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Our History

Our roots in the community date back to the beginning of the twentieth century, when the Fred Victor Mission opened its doors to women in need and subsequently founded a mission dedicated to supporting unwed, pregnant women, single mothers, and their babies. This mission was eventually incorporated as The Massey Centre for Women in 1989.
By the end of the 1980s, it had become clear that many young mothers would benefit from a longer period of residence after the birth of their children. Because of their age and, frequently, troubled backgrounds, an increasing number of these women needed the support of additional time in a secure, stable and supportive environment. There, they would be able to develop the maturity and life skills necessary for good parenting and independent living. By 1991 a major expansion had been completed and featured an additional Transitional Housing program, a model daycare facility, and expanded programs and services.
Since then, the Massey Centre has continued to adapt and change with the times and expand outreach to the broader community in addition to centre residents.


A Massey Centre Timeline

1900: The first unmarried mother comes to Fred Victor Mission.
1901: The Door of Hope, is founded; a mission for unwed, pregnant women, single mothers and their babies.
1904: The mission is renamed The Victor Home for Women in memory of Fred Victor Massey after Chester Massey donates a parsonage; administration passes to the Methodist church.
1947: The Victor Home moves to 1102 Broadview Avenue.
1979: A secondary school is established in partnership with the Toronto District Board of Education.
1981: A subsidized childcare centre opens & programming is expanded to support community mothers.
1987: Planning begins for expansion including the Postnatal Supportive Housing project.
1989: The mission is incorporated as The Massey Centre for Women.
1991: Expansion is complete with 27 unit postnatal residential complex a 48-space day care centre and family resource centre.
1998: Success by Employment & Technology pre-employment program is launched.
2002: Ruth Atkinson Hindmarsh Award received for outstanding work with children.
2003: The Ontario Early Years Centre opens on-site under Massey Centre management, along with 5 satellite locations.
2007: William Burgess Satellite School partnership was established.
2008: Nancy Peters retires after leading the Massey Centre for 17, years. Ekua Asabea Blair assumes the role of CEO.
2009: A three-year strategic plan is completed.
2010: Children’s Mental Health Ontario designates Massey Centre as an accredited Children’s Mental Health Centre. The Infant Mental Health program is instituted. (Note this program was renamed the “Maternal Infant Mental Health” in 2012 to emphasize the crucial role of the mother-child relationship.
An Ontario Trillium Foundation grant launches the 3-year pilot of the Women Supporting Women mentorship program.
2011: The United Church of Canada grants Massey Centre full accreditation under its Community Ministry Standards.
2012: The Centre’s second three-year strategic plan is developed with input from employees, management, board and external consultants. The process lays the ground for a detailed analysis of the Massey Centre’s service delivery model and a careful restructuring of the organization’s programs and policies.
Massey Centre welcomes Dr. Jean Wittenberg, Head of Infant Psychiatry at the Hospital for Sick Children, to train staff in the use of an innovative skills inventory and the development of strong attachment to mothers and their infants.
2013: A four-year Transitional Housing plan approved for the townhouse complex. The New Lives Start Here Program, a transitional housing, and education program for current and former parenting crown wards (aged 18-25) aging out of the child welfare system will be implemented in 2014.

A young smiling black mom holds her baby

"Abiona Centre not only gave me the ability to care for my child, but the motivation to get what I wanted for my life - to have my daughter with me and to live independently."


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Abiona Centre is a client-centred infant and early childhood mental health organization which supports pregnant and parenting adolescents, aged 13 – 25.

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