Past, Present & Future

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  • Crisis 416.746.3701 / TTY 416.746.3716


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 4,200 women and 4,500 child and youth clients.

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 2016-2017

Received 1351 crisis calls

Assisted 45 Women and 45 Children

Conducted 1247 counselling sessions

469 safety plans were created

Children and youth counsellors engaged with our children and youth for individual support 1,997 times

Held 251 child and youth group sessions

111 counselling sessions were provided to community clients

921 referrals were made to community partners

125 referrals for legal support

62 referrals for housing support

212 accompaniments were provided to clients for various appointments

59 housing applications submitted


Future: Ernestine’s Strategic Priorities


We will develop community partnerships with agencies 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.

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