Two Renascent team members posing for portrait.

Stronger Together

For nearly 50 years, Renascent has harnessed the power of community to give people with addictions the opportunity for health and hope. It all began with the vision and passion of a dedicated group who saw the great need and wanted to make a difference. These inspired members of our community had a vision to create a place for recovery in a world where there were few places to go.

Today the legacy of this vision stands strong. Addiction continues to be one of the most devastating health issues of our time, impacting millions of Canadians, particularly young people. As we struggle as a country to respond to an addiction epidemic, Renascent stands strong as a trusted and a constant resource.

In 2016-17, Renascent answered more than 10,000 calls for help and treated almost 1,000 men, women and youth through our addiction treatment programs, and provided support to 327 family members via our Family Programs and one-on-one counselling.

This level of service makes Renascent one of the largest addiction treatment providers in Canada, and one of the system’s most precious resources. We are committed to providing abstinence-based treatment grounded in best practices that integrate 12-step principles and philosophy, psychosocial clinical approaches, and concurrent mental health and medical care.

In addition to delivering these essential programs in 2016-17, Renascent also achieved impressive quality and innovation goals. The Graham Munro Women’s Treatment Centre completed a major facility renovation, transforming the kitchen, dining, and residential spaces into warm and therapeutic environments. We also saw the publication of a peer-reviewed outcome study on the Renascent Children’s Program highlighting its positive impact, and achieved promising results from an innovative Food Addiction pilot program.

These outcomes would not be possible without the tremendous support of the community. It is because of generous donors, both private citizens and committed organizations, building on funds received from the government, that Renascent is able to deliver treatment programs to the public every year. Because of this support, we ensure cost is never a barrier for hundreds of people every year.

As we move forward to face the growing addiction needs in our communities, our strength will continue to come from our collaboration. Thank you to all who have supported Renascent’s clients this past year. We are committed to providing strong leadership and service to communities moving forward as we tackle the growing issue of addiction in our country.

Laura Bhoi

Chief Executive Officer, Renascent

Rob Johnson

President and Chair, Renascent Fellowship Board and Renascent Foundation Board

By the Numbers

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phonecalls to and from the Access Centre

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people received help from Renascent

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people admitted to residential treatment at one of our centres

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people participated in a Family Care Program

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people participated in one-on-one counselling

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companies sent employees to us

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Renascent Staff

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raised, thanks to 1,015 donors like you!


Phonecalls to and from the Access Centre


People received help from Renascent


People admitted to residential treatment at one of our centres


People participated in a Family Care Program


People participated in one-on-one counselling


Companies sent employees to us


Renascent Staff


Number of donors

$793,552 raised, thanks to donors like you!

New Leadership

Leadership team member Laura Bhoi

Laura Bhoi, CEO

I walked through Renascent’s doors on September 19th, 2016. Having worked in the addiction treatment field for many years, I knew of Renascent’s strong reputation and its legacy of serving Canadians since the 1970s. What I didn’t fully understand, and what I know now, is the strength of community, fellowship, and client-centred care that underlies the culture and programs of this organization. These genuine values create the foundation for recovery from addiction, and are a shining example of how health care services should be delivered in our country. It has been a privilege for me to join Renascent as its new CEO, and to work with such a dedicated and talented team. I am excited to be working towards our important mission and goals with our amazing staff, Boards of Directors, and incredible community volunteers, donors and partners. Looking forward to another great year!

John Andresen Renascent team member portrait.

John Andresen, Director of Development

I was thrilled to join the team in the fall of 2016, and quickly discovered the passion and positivity displayed by every member of the Renascent “family,” what people here call “The Renascent Magic.”

Renascent has been blessed with the steady support of generous donors who, year over year, have enabled tens of thousands of men, women, youth, and children living with the effects of addiction to receive help when they needed it.

In my first months here I have been witness to donors like Robin and Patrick Mars, whose transitional giving was key to the renovation of the kitchen space at the Graham Munro Centre, and to the leadership gifts of Ford Canada and Unifor in their support of the Recovery Shot Golf Tournament, and to the hundreds of donors who have participated in our events or sent their gifts through the mail or online. Every dollar is critical to providing help to people looking for treatment when they need it most. Your support has made their recovery possible.

Over the next year I hope to be able to meet and talk with as many of you as possible. I look forward to working with you!


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Peter Armstrong Community Award of Excellence.

Peter Armstrong Community Awards of Excellence

This prestigious honour is given out annually by the Renascent Foundation to recognize individuals and organizations for their inspiring contribution to enhancing the understanding of, and response to, addictions in Canada. Congratulations to 2016 Award recipients Tom Gabriel, Mary Keough, Marie Lloyd, and co-winners Geoff Wilson and Tim McConnell.

Ed and Bobby Yielding Guardian Angel Award

To honour the legacy of Dr. Ed and Bobby Yielding, Renascent established the Ed and Bobby Yielding Guardian Angel Award. The award recognizes a Guardian Angel who shares the same commitment, passion, and vision for Renascent that the Yieldings demonstrated throughout their years as staff and friends of Renascent. Congratulations to 2016 recipient Millie Bailey. (Read more about Millie here).

Munro Renovation

The Graham Munro Centre for Women serves as a second home for women in treatment for alcohol or drug addiction.

In October we 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.

Renascent’s warm, welcoming homes are an enormous contributor to the atmosphere of compassionate care that we are so proud to provide.



Renovation work at Renascent Centre.
Renovation work at Renascent Centre.


Children’s Program Research

Following an evaluation of our Children’s Program, in October Drs. Amelia M. Usher & Kelly E. McShane published their article “Supporting Children of Substance Abusing Families: Preliminary Outcomes of the Renascent Children’s Program” in the Journal of Groups in Addiction & Recovery.

Drs. Usher and McShane studied 19 families who participated in the Children’s Program between October 2012 and February 2014, and followed up with them 1-3 months after they had completed the program to measure the outcomes. Their research found that the program had a significant and positive impact on child emotional and behavioural functioning, parent emotional regulation, parenting style, family functioning, and family communication.

Dr. Amelia M. Usher headshot.
Dr. Amelia M. Usher
Dr. Kelly McShane head shot.

Food Addiction Program Pilot

Dr. Vera Tarman headshot.

With the generous support of The Harweg Foundation, Renascent, under the leadership of Dr. Vera Tarman and Dennis James, Program Director, developed and administered a groundbreaking pilot program with a treatment protocol aimed at assisting women with food addictions. Typically, the treatment field has looked at the pathological issues associated with food under eating disorder frameworks, and has not focused on food addiction as a substance addiction. This program applies similar methods and strategies traditionally applied to drug and alcohol addiction, recognizing food as an addictive substance.

The pilot was run out of the Graham Munro Centre, and was evaluated in partnership with Ryerson University’s Department of Psychology. In their feedback, participants and staff reported positive outcomes and continued recovery. Our goal is to advance the body of evidence for this treatment and incorporate the food addiction program into Renascent’s ongoing offerings.

Renascent Impact Access Centre team.

Our Impact

Recovery starts with admitting you need help, and our Access Centre team answers that first call. The team handled over 21,000 phonecalls in the last year, supporting clients as they began their road to recovery. They offered guidance to concerned family members and loved ones, and coordinated with partner agencies to navigate the system on behalf of our more vulnerable clients.

It’s an enormous task, carried out by a small but mighty group who had this to say about their work:

“The team always has each other’s backs; everyone is willing to go the extra mile to help both our clients and each other.”

“So many of us have experienced addiction and recovery, which makes it a very supportive and fun place to work.”

“There are people here who have more experience in a variety of areas and it is always very easy to ask for help and receive it from people who know what we need to understand. Sometimes things get a bit tough, so it is always great to be able to talk about it and get support from each other.”

“Someone is always there to help. Everyone always has such a great attitude, which definitely supports me emotionally as well.”

I came to Renascent as a client in December 2014 after an overdose and stayed four weeks, through Christmas and New Years, as I knew that I would likely not live through the holiday season without attending treatment. Those first few days in treatment were terrifying – I felt alone, directionless and despairing. By some miracle, I was able to settle in and seek guidance and wisdom from the counsellors at Graham Munro Centre. I committed myself to being honest in confronting my fears and reservations about embarking on this journey, as well as opening myself to the possibility that I was worthy of peace, joy and contentment.

While in treatment, I struggled to accept that at 24 years old, my addiction had become so severe that abstinence from all substances was necessary. I had not yet reached a point of full surrender, and despite this, I had the unwavering support of the counsellors I worked with. Knowing that the staff at Renascent had walked a similar journey before me planted a seed – one that has now grown beyond belief.

Recovery is not a walk in the park, but my life has flourished in ways I did not think I deserved. There are very few words that describe what I’ve experienced over the past year and a half of sobriety. While in treatment at Renascent, I was promised that recovery would offer me a new freedom and a new happiness, and that no matter the depths of my despair, my experience would benefit others. Today, I comprehend the word serenity in a way that language cannot describe. Today, I know peace.

Graham Munro Centre Alumni, January 2015

I came into the Renascent Essential Family Care program in April in order to learn how to better support — and hopefully save — my son. I quickly realized this was much more than a four-week education session, and followed the program through aftercare and one-on-one counselling. Rather than saving my son from this disease, I’m slowly learning how to save myself. I realize now, with the help of the Family Care program and Renascent’s resources, that I am truly helpless when it comes to others and can only help myself. This is a totally new concept and way of thinking for me. Nobody is going to save me from this situation. I will have to save myself, as will the addict in my life.

Family Program alumni, 2017

31 years ago Millie was making food at a picnic and spotted a couple sitting on their own. In typical Millie fashion, she insisted they join in and grab a plate. A few days later Bill Wilson, then CEO of Renascent, got in touch to offer her a cook position. “That’s where it began, and it’s not gonna end” says Millie from the dining room at Punanai. “I love working at Renascent, it’s a place of compassion and care for each and every person. I’m 72 years old and I’m not tired because I come to work. At the end of my shift, I have more strength.

“The clients are my purpose for being here. Sometimes I see someone coming in here and I can see that they’re weak. I try not to talk to them about their addiction, but to find out if they’re alright, if they’re okay. If they’re down, they have to get a hug from Millie. If I’m ever the one who makes them feel down, that’ll be when it’s time for me to go.”

Millie is also one of our most supportive donors, and was the recipient of the 2016 Ed and Bobby Yielding Guardian Angel Award.

Millicent Bailey, Renascent staff since 1986

Father and son playing outside. Father is holding son up on his back and they have their arms stretched out.

Looking Forward

As we look forward to the future, Renascent is driven by our vision: that all people affected by substance addictions are guided with hope, tools, and living examples to achieve a life of physical, mental, and spiritual health. Our focus on this incredible vision and our values of compassion, respect, empathy, and continuous improvement provide the platform for growth and success.

We remain committed to providing abstinence-based treatment grounded in best practice approaches that integrate 12-step principles and philosophy, psychosocial clinical approaches, concurrent mental health and medical care, and community supports. Moving forward, we will build on the strength of our programs and people, and the progress that was made through our 2011-2016 strategic plan. Some of the key achievements of our previous strategic plan include accreditation with the Canadian Centre for Accreditation, development of a high performance Access Centre for the public, increased leadership within the health system, and development of our programs to meet the concurrent mental health needs of our clients.

We are excited to be embarking on our new 2016-2021 strategic plan, in which we lay out a roadmap to further build leadership in the system. One year into our strategic plan, we are already making important strides. From a program development perspective, we have recently increased the length of stay of our inpatient programs in response to the growing needs of our clients. We are also actively reaching out to the government to bring forward concepts and solutions for the current opioid epidemic.

We know that we are stronger together and so we are also focusing on outreach and partnership with our amazing community supporters. We will be focusing on creating opportunities to build support and recovery opportunities with our generous donors and corporate partners.

There is great wisdom in the concept of “having the courage to change the things you can,” and as we move forward in a time with growing addiction issues, we take on this mindset with commitment and passion. We are dedicated to working with the community and government to make the important system changes that millions of Canadians need.

Our Community Partners

As we look toward the coming year and the work ahead of us, we are grateful to be part of a strong and supportive community. These are just some of the agencies, organizations, and partners who we work with every day:

Alcoholics Anonymous
Alpha House Inc.
Barrie Alcohol-Drug Withdrawal Management Centre
Billy Buffett’s House Of Welcome
Breakaway Addiction Services
The Brock Cottage
CAMH: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
The Canterbury Clinic
Central Access, Toronto Withdrawal Management Services System
Centre of Hope Withdrawal Management Centre
CMHA: Canadian Mental Health Association
Cocaine Anonymous
Cochrane District Detox Centre
Community Addiction Services of Niagara
Cornerstone Community Association
Cornwall Community Hospital, Community Withdrawal Management Services
De Novo Treatment Centre
Detox Centre, Kingston
Downsview Dells
Fred Victor Concurrent Disorders Support Services
G & B House
Gerstein Crisis Centre
Good Shepherd Ministries
Grand River Hospital, Withdrawal Management Centre
Grant House
Hamilton Men’s Withdrawal Management Centre
Haven Toronto
Homewood Health Centre
Humber River Hospital, Withdrawal Management Services
Ingles Housing and Support Services
Kawartha District Intergroup
Lakeshore Intergroup
LOFT Community Services
Mount Sinai Hospital
Narcotics Anonymous
Nazareth House
Nipissing Detox & Substance Abuse Programs
North York General Hospital, Branson Ambulatory Care Centre
OASIS Movement
Ottawa Withdrawal Management Centre
Our Homes
Ozanam House
Park Road South Community Home
Pieces to Pathways
Pinegate Addiction Services
Pinewood Centre
Porter Place Men’s Hostel
Portuguese Mental Health and Addiction Services
Progress Place
Reconnect Community Health Services
Recovery Counselling Services
Ryerson University
Salvation Army Wilkinson Road Shelter
Sault Area Hospital Withdrawal Management Detox
The Scott Mission
Seaton House
Society of Saint Vincent de Paul
South Asian Community Health Services
St. Joseph’s General Hospital Elliot Lake
St. Joseph’s Health Centre, Withdrawal Management Services
St. Michael’s Hospital, Withdrawal Management Services
St. Michael’s Homes, Matt Talbot Houses
St. Stephen’s Community House
Steps to Recovery
Street Helpline
Toronto Bail Program
Toronto Distress Centre
Toronto East Health Network, Withdrawal Management Centre
Toronto Harbour Light Ministries
The Toronto Mental Health and Addictions Access Point
Transition House
Transitional & Supportive Housing Services Of York Region
William Osler Health System Withdrawal Management Centre
Women’s Own Withdrawal Management Centre
WoodGreen Community Services

Path in a lush green forest.

Our Donors

Our private and corporate donors have allowed us to save countless lives this year, and are critical to the provision of recovery services to all of our clients. While we align our practices with recent privacy legislation that requires consent for publishing donor names, we’ve foregone the traditional list of names to protect your anonymity. Rest assured, each and every one of you is recognized and appreciated by all of the staff and clients at Renascent every single day.

Thank you for giving the gift of recovery.

Handwritten thank you letter from person in recovery.

We are also grateful for the ongoing support of the Toronto Central LHIN.

Ontario Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network logo
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Board of Directors

Renascent is governed by two Boards: the Renascent Foundation and the Renascent Fellowship. Together they provide strategic counsel, Management oversight, and additional resources and support to Management.

Renascent Foundation

Kenneth Drabble
Sue Jaffe
Rob Johnson
Marilynne Madigan
Sari Sairanen
Sanford Shessel
Elisabeth Stroback
Kathie Viner
Doug Wall
Dan Walshe
Stephen Waymire

Renascent Fellowship

Rick Jatiouk
Rob Johnson
Pedram Kaya
Steve Kruspe
Susan Raphael
Doug Wall
Patrick Wilson

We would like to also recognize the following board members who have departed from a Renascent board in the past year after many years of service:

Doug Bourassa
Seth Mandell
John Mraz
Aldo Udovicic
Judy Wells