Distress Centres of Greater Toronto

31 Adelaide St E
Toronto, ON M5G 1B1
Executive Director: Robert Ridge
Board Co-Chair: Mark Sklar

Charitable Reg. #:10702 1016 RR0001


Ci's Star Rating is calculated based on the following independent metrics:

[Charity Rating: 4/5]



Audited financial statements for current and previous years available on the charity’s website.



Grade based on the charity's public reporting of the work it does and the results it achieves.



The demonstrated impact per dollar Ci calculates from available program information.


Charity's cash and investments (funding reserves) relative to how much it spends on programs in most recent year.



For a dollar donated, after overhead costs of fundraising and admin/management (excluding surplus) 87 cents are available for programs.

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About Distress Centres of Greater Toronto:

Distress Centres of Greater Toronto is a 4-star charity with average demonstrated impact. It has an above average results reporting grade and it is financially transparent.

Founded in 1967, Distress Centres of Greater Toronto (DCGT) operates several 24-hour hotlines for crisis intervention, emotional support, and suicide prevention. These supports are also available through online chat and text. DCGT’s programming is largely delivered by trained volunteers who are supervised by professional staff. DCGT merged with Brampton-based Spectra Community Support Services in May 2019, which allowed DCGT's services to expand to include multilingual language lines, enhanced support for isolated seniors, and a transitional support program for those aged 16+. The charity reports that approximately 4,000 people take their own life by suicide in Canada each year, and for every suicide loss, there are an estimated 20-25 attempts made.

The charity has multiple helplines tailored to clients in varying levels and categories of distress. DCGT also runs outreach programs that call isolated seniors and at-risk individuals to check-in. No breakdown of spending by program was provided by the charity. In F2022, DCGT provided over 160,000 helping interactions, down from 186,000 in F2021.

408-Help Line is Distress Centres of Greater Toronto's biggest helpline, receiving 35,630 calls in F2022. This program covers a broad range of support services, including mental health support, crisis intervention, family violence response, and suicide prevention. In F2022, 55% of callers were provided with emotional support and distress management and 12% of callers were provided with mental health support. 

Multilingual Lines is DCGT's second-biggest helpline, providing support in eight languages: English, Cantonese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Spanish, Hindi, Punjabi, and Urdu. The program answered 25,751 calls related to loneliness/social contact (66%), relationships (52%), isolation (38%), self-esteem/self-worth (34%), and other issues.

The charity also runs other helpline services. Talk Suicide, which focuses on individuals at risk of suicide, answered 14,471 texts and calls in F2022. Partnership Lines, a program that works with the TTC to encourage anyone contemplating suicide to contact DCGT, answered 1,787 calls. 

DCGT also runs outreach programs that call clients to provide safety check-ins, medication reminders, and emotional support. The Tele Check and Caller Reassurance programs supported 414 and 98 seniors in need respectively in F2022. Touching Base program provides similar support to 269 clients with mental health concerns in F2022.


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Results and Impact

Distress Centres of Greater Toronto reports that 25% of 408-Help Line callers experienced a decrease in isolation and loneliness and 37% reduced emotional intensity following the conversation with DCGT staff in F2022. DCGT's Multilingual Lines service helped 162 calls (0.6%) de-escalate an immediate crisis and 277 calls (1%) decrease harmful intentions.

Of DCGT’s Talk Suicide calls, 8,992 (62% of total interactions) said yes to thoughts of suicide and 2,960 said yes to a current plan for suicide. Of those, 1,307 plans were disabled safely and 311 emergency interventions were made. 

Charity Intelligence highlights these key results. They may not be a complete representation of DCGT's results.

Charity Intelligence has given Distress Centres of Greater Toronto an Average impact rating based on demonstrated impact per dollar spent.

Impact Rating: Average

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In F2022, Distress Centres of Greater Toronto received $1.3m in cash donations. The charity received $396k in consulting income (14% of total revenue) recorded as fees for service. DCGT received $1.0m in government funding in F2022, representing 37% of total revenue.

Administrative costs are 5% of total revenue and fundraising costs are 8% of donations. This results in total overhead spending of 13%. For every dollar donated to the charity, 87 cents go to the cause. This falls within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending. 

Distress Centres of Greater Toronto has $1.0m in reserve funds. These reserve funds are DCGT’s cash and investments and can cover program costs for five months. 

This charity report is an update that has been sent to Distress Centres of Greater Toronto for review. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on May 29th, 2023 by Brenleigh Jebb.


Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending December
Administrative costs as % of revenues 5.0%6.1%5.7%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 8.3%5.9%5.2%
Total overhead spending 13.3%12.1%10.9%
Program cost coverage (%) 42.8%59.9%50.4%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $s
Donations 1,346,6341,158,1431,556,502
Government funding 1,038,369637,466717,841
Fees for service 395,940463,7750
Special events 0036,526
Investment income 004,205
Other income 31,63131,21725,853
Total revenues 2,812,5742,290,6012,340,927
Program costs 2,363,2672,067,7651,998,897
Administrative costs 140,047140,496132,404
Fundraising costs 111,90968,61983,277
Total spending 2,615,2232,276,8802,214,578
Cash flow from operations 197,35113,721126,349
Capital spending 000
Funding reserves 1,010,6791,239,6021,007,323

Note: Distress Centres of Greater Toronto does not disclose government vs. non-government deferred contributions therefore Ci could not adjust for deferred donations. As the charity did not allocate wages and benefits by activity, Ci used the charity's T3010 filing to report program, administrative and fundraising costs for all three years. Amortization was removed from program, administrative and fundraising costs on a pro-rata basis.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 17

Avg. compensation: $58,807

Top 10 staff salary range:

$350k +
$300k - $350k
$250k - $300k
$200k - $250k
$160k - $200k
$120k - $160k
$80k - $120k
$40k - $80k
< $40k

Information from most recent CRA Charities Directorate filings for F2022

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Comments & Contact

Comments added by the Charity:

No comments have been added by the charity.

Charity Contact

Website: www.dcogt.com
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001