"We have nowhere safe to go."
Every Monday, Toby’s Place responds to this need. It is a safe(r) space for queer, trans and questioning youth in South Scarborough to find affirmation that they are loved as they are.
We have built a space where identity and values can safely be explored in an environment that encourages and supports authenticity. Our goal is to create hope for youth that they are welcome just as they are with all the questions and all the dreams that they have.
Through regular community meals, speaker, and education programs we foster space to develop deep and growing connections with other youth and the community as whole - a sanctuary where all youth are welcome. This is a collaborative project with community partners such as Planned Parenthood, the Toronto District School Board, Toronto City Council, and more.
A member of our faith community shared with us his experience of growing up in Scarborough. Darryl is a young gay man who experienced isolation, alienation, and fear. This rejection, and the inability to find welcoming space where he could process his experience, was very problematic. Finding a safe and nurturing community would have made all the difference. He wanted to create a safe space for the many youth today who are in desperate need of such a community. Toby’s Place responds to this need.
Rev. Dr. Cheri DiNovo, MPP, author of Toby’s Law (passed in 2012 to establish rights for trans people in Ontario), states: “I support Toby’s Place because it is a matter of life and death. If youth have no safe space where they can be nurtured and supported, terrible things happen.”
Join us and be part of something bigger than yourself.
Please also see this media link about Toby's Place by Toronto.com.
What Happens at Toby's Place?
On Monday's between 3:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., 2SLGBTQIA+ youth under 23, their friends and allies are invited to come and spend some time at Toby's Place. Afternoons and evenings centre around a nutritious delicious supper enjoyed family style by participants, staff, and volunteers.
Before the meal, snacks and informal activities are available. You will find lively conversation; help with homework, job applications, or resume assistance; games; art exploration; or just hanging out are part of the regular routine.
After the meal, engaging workshops, discussions, and seminars are offered. If you have ideas for people to come and share their stories, offer workshops, or provide information about something of interest to the group, please contact us.
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Connect with Toby's Place for more information, if you have questions, or want to get involved:
We gratefully acknowledge a generous grant from the New Ministries Fund of The United Church of Canada Foundation which supports the ongoing work of Toby’s Place. For more information: https://unitedchurchfoundation.ca/grant-info/the-new-ministries-fund/.
There are many resources available to you – you are not alone!
Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays Canada (PFLAG) is another excellent resource
Kids Help Phone can be accessed here: 1 800 668-6868
Trans Lifeline (crisis) line for Canada: 1 877 330-6366
Youthline: 1 800 268-9688