Central Toronto Youth Services

Through a process of engagement and relationship building, Central Toronto Youth Services (CTYS) serves youth who have a range of mental health needs.

Our Impact Why We Exist

We work collaboratively with youth and their families to expand their skills and navigate systems so that they can successfully achieve their goals and improve their well-being.


CTYS will be a leader in providing excellent, innovative, collaborative, responsive services that meet the mental health needs of youth within the changing social context impacting them, their families and their communities. We envision healthy, resilient youth and families living in healthy, affirming communities where youth with mental health issues are understood, and appreciated.

Our Story What We Do

History of Organization

Since 1973, CTYS has been an innovative treatment centre for many of Toronto’s most vulnerable youth ages 12 to 24. We are an accredited children’s mental health centre, focused on meeting the needs of the hardest to serve clients.

The agency is continually reshaping programs to match the issues and difficulties presented by the youth we serve.

Remaining current on emerging youth issues has grounded and informed the development of our community- based services. Research and program evaluation are key components of our work to support clients and our many community partners. At CTYS, we strongly believe in the possibility of even the most troubled youth to change their lives, given the appropriate supports.

Our Programs How We Do It


CTYS' Community Counselling Programs offer support to youth ages 12-18 through outreach, individual counselling and group work. Many of our clients face unique challenges that cannot be addressed using traditional approaches. The services we offer are creative, flexible and comprehensive.

In the community, workers interact on an individual basis with youth in their homes, neighbourhoods and schools. In school settings, we bring services directly to high-risk students. Our counselling groups respond to emerging client needs and concerns.


New Outlook is the only program of its kind in Toronto that provides a wide variety of programs to transitional aged youth (14-24 years old) who are recovering from serious mental illness, primarily psychotic disorders.

Our programs take a holistic approach and support our clients on their road to recovery by providing best practice client-centered treatment.


CTYS's Youth Justice programs support young people who are serving a youth order and/or have matters before the youth court. YJ programs connect with youth who are facing a range of complex challenges in their homes, neighbourhoods, schools and communities.

Whether youth have been charged and are seeking bail, have had their court matter diverted, are serving a custodial sentence or are on probation, our professionally staffed YJ programs offer guidance, counselling and comprehensive support to young people in ways that are engaging, respectful and empowering.


Pride & Prejudice (P&P) offers unique programs for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer and questioning youth, ages 13-24. Through individual counselling and group work, our programs support youth who are challenged by a wide range of issues. Our clients may be exploring issues related to gender identity and/or sexual orientation, community, homophobia, friendships, and family. They may also need support during a life transition. We serve youth who are struggling with depression or anxiety, or confronting traumatic experiences, including childhood abuse and family violence. We help clients make sense of and cope with a variety of complex struggles. At the same time, they are encouraged to explore and embrace their own individuality and identity.

More on CTYS Programs: http://www.ctys.org/programs#cc


Community Counselling: RITES


Exposure to racism, discrimination, violence and poverty can lower self-esteem and compromise potential for academic, personal and career success. CTYS's Black Youth Program, the product of consultations with youth of African descent, service providers and parents, promotes positive youth development, strengthens racial identity, and builds resilience.

The goal is to empower youth of African descent with a deeper understanding of themselves, the influence of their cultures, and the issues which impact their mental health. Through discussion and team building, the program instills a sense of kinship and creates awareness of assets within the African Canadian community. As well, participants learn how to create a photo/digital story that incorporates their awareness of and perspective on issues and challenges that affect their own mental health and well-being.

Participants are identified by school personnel, youth justice, child welfare and other community service providers.

Youth ages 14 - 18

More on RITES at www.ctys.org

Funding and Program Partners

Central Toronto Youth Services is funded by the Ministry of Children & Youth Services (MCYS), and the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (MOHLTC).

Program Impact

RITES began in 2012. Holding 2 groups a year, an estimated 30 Toronto youth will complete the program each year.

Toronto's Vital Signs® indicator(s) addressed by Program

Leadership, Civic Engagement & Belonging:

Overall, more than three quarters of Toronto youth (aged 12 - 19) felt that they belonged to their local community in 2011, although economic and social exclusion may significantly diminish a strong sense of identity among immigrant youth.


New Outlook: Day Program

Day Program

Supports young people with serious mental illness (psychosis, affective disorders). The mainstay of the program is life and social skills training, recreation, as well as academic studies in a structured and supportive environment. A typical week may include a wellness and recovery group, a drama workshop and spending time at the YMCA. Clients set personal goals in collaboration with program staff. The program focuses on helping young people to understand and manage their illness. An on-site teacher provides an innovative special education program that allows clients to earn high school credits. A confirmed diagnosis of a serious mental illness, case management and ongoing psychiatric/medical care are necessary for eligibility.

For more on the Day Program visit www.ctys.org




A biweekly, drop-in workshop series for younger gay/bi/queer/trans guys. Through discussion of arts and culture, history and current events, guest speakers, music, video and film clips, creative and interactive activities, BOBC addresses issues of identity, sex, love, relationships and gender. Always entertaining and educational, each workshop focuses on a specific topic or theme.

Follow #BOYOBOY on Twitter @CYTS_Youth

Read more about CTYS Groups: www.ctys.org


Heather Sproule
Executive Director
Charitable Number: 892095688RR0001

Finance & Governance

Annual Operating Budget: 
$ 5,937,217


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