AboutYSMhistory

History


Today we offer over 100 programs and services. We reach out to street-involved youth, lonely seniors, families of recent immigrants who face a bewildering new culture, and others seeking help to achieve their full potential. This glimpse into over 120 years of history tells the story of our rich heritage, from its first days distributing bread and milk to hungry immigrants to its current role as a safe place for the city’s most vulnerable.

John Coolidge Davis

1849


Founder John Coolidge Davis is born on June 29, 1849.

1896 The Mission begins

1896


The Mission begins

The Mission starts with a “Gospel Wagon” that hands out food and clothing, and progresses to a rented storefront on Yonge Street.

Yonge Street Mission gets its name.

1900 Winter generosity

1900


Winter generosity

When resources were waning, a generous donor promised them all the coal they could use.

A stranger donated 6,000 loaves of bread and provided 50 gallons of milk each day for the rest of the winter. He also soon delivered cartloads of potatoes, beans, cornmeal, flour, and even financial support.

1897-1904

1897-1904


The Mission is relocated to rented premises at Yonge and Shuter streets.

The move to 381 Yonge

1904


The move to 381 Yonge

Through the kindness of friends, a new building is purchased at 381 Yonge Street. (seen on left)

The new space has a kitchen and clothes room, and a seating capacity of 500.

The original beams on the ceiling are still in tact at the building today.

1914

1914


Yonge Street Mission is incorporated.

1921

1921


YSM is protected from harm in the great fire.

The shrieks of terror-stricken women aroused the neighbourhood at Yonge and Gerrard Streets in the early-morning hours of January 28, 1921. The great Forum Building was a raging inferno of fire, and the shrieks were of people who had barely managed to escape, while the much smaller YSM building was untouched.

The Mission, instead of going about a rescue operation for itself, was open for business with coffee and sandwiches for the men who worked so hard. To a man, they wanted to save the Mission.

1929

1929


The Great Depression hits

Yonge Street Mission feeds and clothes thousands of people, going through 5,600 beef sandwiches, 80 gallons of tea and 26 gallons of milk a day.

1962

1962


Yonge Street Mission Youth Centre opens.

1970

1970


A coffee house opens at 381 Yonge Street to attract the increasing numbers of young people visiting the Mission.

1979

1979


Evergreen launches

381 Yonge Street is renamed Evergreen. Evergreen begins to focus on the needs of street-involved youth. Programs are tailored to this group of young people.

1987

1987


Church On The Street

Church on the Street officially opens with Rev. Bill Ryan founding pastor.

1991

1991


Genesis Place

Official opening of Genesis Place, a 26-unit supportive housing facility.

AboutYSMhistory1992 (1)

1992


Counselling branch opens in the Christian Community Centre.

AboutYSMhistory1994

1994


Health Centre Opens

Official opening of Health Centre at Evergreen, offering free medical care and referrals, dental care, eye examinations and glasses, health education and chiropractic services for street-involved youth.

1996

1996


YSM’s 100th Anniversary

Yonge Street Mission celebrates its 100th anniversary helping the poor in Toronto.

AboutYSMhistory1998employment

1998


Evergreen Employment opens

Evergreen Employment Resource Centre opens, providing job search, peer mentoring, employment readiness and life skills workshops.

1998

1998


CATM Opens

Church at the Mission, a branch of YSM, opens. Original Church at the Mission worship team pictured on left.

1999

1999


The 310 Centre opens

Official opening of the 310 Centre that houses the Double Take thrift store and the TD Securities Computer Literacy Centre.

2003

2003


Strategic Partnerships

Partnering with YSM, the Royal Bank opens a Cash & Save branch in the 310 Centre.

2004

2004


YSM’s Christian Community Centre is re-opened

Official re-opening of the renovated and expanded Christian Community Centre.

There is also a celebration of 100 years of service at 381 Yonge Street.

2009

2009


H. B. Martin Family helps YSM open 306 Gerrard

H. B. Martin Family Centre for Urban Education opens at 306 Gerrard St. E.

2010

2010


YSM’s First Satellite office opens

St. James Town, site of YSM’s first satellite office, opens its doors at 225 Wellesley St. E.

Angie Website Headshot Update

2013


June 1

On June 1st, Angie Draskovic is appointed as President & CEO of The Yonge Street Mission

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