friends of ruby

This is what Toronto's new transitional housing facility for LGBTQ+ youth looks like

A transitional housing facility dedicated to serving LGBTQ+ youth experiencing homelessness opened this week in Toronto after more than five years in the making. 

Located at 257 Dundas Street East, the new facility run by Friends of Ruby will give over 30 young residents a safe place to live for three to 12 months, or longer depending on need. 

Lucy Gallo, Director, Youth Services and Housing at Friends of Ruby says 40 per cent of homeless young people in Toronto identify as LGBTQ+. 

friends of ruby

Each suite includes a personal bathroom, sink, individual temperature controls, and large windows. A few are also wheelchair accessible. 

"These young people already face disproportionate rates of loneliness, isolation, anxiety, trauma and violence," they told blogTO. 

"We seek to provide much-needed mental health and practical supports, but also a sense of connection and community during this challenging time." 

Gallo says the overall design of the inside space was informed by LGBTQ+ community members, who gave their thoughts and feedback, with the aim to make the final building feel more like a home than a facility. 

The building is newly renovated and the interior design was taken care of by Yabu Pushelberg. Inside, there are transitional and emergency individual rooms, with a few accommodations for couples. 

friends of ruby

There are communal spaces both indoors and outdoors, with a rooftop garden where residents can go for solitude and gardening. 

There are also a few shared spaces like a rooftop garden, which residents will rotate use of due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The pet-friendly home also includes a pet washing station for the facility’s four-legged inhabitants. 

Gallo says services will be offered to the residents when it comes to accessing meals, mental and physical health care, and community and life skills programming.

Photos by

Friends of Ruby


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