Distress Centres of Greater Toronto

31 Adelaide St E
Toronto, ON M5G 1B1
Acting Executive Director: Kevin Noel
Board Co-Chair: Mark Sklar

Charitable Reg. #:10702 1016 RR0001


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

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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) 69 cents are available for programs.

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About Distress Centres of Greater Toronto:

Founded in 1967, Distress Centres of Greater Toronto (DCT) operates a 24-hour hotline for crisis intervention, emotional support, and suicide prevention. These supports are also available through online chat and text. DCT’s programming is largely delivered by trained volunteers who are supervised by professional staff.

Distress Centres began the process of merging with Brampton-based Spectra Helpline in 2018. Future reports will reflect the activities of the merged charity.

In F2017, Distress Centres of Greater Toronto had 104,388 voice, text, online chat, and in-person interactions. With 78,131 calls, the 408-Help Line program makes up the majority of interactions. The most common reasons for calls were: interpersonal relationships/communication (36%), mental health (32%), physical health (10%), work/finances (8%), and abuse/violence (6%).

DCT participates in the ONTX (online text and chat) program, a collaboration with Distress Centre Durham, Spectra Helpline, The Downtown Mission Windsor, and Distress and Crisis Ontario. Between all collaborating organizations there were 21,439 interactions in F2017, with DCT directly involved in 7,574. The most common outcome of interactions was that the conversation was exited or not completed (the case for more than 6,000 of the 21,439 total ONTX interactions). Almost 5,000 of the conversations ended with the client reporting that they feel better with an increased ability to cope or improved self-confidence.

Through its Caller Reassurance program, DCT makes personalized calls to elders. The calls serve as medical appointment or medication reminders, safety checks, and to support clients in improving their mental health. In F2017, DCT made 3,644 calls to the 38 seniors participating. On average, users received 1.8 calls per week.

In F2017, Distress Centres of Greater Toronto reached 854 people through in-person suicide loss and homicide loss survivor support programs. The charity also partners with other organizations to deliver phone crisis support, working with Professional Association of Residents of Ontario (PARO), Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), Canada Suicide Prevention Service, Emergency Medical Services (EMS), and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in F2017.

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Results and Impact

Distress Centres of Greater Toronto reports that 92% of 408-Help Line callers experienced positive outcomes from the conversation. These positive outcomes reflect 37% with reduced isolation or loneliness, 32% reduced emotional distress, 14% received information on coping mechanisms or resources, 5% changed their insight or perspective, and 3% with decreased suicide risk.  

DCT received 74 crisis calls transferred from CAMH. Of these, 34 users reported that the call reduced their emotional distress, 16 reduced isolation or loneliness, and 4 changed their insight or accessed new coping mechanisms.

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

Impact Rating: Fair

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Distress Centres of Greater Toronto is a small charity with donations and special events revenue of $930k in F2017. The charity received $215k in fees for service and $116k in government funding, representing 17% and 9% of total revenues respectively. Administrative costs are 11% of revenues less investment income, and fundraising costs are 20% of donations. For every dollar donated, 69 cents go to the cause, which is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending. DCT has $408k in funding reserves which could cover five months of program costs.

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

Updated on August 2, 2019 by Madison Kerr.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending December
Administrative costs as % of revenues 11.2%9.3%8.8%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 19.8%16.5%18.6%
Total overhead spending 31.0%25.8%27.4%
Program cost coverage (%) 42.2%32.6%35.1%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $s
Donations 601,400653,053583,821
Government funding 116,335114,050111,605
Fees for service 215,227195,614195,614
Special events 328,572272,770241,128
Investment income 2,9272,855981
Other income 8,56011,3234,872
Total revenues 1,273,0211,249,6651,138,021
Program costs 965,9351,002,875966,332
Administrative costs 142,415116,29799,855
Fundraising costs 184,061152,537153,688
Total spending 1,292,4111,271,7091,219,875
Cash flow from operations (19,390)(22,044)(81,854)
Capital spending 3,48853,6490
Funding reserves 408,042327,143339,394

Note: Ci has adjusted for amortization of deferred capital contributions, affecting revenues by ($11k) in F2017, ($12k) in F2016, and ($10k) in F2015. Administrative and fundraising costs are as reported on the charity’s T3010 filing with the CRA.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 10

Avg. Compensation: $77,071

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 F2017

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Comments & Contact

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Charity Contact

Website: www.torontodistresscentre.com
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