For the basics, see
- Website & Privacy Policies
- How To Get Involved
- The Role of the Park

Search options:

up to a month to index new postings
web search

Search Newsletter:
local & up to date but simpler
See Search Page

Department Site Map


posted November 10, 2006

The Gerstein short-term residential crisis centre at 1045 Bloor Street West

This centre is connected to the very successful Gerstein Centre at 100 Charles Street East. The proposed crisis centre on Bloor near Havelock will have individual rooms and 24-hour staffing, with programs and referrals for residents. The Centre staff held an open house at the Gladstone Library on Nov.30, and they are also available to answer questions about their plans at 416-929-0149: Paul Quinn, Executive Director ext. 222, Susan Davis, Coordinator of Community Partnerships ext. 235, or Pamela Rodgerson, Coordinator of Finance and Administration ext. 226. Or e-mail

Pamela Rodgerson lives in the neighbourhood and is a park friend, and she’s agreed to post more material about the plans at the rink house. She says one of their letters of support (which she’ll post) comes from the superintendent of police responsible for the area around Charles Street, praising the organization for their expertise in operating a mental health crisis service, their co-operativeness, and their successes.

Park staff are very happy that this centre is coming. They have made some frustrating attempts to find help for mentally ill park users over the years. One of these park users – an older man named Mimo, whom many longer-time park friends will recall, and who used to plug the men’s park toilet so regularly (God told him to do it) that the park washrooms had to stay closed for two seasons – finally went to the Gerstein Centre downtown and has now been long settled at an excellent nursing home in the Beaches. He has almost stopped plugging the toilets, apparently, and is regard with affection. The other story is not as nice. A young Chinese man, very ill with schizophrenia, lived in the park for several years and rejected all park staff attempts to give him food, blankets, etc. But they kept an eye on him. He was very skilful in living out of doors, until one late fall he began to get much sicker and seemed to be starving himself to death. The park staff tried for weeks to get him into hospital (a very hard thing to do if the person doesn’t agree). With the help of park friend Dr.Alan Abelsohn, who lives nearby, and two inspired Homeless Outreach workers from CODA, the man was finally taken into the Toronto Western Hospital for assessment.

But the hospital released this man after a few days and he came back to the park – this time in bedroom slippers. He sat in the park with his feet in the snow for a day before anyone realized what was happening. He had to have both his feet amputated.

If there is a close relationship with a nearby crisis centre, even just for good advice and connections, so that such a thing can never happen again, the park staff and park friends will be very happy. Find out more this winter on the rink house bulletin boards.

hosted by | powered by pmwiki-2.2.83. Content last modified on December 10, 2006, at 07:22 PM EST