March 31, 1970

March 31, 1970

Concerned by the lack of effective treatment of alcoholism, a group of businessmen opened Renascent’s first treatment centre located at 39 Beaty Avenue in Toronto. These individuals incorporated Renascent as a charity and began funding residential treatment programs by managing parking lots. Renascent’s first house had seven beds.

Letters of Patent

1970

My association with Renascent started before 1970, as I listened to conversations about the need for support to some alcoholics needing support beyond attending AA meetings.
The discussions resulted in renting a house and setting it up to give 28 days of treatment to establish principles of sobriety and supports for returning to day to day living and maintaining sobriety.
It was an abstinence based approach in a home type environment providing good meals, a safe place to live counselling and a requirement to attend community based AA meetings.
A dedicated group of people committed countless hours and resources to help the suffering alcoholic.
Renascent has evolved from this to a multidimensional approach including support for family members affected by alcohol…
Congratulations on the successes over the past 50 years!

– Sondra Sullivan

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Sondra Sullivan

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1975

Renascent closes the Beatty House and leases the Vaughan Estate for 1 dollar a year for 10 years. It was a 32-bed facility, called the Bayview House.

1975

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My father was on the Board early in Renascent’s history. In fact, around 1975 he suggested that I might want to try out the rehab program — of course I declined.

– Peter Watson

1981

Renascent was a leader in the field of addiction for women. In 1981, Renascent opened one of the first women-only inpatient addiction treatment programs in Ontario, called the Spadina House, at 365 Spadina Road.

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Spadina House 1981

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Lucille Toth

1983

Lucille Toth was hired as Renascent’s Director of Development and Public Relations by Paul Sullivan in 1983, and stayed in this role for 16 years, until she retired in 1999.

She was the first to have this role at Renascent, and by the time she retired, her work also included Fundraising: when Lucille retired, it took three people to replace her. Lucille worked initially out of the Vaughn Estate, but she also secured an office at Old City Hall where she worked with judges, on behalf of Renascent, to send people with alcohol related charges to treatment.

Other areas of Lucille’s work included raising funds to enhance Spadina House, securing the  donation from Christopher Ondaatje that allowed Renascent to open our Punanai House, and having Gordon Lightfoot appear at the Punanai House opening. There are many endearing stories about Lucille’s time at Renascent but one favourite is that when she started at Renascent, pre-computers, she kept all her contact information in recipe boxes on her desk. Each contact’s details were filed alphabetically on a recipe card. Apparently, by the time she retired, her desk was covered with recipe boxes and these boxes were the sole source of information for the fundraising, business development, and public relations staff who followed Lucille’s tenure.

1983

The Renascent Foundation was incorporated on November 28th, 1983 so that Renascent could fundraise as a not-for-profit charity, allowing the organization to remove financial barriers to treatment.

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1983 Foundation incorporation document

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1985

1986

In addition to the Bayview and Spadina Houses, in 1986 Renascent opens Phillips House, with 29 beds, at 1400 Sheppard Ave E.

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Phillips House 1987

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Les Talbot & George Clarke shaking hands

1987

Under the leadership of George Clarke (pictured with Les Talbot, left, at a volunteer awards ceremony in 1998), Renascent began to purchase its centres, to create stability and alleviate a nomadic problem due to landlord whims that had plagued the organization over the years.  The facilities were unique properties well suited to the business of addiction treatment and well priced because of the limited alternative market.  

1987

Renascent purchases the home that would become the Paul J. Sullivan Centre.

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Sullivan House in Fall brick house with changing leaves in front

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1989

The Paul Sullivan Treatment Centre in Brooklin opened to great fanfare on June 29th, 1989. The house was named in honour of Renascent’s founder.

With the opening of the Sullivan Centre, the Bayview House was closed.

1989

300 Renascent alumnae take part in the 6th Annual Picnic at the Phillips House, showing their dedication to Renascent and the growing community of graduates.

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Alumni Picnic 1989

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Betty Walker

1991

The Walker House, a new women’s treatment Centre, officially opened with a special guest, Mayor Mel Lastman. The house was at Downsview Dells, near Sheppard and Keele. It had 25 beds, with Betty Walker (pictured) as the house manager.

The Spadina House was closed.

1991

Renascent purchases the house that would become the  Punanai Centre for men in Toronto, and Gordon Lightfoot attends a ribbon cutting ceremony. Work begins on getting the house ready.

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1991

John R. Campbell Q.C. is elected as the President of the Renascent Fellowship. He played a vital role at Renascent since 1979 and he would remain an active member of the Board of Directors until 2009

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1991

In early 1991, Les Talbot took on the role of CEO at Renascent, which he would hold for more than 20 years.

“Les Talbot was the best leader I have ever worked with. Kind, visionary and patient.

He had an amazing ability to lead from behind and encourage development of those he worked with.

He continues to live on in my own leadership style and I am beyond grateful to him and Renascent for those amazing years.” – C. Barrick

1992

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In recognition of the long and important relationship between organized labour and Renascent, UA Local 46 donates $ 61,000 to the “Miracle on Madison” fundraising campaign.

1992

After raising more than 50% of the “Miracle on Madison” fundraising goal, the new Men’s Treatment Centre is officially opened by Christopher Ondaatje who donated $ 100,000 toward the house, and named the house “Punanai” after a village in Sri Lanka where he visited as a child.

Phillips House closes.

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Frank O'Dea

1992

Renascent President Frank O’Dea is honoured with the Canada Volunteer Award for his work with those experiencing addiction.

1994

Renascent celebrates its 25th Anniversary of successfully treating alcoholism and drug addiction.

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25th Anniversary Renascent Newsletter

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Millie Bailey's lasagna recipe

1995

Renascent shares Millie Bailey’s famous lasagna recipe in a newsletter; the secret’s out!

1996

With the support of the Graham Munro Foundation, Renascent purchases the Graham Munro Centre for Women.

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Munro Centre May 1999

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Renascent "The Great Gatsby Affair" newsletter announcement

1997

Renascent hosts “The Great Gatsby Affair” at the dazzling Erchless Estate in Oakville.

1998

Renascent Foundation launches the first of many annual “Guess Who’s Coming for Dinner?” galas, spear-headed by Board Director and Fund-Raising Chair Judy Wells, and countless other Board Directors, sponsors, volunteers and staff of the Foundation, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for Renascent.

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Guess Who's Coming for Dinner Gala

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Presentation To Munro

1999

On November 24th, the Graham Munro Centre for Women opens. 

The Walker House closes

1999

“Michael Mazza recruited me. Had been serving as the Executive Director of the Oakville Arts Council and was looking to make changes and develop fundraising. At the time, I didn’t really connect the dots on how the family disease of addiction had impacted my life.”

– Joanne Steel

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“Not knowing what I was doing with my troubled life and making the best decision by entering the doors of the Renascent, today I have a wonderful life on life’s terms. Not every day is easy but I do have the tools to get through anything; it’s called the 12 steps.  I am always grateful for each new beginning of a new day and knowing I’m not alone. Thank you, Renascent, for saving my life.”

– Anthony Verombeck, alumni

1999

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Guardian Angel Program supporters and donors

2000

Bev, a first-time donor, gives $ 1,200 because at the time, it was the gap between our government funding and the cost of delivering our inpatient program. Inspired by that gift, seven individuals — passionate about supporting and guiding individuals through recovery — gathered at the Granite Club to discuss possibilities. Soon after, the Guardian Angel Program took flight. The number of Guardian Angels grew to 12 people by the second year, and has surpassed 50 in the years since, with particular thanks to Stephen Waymire’s leadership and ongoing support of the program. 

2000

In early 2000, through two very generous donors, Al and Malka Green, Renascent was able to launch new Outpatient Services and revitalize Alumni Care.  During outcome studies done at this time, Renascent discovered more needed to be done to support families, particularly parents and children. Renascent began to develop and expand a continuum of care to further address family members and the impacts of addiction on loved ones.

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Al Green

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Renascent hosts "Instyle Gala"

2000

Renascent’s inStyle gala at the Royal York Hotel’s Imperial Room is a great success thanks to the dedication of co-chairs Garfield Ogilvie and Sandra Peltier, amongst others.

2000

Peter Armstrong is elected President of the Fellowship Board of Directors.

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Peter Armstrong

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Championed by Al and Malka Green, Renascent launches new outpatient services and revitalizes Alumni Care.

2001

2002

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Thanks to Al and Malka Green’s continued support, Renascent launches its relapse prevention program, Continuing Care, allowing clients to access Complete Care.

2003

Championed by the Waymire Family, Renascent expands treatment services for women to reduce waiting times and to better respond to the needs of women.

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Waymire Family portrait

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Al and Malka Green complete a multi-year pledge to fund Renascent’s Outpatient and Continuing Care programs, a vital tool in the fight against relapse.

2003

2003

Bert Thompson, Manager of Operations, retires after more than 20 years of dedicated service.

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Bert Thompson

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In 2003, Renascent created the Family Program Advisory Committee to implement and oversee the implementation of all four components of the newly identified Family Care program during that period. It was composed of members of the Renascent Fellowship Board (including its President), educators and technicians in the field of family, adult and child programming.

2003

2004

In 2004, with the help of The Krembil Foundation (Mark Krembil, pictured right), Renascent launched Continuing Care in a Distant Delivery format to help Canadians regardless of where they lived to access a post-treatment program. Through the Distance Delivery format, families could also access Essential Family Care remotely and anonymously.  Also, clients could access aftercare out of town and out of province if necessary.

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Mark Krembil

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Renascent mourned the loss of Dr. Frank P. McInnis. A founding member, Dr. McInnis served on the Board of Directors for over 30 years.

2004

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Peter Watson

2004

I decided to support Renascent financially as it was the best option available in Toronto. I had learned of and pledged support to the Guardian Angel program for a minimum 12-year period.  I was also invited to and became an active member of the Guardian Angel committee, to aid in seeking major financial support for Renascent.

– Peter Watson

2005

Renascent begins to implement its Family Program redevelopment strategy through a champion grant provided by the Krembil Foundation.

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Don Wright Birthday celebration and donation to Renascent Foundation

2005

Don Wright celebrates his 97th Birthday with a one million dollar gift to the Renascent Foundation and our family programs. Pictured: Don Wright (left), with Kathie Viner, Renascent Foundation Board Director and Family Focus Campaign Champion, and John Snobelen (right), Family Focus Campaign supporter.

2005

Renascent volunteers logged 22,000 working hours this year, valued at approximately $ 500,000.

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Munro Donor wall 2005

2005

My journey of recovery started at Renascent with the women who welcomed me when I first walked through the doors. Their inspiration and respect, along with their caring and reassurance, led me to persevere. On March 14th, 2005, I entered the Graham Munro Centre sober, shakey, scared, determined.

The next two and a half weeks were filled with self-reflection, insights and revelations. I’ll never forget the laughing, the crying and the bonding. I have returned to Renascent often since I graduated. I’ve come back to share, to volunteer, to find some serenity, courage and wisdom. I’ve always been welcomed home with open arms just like that first day.

– Anne Page, alumni

2005

I heard about Renascent at my first meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous on January 7, 2005. As I was a newcomer the people at the meeting swarmed me afterward offering help. I mentioned that I was thinking of going to treatment and some of the guys told me about this great place called Renascent.
My Dad dropped me off at Sullivan Centre later that March and I began my 21 days of treatment. The counsellors were all great guys each with their own unique style of counselling. There was George who knew the Big Book verbatim. There was Gerry who would end up speaking at my one year medallion. There was Rod the enforcer, he told it like it was. Mike the 12 Step enthusiast. Jimmy who was as hilarious as he was kind. John another straight shooter. Ken the Star Trek fan who told us that when it came to the 12 Steps resistance was futile. Plus the manager John and assistant manager Graydon who both would be mentors to me a couple years later. There was also the great cooks Lilian and the gang. All these people would have a big impact in my recovery.
When I graduated treatment, I continued to go to meetings daily (twice if I could), went back to Renascent once a week for the Alumni meetings, and was even briefly part of the Alumni committee. While all this was going on I entered into Durham College’s Post-Grad Addictions Counselling Program. Following my graduation I began to volunteer at Sullivan Centre throughout the week and eventually was asked to become a relief worker. That relief worker job turned into a fulltime job at the Access Centre in Toronto.
As a result of my experience with Renascent I’ll always have a warm spot in my heart for it and those who work there. Whenever I talk to someone wanting treatment I make sure Renascent is at the top of my list of suggestions. I can honestly say that when it comes to my recovery, my renaissance began with Renascent.

– Dave Marder, alumni

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Illustration of Sullivan Centre

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Judy Wells

2005

Enthusiastic supporter and Renascent Foundation Board Director Judy Wells turns 24 of her friends into Guardian Angels.

2005

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Betty Walker retires as the Manager of the Graham Munro House after 25 years of service.

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2005

As with most individuals with an alcohol problem, I thought that perhaps I drank heavily but not to the point of concern. I had lost my job, my house, gone bankrupt but I was simply a victim of social bad luck. Things would only get better, they always do!!

Fast forward to the intake interview at Renascent Punanai:

Counsellor: Do you think that you have a drinking problem?

Me: It’s not a problem but I do drink more than most people and it is manageable.

Counsellor: Which of these groups have indicated that you, not definitely but maybe have a drinking problem? Family, friends, colleagues or neighbours?

Me: Well, some people from each of these groups have hinted at it but not forcefully!

Counsellor: Let me tell you something that might help. If ten people were to tell you that you have a massive, five pound wart on the end of your nose, you may not, but you had better take a look.

I registered with Renascent Punani immediately and was admitted two weeks later. 

This year I celebrated my 13th year of continuous sobriety thanks to Renascent Punanai and AA.

Now I am happily married to my wife who stuck through this horrible period of 30 years of out of control drinking. I am completely content with my life and have three awesome adult children, a new executive career, a modest house, cottage, and boat.

Today, people actually and genuinely respect me and want to be part of my life! WOW, that took some getting used to!!

– Gareth Jones, alumni

2007

Renascent opens its Access Centre to support rapid assessments and admissions.

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Access Center

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Independent research confirms that 73% of Renascent’s Complete Care clients continue to be in recovery 18 months post-treatment.

2007

2007

Renascent appoints Dr. Robert J. Ackerman to spearhead the development of its intensive family programs for children and adults

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Dr. Robert J. Ackerman

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2007

Long-time board members Guy Bonnell and Bill Bailey join the Million Dollar Club, recognizing volunteers who have raised over 1 million dollars.

2008

With the support of the Harrison McCain Foundation, Renascent opens Atlantic Workplace Solutions to help Atlantic employers effectively address addiction in the Workplace.

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Harrison McCain

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Cathy Barrick

2008

I had worked in addiction for a number of years and had heard of Renascent many times.  When the Director of Operations job came up I knew it was for me. A mission I believed in and I wanted to contribute. When I met Les Talbot I knew it even more.  He was an amazing leader, mentor and friend.

– Cathy Barrick

2008

Renascent changed my life but mostly the bravest woman I ever met: Scarlett. She will stay in my heart forever because I named my daughter after her.

– Amanda Fowler, alumni

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The Annual Scotiabank Marathon raises $ 37,416 for Renascent. Team Hutchins’ Samantha Farjo raises more than $ 16,000 single-handedly.

2009

2009

Renascent Alumna-turned-addictions-counsellor Scarlett Clark is recognized a Woman of Inspiration by the 4Life Foundation.

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Scarlett Clark at presentation for Woman of Inspiration

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I missed my first day to come into ‘the house’. Too self absorbed, I believed that I could not afford the time to attend. Truth be told, I was just too sick and not yet ‘accepting.’ As of the 6th of July, 2009 my old ways would soon be re-categorized as ‘Remember Whens’. Bag in hand, I walked through the doors of Sullivan House.

The rest was magic.

I was fed humility in the form of bacon & eggs. It was served to me by the counsellors that also put pants on one leg at a time. I would eventually discover that they too had succumbed to the ills of addiction and had found the way out. I wanted what they had. As my mind pried open, I learned there is strength in humility.

– Larry F, alumni

2009

2009

In November 2009, Sullivan closed for renovations.

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Sign for The Lillian and Don Wright Family Health Centre

2010

Families have a place to call home thanks to the success of the Family Focus capital campaign and a lead gift from Lillian and Don Wright.
With these gifts, Renascent finalized the purchase of a new centre on 38 Isabella Street in Toronto in March, and opened the doors of the Lillian and Don Wright Family Health Centre to family clients in May.

2010

Renascent celebrates its 40th anniversary, having treated over 40,000 clients and their families in that time.

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Renascent's 40th Anniversary

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2010

I was at the end of the line. I went to treatment before couple of times. This time I said “it’s now or never.” I entered the treatment centre over 10 years ago for alcohol abuse. I completed the program at Madison in May, 2010 and I never looked back. I’m clean and sober and I love my life. I gained back respect and trust of my family, friends and co-workers. I go to as many AA meetings as I can. I also reconnected with my higher power. Life is beautiful and I hope and pray that every addict can find what I found. I’m doing very well in my job and I got promoted six years ago to a position I’ve never ever dreamed was possible.

– Mike T.

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2011

In October 2011, Sullivan reopened after having been under renovation since November 2009.

2011

Renascent pilots its 4-day intensive Children’s Program and launches a weekly support group for adult family members.

“The first Children’s Program pilot is one of my fondest memories of my time at Renascent. After years of raising funds and a lot of heavy lifting with Dr. Robert Ackerman and our wonderful Canadian consultants, it was amazing to see this program in action—the direct impact on the lives of parents and kids.”

– Joanne Steel

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Children drawing at Renascent's intensive Children's Program for families

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I was hired by Alasdair Hooper in April 2011 to join the foundation team as a new communications manager. It was a new role, a new challenge, and broadened my resume while remaining within fundraising. The cause was one that was important to me personally — alcoholism is something I’ve seen up close in my family. Renascent had a great reputation, had been around a long time and at that moment in time was beginning to write a new chapter with the opening of the Wright centre. Who wouldn’t want to get involved?

– SR

2011

2011

Dr. Patrick Smith is appointed CEO in November, replacing Les Talbot who retires after more than 20 years of service.

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2011

A McMaster University study ranks Renascent third nationally as having the most robust partnerships serving women with addictions and their children.

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I entered Renascent a broken man, addicted, my wife of 25 yrs filed for divorce, our son wouldn’t speak to me. Renascent saved my life and taught me how to live again. The counsellors were compassionate and understanding and helped me through a very difficult time. I’m 8 years clean, never to look back. Thank you Renascent, life could not be better.

– John Holloway, alumni

2011

2011

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I didn’t understand what was wrong with me and I had to attend the program twice to listen to what you guys said… It worked the last time. I have been over 8 years clean and sober and fully restarted my life.

– Fabian Olarte, alumni

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Dr. Ed and Bobby Yielding

2012

Dr. Ed and Bobby Yielding together gave most generously to Renascent. Bobby dedicated 22 years of committed service as a member of Renascent’s Fellowship Board. Dr. Ed Yielding acted for 15 years as Medical Director for Renascent. In 2012, Renascent received a generous bequest from their Estate after their passing. To this day, Renascent recognizes individuals with outstanding service in addiction treatment through the Dr. Ed and Bobby Yielding Award.

2012

Dennis James joins Renascent as Director of Programs.

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Dennis James

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2012

Gordon Lightfoot headlines Renascent’s first benefit concert, a fundraiser honouring the memory of Rena Scheffer.

“My fondest memory is the memorial concert for Rena. It was a difficult and challenging time, but the team pulled together and it was a successful and moving event.”

– SR

2012

Renascent welcomed me into their family first, as a family care volunteer in 2012. I was living with a family member who was struggling at the time with alcoholism, addiction and mental health issues – and was also a recent graduate of Centennial College’s Addiction and Mental Health Care worker program. I felt drawn to the family side of addiction care because my personal experiences really highlighted the fact that the family are such an intimate part of the addiction journey, but the resources in the community did not reflect that. Being able to become a part of co-facilitating programs that supported the family was the sole driver for me.

– Sabrina C. 

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Drawing from family program

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2012

Renascent participates in Racing Against Drugs Durham, providing a family recovery message to over 6,000 grade five students.

2012

Renascent launches its monthly aftercare program for children.

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Children putting on puppet show at Renascent monthly aftercare program

2012

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After nearly a decade of alcohol and drug use with a sharp decline in my wellbeing, it wasn’t until someone else told me “something has to change”. Those simple words were the first steps towards a journey that saved my life. The hardest part was taking that first step. I told myself I would never forget when I walked through the doors of rehab. I remember seeing written on the carpet “We are glad you are here” and to really think about that was heartwarming. My life has only been positive since sobriety began and I am now 7 years sober. I am working in the healthcare profession I spent so many years trying to get into until I went to renascent. Most importantly I am responsible and I have gained the respect of my family back.

– Bryan M., alumni

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2013

Supporting certification, Renascent begins its monthly professional development workshops series.

2013

Thanks for the life I now have.

– John Anderson, alumni, 2013

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2013

After 12 years of using AA unsuccessfully to try to stay sober, you guys literally saved my life. Three things stand out that I will be forever grateful for. First, instead of just letting me go home you went to great lengths to convince me to transfer to a longer term recovery centre and you pulled some strings to get me in immediately. Second, I can honestly say I have never laughed so much in a 3-week period in my whole life. This may sound trivial but it affected me deeply as it was the first time I actually came to believe that life could be extremely enjoyable without alcohol or drugs. Third, while I was there (as a 52 year old) I found myself helping a young guy who was messed up. After 10 years in and out of AA where I was always seeking help, not giving it, my stay with you taught me that I had a lot to offer others in recovery and how good it felt to do so.

I have never relapsed since I walked through your doors 6 years ago. Thank you so much and God bless!

– Steve St. Thomas, alumni

2014

Renascent is invited to play leadership roles on a number of provincial and regional planning Committees.

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2014

In August 2014, Renascent realized its strategic goal of earning accreditation from the Canadian Centre for Accreditation.

2014

Ryerson University submits its final evaluation report on the Children’s Program.

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2014

My favourite moment at Renascent was something small that eventually made a big impression on me. One of the counsellors at Sullivan, Mike R., was chatting informally with a group of us, and he mentioned that he “never took a step in this place without feeling the ground”. I didn’t quite understand it at the time but I have come to realize that this was my first exposure to mindfulness. By “feeling the ground” I wasn’t thinking about the past or worrying about the future, I was living in the moment. I have come back to Mike’s statement time-and-time again over my 4+ years of continuous sobriety as a very practical tool to keep myself grounded in today. Amazing how one comment has made such a positive difference in my life.

– Tim C., alumni

2014

I completed 21 days in October of 2014. I also completed the After Care program and was a member of the Alumni committee during the first year of my recovery.

Renascent saved my life. I was broken and I wanted to die. But every day I woke up and started the cycle again. I was drinking and using 24/7. I was full of self-loathing and fear. My world was dark, lonely and empty of hope.

Renascent gave me the tools to live life. The counsellors made me feel heard and I finally shared things that had been eating away at me for years. I knew if I was going to get sober I was going to need to work on me — to confront my demons and my past. Renascent started me on this path and I’ve been sober ever since — one day at a time.

– Kelly Holt, alumni

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2015

Renascent publishes a series of books, anthologies of articles written by alumni for TGIF, the weekly recovery newsletter. 

“Looking for other ways to help out, I was invited by editor Dale H and, for several years (and under various aliases), wrote articles on various recovery topics for the weekly Renascent newsletter. A number of those were re-published in the 2015 Road to Recovery – Pathways to Spirituality book.”

–  Peter Watson

2015

After detoxing for what felt like the thousandth time, I was given some information regarding treatment centres. Being desperate and eager, five days later I was unpacking a bag at treatment and from there I had my introduction to AA. That treatment centre was Renascent’s Paul J. Sullivan Centre in Brooklin. It was the first time in my life I felt understood. These people get me. They can relate and I never felt less than. I learned so much about the disease of alcoholism and the way the obsession of the mind took over my thinking. Most importantly, I learned that there was a solution. It was out there and that was all I needed… It seemed so distant and unrealistic but that was ok. It was something. It was hope. Hope kept me listening. Hope kept me trying to be as honest as possible and hope kept me here to fight another day.

– Jay Hillier, alumni

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Laura Bhoi

2016

Laura Bhoi joins Renascent in the role of Chief Executive Officer.  

2016

In June of 2016 I went into a detox centre and then got into the women’s program at Renascent for 21 days. In the time leading up to my admittance, I remember feeling anxious, afraid and fearful of the unknown. How would this time be different than the last? What else could they tell me that I haven’t heard before? How could they possibly help me? However a couple days before someone asked me “what could go right this time”? That was a turning point for me. I walked into the women’s house with a huge smile on my face. I was so desperate to live that change was the only solution. So I hit the ground running and took everything I could from this place if it had a possibility of helping me. I got so much help from the counsellors that I can never repay them back so I try to carry on their wisdom to the next person. I can’t even express how much gratitude I have for the time I was in that house, the valuable insightfulness, time, patience, understanding and compassion I received from the staff there. To this day I can’t show my appreciation enough but I do my best when I’m able to get back down to the house for alumni meetings and give back what was given to me. I just celebrated 3 years abstinent in June 2019.

– Stephanie P., alumni

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2016

Renascent means a great deal to me and I feel honored and blessed to be an alumni of a wonderful organization like Renascent. I get a lot out of sharing my journey into recovery with the clients at Renascent and I also enjoy attending the bi-weekly alumni meetings as well as sitting in on the morning groups at Renascent. Since I left Renascent my life has improved 180 degrees. My relationship with my stepmom and dad is great and we are just as close as we ever were. The counsellors at Renascent were and are instrumental in my recovery. Today I am living on my own, I am approaching my third year of recovery, but I wouldn’t have gotten this far if it weren’t for Renascent. I am currently attending school at CDI College to become an addictions counsellor so that I may one day help others who deal with alcohol and/or drug addiction. Thank you to Renascent, and especially to the staff and counsellors at Punanai Centre. I love Renascent very much, and am proud to be an alumni. Thanks for starting my road to recovery.

– James Brown, alumni

2016

I had no idea that Renascent was 12-step based. I had no idea about anything, except that I was firmly against AA. I had watched my mother lose all her friends when she joined AA, that wasn’t going to happen to me. I knew I could never drink again but I intended to find a way to do it without the program. So when I entered my first group therapy session at Renascent, I had never heard of Bill W or cross talk, didn’t know the difference between an open and closed meeting, and was still blissfully ignorant of the multitude of slogans and sayings so popular in the rooms. I didn’t even know what the rooms were.

Once I realized I’d just entered a month long stint in a rehab that would be sending me to an AA meeting every night (and twice on Sundays) I wasn’t nearly as pissed as would be expected. I was ready. Sitting still was hard, I fidgeted with ghost movements — the endless tipping of bottles and wine glasses to the mouth, the ever present rituals of cigarettes — but the stories I heard resonated beyond high or low bottoms, they echoed the shadowy depths of my adult existence. The honesty hit me in the gut. I dropped my beef with AA, it hadn’t been based on any kind of intelligence to begin with, just rumour and superstition. I’m lucky, I was able to let down my defenses and become teachable. Robin spoke of that often, the importance of becoming teachable. I am eternally grateful that I was able to set aside my arrogance and ignorance. Renascent saved my career, my marriage, and helped me to become a fully fledged human for the first time. Thank you.

– Ivy, alumni

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2016

Renascent help me get my life back. They taught me the tools for my recovery. I went to the Sullivan house in Brooklin from November to December 2016. After I graduated, I was working a program and attending the after care sessions, but on the last day of my after care, I went out and drank. I had four months, but I went out for one day. Why did I go out for one day? Because I went to my people, places, and things. But my time at the Sullivan house taught me to love myself, and if you do relapse, dust yourself off and try again, but try not to stay out too long. That’s what made me come back, was those words. They always knew what to say to the clients who were struggling to put hope back into their recovery. I like that they have alumni programs, they let the graduate clients go back to the place that gave them the hope, faith, and courage to love themselves and others and to have a good life and be happy. We can go back and have lunch anytime we want and we can sit in meetings with the clients and listen or even share. I owe Renascent my life because they saved it and for that I am forever grateful to the counselling staff, cooks, and all the friends I made in the Sullivan house. Forever my gratitude and sobriety. I love you all.

– Jason H., alumni

2016

In October, 2016, Renascent re-opened the Graham Munro Centre’s entirely upgraded lower level, including a newly renovated commercial grade kitchen, dining room, meeting rooms, and more. The occasion marked the end of a decade of planning and fundraising for this capital improvement project, and was made possible through generous grants from Robin and Patrick Mars, among others.

Year

Year

2017

Rob Johnson steps down from five years as President and Chair of Renascent’s Fellowship and Foundation Boards (2012-2017), having also served as a Fellowship Board Director since 2008.

2017

Sue Jaffe is elected as the new President and Chair of the Renascent Fellowship and Foundation Boards.

Year

Sue Jaffe

Year

2006 Recovery Shot

2019

Our signature event, the Recovery Shot Golf Tournament celebrates its 25th anniversary. Founding Sponsors Unifor and Ford maintain their support of the tournament over 25 years, ensuring funds are raised for addiction treatment.

2019

I am so grateful to be a part of Renascent’s journey. Being a part of Alumni and being able to stay connected to the women and staff has helped me grow in my recovery. Renascent is magical in so many ways. This is the place where I built my foundation and I am forever blessed. Knowing I can come to the house and visit and check in has been so helpful.

– Alysha Houston, alumni

Year

Year

2019

When I got to Renascent I felt like a lost cause. I was the lowest I had ever been, and didn’t want to live anymore. At about a week and a half into the program I had an incredible spiritual awakening that changed my life forever. I have been sober now for 9 months and have never felt better. I am happy, living a spiritual life and finally able to find joy in the simple things in life.

I quite literally owe my life to Renascent!

– Tim Allingham, alumni

2020

I left Renascent on March 11th, 2020. I have 100 days clean and sober today because of Renascent and getting a sponsor and doing the work. I am so grateful.

– Max Miller, alumni

Year

Year

2020

I came to Renascent a helpless, hopeless and broken man. Set it my ways, I didn’t think that anything in this world could cure me of my addiction and my problem.
After 7 weeks of treatment and finally learning the problem is ME, I have a new lease on life. The support of the counsellors and the connections I have kept up with others have made me feel welcomed into my newfound sobriety. I have finally seen that no matter what life throws my way there will be hope.
Thank you to all of the people at Renascent that helped me and pushed me to be a better person!

– Matthew Cuttell, alumni

March 31, 2020

Renascent celebrates 50 years of leadership in addiction treatment!

Year

Thank you for being a part of our journey!