Drop-In Services and Youth Centre Programming

The Friends of Ruby drop-in centre is the place for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and two-spirt youth in the GTA (aged 16-29) to find counselling, practical supports and a sense of community. See our September Drop-In Schedule below for more information.

Drop-In Programs

Trans Voices – March 2nd, March 16th & March 30th (Bi-weekly), 4:00–6:00PM

Trans & Non-Binary Group – This program is designed to give trans, non-binary, genderqueer, and questioning participants a place where they can express themselves without feeling obligated to explain their experiences and identities. This program serves to empower trans participants and give them an outlet for advocacy through discussion, activity, and connection.

Just In Case – Thursday & Friday (Weekly)

“Just in Case” is an opportunity to meet for up to 30-minutes with a case worker who can offer you guidance on how to connect with community supports and health resources. This includes help with food security and other short-term goals like finding a family doctor or a sexual health clinic or getting drug coverage. “Just in Case” is available every Thursday and Friday.

Book a 30-Minute Session

Laundry Time – (Daily) 11:00AM–1:00PM

Laundry Time is dedicated to 2SLGBTQIA+ youth who require access to a washer and dryer to do your laundry. Our staff are happy to help from 11:00AM to 1:00PM, Monday to Friday!

Mindfulness Jars – March 1st 2:00–4:00PM

This Mindfulness Jars workshop is a relaxing space to decompress and create which participants can take home and use as a self-regulation and sensory stimming tool.

Queer Trivia Night – March 1st 2:00–4:00PM

Put your queer knowledge to the test and join us for night of queer trivia on Wednesday, March 1st from 2:00 – 4:00pm. From pop culture to history, our questions cover a range of queer topics that are sure to keep you entertained. Don’t miss this program!

Back Talk – Thursdays, Starting March 2nd (Weekly) at 1:00–3:00PM 

Back Talk provides youth with a safe space to engage with their community and discuss critical issues such as consent, housing, self-expression, and finding their voice through the creative process.

E&E Co-Working Café – March 2nd, 4:00–5:00PM 

This space is created for participants to come by and enjoy free tea, coffee and snacks while quietly working on their own personal tasks (homework, employment assistance, etc.). 

The Next E&E Co-working Café Dates:
Thursday, March 2nd from 12:00 – 1:30pm
Thursday, March 9th from 2:00 – 4:00pm
Wednesday, March 15th from 4:30 – 6:30pm
Thursday, March 23rd from 12:00 – 4:00pm
Thursday, March 30th from 12:00 – 1:30pm

Exploring Make Up & Nail Painting  – March 6th, 12:00–1:30PM 

Join us for a fun and empowering nail painting session where we’ll explore various nail art styles. There will be minimal discussion during this event. Nail polish will be provided, but feel free to bring your own supplies.

Note: Strong odours of nail polish/acetone will be present during the time of this event. For those with sensitivity to smell, please use caution. 

Harm Reduction 101  – March 6th, 2:00–4:00PM 

This is a safe space to discuss lived experiences of substance use and harm reduction. Together we will talk about ways to support ourselves if we choose to use or abstain, care and comedowns, as well as a resource sharing.

1-2-1 Education & Employment Support  – Starting March 6th, 5:00–6:00PM

The 1-2-1 Employment and Education Support is an individualized support service designed to help youth achieve their employment and education goals.

The Next 1-2-1 Education & Employment Support Dates:
Monday, March 6th from 5:00 – 6:30pm
Monday, March 13th from 12:30 – 1:30pm
Monday, March 20th from 5:00 – 6:30pm
Monday, March 27th from 5:00 – 6:30pm

Model Minority Myth – East Asian/Immigrant Communities  – March 7th, 1:00–2:00PM

The Model Minority Myth program is a discussion group centered around the model minority myth, what it is, and how it impacts various communities.

Yoga – Wellness Workshop  – March 7th, 12:30–1:30PM

Join us on Tuesday, March 7th at the drop-in center for Yoga. This workshop focuses on grounding yoga sequences to increase balance, feel calm, and reduce stress.

The Next Yoga – Wellness Workshop Date:
Monday, March 27th from 2:00 – 3:00pm

Queer & Questioning   – March 7th, 4:00–6:00PM (Bi-Weekly)

Are you queer and questioning? Join us for a group discussion in the Drop-In Center. The Queer and Questioning group carve out space for folks to have productive discussions about queerness. 

Next Program Date: Tuesday, March 21 from 4:00–6:00pm 

Health Advocacy Group – March 8th at 4:30–5:30PM 

The health-advocacy group provides participants with a space to discuss and explore health-related information. 

Coping Skills – Journaling – March 9th at 5:00–6:30PM 

Explore the many ways to use a journal. Join us in the Drop-in Center to learn different techniques for using a journal to process your thoughts, emotions, and experiences, as well as tips for making journaling a regular part of your self-care routine. Journals will be provided.

Coping with Bullying – March 13th at 5:00–6:30PM 

Coping with Bullying is a workshop designed to help individuals cope with the negative effects of bullying and learn to build resilience. Through a combination of group discussion and skill building activities, participants will engage with tools needed to overcome building.

Sherbourne Health Bus – March 13th (Monthly) at 1:00–3:00PM 

Access for 2SLGBTQIA+ youth to various health services via the @sherbournehealth Bus outside our Drop-In Center from 1:00–3:00pm. 
Services at the Health Bus include: 
Medical Care – Basic Healthcare with Nurse Practitioners 
Foot Care, Wound Care, Common Health concerns, Medications, Specialist referrals, Post ER visit Follow-up, STI Testing 
Specialist referrals 
Case Management – Connecting with Community Supports / Services 
ID, Shelter, OW / ODSP, Referrals for Showers, Referrals for Laundry, Referrals to Food Services, Family Doctor, Dentist, Mental Health 
Harm Reduction – Supplies for Safer Drug Use 
Smoking Kits, Injection Kits, Naloxone 
Basics – Everyday supplies for everyday living 
Water, Socks, Hygiene Supplies 

Alcohol Harm Reduction – March 14th at 12:00–1:30PM 

The Alcohol Harm Reduction workshop is a discussion and resource-sharing program where participants will learn about how to handle alcohol consumption in a caring, harm reduction-focused manner.

Creating Care Package – March 14th at 2:00–4:00PM 

Coping with Bullying is a workshop designed to help individuals cope with the negative effects of bullying and learn to build resilience. Through a combination of group discussion and skill building activities, participants will engage with tools needed to overcome building.

The Next Creating Care Package Drop-in Dates:
Thursday, March 28th from 2:00 – 4:00pm

Newcomers Group – March 14th at 2:00–4:00PM (Monthly)

Are you a 2SLGBTQIA+ youth who is new to Canada? Newcomers Group at Friends of Ruby is designed for recent 2SLGBTQIA+ immigrants. The program focuses on meeting the needs of people living in Toronto.

Art of Being Mindful – March 15th at 12:00–1:30PM 

This program is designed to help you tap into your creativity while also cultivating mindfulness. The event is designed to be a minimal talking event allowing you to fully immerse yourself in a creative process talking activity. You’ll be provided with all the materials you need to create your own unique Perler bead design through step-by-step directions.

Intersectionality – March 15th at 2:00–3:00PM 

The intersectionality program is a discussion that tackles themes of intersectionality, how it affects the queer community, and how we can open our minds and be more understanding of one another when issues of intersecting identities occur.

Rainbow Cooking – Starting March 16th at 12:00–1:00PM 

Rainbow Cooking is designed for 2SLGBTQIA+ youth to gain valuable knowledge and skills on how to create nutritious meals. Each session will have food prepared in which participants can customize their food to their liking.

The Next Rainbow Cooking Dates:  
Thursday, March 16th from 12:00 – 1:30pm: Pasta
Friday, March 17th from 11:30am – 1:00pm: How to store and preserve food
Thursday, March 30th from 2:00 – 4:00pm: Nutrition workshop

Queering Neurodiversity – March 20th at 12:00–1:00PM 

Queering Neurodiversity is a space where participants can discuss the effects of being neurodivergent, especially when it comes to conceptualizing gender and sexuality.

Mario Kart Tournament – March 20th at 2:00–4:00PM 

Put the pedal to the metal as we zip through various tracks to find out who will be crowned the Friends of Ruby Mario Kart Champion! The Mario Kart Tournament is a bracket-style competition where participants race against each other.

Gender Affirming Workwear – Try on Haul – Wednesday, March 22nd, 2:00pm-4:00pm

Gender-affirming workwear workshop helps 2SLGBTQIA+ youth discover how to style clothes for work and create outfits that are both affirming and appropriate.  

Creative Writing Workshop – March 23rd, 5:00–6:30PM 

Are you an aspiring writer? Join us in the Drop-in Center for Creative Writing Workshop on Wednesday, March 22nd from 5:00 – 6:00pm. The focus of the creative writing workshop is exploring themes of identity, self-expression, nostalgia and self-love through different forms of creative writing such as poems, prose and short stories.   

Compassionate Imagery – March 23rd, 4:00–6:00PM 

A two hour one-session program that teaches you how to cultivate self- compassion through the power of compassionate imagery. By learning to direct compassionate feelings toward yourself.  

Sewing Workshop: Plush Making  – March 29th, 5:00–6:30PM 

Through a hands-on workshop, to cultivate practical life skills through sewing. This workshop is not only a great opportunity to learn how to sew skills, but also to collaborate and bond with others while making stuffed companions.  

At our drop-in centre at 489 Queen St. East in downtown Toronto we have

  • food icon
    Meals, snacks, light groceries (delivered twice weekly)
  • computer icon
    Computer lab with WiFi
  • printer icon
    Printer and fax machine
  • phone icon
    Phone services
  • harm reduction kit
    Harm reduction kits
  • hygiene icon
    Personal hygiene kits
  • tv icon
    TV with content streaming
  • ttc token icon
    TTC tokens
  • couch icon
    Lounging area
  • building icon
    Community resources
  • book icon
    Book library
  • LGBTQI2S icon
    Programming that puts LGBTQI2S-youth first

Other Main Services

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Mental Health & Wellness Support

Our counsellors’ approach is integrative, trauma-informed, anti-oppressive and collaborative by design. Wherever youth are on their personal journey, we’re here for them.

two people discussing

Case Management & Practical Supports

Need support finding a job or inclusive housing? Having trouble navigating the healthcare system? Our case managers can help with that.

friends of ruby housing

Transitional Housing

Along with the Friends of Ruby Home, one of the few transitional homes dedicated to LGBTQI2S youth, at our Youth Centre we always offer help finding inclusive shelter space and housing.