New Thorncliffe Park Youth Wellness Hub provides support for mental health and wellbeing

Staff, leaders, community members and government representatives participate in the ribbon cutting for the Thorncliffe Park Youth Wellness Hub in East Toronto on July 18, 2023. Photos: submitted


Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario, in collaboration with East Toronto Health Partners, officially opened the doors of Thorncliffe Park Youth Wellness Hub on Wednesday, July 19.

The 11,000-square-foot facility, located at 45 Overlea Blvd., aims to provide low-barrier integrated walk-in services for Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park residents aged 12 to 25.

Following hardships that emerged as a result of the global pandemic, Thorncliffe Park experienced an increase in young people seeking mental health assistance.

According to Toronto Public Health, one out of four youth experienced increased depressive symptoms within the first year of the pandemic. There was also a 32 per cent increase in anxiety levels.

“The frequency of inquiring about when the space will become available has really impacted me in understanding that the need in the community is just so great,” said Sandra Cardillo, manager of said Sandra Cardillo, manager of The Neighbourhood Organization’s (TNO) Wellness Programs.

The new Thorncliffe Park Youth Wellness Hub in East Toronto provides a variety of integrated walk-in services for youth aged 12 to 25, including mental health and substance use supports, employment and settlement services, trades training and social programs.

Although the project was already in the works, COVID-19 further influenced a rapid decision to move forward with the wellness hub “ultimately deciding that Thorncliffe Park would be the ideal location,” according to Cardillo.

“Under the roof of the new wellness hub, we’ve managed to rally all of our community partners,” said Cardillo.

Along with TNO, other organizations such as Sick Kids, Strides Toronto, Loft Community Services, Michael Garron Hospital, Flemingdon Health Centre, and Health Access Thorncliffe Park will also be providing their services to Thorncliffe Park Youth Wellness Hub.

Thorncliffe Park has been reported to have a number of barriers that prevents its residents —many of which can be categorized as low income earners — from easily accessing quality healthcare in times of need.

Cardillo told Beach Metro Community News that 40 per cent of Thorncliffe Park residents are under the age of 25. Furthermore, 64 per cent of residents in this community are immigrants who have challenges accessing medical assistance.

“That’s a huge demographic of individuals who really do require support in the community,” said Cardillo. “By working with all seven ETHP members, we’ve decreased all of those barriers.”

The Thorncliffe Park Youth Wellness Hub will provide mental health and substance use support; employment and settlement services; trades training and social programs; sexual health services; housing support; and on-site food bank for individuals who need food support.

There will also be access to peer support programs for clients to learn navigation strategies from people who have lived similar experiences.

Although some services can be provided virtually, Cardillo encourages residents who need help to drop by in-person in order to feel a sense of community in the “warm, welcoming and embracive space” during their health journey.

Cardillo says the development process involved lots community outreach that ensured the needs of local youth can be met with the programs being provided.

“We’re constantly in the community. We’re in the school and the local libraries engaging with the youth in space that they frequent so that we’re already building relationships and they feel comfortable connecting with us,” said Cardillo.

Residents who fall within the age limit can visit the Thorncliffe Park Youth Wellness Hub from Monday to Friday anytime between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.

The Thorncliffe Park Youth Wellness Hub is not an emergency service. Anyone who requires urgent assistance is advised to call 911 or visit an emergency service such as Michael Garron Hospital, Gerstein Crisis Centre, Kids Help Phone, or Talk Suicide Canada.

For more information, visit

— Amarachi Amadike is a Local Journalism Initiative Reporter for Beach Metro Community News. His reporting is funded by the Government of Canada through its Local Journalism Initiative.


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