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-spirit youth in the GTA (aged 16-29) to find counselling, practical supports and a sense of community.

Important Notice: In September, please note that the Drop-In Center will be closed on
Monday, September 4th, 2023, for Civic Holiday, and on Friday, September 29th, to observe the statutory holiday, Truth and Reconciliation Day(September, 30th, 2023).

Drop-In Programs

Laundry Time – Monday to Thursday From 11:00AM–4:00PM

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! Please note laundry services take approximately 2-2.5 hours per load.

Grocery Day – Fridays from 1:30–6:00PM

Are you a 2SLGBTQIA+ youth facing food insecurity? We’re here to help. Join us at the Drop-in Center every Friday from 1:30 pm to 6:00 pm. We provide weekly meals, snacks, and essential groceries to ensure you have the support you need.

Just In Case – Monday to Friday (Weekly) from 2:00–4:00PM

“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. 

Book A Time Here

Video “Gaymes”  – Tuesday, September 5th Monday, September 18th from 1:00 – 3:00PM

Join us for chill co-op gaming and snacks/drinks! Do you have what it takes to be the Mario Kart champion? Participants get free choice on what we’ll play, as long as we have it available. 

Shrink Art Jewlry  Tuesday, September 5th from 4:00–6:00PM

Unleash Your Creativity! Join our Shrink Art Jewelry Program, where 2SLGBTQIA+ youth can craft wearable art that reflects their unique style and identity. Let’s explore self-expression through creativity and jewelry-making. 

E&E Co-Working Café – September 6th, 11th, 18th, 25th from 1:00 – 3:00PM

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:
Wednesday, September 6th from 1:00 – 3:00PM
Monday, September 11th from 1:00 – 3:00PM
Monday, September 18th from 1:00 – 3:00PM
Monday, September 25th from 1:00 – 3:00PM

Back Talk – Thursdays, Starting September 7th (Weekly) from 1:30–3:00PM 

Join Canvas Arts and Friends of Ruby as we write and share poetry about consent, identity, and resilience to educate, inspire, and most importantly, Talk Back. This program consists of weekly workshops where participants come together with an experienced spoken word artist and a community social worker to develop their spoken word skills while exploring topics that we don’t often get to talk about.

The Next Dates:
Thursday, September 7th from 1:30 – 3:00PM
Thursday, September 14th from 1:30 – 3:00PM
Thursday, September 21th from 1:30 – 3:00PM
Thursday, September 28th from 1:30 – 3:00PM

Embroidery 101  – Thursday, September 7th from 3:00–5:00PM

Ever wondered about the art of embroidery? Eager to create unique, colorful patterns with thread? Join us for a fun embroidery workshop where you’ll learn the ropes! All materials are on the house, just bring your creativity and enthusiasm. 

Monday Movies – Starting Monday, September 11th from 3:30–6:30PM

Come join Friends of Ruby as we stream various movies in the drop-in space! Discussions and reviews will be held after every movie. 

Movie:
Into the Spider-Verse  – Monday, September 11th from 3:30 – 6:00PM
My Neighbour Totoro – Monday, September 18st from 3:30 – 6:00PM
Theatre Camp – Monday, September 25th from 3:30 – 6:00PM

Codespire Workshop – Starting, Monday, September 11th from 5:00–6:30PM

Welcome to Codespire, the ideal coding workshop for beginners! Here, you’ll dive into the world of digital tools, mastering skills like portfolio creation, website design, Python programming, and beyond. Join us every Monday for the next 12 weeks, starting on September 11th, and embark on your coding journey.  

The Next Dates:
Monday, September 11th from 5:00 – 6:30PM
Monday September 18th from 5:00 – 6:30PM
Monday, September 25th from 5:00 – 6:30PM

Sherbourne Health Bus – Monday, September 11th (Monthly) from 1:00–5:00PM 

Access for 2SLGBTQIA+ youth to various health services via the @sherbournehealth Bus outside our Drop-In Center from 1:00–5:00pm. 
 
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

Rainbow Cooking  – Tuesday, September 12th and September 26th

Rainbow Cooking is a fun and educational culinary program that is perfect to learn more about healthy eating and nutrition.  
Join us this month for two delicious sessions: 

  • September 12th from 2:00 – 3:00PM – Cupcake Baking
  • September 12th from 3:00 – 6:00PM – Cupcake Decorating    
  • September 26th from 3:00 – 6:00PM Apple & Peach Crumble

Writing Workshop – Wednesday, September 13th from 1:00–3:00PM 

Feeling stuck on where to begin your writing project? Join our workshop designed just for you! All you need are some sticky notes, tape, and a pen. Together, we’ll build a plot wall and guide you in setting up the essential story beats for your upcoming masterpiece.

BIPOC Days – Starting Wednesday, September 13th from 4:00–6:00PM

BIPOC Day Returns! Bigger and better, in collaboration with our partners at ACAS and BlackCAP! This event is all about embracing the rich tapestry of identities within the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, focusing on the unique experiences of racialized youth. Join us in our holistic efforts, working alongside BIPOC community leaders to create safe spaces that foster positivity and affirmation. Let’s celebrate our diversity and strength together!

BIPOC Day with Asian Community AIDS Service (ACAS) – Wednesday, September 13th from 4:00 – 6:00PM
BIPOC Day with Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention (BlackCAP) – Wednesday, September 20th from 4:00 – 6:00PM

Trans Voices – Thursdays, September 14th and September 28th (Biweekly) from 3:00–5:00PM

Trans & Non-Binary Group – Join us for a safe and supportive space designed exclusively for trans, non-binary, genderqueer, and questioning individuals. Here, you can freely express yourself without the pressure of explaining your unique experiences and identities. Our program is all about empowerment, advocacy, and building connections through meaningful discussions and activities. Come as you are, and let’s uplift each other.

Bi the Way Discussion  Tuesday, September 19th from 1:00–2:00PM

In honor of Bisexual Awareness Week, join us for a casual chat about bisexuality. We’ll delve into the challenges and stigmas, but also celebrate all the wonderful aspects of being bi! 🏳️‍🌈

Make-up with Darryl: Trans Makeup – Tuesday, September 19th from 3:00–6:00PM 

Meet our guest, Darryl De Sousa, as he guides us through the art of makeup for self-affirmation. Come join our inclusive workshop to learn how to craft looks that empower and celebrate your true self. Explore creative makeup, experiment with different styles, and boost your confidence! All materials are provided.

Quiet Reading & Activities – Wednesday, September 20th from 1:00–3:00PM

Take a breather at the Drop-In for a peaceful moment of relaxation. Join us for some quiet reading and other serene activities, where we’ll keep the atmosphere calm and serene.

Pop Culture Trivia Night  – Thursday, September 21st from 4:00–6:00PM

Time to shine in the spotlight and dive into our pop culture quiz! Whether it’s iconic movie quotes or the latest TikTok trends, challenge your pop culture know-how.   

Resume Life Hacks – Wednesday, September 27th from 1:00–2:00PM

Ready to give your resume that extra sparkle? If you’re feeling uncertain about how to showcase your limited experience, we’ve got your back. Join us for valuable tips and tricks on crafting an impactful and inclusive resume!

African Folklore Wednesday, September 27th from 4:00–6:00PM 

Embrace the enchanting world of African folklore! Settle in, get cozy, and prepare to embark on a journey through stories steeped in tradition and passed down through generations. These tales are filled with wisdom, adventure, and the rich tapestry of African culture. Join us for an unforgettable experience!

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.