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History

Today we offer over 100 programs and services. We reach out to street youth, families in need and adults experiencing chronic poverty to help 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.

History

1849

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

JOHN COOLIDGE DAVIS

1896

The Mission begins.

The Mission officially becomes the Yonge Street Mission (YSM). Evolving from handing out food and clothing via the “Gospel Wagon” to a rented storefront on Yonge Street.

THE MISSION BEGINS

1897-1904

YSM begins its legacy on Yonge Street by renting a building at Yonge & Shuter.

BEGINS ITS LEGACY

1904

The move to 381 Yonge Street.

Through the kindness of friends and supporters, a new, larger space is purchased in order to serve more people. The new space has a kitchen and clothes room, and a seating capacity of 500. The original beams on the ceiling are still intact at the building and will be moved into the new Evergreen Centre for Street Youth in spring ’18.

381 YONGE STREET

1921

YSM is protected from harm in the great fire.

In the early-morning hours of January 28, 1921 the great Forum Building, located beside YSM is engulfed in flames. YSM’S building is miraculously left unscathed so they provide coffee and sandwiches to the firefighters who work hard to contain the fire.

PROTECT FROM HARM

1930s

The Great Depression hits.

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

GREAT DEPRESSION

1962

YSM's Youth Centre opens.

YOUTH CENTRE

1968

YSM's CCC opens at 270 Gerrard Street East.

The centre opens with a focus on youth programming. In 1979, when youth programming is moved to YSM’s Evergreen Centre for street youth the CCC begins to offer programming for seniors, children and women/family. It also houses a clothing and food bank.

YSM'S CCC

1970

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

HAL'S SPACE

1979

Evergreen Centre for Street Youth launches.

381 Yonge Street is renamed Evergreen, with a focus on the needs of street youth. Programs are tailored to this group of young people.

EVERGREEN CENTRE

1987

Church on the Street opens.

CHURCH ON THE STREET

1991

Genesis Place, a transitional housing facility opens.

GENESIS PLACE

1994

Evergreen's 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 youth.

EVERGREEN HEALTH CENTRE

1998

Evergreen Employment Resource Centre opens.

Evergreen Employment Resource Centre opens, offering pre-employment training, job search assistance, peer mentoring, employment readiness and life skills workshops.

Church on the street becomes Church at the Mission. 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.

Employment Resource Centre

1999

The 310 Centre opens.

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.

310 Centre

2009

H. B. Martin Family helps YSM open 306 Gerrard.

H. B. Martin Family Centre for Urban Education opens at 306 Gerrard Street East.

310 Gerrard Street

2013

Angie Draskovic appointed President & CEO.

After faithfully serving the community for 30 years, Rick Tobias steps down for health reasons. He currently serves as YMS’s Community and Anti-Poverty Advocate.

Angie Draskovic

2015

New location for Evergreen Centre for Street Youth.

YSM announces it will be moving its iconic Evergreen Centre on Yonge Street to a new location at 365/367 Spadina Avenue – a space three times the size in order to serve more youth.

New location

2016

YSM purchases 308 Gerrard Street East.

As part of their community development strategy, YSM plans to build a community hub in Regent Park.

308 Gerrard Street