Care & Community

90 years of support


We create lasting solutions to end poverty, social injustices, and isolation in Toronto.



A city where everyone thrives.




We believe that everyone has qualities and value worthy of admiration.

We believe in an inclusive culture of diverse thought, experience, and background.

Commitments we make will be commitments kept.

We live out our commitment for social justice through thoughtful action.

We are responsible for our actions, and inaction.

A Message from our CEO and Board Chair

On November 29th, 1929, a group of concerned community members gathered to discuss the objectives for a relief centre they were establishing to support families in Toronto’s Downtown East. This was Dixon Hall’s incorporation meeting.

Together, they selected 18 objectives and one purpose: “to promote the welfare of the poor and the relief of the distressed by social, recreational, spiritual, and educational agencies.” With this ambitious goal established, Dixon Hall was ready to open its doors on December 10th, 1929.

90 years later it is remarkable how much has changed. The growth in the city of Toronto has resulted in many incredible accomplishments – we’re recognized internationally for our diversity, our arts and culture experiences, and our achievements in sports. This growth has been accompanied by a number of challenges — the affordable housing and homelessness crises continue; families struggle due to the persistence of poverty; income inequality and an ever-changing labour market; and young people are challenged to find their place in a fast-paced and globalized society.

Dixon Hall has also experienced growth and challenges. In preparation for this year’s Impact Report, we took the opportunity to remember the legacy of support that launched our agency in 1929. Looking at old photos and reviewing our history over the last nine decades, we were struck by two things: the consistency with which the agency evolved its services, programs, and staffing in response to the community’s needs, and the unwavering commitment to caring and community for those in need.

2018 was another transformative year at Dixon Hall with many exciting new developments. As we approach our 90th anniversary, we continue to build from and enhance our foundation of support in the Downtown East.

To name a few highlights: we broke ground on our new youth centre after years of anticipation; we began working with precariously-housed men and women in new and innovative ways; and we expanded the number of seniors, families, and caregivers we’re supporting. In this year’s report we’re proud to share our current work in the community alongside memories and images from the past 90 years. We hope you’ll enjoy the touch of nostalgia we’ve introduced to our Impact Report. Here’s to another 90 years of service!


Mercedes Watson



Rod Bolger


Board Member and Committee Lists


Mercedes Watson – CEO
Dwight Anderson – Director, People and Culture
Christine Chow – Director, Seniors Services
Sandra Costain – Director, Children & Youth
Gretchen Daniels – CFO
Bob McKitrick – Director, Music School
Eric Philip – Director, Real Estate &
Property Management
David Reycraft – Director, Housing Services
Fulya Vekiloglu – Director, Employment Services


Rod Bolger – Chair
Cameron Scrivens – Vice-Chair
Esther Tock – Vice-Chair
Kevin Hibbert – Treasurer
Thompson Egbo-Egbo – Secretary
Scott Bell – Director
Barbara Feldberg – Director
Susanne Gossage – Director
Jordana Greenberg – Director
Trevlyn Kennedy – Director
Tim Moseley – Director
Robert Nam, MD, FRCSC – Director

2018–2019: Our Impact in the Downtown East


300 students attended high-quality music lessons in 22 disciplines in the Downtown East every week

We provided music education 6 days per week, 11 months of the year, offering a total of 12,500 lessons

We created a community hub with a warm atmosphere for 133 families from Regent Park and surrounding neighbourhoods

128 students enjoyed free March Break and summer camps and completed RCM exams, scoring an average of 81%


139 seniors in the Downtown East participated in 25,855 hours of activities with friends

Meals on Wheels delivered 64,791 meals to 423 seniors and/or adults with a disability or illness

Personal Support Workers provided 109 seniors living in Supportive Housing buildings with 14,774 hours of assisted living

2,228 safety check calls were made to homebound seniors through the Telephone Reassurance program

12,229 one-way rides were provided to seniors to medical, therapy and social appointments through the Community
Transportation program


237 job seekers found employment with our team’s support

28 job seekers were connected to training programs for skills upgrading and job-readiness

18 youth graduated from the Incubator program, with newly developed skills in hospitality or carpentry

15 Ontario Works recipients completed the Sustainable Food Sector Training program, providing them with skills for a career in the hospitality industry and connections to the labour market


13,370 overnight stays were provided during the cold winter months through the Out of the Cold program

49,490 warm and dry bed nights were provided in our two shelters

509 referrals were made to off-site programs and services for deeper support

61 individuals experiencing homelessness found housing through Client Intervention Worker support

Our Community Meal programs expanded to include Thursday luncheons and nutrition groups, serving approximately 2,500 meals to community members facing food insecurity

150,015 meals were served to individuals experiencing homelessness at our two shelters


1,494 volunteers donated their time to support low-income seniors in the Downtown East

290 new volunteers joined team Dixon Hall, brightening the community with their time and talents

45 volunteers donated more than 100 hours of their time


75 children experienced the magic of summer camp, also providing 19 Regent Park youth with job experience as camp counselors or counselors in training

654 young people accessed our youth programs for holistic support in setting and achieving goals

91 families built supportive peer networks while exploring parenting techniques through the Growing Up Healthy Downtown program

Children & Youth

Youth-Centric from Day One

When Dixon Hall opened its doors in 1929, we prioritized supporting young people as we worked with families affected by poverty. From the early days of service, we offered sports and recreation and life-skills development programming for boys and girls, and support groups for young mothers that covered topics like hygiene and nutrition. We launched our summer camp for boys in 1935. Decades later, our summer camp remains an impactful experience for youth in Regent Park.


Building the Capacity of Young People

Using that experience, over the last several decades we’ve continued to build a holistic range of programs and supports for youth. We’re proud that our services have evolved to remain aligned with the people we serve. Today, our programs include after-school support, evening and weekend programs, sports and recreation leagues, March Break and summer camps, and parental support groups. Our Children & Youth staff are trusted mentors, many with personal histories in Regent Park.

Through all of our programming, we strive to build capacity of the young people we work with. We teach healthy methods to manage and understand emotions; provide opportunities for employment and training; and create space for youth to give back and get involved in their community and beyond.

The Last Year & Looking Ahead

We’ve been busy this year preparing to move into our new youth centre. This new space is a milestone for us and for our community, and will represent the vibrancy of Regent Park youth. Once we’re settled into the space, we’ll have opportunities to plan effectively for expanded programming, enabling us to reach more young people than ever before.

While we improve our physical space, we’re also cultivating healthy emotional space for youth. This year, we integrated the SAFEN (Shopping Aisles for Emotional Needs) tool into our work. The SAFEN tool makes it easy for youth to check in with themselves and gives us complex insights into their emotional wellness. With this knowledge, we’re creating improved personal service plans to help young people reach their goals.

“You can be your own leader and make your own decisions and choices.”­
– Jamar

As a young child, Jamar joined our Tiny Tots summer camp program. He grew up with us, participating in all the programs available through our Children & Youth department. Summer camp was his favourite. Being outside of the city and in nature allowed him to drop his tough façade and enjoy himself. When Jamar was 16 years old, his mother passed away. He says our Youth Workers were there for him unconditionally. At 18 years old, we helped Jamar find an apartment, where he still lives.

After years of community engagement and completing his education, Jamar has joined our Children & Youth team as our newest Youth Worker. Jamar says he’s excited to work with Regent Park youth and pass on important lessons he learned: the power of positivity; how to be a leader by making your own decisions and choices rather than following the crowd; and knowing that the Dixon Hall team won’t give up on you.

Music School

Understanding the Importance of the Arts

In 1976, Dixon Hall identified the need for access to the arts and opportunities for self-expression for youth, and created small music workshops during our summer camp programs. Based on the resounding success of these workshops, Dixon Hall Music School was founded in 1978.


Students Who Grow Up With Us

Today, our Music School is a beloved institution in the Downtown East, serving families in Regent Park and neighbouring communities. Our lessons are affordable, high-quality, and are offered 6 days per week in 22 different disciplines with individual and ensemble classes. Though our primary goal was to ensure that all children could access music education, our Music School has also become a second home for young people and their families as they navigate city living.

In addition to lessons, we provide tickets to cultural and sporting events and access to immersive March Break and summer camps at no cost. Our students perform in recitals and at special events in the city. The community we’ve built is incredibly close-knit, and students develop lasting friendships with their peers and instructors. We regularly see students from childhood through to young adulthood, with many returning to visit and catch up with friends and former teachers.

Celebrating 40 Years
While Preparing for Growth

This year, we celebrated our 40th anniversary of the Music School at our annual fundraising gala, Music for Life. Thompson Egbo-Egbo, a celebrated jazz pianist and former student who now serves as a Dixon Hall Board Member hosted the event, and reminded us all of the lasting impact music education has on students.

Our overnight summer camp in 2018 was another reminder. The annual two-week program was attended by our largest group of students ever. For students, time outside of the city provides peace, tranquility and more time to practice. These extended practice opportunities result in students making significant progress in their skill-sets in just one week.

Our Music School will also have a new home in our new youth centre. This move means we’ll share space with the Children & Youth Department; we’ll have upgraded amenities and studios, and we’ll be able to increase our enrollment numbers for the first time in years.

“They’re one of the biggest support lines I have.”­
– Angelica

Angelica has been a student at our Music School for 6 years. She decided on Dixon Hall Music School because of the warm, family-oriented environment. She started taking lessons to prepare for an audition to attend a performing arts high school. Her audition was successful and she has continued lessons with us as she pursues a music career.

Our encouraging and caring staff have become important sources of support and growth for Angelica. She says Dixon Hall Music School is “one of the biggest support lines” she has. Through Dixon Hall she’s been provided performance opportunities at community events and music festivals including the North York Music Festival competition where she won first place.

Being exposed to performing environments and competitions, hearing different vocalists and instructor feedback, and having the chance to be inside professional recording studios have all been extremely beneficial to Angelica. When she graduated high school, our Music School Manager, Lynette, helped Angelica prepare for an audition at Berklee College of Music. She credits her pursuit of music to our support.

Youth Centre

Improving our Space

Dixon Hall has provided a safe, accessible space for young people in the Downtown East for decades. As the Regent Park Revitalization continues and community spaces change and improve, we’re building a new youth centre that young people can make their own.

Breaking Ground
on a Milestone Landmark

We broke ground on the building in October 2018, after a successful capital campaign. The youth centre stands at the corner of Wyatt Ave. and Nicholas Ave. on land generously donated by the City of Toronto and Toronto Community Housing Corporation. We’re anticipating completion and move-in by the end of 2019.

Room for Opportunity

Our new facility will bring the Children & Youth department and the Music School into the same space. Being in a bright, welcoming environment will contribute to the overall well-being of youth we serve, and will demonstrate our commitment to their growth. Once we’re settled in, we’re looking forward to exploring new and enhanced programming opportunities.

Capital Campaign

The following donors generously supported our Capital Campaign. Thanks to you, we’re building a new youth centre in the heart of Regent Park.


Cathy and the Honourable Bill Graham


$100,000 – $999,999

Ada Slaight

Nancy and Rod Bolger

Clark Family Foundation

The Daniels Corporation

Employees of CIBC Capital Markets, through
United Way Toronto & York Region Campaign


The Gordon and Ruth Gooder Charitable Foundation

The Honourable Margaret McCain

The Judith and Wilmot Matthews Foundation

Jon and Nancy Love Foundation at Toronto Foundation

TD Bank Group


$50,000 – $99,999

BMO Financial Group

E.W. Bickle Foundation, through United Way Toronto & York Region

The Fyfe Foundation

Pat McNamara

Pace Family Foundation


$25,000 – $49,999

Scott Bell and Susan Nickerson

Vivien Dzau and Daniel MacIntosh

Element Financial

Neil Hetherington

Hal Jackman Foundation

Tom Kierans and Mary Janigan

Martin Lundie

Nancy MacKellar

Judith Malkin and Elliott Jacobson

Myfanwy Marshall and Matthew Willis



Martha Tory

$10,000 – $24,999


The Elizabeth and Tony Comper Foundation

Patrick Gossage

Gordon Henderson

Diane King

Suzanne Labarge

Malone Family

Nancy and John McFadyen

Pat and Tony Minard

Bill Morneau and Nancy McCain

Kathleen and David Penny

Valerie and Andrew Pringle

Robins Appleby LLP

Junior Sirivar

Kate Stark

Tim Moseley and Yung Dai

The Thompson T. Egbo-Egbo Arts Foundation


$1,000 – $9,999

Sachin Aggarwal

Audrey S. Hellyer Charitable Foundation

Jean Blacklock and Andrew Auerbach

Haris Blentic

Rob Brien

Raymond Chang

Charles Coffey

Darren Cooney

Irene David

Dan Donnelly

Janet and Bill Hallett

Nona Heaslip

Mary Jane and Tom Heintzman

IBM Canada

Jackman Foundation

Francine Lewis

Lok Hing Liu

Adrian and The Honourable Donald S.Macdonald

Sue and Steve Murphy

Nancy Riley and Blake Murray

Golden Credit Card Trust

Cameron Scrivens

Nancy Smith

Sarah Caskey and Richard Swan

Danielle Szandtner and John Fox

Heather Thomson

James Tucker

Barbara Volk

Joanne Warner

Sandra Young

Kate Zeidler and Peter MacKenzie

UP TO $999

Joyce Affroh-Konrad

Clair Balfour and Marci McDonald

Walter M. and Lisa Balfour Bowen

Body by Chosen

C’est What?

Parker Chase

Christine Chow

Phyllis and Robert Couzin

Barbara Feldberg

Lorraine Floody

Denise Gho

Lou Gizzarelli

Tony Grewal

Norm Guilfoyle

F. Aquila Hanseer-Rizvi

Brandon Howe

Cathy Jones and David Reville

Douglas Lawrence

Bruce MacLellan

Mary McDougall Maude

Denice Morris

Andrew Noel

Heather and Jim Peterson

Andrew Pickersgill

Kerry Pond

Jane Prokaska

David Reycraft

Mat Savulescu

Gregory Sorbara

Jena Tarabad

Sonja Terek

Esther Tock

Chris Woit

Polly Wong

Housing Services

Our Legacy of Fighting Poverty

Dixon Hall has supported community members struggling with poverty and unemployment since our inception. Our services evolved to respond to the growing homelessness crisis in the 1980s. In the winter of 1983, we began operating our first shelter in Corktown. Over 35 years later, this location now functions as supportive housing units, which help community members live independently and maintain their housing.

Our Approach: a Long-Term Outlook

In the decades that followed, our Housing Services Department continued to grow. We began managing Schoolhouse Shelter in 1999, opened Heyworth House shelter in 2001, and began supporting the Out of the Cold (OOTC) program in 2003. Since we began working with the homeless community, our care and philosophy have remained consistent: shelters are a short-term response and not a long-term solution to solve homelessness. We emphasize building relationships; prioritize getting individuals housing-ready, secure affordable housing options, and support individuals in maintaining their housing through life-skills development and community connections, all while focusing on the social determinants of health.

Unprecedented Growth & Expansion

Our Housing team was extremely busy in 2018. The department tripled in size. As part of this growth we launched an exciting initiative, the Rooming House Project (RHP), in partnership with Homes First Society and Ecuhome Corporation. Through the RHP, we’re supporting over 200 tenants in 23 rooming houses throughout Cabbagetown. We’re focused on improving the quality of life and stabilizing housing for tenants by helping them build relationships with us, with each other, with clients in our other programs, and within the community.

We published a report, “Calling Home: Exploring Paths to Homelessness in our city” concluding a year-long project. “Calling Home” used community-based research to learn more about guests of the OOTC program and shelter residents of Heyworth House, and to compare their experiences of homelessness. The project tested the use of cellphone technology when working with marginalized populations, thanks to generous support from Freedom Mobile who provided study participants with cellphones including data plans.

The study clearly showed that both groups strongly desire to find housing. This project exemplifies our plan to move forward with data-informed solutions that centre on the voices of the homeless population.

“I got the keys on my birthday – It was the best present I ever got.”­
– Dennis

Dennis grew up in a dysfunctional family that struggled with substance abuse. Both of his parents were alcoholics, and Dennis went on to battle addiction himself. He became homeless for the first time at 18 years old, and spent many years on the streets. During the winter of 2018, he was living in a tent. One evening, he went to Evangel Hall where the Out of the Cold program was running for the final night of the season. There, he met Calvin and Christine, Dixon Hall’s Client Intervention Workers.

Christine and Calvin began supporting Dennis by helping him get ready for housing and found an affordable unit for him. Dennis got the keys to his apartment on October 1st, his birthday. He says it’s the best birthday present he has ever received in his life. Today, Dennis is still housed and is still in contact with Christine and Calvin. He recently got himself a pet husky, who he describes as his best friend.


A Place for Seniors in Our Community

As Dixon Hall continued to build our programs and services to support residents of the Downtown East, spaces for seniors developed organically. In our first 30 years of service, seniors came to our Sumach Street location to socialize and enjoy recreational activities. In the 1970s, when we shifted our service delivery to increase community engagement, we began offering new seniors’ programs. Many of these programs are still running today. We have since introduced seniors’ groups with meal programs, launched home support services, and expanded the activities available for seniors.

Wrap-Around Services to Promote Well-Being

Today, we remain dedicated to helping seniors in our city thrive and live independently, offering a range of supportive programs for varying abilities. We are known for our breadth of services and our thorough intake process. Often, seniors and their loved ones receive referrals to programs outside of their initial inquiry, because our knowledgeable staff identify an opportunity for more fulsome support. For example, a senior may inquire about receiving Meals on Wheels, and will be referred to our Case Management services or our Community Transportation programs to address other needs.

New Clients, New Collaboration

Our expertise in serving seniors and their loved ones has not gone unnoticed. This year, we’ve been given the exciting opportunity to expand the network of seniors we support. Our client-base is growing as we are taking on new clients from another organization. We’ve been incorporating these seniors into our active day programs in phases to ensure they feel welcomed and comfortable, and are referring them to other services as necessary. We are proud to be recognized for our excellence and capacity to deeply support clients.

Now that the refresh of our Carlton Campus is completed, seniors are enjoying a brighter and more functional space for their activities. And now that we’re sharing the location with Housing Services, we’ve begun working more collaboratively. This has become increasingly important as we recognize the challenges low-income seniors are facing during the affordable housing crisis.

“Dixon Hall made me want to see people again.”­
– Louise

Louise* is a senior in Regent Park living with breast cancer and struggling with anxiety and depression. She was referred to our Meals on Wheels program to receive daily meals to help ease some of her challenges. Initially, she was concerned about having volunteers come to her door every day because of her anxiety. So we started by delivering 7 frozen meals to her once a week.

As Louise got more comfortable, she began looking forward to volunteer visits. Our Intake team referred her to the Community Transportation program, and Louise started attending social outings for seniors with reliable transportation. Now, when Louise places her weekly orders with Meals on Wheels, she consistently expresses her appreciation for Dixon Hall’s volunteers. According to Louise, Dixon Hall made her want to see people again, and helped to break her patterns of isolation.


*name has been changed, subject is not pictured

Employment Services

Exploring employment opportunities

When Dixon Hall first began serving the community, one of our primary areas of concern was supporting families who struggled due to unemployment. Throughout our history we’ve understood the importance of earning income and finding purpose. As we shifted our model of service delivery in the 1970s away from focus on material support, we realized we could find new ways to help the unemployed.

Creating Spaces for Women,
Empowering Job Seekers

In 1982, we launched the Secretarial Training and Employment program (STEP) for women seeking administrative work. Soon after, we began offering youth-specific programs as well as computer literacy courses for adults in anticipation of future skills required for jobs. Today, our approach continues to adapt to a constantly changing labour market. We work with job-seekers across Toronto, and provide them with one-on-one support and skill development opportunities. We support adults and newcomers in the Literacy and Basic Skills program, providing a solid knowledge base which can lead to deeper training for job readiness. Through the Incubator program supported by the RBC Foundation, we connect with youth who are Ontario Works recipients, preparing them for a career in hospitality or carpentry with a mix of classroom learning and on-the-job experience.

Developing Targeted Programs  for our Community

In 2018, we ran the Sustainable Food Sector Training (SFST) program in partnership with CRC Regent Park Community Food Centre, and caterToronto. The SFST program provided students with pre-employment skills through a classroom component, and kitchen training with an on-site job visit. Once completed, all students received a job placement with an employer. Aimed at recipients of Ontario Works, the SFST program helped clients who have been out of the labour market obtain the skills needed for a career in the culinary industry.

Our Employment Services team is now under new leadership. We’ve welcomed Fulya Vekiloglu as our Director. Fulya is committed to continuing the work of supporting job-seekers in our community. Her focus is on creating additional opportunities for women, newcomers, and young people.

“Everything started from the Incubator program.”­
– Maimuna

Maimuna came to Toronto from Gambia in August 2018. Two months later, she connected with our Employment Services team. Staff began working with Maimuna to help her get ready for employment in her new home. First, she completed the Incubator program, which she says was a new beginning for her. As part of the community service component of the program, Maimuma helped deliver Meals on Wheels. While delivering Meals on Wheels, Maimuna realized how much she wanted to help people, especially the elderly. From there, she discovered “how to pave the pathway to her career.”

Through the Incubator program Maimuna learned how to build a resume, practiced interview skills, and learned more about her strengths including how to be more confident. Next, she completed her Food Handler’s Certificate program and was connected to a program at the Toronto District School Board to receive her high school diploma. Today, Maimuna is pursuing her Personal Support Worker Certificate through an adult learning centre with the guidance of our Employment Services team.


Growth Rooted in Compassion & Care

Volunteers have been a vital part of Dixon Hall ever since the agency was created. During our first 40 years of operation, Dixon Hall employed only two full-time staff members, both of whom worked with youth. Because of the caring and passionate volunteers who wanted to contribute to positive change in our community, Dixon Hall was able to grow and offer more programs to more clients.

Giving Back and Getting Back

While our staff team has expanded significantly, volunteers are still essential. Every year, a mix of community and corporate volunteers donate their time and talents to the Downtown East. They make it possible for us to offer over 60 supportive programs for the diverse groups we serve. Time and time again, we hear from volunteers how much they appreciate giving back to the places they live and work, and how much they value witnessing the impact of their support firsthand. From those who deliver Meals on Wheels to home-bound seniors, to those who help adults develop literacy skills, we are so grateful to everyone who volunteers with us, and we cannot thank you enough for your support.

When We Contribute, We Belong

As we’ve expanded to support more people, we’ve learned about the importance of belonging and contributing for everyone. In 2018, we saw more service users than ever give back as peer volunteers. They’ve shown us that support isn’t solely about receiving – it’s equally about giving. Peer volunteers have stepped up to help out at special events; they’ve sought out training sessions to receive different certifications; and they’ve eagerly taken on new responsibilities to develop their skills.

Corporate volunteers continue to contribute tremendously to our programs by delivering Meals on Wheels during their lunch hours, spending time with the seniors in our Day programs, and by helping to beautify the grounds of our different sites to make them warm and welcoming. Increasingly, corporations and businesses are recognizing that employees want to contribute positively to the community and we’re thrilled to have their support for our programs.

“The sparkle in the eyes of members touches my heart.”­
– Colleen

Colleen* has been volunteering with the Alzheimer Day program for the past three years. Her caring, thoughtful attitude and passion for engaging with seniors have made her invaluable to the program. Working with seniors who are facing dementia can be challenging, but Colleen focuses her attention on the individual needs of the clients she supports to ensure they have the best experience possible.

For Colleen, volunteering with seniors comes naturally, as she was a nurses’ aide at a long-term care facility. She got involved with Dixon Hall’s Day programs because she says she enjoys people and community, and feels a responsibility to do better for marginalized groups. Despite dealing with a chronic illness over the last year, she has remained dedicated to volunteering. Colleen says her favourite part about working with seniors with dementia is “the sparkle in the eyes of the members, when you can see a positive memory appear on their face.” It touches her heart.


*Colleen is not pictured

“Bringing a smile of recognition
to their face brings me joy.”­


Alzheimer Day program and Respite Care Program Coordinator

Candace has been working as the Coordinator for Dixon Hall’s Alzheimer Day program and Respite Care program since 2016. She always knew she wanted to work in a service role helping people, but was unsure in what capacity. After her beloved grandmother developed Alzheimer’s and Candace became one of her caregivers, she learned about Gerontology as a career option. Next, Candace volunteered at a long-term care home and with a Meals on Wheels program. These experiences solidified her decision to pursue Gerontology.

22 years after her grandmother’s passing, Candace is now making a difference for seniors and their loved ones in the Downtown East. Her time is split between our Alzheimer Day program and Respite Care program. For the Alzheimer Day program, she assesses the eligibility of seniors to join the group, plans the monthly activity schedule, and ensures that the day-to-day operations run smoothly. For the Respite Care program, she also assesses client eligibility, coordinates the schedules for service, and provides support to the families served and staff members as needed.

To Candace, establishing trust and rapport with clients and their families is one of the most important and enjoyable parts of her work. She also loves seeing members of the Alzheimer Day program daily. Though some members struggle to remember her name as a result of their cognitive challenges, they recognize her face and associate it with someone they trust. She says that being the person that elicits their smiles of recognition brings her joy. Candace consistently sees the impact of her work and is fulfilled at the end of each day.

“Every single person has something special
to teach me about living.”­


Client Intervention Worker

Aiko has been working as a Client Intervention Worker with Dixon Hall for four years. In her role, she supports seniors in the Downtown East who are struggling with housing stability. Many of the clients she serves are at risk of losing their housing due to physical and mental health issues, cognitive decline, isolation, rent hikes, and other challenges.

Pursuing a career in social work wasn’t a natural choice for Aiko. She is an immigrant to Canada, and social services were something she had not encountered in her home country. She also had cultural barriers to overcome. Growing up, she was taught that for women to ask for help was shameful. Everything changed when she had two daughters; she became motivated to seek resources for them. This is when she became excited to pursue a career in social work.

Today, Aiko focuses on helping seniors maintain their housing and on advocacy work for vulnerable seniors. Her days are always different and include collaborating with a range of peers and professionals like doctors, nurses, legal professionals, and others, in an effort to find the best solutions for each individual she serves. Aiko emphasizes getting to know her clients holistically, building trust, and bridging the gap to essential services — she’s found that’s what makes the difference.

For Aiko, the best part of her work is getting to know her clients’ unique histories. She says every single person has something special to teach her about living, and the most rewarding part of her job is when she can expand her clients’ support networks to improve their quality of life.

Thank You To Our Donors


The Azrieli Foundation
Ada Slaight
Estate of Charles Witherell


$25,000 – $99,999

Peter Gilgan Foundation
The Gordon and Ruth Gooder Charitable Foundation
Robert Kerr Foundation
Estate of Mrs. Dolores J. Laing
LoyaltyOne Inc.
The Minstrel Foundation for Music and Arts Advancement
MLSE Foundation
Nemar Ltd.
RBC Foundation
Shaw Communications Inc.
The Silver Hotel Group / Ruparell Foundation
The Slaight Family Foundation
WSP Canada Inc.


$10,000 – $24,999

Bell Media Inc.
Barry & Laurie Green Family Charitable Trust
Nancy and Rod Bolger
Cambria Design Build
Deloitte LLP
Michael Dunn
Vivien Dzau and Daniel MacIntosh
Holdbest Foundation
Ben and Hilda Katz Charitable Foundation
Nancy MacKellar
Mary McDougall Maude
Tim Moseley
Sprott Inc.
Tippet Foundation
Toronto Star Fresh Air Fund
Toyota on the Park

$5,000 – $9,999

Apple Inc.
Salah Bachir and Jacob Yerex
Burgundy Asset Management Ltd.
The Daniels Corporation
Dawn Tattle Family Foundation
Ian Edward
Evershed Investment Corp.
Audrey S. Hellyer Charitable Foundation
The Hope Charitable Foundation
Industrial Alliance Securities Inc.
Martin Lundie
Cam MacDonald
Michael MacMillan and Cathy Spoel
Kevin McKenzie
Bill Morneau and Nancy McCain
George and Del Milbrandt
Dave Mun
Optimus SBR Inc.
Sage Foundation
Shoppers Drug Mart Life Foundation
SOS Design Inc.
St. Andrew’s Charitable Foundation
Torys LLP
Warner Music Canada


$1,000 – $4,999

1754969 Ontario Limited
1832 Asset Management
ABC Life Literacy Canada
APEX Public Relations
Milos Barutciski
Paul and Kaye Beeston
Scott Bell and Susan Nickerson
Brian Bimm and Margaret Lynch
The Bitove Foundation
Noah Blackstein
Michael Borden
Jenna Bushnell
Children’s Aid Society of Toronto
CHUM Charitable Foundation
Georgina Clinning
Craft Beer Market Toronto
Glenn Crawford
Creative Planning Financial Group
D’Addario Foundation
Dawson Family Sharing Foundation
Denham Corporation
Jonathan Doda
Gail Drummond and Bob Dorrance
Ann Dunlop

Liam Elliott
Entertainment One
Sam Evangelista
Barbara Feldberg
Wayne Fraser
Ruth Freiman
Goodmans LLP
Susanne Gossage
Haywood Securities Inc.
Mary Jane and Tom Heintzman
Graeme Hepworth
The Hermant Family Foundation
Rivette Herzig
Elspeth Heyworth Bursary Fund at Toronto Foundation
W.B.G. Humphries
Richard Ivey
The Jackman Foundation
Patricia Jackson
Jill James
JCIC Asset Management Inc.
David Kassie
The Henry White Kinnear Foundation
Judith Malkin and Elliott Jacobson
Joan McCalla Fund
Metro Danforth
Pat and Tony Minard
Paulo Monte
Marili Moore
Patrick Moran
Muddy York Brewing
Harry A. Newman Foundation
David Onorato
Ontario MD
Gilles Ouellette
S. Parks
G. Scott Paterson
Selwyn Pieters
Andrew and Valerie Pringle
Susan Ready
Reinsurance Group of America
David Smith
St. John’s United Church Alliston Foundation
St. Joseph Communications
Michael Stanger
Kate Stark
Stringer LLP Management Lawyers
N. James Swan Memorial Scholarship Fund
Sharon Torchia
TPAC Underwriters Inc.
Turco Persian Rug Company
Universal Music Canada
Jennifer Walsh
Mercedes Watson
Judith Wilder
Ian Worling

Without our donors, the work we do in Regent Park and the Downtown East would not be possible.

We are grateful to everyone who generously supported us.

Financial Statements


$8,420,810 – City of Toronto

$3,061,513 – Province of Ontario

$1,210,145 – Fundraising

$829,166 – United Way of Greater Toronto and York Region

$536,531 – User fees

$453,536 – Federal government

$131,669 – Amortization of deferred contributions relating to property and equipment

$6,833 – Interest


$8,037,677 – Housing and homelessness programs

$3,399,024 – Seniors programs

$1,413,995 – Neighbourhood programs

$1,053,914 – Employment programs

$318,146 – Community development programs

$381,673 – Infrastructure and support services


$14,650,203 – Total


$14,604,429 – Total


$45,774 – Excess of revenue over expenses

Government Funders

Government of Canada

Employment and Social Development Canada

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Public Health Agency of Canada

Province of Ontario

Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development

Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services

Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

Ontario Seniors’ Secretariat

Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network

Ontario Trillium Foundation

City of Toronto

Children’s Services

Community Services Partnership – CSP

Family Service Toronto

Housing Secretariat

Toronto Arts Council

Toronto Employment and Social Services

Dixon Hall is proud to be a United Way Greater Toronto Anchor Agency