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Past, Present & Future


Ernestine's Women's Shelter was opened in 1983 by a group of community members who saw a need for a safe place for women and children fleeing violence. Since that time, Ernestine's has assisted over 6,000 families with critical immediate care services.

The founders were pleased to name the shelter after Ernestine van Marle who gave them support and guidance as they began the shelter, and continued to support the shelter's efforts in ending violence against women and children until her passing in 2006. Ernestine embodied all the characteristics that our shelter aspires toward: energetic, community minded, supportive and dedicated.

Present: Our results for 2015-2016

(Our 2015-2016 statistics reflect the partial closure of the shelter for three months in the summer 2015.)

Received 761 Crisis Calls

Assisted 65 women and 55 children

Submitted 74 applications to varies social housing programs

36 women accessed the housing and legal program

30 women moved into new communities

Conducted 702 counselling sessions

232 safety plans were created

Children and youth counsellors engaged with our children and youth 2,648 times

Held 140 child and youth group sessions

201 counselling sessions were provided to community clients

180 referrals to community partners


Future: Ernestine’s Strategic Priorities

We will develop community partnerships with aganecies and grassroots groups to enhance our excellent service delivery to women, youth and children. These strong partnerships will support community engagement and diversifying funding opportunities.

We will develop and deliver, alongside our stakeholders, multi-platform education about gender-based violence. We will continue to use an anti-rascism and anti-oppression framework for this education.

Financial Sustainability
We will build a long-term sustainable funding model that supports Ernestine's to deliver valuable services for women, youth and children impacted by violence.


Crisis 416.746.3701 / TTY 416.746.3716

did you know
did you know


of young women who have been raped knew their rapist; the perpetrator was or had been a boyfriend, friend, or casual acquaintance.

We Can Help

We Can Help

Connect to our services Read More »

Kids Zone

Kids Zone

Find out about what Ernestine’s does for kids Read More »

Lend a Helping Hand

Lend a Helping Hand

Check out Ernestine's Linking  Boomers Program Read More »