the installation of a new working kitchen at the venerable Dufferin Street location. Seniors will also feel a sense of extra protection with the addition of improved safety features in and outside of the building.

    “The investment of the Ontario Trillium Foundation for a new kitchen will make a significant impact on Abrigo’s ability to improve and expand seniors’ programming,” said Marit Stiles, MPP for Davenport. “The Life and Hope program is a shining star in our community. The pandemic has forced clients to stay home for far too long but the program is one of the true bright lights in Davenport. Abrigo makes a huge difference in the lives of so many seniors in Toronto.”

    For years, volunteers with the Life and Hope program prepared meals without the use of a proper stove. Despite doing an admiral job, they were limited in what could be prepared. The new kitchen will help eliminate the reliance on external vendors most days. Additional safety features such as new fire doors and an external staircase out of the building were part of the project to ensure that everyone would be able to exit safely in case of an emergency.

    “For far too long, our wonderful seniors’ program has been making the best out of a less than ideal situation,” said Ed Graca, Abrigo’s Executive Director.  “This OTF grant signals a real shift forward in our ability to provide our clients with proper meals plus deliver programming that is unmatched in the city. We’ve reached another milestone in Abrigo’s history thanks to the Ontario Trillium Foundation’s generosity. I can’t wait to have our clients safely back. When we do, we are going to have one massive Grand Opening celebration.”

    The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. OTF awarded $115 million to 644 projects last year to build healthy and vibrant communities in Ontario.


    Media Contact:

    Gerald Luciano

    Manager, Fundraising and Communications

    416-534-3434 ext. 247

  • Time to Celebrate Portugal Day!

    02 June 2021 / Uncategorized / 0 Comment

    Experience Events and History Throughout June

    Abrigo's Cidalia Pereira examines the history and some of the wonderful events on tap for the month of June as we celebrate all things Portuguese. Read more about it in this month's edition of Discover Magazine:

  • Abrigo Closed Victoria Day Monday

    21 May 2021 / Uncategorized / 0 Comment

    Our Virtual Office is Closed May 24th

    Just a reminder that Abrigo has been operating virtually since the beginning of this current stay at home order and our virtual office will be closed on Monday, May 24, 2021 for the Victoria Day holiday.

    Our office will reopen virtually on Tuesday, May 25 at 9:00 a.m. Have a safe and happy holiday everyone!

  • Abrigo Joins Vaccine Engagement Consortium

    05 May 2021 / Uncategorized / 0 Comment

    Part of the York Weston Pelham Cluster

    The Abrigo Centre has joined a consortium of local social service agencies and community organizations to combat the COVID-19 virus. Eleven agencies within the York Weston Pelham cluster are joining forces to engage, educate and get people in Toronto vaccinated.

    Learn more about this important initiative in this story from the May issue of Discover Magazine. Read more here:

  • OTF Grant is Cooking Up Some Good News for Abrigo

    05 May 2021 / Uncategorized / 0 Comment

    Life and Hope Seniors Program is Getting a New Kitchen

    The seniors in Abrigo's wonderfully dynamic Life and Hope program will soon be the owners of a new kitchen thanks to a grant of $110,000 from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF).

    The Cooking Area with a powerful Range Hood

    Since the seniors program moved into Abrigo current location at 1645 Dufferin Street, the one component missing (prior to the COVID-19 pandemic) was the regular ability to create and cook meals for the clients in attendance. Since mid-March 2020, the Life and Hope group has suspended in-person gatherings for the safety and well being of all participants staff and volunteers.

    New Tile Floors. Ready for the appliances!

    On any give weekday session prior to COVID, 60 to 100 individuals typically attending the program. The requirements to feed that many people regularly meant turning to external vendors for food. Although we don't expect that to completely end, the ability to cook on a stove or bake something for the first time will certainly reduce the program's food costs and allow our wonderful volunteers to expand their culinary skills.

    The Kitchen now has Walls and a Serving Opening

    In addition to a new kitchen, the OTF grant provided for additional safety measures to be installed at Abrigo. New fire doors and new staircases out of the building and down to the ground will help keep everyone safe in case of an emergency.

    New Fire Doors and the Exit Stairs out of the main building

    "We are absolutely delighted to have the Ontario Trillium Foundation support this project," says Ed Graca, Abrigo's Executive Director. "This is something our clients have been wanting for the longest time. Now that this project is almost done, it almost seems unreal. Our seniors are going to be so happy to have the new kitchen ready and open upon their return. Hopefully that can happen in the fall. Please get your vaccine everyone!"

    New External Staircase - wider, with a less steep descent angle for added safety

  • April Means Tax Time

    08 April 2021 / Uncategorized / 0 Comment

    Filing a return for some Abrigo clients means a windfall in benefits

    Not only does April signal the start of nicer weather, it's also the unofficial launch of tax season. In this month's submission to Discover Magazine, Abrigo Centre's Valeria Sales gives one example of how filing your taxes can actually lead to a financial windfall.

    Please read Abrigo's article this month on the importance of filing your taxes and how to get some additional help, if needed, to get your return in by the April 30th deadline:

  • Abrigo Closed for Long Easter Weekend

    01 April 2021 / Uncategorized / 0 Comment

    Traditional Four Day Closure Again This year

    Abrigo will be closed (virtually) again this year over the long four-day Easter weekend, Friday, April 2 through Monday, April 5.

    As you know our doors have been closed to seeing clients in-person since the late fall but our counsellors continue to help individuals and families virtually over the phone or through Zoom or Teams meetings.

    Please know that our agency will reopen virtually on Tuesday, April 6 at 9:00 a.m. You can reach us at 416-534-3434. Please continue to follow all COVID-19 mitigation protocols and stay safe everyone!

  • COVID-19 Vaccination Update

    30 March 2021 / Uncategorized / 0 Comment

    Please Get Vaccinated When It's Your Turn

    The City of Toronto is now accepting those 70 and older at any of their vaccination clinics.

    You can book an appointment at immunization clinics in Toronto using the Province’s vaccination registration system (note browser requirements) or by calling the Provincial Vaccine Information Line at 1-888-999-6488 (TTY 1-866-797-0007).

    You can find a clinic here:

    Starting April 1, 2021, select pharmacies across the province are booking appointments for AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines for eligible people ages 55 or older in 2021. Please contact a major pharmacy near you to see if they are offering this service or to book an appointment.

    For more information please visit the City of Toronto's website:

  • The Contributing Factors to Suicide Can Be Treated

    04 March 2021 / Uncategorized / 0 Comment

    Abrigo's Monthly Contribution to Discover Magazine Looks at Preventing Suicide

    Cidalia Pereira, the Abrigo Centre's Supervisor, Counselling Services, examines how parents, friends and colleagues can assist those dealing with depression and having suicidal thoughts.

    Read more about this in this month's Discover Magazine:

  • International Women's Day Arrives March 8

    03 March 2021 / Uncategorized / 0 Comment

    Will You #ChooseToChallenge?

    Marked annually on March 8th, International Women’s Day is one of the most important days on our calendar that reflects on the achievements and progress made by women worldwide and documents how far we still need to go to create change and achieve gender equality.

    It’s a day we celebrate all acts of courage and determination that extraordinary women have exhibited in the history of their countries and communities. It’s also a day to raise awareness about women’s equality and to reflect on important changes that must be made regarding the many archaic patriarchal standards that are still being imposed and performed by a host of different cultures. 

    The campaign theme for International Women's Day 2021, is #ChooseToChallenge. In other words, chose to challenge outdated norms be it personal or social and incite change that makes a difference.

    Chose to challenge yourself and create your own history. If everyone could change some small thing within yourself to make a better world, together we can create a new and more equal society. 

    After this devasting time with social isolation due to the COVID-19, we would like you to reflect about…

    1. What are the lessons and changes that this period has brought to you? 
    2. How can you challenge yourself this year to make a personal or societal change?
    3. How can you contribute to a gender equal society? 

    So, let's all #ChooseToChallenge!

    Additional resources:

    International Women’s Day:

    Status of Women Canada:

    United Nations:

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