Drop-In Services and Youth Centre Programming

The Friends of Ruby drop-in center 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: Please be advised that in May, the Drop-In Center will
closed on Monday, May 20th and will reopen on Tuesday May 21st at 11:30am.
Thank you for your understanding

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 – Monday to Fridays from 11:00–6:30PM

Starting this month, Grocery Day isn’t just a Friday affair—it’s an everyday delight! Participants can now grab one (1) bag of groceries each visit, Monday through Friday from 11:00 AM to 6:30 PM. Your food needs, met any day of the week!

Our groceries are supplementary—while we aim to assist, please note we operate within capacity limits. If you need help accessing local food banks and programs, feel free to reach out via email at drop-in@friendsofruby.ca

Just In Case – Tuesday 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

TNG Employment Counselling  – Thursday, Apr. 4th from 1:00–5:00PM

TNG (The Neighborhood Group) and Friends of Ruby are thrilled to host drop-in employment counseling sessions just for you! Every first Thursday of the month, from 1:00pm to 5:00pm, our expert employment counselor from TNG will be right here at Friends of Ruby, ready to provide valuable resources and one-on-one guidance tailored to your unique journey. Plus, you can request a referral to TNG from a Friends of Ruby Youth Program Worker anytime you’re ready. Your path to success starts here, and we’re with you every step of the way.

Asexual Awareness Day: Bloom Into You Marathon + Cupcake Decorating – Friday, Apr. 5th from 1:00–3:00PM 

Join us for an enchanting evening as we screen “Bloom Into You,” an anime featuring an asexual lead character! Follow Yuu Koito’s journey as she grapples with the complexities of romance and love. Cupcake decorating will accompany the screening, with popcorn and snacks provided. Don’t miss out on this captivating story and the chance to indulge in some sweet treats!

E&E Co-Working Café – Monday, Apr. 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th 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:
Monday, Apr. 1st from 1:00 – 3:00PM
Monday, Apr. 8th from 1:00 – 3:00PM
Monday, Apr. 15th from 1:00 – 3:00PM
Monday, Apr. 22nd from 1:00 – 3:00PM
Monday, Apr. 29th from 1:00 – 3:00PM

Monday Movies – Starting Apr. 1st from 3:00–5:00PM

Let’s turn Mondays into movie magic! Heat up some popcorn, dim the lights, and get comfy as we kick back with great films. Suggestions for future Movie Mondays are always welcome! Here’s our upcoming lineup: 

Monday, Apr. 1st from 3:00 – 5:00PM: Asexual Awareness Youtube Documentary Watch Party 
Monday, Apr. 8th from 3:00 – 5:00PM: Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)
Monday, Apr. 15th from 3:00 – 5:00PM: Saving Face (2004) 
Monday, Apr. 22nd from 3:00 – 5:00PM: But I Am A Cheerleader (1999) 
Monday, Apr. 29th from 3:00 – 5:00PM: Bottoms (2023) 

Back Talk with Canavs Arts Programs – Thursday, Apr. 4th, 18th, 25th 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, Apr. 4th from 1:30 – 3:00PM (Virtual)
Thursday, Apr. 18th from 1:30 – 3:00PM (Virtual)
Thursday, Apr. 25th from 1:30 – 3:00PM (In-Person)

Sewing 101: Sewing Machine Basics – Apr. 4th and 24th from 3:00–5:00PM

Unlock the world of sewing with our Sewing 101 program! Join us on March 6th and 20th from 3:00-5:00 pm to explore the fundamentals of using a sewing machine. This hands-on program operates on a first-come, first-serve basis, providing participants with immersive experience and practice in sewing. Each participant will enjoy personalized 30-minute guided time slots, delving into essential techniques like threading the machine and basic stitching. Don’t miss your chance to ignite your creativity and elevate your sewing skills with us!

Wire Wrapping: Crystal Rings – Apr. 3rd and Apr. 23rd from 1:00–3:00PM 

Discover the artistry of wire wrapping in our “DIY Pendants” workshop on Thursday, March 7th, and Friday, March 15th, from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. Unleash your inner jewelry designer as you craft your own unique pendants in this hands-on class. Let creativity sparkle and join us for a delightful journey into the world of DIY wire wrapping! 

Trans Talk – Thursdays, Apr. 25th 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.

Wire Wrapping: DIY Pendants Mar. 7th and Mar. 15th from 1:00–3:00PM 

Discover the artistry of wire wrapping in our “DIY Crystal Rings” workshop on Wednesday April 3rd 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Unleash your inner jewelry designer as you craft your own unique Crystle rings in this hands-on class. Let creativity sparkle and join us for a delightful journey into the world of DIY wire wrapping! 

Climate Cafe Apr. 17th (Third Wednesday of every month) from 1:00–3:00PM 

Step into a supportive haven at our inaugural Climate Cafe on March 20th and 27th from 1:00-3:00 pm at the Friends of Ruby Drop-In. If you find yourself grappling with emotions stirred by wildfire smoke, record temperatures, and other environmental shifts, this space is for you. Inspired by Jon Underwood’s Death Cafes, the Climate Cafe invites you to engage in low-pressure group discussions and hands-on nature-based activities. Our emphasis lies in connecting with our emotions, providing a sanctuary to share feelings about our changing climate without the pressure to devise solutions.

Trash to Treasures: Bottle Cap Windchimes  – Apr. 2nd from 1:00–3:00PM 

Join us on April 2nd from 1pm-3pm for our Trash to Treasures craft workshop series, where we’ll demonstrate that creativity knows no bounds and eco-consciousness can be beautiful! This April, in celebration of spring’s arrival, we’ll transform metal bottle caps into stunning wind chimes. Embrace the season’s spirit by crafting unique pieces to adorn your windows or gardens. All materials are provided, and feel free to bring along any bottle caps you have at home to contribute to the fun!  

Sewing 101: Sewing Machine Basics – Apr. 4th and 24th from 3:00–5:00PM

Unlock the world of sewing with our Sewing 101 program! Join us on April 4th from 3:00-5:00 pm to explore the fundamentals of using a sewing machine. This hands-on program operates on a first-come, first-serve basis, providing participants with immersive experience and practice in sewing. Each participant will enjoy personalized 30-minute guided time slots, delving into essential techniques like threading the machine and basic stitching. Don’t miss your chance to ignite your creativity and elevate your sewing skills with us! 

The Stories We Tell: DiscussionTuesday, Apr. 9th from 1:00 – 3:00PM

Exploring the Impact of Narratives: Join us for ‘The Stories We Tell’ discussion on April 9th from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. Dive into the influence of life narratives on our interactions and discover how stories shape our perspectives. This engaging discussion will unravel the power of narrative storytelling in our day-to-day lives, exploring what narratives are, how we tell them, and their impact on our worldviews. Share your stories, hear others’ experiences, and map out the profound influence of storytelling on our perceptions. 

Please note: This is a NON-CLINICAL program, focusing on narrative therapy and storytelling as discussion topics, without direct practice.

Paint and Chill Tuesday, Apr. 9th from 1:00 – 3:00PM

Practice your painting skills in this semi-guided Paint and Chill session on April 9th from 3:00-5:00pm. Together we will paint a beginner friendly reference picture. Or folks are free to let unleash their creative side and paint whatever they would like! 

Neurodiverse Chit-Chat: Hyperfixations  – Wednesday, Apr. 10th from 1:00–3:00PM

Embark on an insightful journey into the world of hyperfixations at our “Neurodiverse Chit-Chat” on April 10th from 1:00-3:00 pm. Wondering about hyperfixations and how neurodiverse individuals navigate them? Whether you’re curious, neurodivergent yourself, or have experiences to share, our open presentation and discussion circle welcomes you. Join us as we explore the fundamentals of hyperfixations before turning the spotlight over to fellow neurodiverse individuals to share their unique experiences and current hyperfixations. Let’s delve into the intricacies together! 

Beyond 5-7-5: Haiku WorkshopWednesday, Apr. 10th from 3:00–5:00PM

Unravel the mystery of haikus with us! In this workshop, we delve into the rich history and true essence of these poetic gems. Through prompts and inspiration, craft haikus that capture life’s beauty. Materials provided; bring your own if preferred.

Self-Soothing Kit Making & Discussion – Tuesday, Apr. 16th from 1:00–3:00PM 

Nurturing Your Well-being: Join us on April 16th from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm for a unique Self-Soothing Workshop! In a world that can be turbulent, having an array of self-soothing skills and tools ready is a kind gift to your future self. Together, we’ll brainstorm somatic, sensory, and emotional self-soothing strategies. Using these strategies, we’ll craft our own self-soothing treasure chests to keep and use during challenging times. Supplies will be provided, but feel free to bring your tried-and-true self-soothing items to include in your kit. Let’s embark on a journey of self-care and resilience! 

Self-Expressions: Pressed Flower FramesTuesday, Apr. 16th from 3:00–5:00PM 

Unleash your creativity at our Self-Expressions event: Pressed Flower Frames on April 16th from 3pm-5pm! Whether it’s a heartfelt gift or a personal project, join us for a soothing session of crafting with pressed flowers. Dive into the beauty of nature as we create stunning collages and bouquets to cherish forever, framed with care. All materials provided, just bring your creativity and any flat objects you’d like to incorporate. Don’t miss this opportunity to let your emotions bloom!

Working Outside the Box: Innovative Approaches to Resume Statements Friday, Apr. 19th from 1:00–3:00PM 

Embark on a journey of self-discovery and professional growth with us on April 19th from 1pm-3pm for “Working Outside the Box: Innovative Approaches to Resume Statements” at Friends of Ruby!  Do you possess unique skills, non-traditional education, or an unconventional career path? Or perhaps you’re seeking guidance on crafting a resume that truly reflects your expertise? This workshop is tailored just for you! Let’s transform your skills and experiences into compelling statements that set you apart in the job market. Don’t miss this chance to elevate your career prospects!

Media Analysis 101 Wednesday, Apr. 17th from 1:00–3:00PM 

Unlock the secrets of media analysis with “Media Analysis 101” on April 17th from 1pm-3pm! Delve into case studies exploring the influence of media on societal values, and discover strategies to enhance your media literacy skills

DIY Poetry Magnets  Wednesday, Apr. 17th from 3:00–5:00PM 

Join us on April 17th from 3pm-5pm for DIY Poetry Magnets at the Drop-In! Get ready to add a dash of creativity to your fridge or any magnetic surface as you craft your own custom set of modular poetry tools. Transform yesterday’s leftovers into an artistic feast with spur-of-the-moment poetic interludes! All supplies provided, including pre-laminated word sets. Bring your own pamphlets or posters to personalize your magnetic poetry experience. Let’s get poetic!

Monster Mash: Finding Comfort in the Other Thursday, Apr. 18th from 3:00–5:00PM 

“Monster Mash: Finding Comfort in the Other” at the Drop-In! Join us on April 18th from 3pm-5pm. Ever wonder why the 2SLGBTQIA+ community identifies with monstrous beasts and ghastly ghouls? Let’s sharpen our claws and explore why we’re drawn to the concept of “the other” in media. This discussion will showcase beloved friends and fiends claimed by the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, delving into the common themes that allow us to empathize with them. Don’t miss out on this monstrous journey of self-discovery!

Making Polymer Clay Creations  Thursday, Apr. 23rd from 3:00–5:00PM 

Join Friends of Ruby for a clay-making extravaganza! Roll, form, and bake your way into artistic expression on April 23rd from 3pm to 5pm. Create your own one-of-a-kind, handmade creations like keychains, earrings, and more. All materials provided; just bring your creative ideas and passion for clay-making!

Puzzle It Out! Group Puzzling Time  Friday, Apr. 26th from 1:00–3:00PM 

Join us for a relaxing, chill space as we try to tackle a cute cat-themed puzzle together! April 26 @ 1pm-3pm Snacks and drinks will be provided, and we will be playing some lo-fi beats for this program.

Lesbian Visibility: DIY Pride-o-Scopes  Friday, Apr. 26th from 3:00–5:00PM 

Join us at Friends of Ruby as we celebrate lesbian visibility through a cherished visual toy: the kaleidoscope! Let’s connect over crafting our own kaleidoscopes and discuss how lesbian identities, communities, and culture pervade the tapestry of queer history. Supplies (in lesbian pride flag colors) provided.

Harm Reduction 101: Naloxone Training and Discussion  Tuesday, Apr. 30th from 1:00–3:00PM 

In the face of ongoing stigma and barriers to equitable care, it’s crucial for our community to empower ourselves with life-saving knowledge. Join us for a workshop on community-based naloxone response. Learn about the history and importance of naloxone, recognize opioid drug poisoning, and gain hands-on training in administering naloxone nasal spray (Narcan). All participants will receive a naloxone nasal spray kit and certification. Registration required. Only 10 spots available, link is in our bio. 

Register Here Today

Vision Boarding: Setting Intentions  Tuesday, Apr. 30th from 3:00–5:00PM 

Craft your future with creativity! Explore aspirations, set goals, and visualize your dreams through vision boards. No experience needed. Let’s manifest together!

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.