Mary Centre strives to give individuals who are developmentally challenged the opportunity to live as independently as possible within their community.

seniors-individualOver 100 adults benefit from our outreach services in the Greater Toronto Area and the Regions of Peel and York.

integrated-seniorsINTEGRATED SENIORS


icon-community-supportCOMMUNITY SUPPORT

icon-faith-outreachFAITH OUTREACH

Integrated Seniors

Whether seniors with a developmental challenge live at their family home or in one of our residences or apartments, Mary Centre’s integrated seniors encourages involvement in the community through education, recreation and volunteer activities.

With the objective of building independence, creating community relationships, and developing meaningful experiences, we plan activities to meet individual preferences.

We offer two types of integrated senior’s services.

  • One-on-one matches seniors with support workers, and sometimes volunteers. Together, they plan activities according to personal interests. We utilize community resources such as public libraries, recreational and senior centres, schools, parks and special events to participate in fun and interesting excursions.
  • For older adults who are socially isolated and are not involved in social activities, we offer group gatherings in the former North York area.About 10 participants meet to enjoy activities together. Structured in eight-week sessions, the groups often meet at local community sites one afternoon each week. Participants enjoy outings together — at a local restaurant for a convivial meal. To the cinema for the latest movie. Or the museum. Or exploring Pioneer Village.

As well as providing new adventures and friendships for participants, integrated senior’s offers recreation and leisure activities. Mary Centre staff and volunteers supervise all get-togethers and arrange for transportation.


Respite helps to reduce stress and improve the physical and emotional health of families caring for an individual with a developmental challenge or the individual him or herself. This is why Mary Centre offers short-term respite.

Respite gives people a short-term, temporary break from the daily routine of caregiving and /or being with your family to sustain their own health and well-being. Time to take a vacation or just a few hours off. Time to attend to the needs of other family members. And, sometimes, a temporary haven in times of family crisis or ill health.

Community-Support-GroupMary Centre offers two choices of respite support.

  • In-home support enables developmentally challenged adults to stay in their own homes with the support of a respite care worker for a few hours each week. We attempt to match a trained staff member to the needs of the family, if present, and the personality and skills of the individual they will support. Together, they create a plan that works for everyone involved. This may range from developing social and life skills, such as problem solving or learning how to use public transportation, to participating in social and recreational activities, such as dancing or swimming.
  • Out-of-home residential respite at St. Bernard’s Residence in the former North York.St. Bernard’s Residential respite provides 24 hours of out-of-home respite care 7 days a week. This program offers 5 beds to individuals who are currently living at their own home or with caregivers. The focus of this program is to provide opportunities for individuals to develop new skills, and build new relationships that will enhance their quality of life.

Community Support

Participating fully in our community requires certain social skills, communication skills and knowledge. This is why Mary Centre offers community support to adults with a developmental challenge. This allows the individual to acquire experience and build important relationships for a comfortable living and sometimes productive employment in their home community.


Community support includes two components:

  • Individual Support programs are designed to support adults 21+ with a developmental challenge who have finished school and are looking to develop, enhance and/ or maintain life skills. Mary Centre staff meets with an individual and, if involved, their family to identify and develop life and/or social skills goals.. Working on skills such as banking, budgeting, menu planning, meal preparation, grocery shopping, household management, community safety and knowledge are examples of the focus of this program.
  • Introduction to Community provides opportunities for adults 21+ to come together in a shared learning experience in an interactive environment that provides opportunities to learn important social, communication, cultural, educational and vocational skills that they can transition to community experiences.

Individuals are supported with community outings, building healthy lifestyles and learning to use community supports and services to allow full citizenship in the community.


Community support reduces stress for people and helps participants build self esteem and independence and become contributing members of their communities.

  Transition into Long Term Care

Mary Centre’s Transition into Long Term Care Program provides support to individuals 50 and older with a developmental challenge. These individuals are either residing in or preparing to move into a long-term care facility. Mary Centre staff assists, so as to provide a transition between home life and long term care. Individuals will have programs modified to meet their needs. They will also have opportunities for ongoing social integration and interaction. Individuals are encouraged to maintain community involvement and participation.

Long-term-care  TORONTO PROGRAMS:

Community Support Involvement (CSI) provides 3 options:

  •   Meet Connect Support and Participate

The CSI Meet Connect Support and Participate program is a social and recreation program for seniors with or without a diagnosis of a developmental challenge. The program runs once a week on an eight week rotating cycle. The group decides together with coordinator and support staff on the activities they wish to participate in each week. There are 2 staff to provide support to individuals in order to help them participate. The specific goals of the program are to provide seniors with the opportunity to participate in their communities, to enhance community integration and to advocate for public recognition and acceptance of individuals with a developmental disability as an integral part of the community. The program helps each senior to enhance, foster and develop an age appropriate network and provide enrichment opportunities and skill development as well as foster the integration of seniors into their existing community.

  •   Day Away Dementia/Alzheimer’s Day Program

The CSI Day Away Dementia /Alzheimer’s Day Program is part of the Aging at Home Initiative. This program provides an opportunity to socialize and participate in recreational and leisure activities designed to support seniors with dementia/ Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. The program is also ideal for Individuals experiencing cognitive decline. The program runs Monday to Friday from 9:00am to 5:00pm. Individuals can choose to come as often as they want throughout the week. There are two full time support staff that provide a safe and secure environment with a program of activities structured to meet the needs of individuals with memory impairment and cognitive decline. This program helps individuals to maintain life skills and to assist them to remain in their community longer. Individuals who attend this day program are also eligible to attend our out of home residential respite program.

  •   Transitions

The CSI Transitions programs is designed to support adults with a developmental challenge who have finished school and are looking to develop, enhance and/ or maintain life skills. This program is offered Monday to Friday from 9:00am to 5:00pm. The day is designed to be flexible to respond to the participants varied abilities and interests. Participants are involved in planning the activities that focus on choice. Activities include creating shopping lists, grocery shopping, cooking, arts and crafts, games (money, budgeting), music, exercise and community outings to list a few. Individuals who attend this day program are also eligible to attend our out of home residential respite program.


Faith Outreach


Spirituality is an essential part of the lives of many people, including those with developmental challenges.

For individuals who live in our supported independent living apartments or who reside in our residences and who wish to connect with a faith community, Mary Centre helps to make this happen for them.

We work with faith communities throughout the Greater Toronto Area and the region of Peel. We devise innovative ways to establish connections. For example, some of our residents serve on the altar in their churches. Others attend weekly services or special events. Staff members or volunteers often assist in providing transportation and company.

We also educate faith communities about those who are developmentally challenged and encourage them to welcome these individuals into their spiritual communities.