The Path to an Open Door

Ontario's first Indigenous owned and led women's Healing Lodge is long overdue and the Covid-19 pandemic has made the need clearer than ever!

We've come a long way toward making the Lodge a reality since we published our research the community consultations on local needs in 2016 and formally establishing ourselves as an organization. 2019 was a pivotal year with several major breakthroughs to move us definitively toward the Lodge becoming reality.

As we reflect on our journey through crucial project milestones, we still need your support to raise capital funds for upcoming stages! 2020 and 2021 are key years for us to finalize design, break ground and complete construction in time for occupancy in early 2022.

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Latest News:

An arrangement of cedar poles surrounding a teepee will soon take their place on the site of our future home, preparing the way for the ground-breaking and construction to come.

Here is an updated drawing of what our future building will look like:

The Milestones of our Journey

Early 2022
Late 2020 through 2021
Summer-Fall 2020
Summer-Fall 2020
Winter 2019
December 2019
Fall 2019
Summer-Fall 2019
Spring-Summer 2019
Spring 2019
Grand Opening
We're looking forward to kicking off 2022 by opening our doors and welcoming our first cohort of Indigenous women on their journey from the correctional system into a safe environment in which to heal.
Once we break ground, the building will really start to take shape. Our goal is to ensure that as much of the project's investment as possible is retained with the Indigenous community. We'll working with key Aboriginal partners to do so!
Land Blessing
With Covid-19, we've had to change our approach to the Land Blessing Ceremony we intended. Consulting with Elders, we are looking at new ways to approach our traditional practices.
Design & Permits
Our architectural team of Susan Speigel Architecture Inc. and Smoke Architecture have been working collaboratively with Indigenous women of lived experience to design a space that will reflect our cultural values and support personal healing.
IHII Selection
TWHL was one of only 24 projects selected from 342 applicants to participate in the Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative, supporting ideas that can lead to better homes or living spaces for Indigenous communities.
Land Purchased
To close out 2019, TWHL finalized the purchase for the site of its future home at 2217 Kingston Road, Toronto. It was a great way to end the year.
Open Door Selection
Recognizing the crucial role that housing access represents in reducing recidivism, Toronto City Council approved the recommendation of its Affordable Housing Office to award funding to TWHL for the construction of the Healing Lodge.
Zoning Approved
The approval of our zoning application for our proposed site at 2217 Kingston Road by the City was a major milestone - and an emotional one! We did it!
Community Consultations
In our site search for the Lodge, we focused on Scarborough as the area with the GTA's highest Indigenous population and cultural service organizations. We held a number of neighbourhood information sessions and town halls to discuss the Lodge and its goals.
Indigenous Affordable Housing
Miziwe Biik Development Corporation selected the Thunder Woman Healing Lodge project as part of its call for Indigenous Supportive Housing Program in the GTA. This landmark funding approval paved the way for our journey.
TWHLS Founded
In 2016, what began as an Indigenous community initiative of stakeholder engagement and research took formal shape with TWHLS' incorporation.
Stakeholder Engagement
In 2016, a collaboration of Indigenous service organizations concluded an extensive research and participatory stakeholder engagement study to examine the needs of Indigenous women in conflict with the law in the GTA.