Skip to content


FST: IPV is an epidemic

As an organization dedicated to supporting survivors of violence against women (VAW), Family Service Toronto welcomes Toronto City Council’s July 20 decision to declare gender-based and intimate partner violence an epidemic.

The declaration was part of a motion from Mayor Olivia Chow that passed with no opposition and calls on the provincial and federal governments to make the same move.

FST remains deeply concerned and disappointed by the Ontario government’s recent decision to reject a Coroner’s Inquest jury recommendation to declare intimate partner violence (IPV) as an epidemic across the province.

This decision, published June 28, 2023, does a disservice to the countless victims and their families who have suffered the devastating consequences of IPV.

Family Service Toronto supported Mayor Chow’s recommendation at City Council to Declare Gender-Based Violence and Intimate Partner Violence an Epidemic in the City of Toronto. In doing so, the City joined 30 other Ontario municipalities calling for the same declaration.

Read FST’s full statement and join us in raising awareness about the importance of addressing IPV as a public health crisis.

FST welcomes new board President

Olympia Baldrich has been appointed President of Family Service Toronto’s Board of Directors. The appointment was confirmed by board members on June 28, 2023 following FST’s Annual General Meeting.

She takes over the position from Andrew Thomson who has completed his board term.

Olympia joined FST’s board in June 2021 and is an executive with experience in multiple industries in Europe and North America. She has over 20 years of progressive experience in corporate leadership and is currently Vice President, Real Estate Secured Lending at TD.

At the annual meeting, the membership received the audited financial statements for the year ending March 31, 2023 and elected Sarah Blackstock and Bonita Rubin to the Board for a first term of three years.

Read our 2022-23 Annual Report

Copies of our 2022-23 Annual Report and Audited Financial Statements are available for download or online reading.

The annual report lists our programs and client services and provides statistics on our work and community outreach. It also describes our work through the year and addresses organizational highlights and changes.

Funders and donors are also highlighted in addition to revenues and expenses for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2023. 

FST Pride 2023 Statement

For many within the 2SLGBTQQIA+ community, the word Pride is often first encountered as a sin. The fight for Queer liberation led by Trans, gender non-conforming individuals, sex workers, drag queens/kings, queer youth, lesbians, gay men, Black, and Indigenous communities has allowed us to recognize and celebrate that Pride is a virtue.

During Pride we come together to honour this legacy and the continued fight for liberation and self-determination for all who continue to face racism, sexism, classism, ableism, xenophobia, transphobia, homophobia, ageism, in addition to all other forms of oppression and subsequent violence rooted in colonialism, White supremacy, neoliberalism and capitalism.

We acknowledge that Black and Indigenous people have been instrumental in the effort towards Queer liberation, and we must continue to uplift their voices.  To truly deconstruct white supremacist structures and systems of oppression, we must fully implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and swiftly implement the Calls to Justice from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and the Calls to Action from Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

As an agency, we are committed to upholding our values of celebrating diversity, pursuing equity and practising inclusion. We continue to ground our understanding of poverty, marginalization, discrimination and oppression in the lived experience of people and communities.

Join us June 8 from 4 to 7 p.m. at 355 Church Street for a drop-in, collaborative art making event about the theme of queer existence and resistance. Come together with members of the community and allies to celebrate the unique and diverse identities of the 2SLGBTQQIA+ community. No registration required. Download flyer

FST sites now fully open

Family Service Toronto offices are now fully open. Onsite services have resumed at our downtown location at 355 Church Street, west-end location at 128A Sterling Road, and our east-end location at 1527 Victoria Park Avenue.

Our office hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for in-person pre-booked appointments, drop-ins and for some scheduled group sessions.

Please note that single therapy sessions will remain virtual. Walk-in single session services are not available at this time.

See our Workshops, Groups and Events for upcoming sessions or call 416-595-9618 weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to book a single session counselling appointment in our virtual walk-in program. A counsellor will return the call between 11:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. daily. 

Hard Feelings expands hours

FST’s partner Hard Feelings Mental Health will expand its storefront hours beginning May 3 at 353 Church Street adjacent to FST’s downtown offices.

The new store hours are Tuesday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Hard Feelings is an innovative non-profit organization and member of the Citywide Commons – a suite of organizations collaborating on service provision and committed to fostering a diverse, equitable and inclusive culture.

Hard Feelings supports a community of mental health professionals who offer low-cost, short-term counselling.

Their storefront and online shop offers curated resources that support stronger mental health. Check out their many home and body products including apparel, stationery and books on mindfulness and other topics. Be sure to check out their book of the week.


Family Service Toronto charges a fee for service in our General Counselling service, Families in Transition, David Kelley LGBTQ+ Counselling Service and Next Steps Partner Assault Response Program. 

FST’s fees for counselling and group work in these programs are changing, effective April 1, 2023 for all people who attend a first appointment on or after this date. FST’s full fee will be $150 per counselling session and $105 per group session. Where a person cannot pay the full fee, fees are reduced based on a sliding scale.  This scale considers total household income and size and ranges from $150 to $10 for a counselling session and $105 to $10 per group session.

Any person with benefits coverage that includes FST services will be charged the full fee for service until such time as their benefits are used, regardless of their household income and size. After this time, a new fee contract will be entered into based on household size and total income.

Any current active clients will continue to pay their current fee in the program(s) they are enrolled in on or before March 31, 2023.  If a current active client requests service in a different program where a fee is charged on or after April 1 they will be charged the new program rate.

FST currently subsidizes fees by up to 95 per cent of the full cost.  This change in fees will reduce subsidies to 93 per cent.

FST celebrates Social Workers

It is #SocialWorkMonth2023 and Family Service Toronto joins in the celebration of social workers from across Canada. And, March 6 to 12 is also Social Work Week in Ontario.

This year’s theme, #SocialWorkIsEssentialspeaks to the diverse and essential nature of the social work profession.

Every day, social workers support Canadians in navigating complex systems. As we emerge from the pandemic and more Canadians experience mental health challenges, social workers are more essential than ever. In schools, long-term care centres, hospitals, social service agencies and many more other places, social workers are there to facilitate and increase access to mental health and social services systems for those in need.

Thank you to our social workers!

Ending Child Poverty is Possible

Ending child and family poverty is possible according to the 2022 national poverty report card released by Campaign 2000, a non-partisan coalition of 120 groups and individuals coordinated by Family Service Toronto.

Campaign2000’s report, Pandemic Lessons: Ending Child and Family Poverty is Possible, finds that in 2020, despite the onset of a global pandemic and economic shutdown, child poverty was reduced by a dramatic 40%, the depth of poverty decreased across all family types, and income inequality (the gap between rich and poor) between families was reduced. This significant progress was due in large part to temporary pandemic transfers from the federal government to families and individuals.

“The lesson here is undeniable. Government transfers in the form of cash to families can reduce – and eliminate – income poverty, and it can be done quickly,” said Leila Sarangi, National Director of Campaign 2000 and co-author of report. “We saw significant reductions in rates of child poverty in every province and territory and in nearly every socio-demographic group we have data for. Emergency and recovery benefits, and one-time top ups to existing programs such as the Canada Child Benefit were largely responsible for these gains. For a long time now we’ve been calling on the federal government to increase transfers to families who have been left languishing in poverty. This report shows just how much of a difference these investments can make.”

Campaign 2000 was formed in the early 1990s to urge governments to deliver on an all-party House of Commons resolution to end child poverty by year 2000.

Five Campaign 2000 partners also released their annual reports and other provincial partners will release reports in upcoming weeks. Read more on Campaign 2000 report news page.

FST joins mental health appeal

Our city and our nation are experiencing a mental health crisis.

On Feb. 6, Family Service Toronto joined the Canadian Mental Health Association (Toronto), Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants and The Neighbourhood Group in appealing to @JustinTrudeau and @fordnation to urge an immediate national response.

Without core funding increases, FST and community agencies at the front lines of Toronto’s mental health crisis will be forced to reduce services at a time when they’ve never been more vital. Read the letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Doug Ford and add your  voice to the cause.

Pre-book in-person sessions

In-person pre-booked appointments and some groups have resumed at our 355 Church Street and 128A Sterling Road locations for Counselling and Developmental Services. 

Counselling, Options Case Management, Person Directed Planning,  Passport and group sessions continue to be offered  by phone and video as we work to support communities and clients.

See our Virtual Workshops and Groups page for upcoming sessions or call 416-595-9618 weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. to book a single session counselling appointment in our virtual walk-in program.. A counsellor will return the call between 11:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. daily. 

You can also connect with us via phone, fax, text and email.

FST launches new needs program

Family Service Toronto has launched an innovative project to provide individualized service navigation to people with multi-layered, complex needs and who are struggling to find help.

“Now more than ever, vulnerable people in Toronto Centre are experiencing different crises concurrently,” said local MPP Kristyn Wong-Tam at the program’s virtual launch on Jan. 18.

“It is hard to take care of your mental health when you don’t have a safe place to live, don’t know when you can get help for problematic substance use, or don’t know how you will afford your next meal, let alone all of those at once and more,” she said. “It brings me hope that Family Service Toronto is working hard to serve the whole person and that the Ontario Trillium Foundation is supporting them in this work.”

Last summer, FST received a $88,600 Resilient Communities Fund grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) to help it with the costs involved with delivering on this initiative. More details are available from the media release.

Programs and Services

Programmes en Français
Appointments and Frequently Asked Questions
Campaign 2000
Caring for Caregivers
Families in Transition
Growing Up Healthy Downtown
Healthy Families. Healthy Communities
Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse
Partner Assault Response
Partner Contact
Pat’s Place
Person Directed Planning
Queer and Connected
Seniors and Caregivers
Seniors Community Connections
Social Action
Transitional and Housing Support
Violence Against Women
Walk-In Counselling