These are the most needed items at Toronto shelters this holiday season

Nov 21 2018, 4:19 am

The holiday season is a time of warmth, family, friends, and food.

But unfortunately, that’s not the case for everyone in Toronto.

If you’re interested in making a difference in someone’s life this holiday season, there are a few ways that you can give back.

While a select number of Toronto organizations and shelters are looking for extra helping hands this season, the best way to give back is to donate the items that are in high-demand during winter.

“This year, more than ever, our community partners need donations and volunteer support,” said Mayor John Tory. “Small, everyday items can make a big difference to a person or family in need.”

While there are nearly 50 shelters and organizations in need of specific items this winter, (you can find the full list here), here are the organizations in the GTA that are really in need this holiday season:

East York

Kennedy House Youth Services Shelter Program

Clients: Homeless youth

Items needed: New pyjamas, headphones/earbuds, new slippers, hats, gloves, scarves, and travel mugs.

Address: 1076 Pape Avenue

Drop-offs: Monday to Friday, 8 am to 5 pm

YWCA Toronto Women’s Shelter

Clients: Women and children fleeing violence

Items Needed: Cutlery and kettle, children’s clothing (any size especially boys), winter coats, boots (women/children any size), mattress covers, Lego, art materials, and personal hygiene supplies for youth.

Address: Victoria Park Avenue and Danforth Avenue

Drop-offs: Call to make arrangements  (416-693-7342)


Anduhyaun Inc

Clients: Indigenous women and children fleeing abuse

Items needed: Grocery gift cards, winter coats, boots, non-perishable food, TTC tokens, and monetary donations.

Address: 1296 Weston Rd.

Drop-offs: Monday to Friday, 9 am to 3 pm

Youth Without Shelter

Clients: Homeless youth 16 to 24

Items needed: Gift cards for youth, personal hygiene supplies (body wash, shampoo large or travel size), toothpaste, and new towels (bath size).

Address: 6 Warrendale Crt.

Drop-offs: Call to make arrangements (416-748-0110 ext 26)

North York

Wigwamen Inc

Clients: Indigenous people living in shelters, second stage housing or housed

Items needed: Gift cards (groceries, food), non-perishable food for Christmas baskets, toys/gifts (babies, youth, elderly), diapers/baby wipes, and new underwear (men, women, children, youth).

Address: 23 Lesmill Road Unit 106

Drop-offs: Monday to Friday, 10 am to 4 pm


Agincourt Community Services Association (ACSA North)

Clients: Homeless adults

Items needed: New underwear (men’s all sizes), gloves (men/women’s all sizes), winter boots (men’s large sizes 13/14), winter coats (men/women’s all sizes), and personal hygiene supplies.

Address: 4155 Sheppard Avenue East Suite 100

Drop-offs: Mondays, 10 am to 4 pm

Agincourt Community Services Association (ACSA South)

Clients: Homeless adults

Items needed: Winter outerwear/accessories (men/women’s), winter boots (men/women’s), long johns, sleeping bags, and personal hygiene supplies.

Address: 202 Markham Road

Drop-offs: Thursdays, call for details (416-267-0115)

Homes First Society

Clients: Homeless adults living with mental health and addiction concerns, refugees, newcomers, survivors of violence and abuse

Items needed: Personal hygiene supplies, bath towels/robes, new or gently used bedding (sheets/blankets), new or gently used winter clothing/accessories, and gift cards.

Address: 90 Shuter Street 2nd Floor

Drop-offs: Drop-offs can be made 24/7 at either Kennedy’s Shelter at 702 Kennedy Road and Scarborough Shelter 3576 St Clair Avenue East.

Warden Woods Community Centre Drop-in Lunch Program

Clients: Homeless adults

Items needed: Warm winter wear/clothing (men/women’s), hats, new socks, new underwear, gift cards (hot drinks/food), bingo machine/other games, and holiday gifts (men/women’s).

Address: 40 Teesdale Pl.

Drop-offs: Monday to Friday, 11 am to 3 pm

Warden Woods Community Centre Homelessness and Eviction Prevention

Clients: Homeless and precariously housed adults

Items needed: Gift cards, household goods, clothing/accessories, personal hygiene supplies, gift cards (barber shops), and non-perishable food.

Address: 605 Kenndy Road

Drop-offs: Wednesdays and Fridays, 10 am to 4 pm


519 Church Street Community Centre

Clients: LGBTQ youth and adults experiencing homelessness and marginalization

Items needed: New winter outer clothing (coats, snowsuits, jackets, boots), new winter accessories (hats, gloves, mittens, socks), personal hygiene supplies (deodorant, dental items, menstrual products), and toys for newcomers program.

Address: 519 Church Street

Drop-offs: Monday to Friday 8:30 am to 10 pm; Saturday, 9 am to 5 pm; Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm

Fred Victor

Clients: Low-income adults experiencing difficulty in day-to-day living as a result of severe and persistent mental health challenges and/or substance use challenges

Items needed: Grocery store/Dollar Store gift cards, blankets, personal hygiene supplies, hats, gloves, scarves, and new socks.

Drop-offs: Monday to Friday, 10 am 5 pm

Homes First Society

Clients: Homeless adults living with mental health and addiction concerns, refugees, newcomers, and victims violence and abuse

Items needed: Personal hygiene supplies, bath towels/robes, new or gently used bedding (sheets/blankets), new or gently used winter clothing/accessories, and gift cards.

Address: 90 Shuter Street, second floor

Drop-offs: 24/7

Houselink Community Homes

Clients: Individuals and families living with mental health concerns

Items needed: Warm winter clothing and outerwear for adults and children, toys for children ages 5-11, personal hygiene supplies, and gift cards.

Address: 805 Bloor Street West

Drop-offs: Call 416-539-0690 ext 322 to make arrangements

Native Women’s Resource Centre of Toronto

Clients: Aboriginal women and children

Items needed: Backpack care kits (personal hygiene supplies included), winter outerwear (women, children), boots, gift cards, and sleeping bags/blankets.

Address: 191 Gerrard Street East

Drop-offs: Monday and Friday, 10 am to 4:30 pm

Sistering: A Woman’s Place

Clients: Marginalized, homeless and precariously-housed women

Items needed: New underwear/socks, gift cards (Tim Hortons, Walmart, groceries), blankets, gently used towels, and personal hygiene supplies (shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, soap, body lotion).

Address: 962 Boor Street West

Drop-offs: 24/7, Monday to Friday preferred


Clients: Young families with infants and children (0 to 6 years)

Items needed: Gift cards (groceries, Walmart, Old Navy), toys/books (0 to 6), personal hygiene supplies (mothers and children 0 to 6), winter clothing (adults and children 0 to 6), and household starter items (towels, linens, pots/pans, cleaning supplies).

Address: 65 Wellesley Street East, Suite 500

Drop-offs: Monday to Friday, 10 am to 5 pm. Call to make an arrangement (416-482-0081 ext 311)

Street Health

Clients: Individuals experiencing homelessness or lack secure housing

Items needed: Sleeping bags, winter warmth items for adults (hats, scarves, mittens/gloves), new socks, $5 to $10 gift cards (Tim Hortons, Food Basics, No Frills or Fresh Co), and personal hygiene supplies (lip balm, moisturizer).

Address: 338 Dundas Street East

Drop-offs: Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm


Horizons for Youth

Clients: Homeless and at-risk youth

Items needed: Gift certificates (malls, stores, fast-food restaurants, coffee shops, Cineplex), new clothing, pyjama bottoms, hoodies, sweatpants, leggings, gloves, toques, scarves, and underwear (men/women’s adult sizes).

Address: 422 Gilbert Avenue

Drop-offs: Monday to Friday, call for details (416-781-9898)

Weston King Neighbourhood Centre

Clients: Marginalized people

Items needed: Gift cards, personal hygiene supplies (men/women’s shaving items, pads, diapers, soap, shampoo), mittens/gloves, hats, scarves, coats, shoes, plates, and cups, bedding/comforters.

Address: 2017 Weston Road

Drop-offs: Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, 9 am to 3 pm

A full list of all 49 shelters and organizations accepting donations can be found here.

See also

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