Renascent History

Renascent Background History

For over 40 years, Renascent has offered hope and healing to men, women and families struggling with addiction.The Renascent Fellowship was founded in 1970 by Paul J. Sullivan and a group of businessmen, half of whom were recovering alcoholics, with the goal of opening a new type of treatment centre.Renascent’s centre would be a 12-step, abstinence-based and gender-specific drug and alcohol recovery program. Planning took place over the next year.


On October 20, 1971, our first client, Donald, walked through the doors of Renascent. More than 45,000 clients would follow him over the next 40 years.

Ten years later, Renascent opened the first women-only residential drug and alcohol treatment centre in Ontario. Based on the same principles as the successful men’s treatment program, Renascent now had a rehab centre in which they could address the unique needs of women recovering from addiction.

The Renascent Foundation was incorporated in 1983 to enhance funding for the treatment of alcoholism and drug addiction and ensure that no one would be turned away for lack of funds. With the support of the Foundation, Renascent began to offer programs for families whose loved ones struggle with the illness of addiction.

Renascent rented a number of facilities throughout its history, including Beatty House, Spadina House, Bayview House (the Vaughan Estate), Philips House and Walker House.

Today, Renascent owns and operates four rehab houses: the Paul J. Sullivan Centre for men in Brooklin, the Punanai Centre for men in Toronto, the Graham Munro Centre for women in Toronto and the Lillian and Don Wright Family Health Centre in Toronto – home to our head office and family programs.