The Dorothy Ley Hospice

We foster hope and dignity through exemplary care, advocacy, education and research for individuals living with the challenges of life-limiting illness or loss.

Day Program participantsOur Impact Why We Exist

The Dorothy Ley Hospice provides compassionate care and support to individuals who are living with the challenges of life-limiting illness and loss. As the only hospice in Toronto offering both community and residential care, we help people live every day to the fullest, with dignity, meaning and hope. We support not only individuals with a life-limiting illness but also their caregivers and family members throughout the illness and after the loved-one’s death.  All of our services are offered at no cost to the individual thanks to the generosity of our donors and government funding.

art therapytOur Story What We Do

History of Organization

Founded in 1990, The Dorothy Ley Hospice offers compassionate care to people living with the challenges of a life-limiting illness or loss. We offer a wide range of services that support people to live well with their illness, address their fear of pain and dying, and help families through their grief and loss. These programs meet their physical, emotional, spiritual and support needs, helping them to live life to the fullest and are offered wherever people reside. All of our services are offered at no cost to the individual thanks to the support of our donors and government funding.

Accolades and Accomplishments

Since 1990, The Dorothy Ley Hospice has a proud history of being a leader in the delivery of palliative care. We:

  • are the first hospice in Ontario to receive a three-year accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (June 2013)
  • are a founding member of the Hospice Association of Ontario and have been a leader in hospice palliative care in Ontario for more than two decades.
  • helped develop the 30-hour training program for hospice volunteers that is now used by all hospices in Ontario.
  • helped develop provincial standards for residential hospice care, spiritual care and integrative wellness.
  • developed a Model of Engagement for the provision of hospice services – both community and residential – that other hospices opening residential programs are building upon.
  • received the 2006 Etobicoke Chamber of Commerce Business of Excellence Award for Community Service: Not-for-Profit.

"DLH is not just an end of life facility. It is also an extension of one's home, where one can expect nothing but the best. DLH even administers programs to alleviate one's grief which is beyond the boundaries of caring for the terminally ill." (individual served by the Hospice)

"The excellent service we received from beginning to end was truly appreciated. The building location, décor, and facilities were outstanding. Thank you for being there during our time of need! You were beacons of light in a stormy night."  (individual served by the Hospice)

Residential CareOur Programs How We Do It

Last year, The Dorothy Ley Hospice provided support to more than 3,000 individuals through its two key programs: 

1.  Community Care - care and support provided in people's homes as well as access to services offered at the Hospice.

2.  Residential Care - 24-hour care provided in a home-like setting to more than 200 people a year during their last weeks of live.

Community Care Program

The community care program offers support services to people living with life-limiting illness enabling them to remain in their homes for as long as possible.  Care Coordinators work with the individual to create a care plan that suites their needs and helps them to access essential services, navigate the healthcare system, help them with complex choices, access wellness focused programs and connect them with other people facing similar experiences. Respite, grief and loss supports are offered to caregivers and family members. We follow family members for at least a year after a death to ensure they are coping well and provide support when and if needed.

Our services are available wherever people reside -- at home, seniors residence, long-term care facility, or hospital.

Residential Care Program

The Residential Care program provides 24-hour care in a home-like environment to anyone aged 16 or older who has received a prognosis of three months or less to live.  With 10-private care suites, the Residential Program serves a bout 200 people a year. The program is person-centred and is focused on managing pain and maximizing quality of lifeas well as ensuring the individual's dignity and comfort is addressed. Family members are encouraged to visit at any time during the day or night. Care and support is extended to family members and caregivers.

The objective and outcome of the program is to ensure people experience a death that is as positive and pain free as possible.  The cost per day is about $440 compared with $880 or more in an acute care hospital setting. Because we are a hospice, our services are geared to supporting people through the dying process in a compassionate caring environment.

Funding and Program Partners

The Dorothy Ley Hospice offers all of its services at no charge thanks to government funding (60 per cent of our budget) and dollars raised from the community fundraising (40 per cent).  In the coming year, we need to raise $1.1 million from the community to support the needs of the people we support.

Government funding is provided by Mississauga Halton Local Integrated Health Network and the Mississauga Halton Community Care Access Centre.  In addition, our programs are supported through a variety of partnerships with local health care providers such as Bayshore Home Health and Home Instead; foundations such as the Toronto Community Foundation, Harold E. Ballard Foundation, C. Dennis Flynn Foundation; community organizations such as the Rotary Club of Etobicoke and Kiwanis; corporations such as CIBC and RBC, and individual donors.  Several of our Integrated Wellness programs are available thanks to partnerships with local university and college programs such as acupuncture, massage therapy, and arts and music therapy.

Program Impact

The outcomes of the programs offered by The Dorothy Ley Hospice include:

  • experiencing a positive death
  • focusing on living every minute to the fullest despite the illness
  • having pain and symptoms effectively managed
  • reducing isolation through social interaction with Care Coordinators and hospice volunteers
  • enhancing the health of caregivers by offering them access to respite services enabling them to take breaks when needed from their caregiving responsibilities
  • healthy transition through grief and loss through bereavement support
Toronto's Vital Signs® indicator(s) addressed by Program

Across Ontario, the population of 75 year olds and older will triple by 2021 placing enormous demands on Long-Term Care Facilities and hospitals.

Hospices provide a more cost effective and more compassionate source of care for people living with life limited illnesses.  As our population ages, the demand for hospice care will only increase.  Hospices are better equipped to help individuals and their family members through the progression of a terminal illness and afterwards during their grief and loss.

Participant Vignette

"When I walk into the Hospice, I am met with such love and kindness! It truly feels like home.  The help my beloved husband and I received, and I continue to receive, is and was invaluable.”

“Aftercare services (bereavement) provided were so helpful and greatly appreciated.  Kristine’s visits in my home were valuable as I was incapable of attending the programs offered at the Hospice.  That she reached out made it possible and helped me through my grief.”

"From our very first contact, your volunteers and staff were so kind, informative and compassionate.  Harry was only there for four days and I could see the wonderful benefit of my being able to spend my time with him as opposed to being busy taking care of him.  Thank you for making this possible.”

“Your staff were kind, quiet, efficient, knowledgeable, caring, thorough and treated us with gentle smiles.  At the time of death, we were treated with dignity and patience.  The “leaving” ritual was gracious and caring.  The family kitchen with ice cream always available was comforting.  It was such a supportive environment for us.”

"DLH is not just an end-of-life facility.  It is also an extension of one's home, where one can expect nothing but the best.  DLH even administers programs to alleviate one's grief which is beyond the boundaries of caring for the terminally ill."

"The nurses were fantastic, caring, loving and respectful.  The volunteers were a blessing.  The kitchen accommodated all "special" requests.  Your Spiritual Care Coordinator was really helpful and gave me a good/healing perspective when we were at the end of the journey with Bob and I was at the end of my rope."

Hike for HospiceWhat You Can Do


By calling one phone number, people would be connected to a team of physicians, care coordinators, nurses, integrative wellness services, spiritual care services, volunteer support, pain and symptom management consultants and bereavement support.  That phone number would be active 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Your Support Makes a Difference

Support from donors will help The Dorothy Ley Hospice:

  • enhance the support offered to people in the community (3,000 served last year). We hope to increase that to 3,500 in the coming year.)
  • develop a new Community Outreach Team that will provide palliative individuals with a one phone number access to a team of physicians, care coordinators, nurses, integrative wellness services, spiritual care services, volunteer support, pain and symptom management consultants and bereavement support.  The phone number would be active 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • create a "knowledge centre" that would provide palliative care education workshops for nurses, personal support workers, caregivers and volunteers to build capacity in the system so more people could remain in their homes rather than being hospitalized
  • expand the Day Program to two days a week
  • offer weekly acupuncture and massage therapy clinics for individuals with a life-limiting illness and their caregivers
  • recruit and train 25 more volunteers to support the In-Home program so more people can access services and remain in their home
Donation impact

With your help, The Dorothy Ley Hospice can ensure that anyone in our community who is coping with a life-limiting illness or loss has the support and care they need in a place of their choice.  We provide our services where people live - in home, in hospice, in long-term care and in hospital.

More than 90% of Canadians have said they want to die in their own homes yet only 25% actually do so.  Our programs and services enable them to remain at home for as long as possible.  Of those receiving our community services, 65% are able to die at home.  For those who can no longer remain at home, we offer our residential program which provides care in a home-like setting.

All of our programs not only support the individual who is ill but the whole family, making a challenging time a bit easier to bear.  We continue to offer support to families after the death of a loved one.  Our bereavement programs are designed to help people deal with specific losses such as the loss of a spouse/partner, loss of a child; loss of a parent; dealing with loss around holidays and support groups for children and youth.




Niamh Earls Hallworth
Senior Fund Development Officer
416.626.0116 x253
Charitable Number: 130193394RR0001

Finance & Governance

Annual Operating Budget: 
$ 3,099,942