Celebrating Rick Tobias

A virtual event honouring Rick Tobias and the launch of The Grace and Goodness Trust – a lasting legacy of Rick’s service at Yonge Street Mission.

After 30 years of serving as YSM’s valued leader and 7 years as YSM’s Community Advocate, Rick Tobias has officially retired.

On Monday, Oct 26 we hosted an intimate “virtual” gathering, including a live concert by one of Rick’s favourite bands, Over the Rhine.

An evening of storytelling, memories and song, this celebration also launched The Grace and Goodness Trust, a lasting tribute to Rick, in the form of an endowment fund, that will support and serve those experiencing poverty in our city in perpetuity.

Rick Tobias in Regent Park

Photo by Ruby Gatieria

Join us in Honouring Rick Tobias

Tribute Video Messages

A very special thank you to all who took the time to record a personal tribute message for Rick.

You can now view the whole video, and share in the  appreciation for Rick.



The Grace & Goodness Trust

Rick graciously accepted our request to name an endowment fund after him; a fund that will advance YSM’s work and our vision for the people of Toronto.

For more information, use the button below or contact Angela at 416 929 9614 x 4248 or at asolomos@ysm.ca.

Make a one-time donation in honour of Rick

Your donation today will help support YSM’s important work to transform lives, build community, and transform Toronto, while enabling you to pay personal tribute to Rick. Rick will be notified of each gift and your personalized message and good wishes will be shared with him.

Rick Tobias playing the guitar

Rick’s Legacy at YSM

In 1983, Rick became coordinator of Yonge Street Mission’s Evergreen Centre, which he re-focused to address the needs of street-involved youth.

His innovative work led to the invitation to become the agency’s CEO, a position he held from 1989 to 2012. During his tenure, he led staff and volunteers to craft programs that provided compassionate care to people experiencing poverty in Toronto. 

From 2013 to 2020, Rick took on the role of  Community Advocate for YSM, continuing to represent YSM publically regarding topics such as Canadian poverty, urban ministry, at risk youth and strategies for community-wide change, in addition to being a regular lecturer at Tyndale University College & Seminary.

Throughout his career, Rick made frequent appearances on television radio, and in print media, teaching and consulting abroad.

Rick lives in Toronto with his wife Charis. They have two adult sons, Jeremy and James.