Our History

St. Stephen's Community House was started by the Anglican Diocese in 1962. During the early years, St. Stephen's was a Christian-based settlement house providing community services, primarily to youth. In 1964, the programs at the House were diversified with English classes being offered to new immigrants, along with counselling, job placement services, and electronics and woodworking workshops for youth. The House continued to operate in this capacity for ten years.

On May 24, 1974, St. Stephen's Community House became an independent, incorporated not-for-profit charitable organization, and a United Way member agency.

Since that time, St. Stephen's has been a pioneer in new service delivery models and programs.

Some "firsts" include:

  • Conflict Resolution Service, a volunteer-driven, alternative dispute resolution service that is now in great demand across the Greater Toronto Area
  • Culturally-specific AIDS education services for Portuguese and Chinese speaking immigrants
  • The Ontario Chapter of Chinese Bereaved Families
  • The Kensington Youth Theatre Ensemble of St. Stephen's (KYTES), which now functions as an independent program employing street youth in theatre
  • The Youth and New Media Internship Program

Over the last 40 years, St. Stephen's Community House has continued to meet the growing need for diverse and effective programs in Kensington Market and the surrounding neighbourhoods. These programs are vital in developing harmonious relationships among different cultural, economic, religious and social groups - an important task in a community long considered the immigrant reception centre of Toronto. Our programs seek to foster personal growth and self-confidence, and create a sense of community.

Copyright © 2003, St. Stephen's Community House. All rights reserved.