Our drop-in programs and outreach are run by community members, of all backgrounds and ability, for our community.
We believe in coming as we are, creating a space where we are safe to ask hard questions, praying together, encouraging each other, sharing meals and celebrating.
The Dale is built on the belief that Jesus was and is real. We believe in and seek to be transformed by God’s hope, grace and peace.
The Dale has no building. All of our programming happens in partnership with local organizations and outside on the street. We have few belongings and endeavour to share what we have.
At first it was an affluent “suburb” of Toronto, close to the lake with sprawling homes. Then Parkdale became a neighbourhood in decline as the building of an expressway cut off people’s access to the waterfront and the de-institutionalization of mental health care led to people being let out of a nearby facility.
People with means began to move elsewhere while those struggling to get by moved into the once single family dwellings turned rooming houses. Today Parkdale faces more change as new businesses move in and derelict buildings are transformed. And the fear of many is that they will be displaced, unable to afford living in their neighbourhood.
Executive Director & Pastor
Erinn Oxford joined the The Dale team in 2007. In 2012 she was invited to become the full-time Executive Director and Pastor. Erinn is passionate about fostering a sense of community for all people, while placing at the core those who have known marginalization. She has a Bachelor of Religious Education from Tyndale and a Diploma in the Management of Volunteers from Humber College. Erinn has extensive experience working with people who are street involved, underhoused and trying to cope with substance addiction and mental health issues. Erinn is a Toronto native who loves her city. She is married to Dion and they have a daughter, Cate. Learn more by visiting Erinn’s Blog.
Joanna joined Erinn at The Dale in September 2012, as a Community Worker. She studied Biology and Health Studies at Queen’s University, then spent a year at her church in Kingston as the Social Justice and Compassion Intern. During that year she decided to move to Toronto to complete a Masters of Theological Studies in Development (MTSD) at Wycliffe College. Toronto has now become home, and she is delighted to have become part of many wonderful communities at Wycliffe, Sanctuary, and now The Dale! Learn more by visiting Joanna’s Blog.
Meagan joined Erinn and Joanna at The Dale in the Spring of 2017. She moved to Toronto six years ago to study social work at Ryerson University, and now calls Parkdale “home”. While finishing her Bachelor of Social Work, Meagan did one year student placements at both Sanctuary and The Yonge Street Mission. She learned about the importance of community and relationships, and built friendships working with folks with lived experiences of homelessness, mental health, and addictions. She later joined the staff team at Sanctuary, and continues working at the Salvation Army Gateway. Learn more by visiting Meagan’s Blog.
Board of Directors
Matthew Rivard, Chair
Gregory Kay, Secretary
Jordan Lim, Treasurer