A Very Brief History of PCHC

The Parkdale Community Health Centre was developed by a group of residents, who from 1982 to 1984 negotiated with the Ministry of Health, Community Health Branch, to establish a community health centre in the Parkdale area. The organization was incorporated as Parkdale Community Health Centre, a non-profit and charitable organization. The catchment area was defined as the area bounded by Bloor Street, on the north side; the lake, on the south side; Dovercourt Road, on the east side; and Parkside, on the west side.  Within that area the following groups were considered priority populations: seniors, low-income families, new immigrants, and mental health consumer/survivors.

Funds were approved in the winter of 1984. In May of that year the Board hired the Executive Director, the Administrative Assistant and the Health Educator. The Ministry of Health allowed for  a pre-operational period of only four (4) months. During that period the staff worked at the Parkdale Neighbourhood Church (later replaced by a mall). A site for a permanent location was selected at 1257 Queen Street West. Funds for the necessary construction were obtained from a private source (a friend of one Board member who believed in investing in the new community health centre).  In those days capital funds were not available from the MOHLTC, and banks would not consider loans to a newly funded organization. Strong relationships were developed with local agencies and institutions, especially St. Joseph’s Hospital. Programs were developed and reception staff and clinical providers were hired. Operational systems were defined and prepared for implementation.

The official opening was on December 8, 1984. The first patient was seen on November 26, 1984.

Since then, PCHC has grown.  New services and programs have been added and the staff team has also grown. The physical site has also grown.  PCHC added services for street involved populations in 1990 and an additional site, Parkdale Addiction Treatment Satellite, in 1993.  In 2000 the Board of Directors of PCHC had to make the very difficult decision to approve the merger of the Satellite with an established addiction agency, Breakaway.  This merger benefited the service users and assisted in the preservation of methadone treatment spaces. PCHC continued to maintain a connection to the Satellite with a cross appointment to the Breakaway Board of Directors.

In May 1998 we moved into a  new home at 1229 Queen Street West.  Our current facility is one that staff, clients and the community can be proud of.  It was the result of four years of hard work, persistence and great support from the Board, staff, community members and the government.  We celebrated our official opening in the new building on September 13 and 14, 1998. 

in 2011, Healthy Smiles Ontario opened a dental clinic on our first floor to offer free services to low income children, adults, and seniors. In 2012, we received a transfer of Women’s Health Centre Programs from St. Joseph's Hospital and expanded by opening a satellite office at Queen Street West and Roncesvalles Avenue. Also that year, we partnered with the West End Food Coop to open a community kitchen and food hub in our basement.

Parkdale Community Health Centre is proud to be accredited through the Building Healthier Organizations program.  We are pleased to share an excerpt from the Final Accreditation Report 2013. Please click here to view part of the report.

At our Annual General Meeting in September 2014, PCHC celebrated 30 years of service to the community.