YSM has been serving and supporting Torontonians since 1896.

From our first days distributing bread and milk to hungry immigrants to the more than 100 programs and services offered today, YSM has worked to provide help where it’s needed most.

a black and white photo of an old cart 1896

1896

Yonge Street Mission is founded by John Coolidge Davis, and evolves from handing out food and clothing via the “Gospel Wagon” to a rented storefront on Yonge Street.

YSM building in 1904

1904

Through the kindness of friends and supporters, a new, larger space at 381 Yonge Street is purchased in order to serve more people. The new space has a kitchen and clothes room, and a seating capacity of 500.

Even though the site is not still occupied by Yonge Street Mission, the original ceiling beams are still intact and will be transformed into furniture and décor displayed within each YSM building, as a nod to our history and heritage.

old brick building, YSM in 1921

1921

YSM is protected from harm in the great fire. In the early-morning hours of January 28, 1921 the great Forum Building, located next to YSM, is engulfed in flames. YSM’S building is miraculously left unscathed and provides coffee and sandwiches to firefighters working to contain the fire.

YSM building in 1930s, men waiting outside

1930s

The Great Depression hits and YSM responds by feeding and clothing thousands of people; going through 5,600 beef sandwiches, 80 gallons of tea and 26 gallons of milk a day.

black and white photo of an old brick building, YSM in 1896

1935

Founder John Coolidge Davis dies. His second wife, Gertrude Evelyn Mullin, is appointed YSM’s Superintendent. She serves until 1939.

Group of YSM youth walking in 1962

1962

YSM’s Youth Centre opens.

YSM Davis Centre, building with large glass windows

1968

YSM’s Christian Community Centre (CCC) opens at 270 Gerrard Street East with a focus on youth programming. In 1979, when youth programming is moved to YSM’s Evergreen Centre for street-involved youth, the CCC begins to offer programming for seniors, children, women and families. It also houses clothing and food banks.

Hallelujah Hal's - Muffin and coffee emporium, 1970

1970

YSM opens a coffee house, Hal’s Space, to attract the increasing numbers of young people visiting the area.

two young men in front of building

1979

Evergreen Centre for Street Youth launches at 381 Yonge Street with a focus on the needs of street-involved youth.

people holding a banner for church on the street

1987

Church on the Street is launched.

YSM Genesis Place in 1991

1991

Genesis Place, a transitional housing facility, operated by Yonge Street Mission opens.

a young man in a doctor's office

1994

Evergreen’s Health Centre opens, , offering free medical care, referrals, dental care, eye examinations and glasses, health education and chiropractic services for street-involved youth.

two women reviewing a document

1998

Evergreen Employment Resource Centre opens,  providing pre-employment training, job search assistance, peer mentoring, employment readiness and life skills workshops.Church on the street becomes Church at the Mission (CATM). The church demonstrates YSM’s long-standing commitment to unity and acceptance and offers community members a supportive and loving environment to follow their spiritual journey.

rack of clothes

1999

Official opening of the 310 Centre that houses YSM’s Double Take thrift store and the TD Securities Computer Literacy Centre, where children and adults receive computer skills training.

The Martin Family in 2009

2009

H. B. Martin Family Centre for Urban Education opens at 306 Gerrard Street East offering space for community groups to meet and housing YSM’s administrative staff.

2013

After faithfully serving the community for 30 years, Rick Tobias steps down as CEO and Angie (Draskovic) Peters becomes YSM’s new President & CEO.

computer graphic of a building

2015

YSM announces it will be moving its iconic Evergreen Centre on Yonge Street to a new location at 365 Spadina Avenue – a space three times the size – to serve more youth.

three people in front of the evergreen centre

2018

YSM’s Evergreen officially opens its new location at 365 Spadina Ave. in the area of Kensington Market.