The Gateway is the continuation of a ministry called the Friendship Room run by the Salvation Army Toronto Temple Corps. The Friendship Room was a drop-in center open five evenings per week near Yonge and Dundas for twenty years. In 1998, the City of Toronto asked the Friendship Room to run an emergency winter shelter with 60 beds out of the same space and this shelter was open for two winters until the building was sold due to redevelopment in the area.
The sale of the Friendship Room property allowed us to purchase our current building at 107 Jarvis Street. The Gateway then opened on February 14, 2000 (Valentine’s Day) with enough capacity to run a drop-in and also become a permanent shelter with 108 beds. The change in name was rooted in Jesus’ words in John 10:7-9, “I am the gate.” Our goal is to provide a Christ-centered ministry that serves as a gateway for individuals on the margins of society to experience renewal and regain hope.
We firmly believe that all people need three things to live well: a home, a job and a friend. By providing shelter, building community and operating a social purpose enterprise, we bear witness to the love of God and have seen incredible changes take place in the lives of individuals at the Gateway. We continuously push ourselves to grow in all of these areas to serve our residents and community members well.