About Us

Our story is one of necessity but resilience. The 35-year old story of a community coming together to end violence against women.

We acknowledge that we are on the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples and that Toronto now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. Toronto is covered by Treaty 13 signed with the Mississaugas of the Credit, and the Williams Treaties signed with multiple Mississaugas and Chippewa bands.

Here’s what we provide

Shelter Housing

Emergency Shelter

NYWS provides a 17 bedrooms emergency shelter with the capacity to house up to 40 women and their children, plus - a first in the Toronto area - a kennel for their pets!

Child Care

Anti-Violence Community Collective

NYWS Community Collective offers wrap around services to women within the North York community who have or are experiencing violence.

Due to COVID 19 our community Hub services are closed however we are slowly opening, please check back for updates.

Our Vision

A community characterized by gender equality where women and their children are empowered and safe.

Our Mission

North York Women’s Shelter actively supports the rights of women and children to build lives free of violence by providing non-judgemental safe shelter, advocacy, and a range of programs & services including 24-hour crisis support.

A Place of Hope Since 1984

“The history of North York Women’s Shelter is a history of people who care, a history of individuals with drive and determination, of people fighting for a cause they know is right, a cause well worth fighting for.”

These were the words of Reta Duenish, the shelter’s first president, who was a survivor of abuse and a life long activist who faced up to her pain so others could live without violence.

The project to get a women’s shelter in North York began in 1980 when the women’s services committee of North York Inter Agency Council started proceedings to incorporate an organization to start a shelter. Reports from two North York hospitals which said they treat four or five cases of battered women a week was the catalyst for the creation of the project.

Since September of 1984 NYWS has been in operation 24-hours a day, 365 days a year and is able to accommodate 30 women and children at any given time. For 35 years NYWS has been a place of healing, empowerment and refuge. NYWS has been able to help over 11,000 women and children heal from the trauma of abuse.

For over 35 years, NYWS has
provided safety and support for over 11,000 women and children impacted by violence. It takes a community.
Join us and take action to end violence.

To the Future

In March 2020 after three years of construction NYWS opened a new 24,000-square-foot anti-violence centre includes a community services collective and an emergency shelter with 17 bedrooms with en suite bathrooms and capacity to house up to 40 women and children.

As our understanding of violence against women continues to evolve, we recognize that the needs of our residents have shifted and grown; demanding a more complex, evidence-based and holistic response from us as an organization and as a society. From this day forward, we work to renew our efforts to serve women and children in a productive, supportive and impact way.

Are you with NYWS?

Support a future where violence is less prevalent