180 Dundas Street West, Suite 1410
Toronto, ON M5G 1Z8
CEO: Vaughan Dowie
Board Chair: Jonathan Guss

Charitable Reg. #:87462 7516 RR0001


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

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Audited financial statements available only through official request for information from Charities Directorate.



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) 42 cents are available for programs.

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About Pine River Institute:

Opened in 2006, Pine River Institute (PRI) is a treatment centre working with youth who have addiction issues and mental health challenges.

Pine River Institute admitted 34 students in 2018. Youth are expected to stay with PRI for an average of 12-14 months. Of all clients admitted between 2010 and 2018, the average age at admission was 17. About 75% of clients have a history of suicidal thoughts and are most commonly addicted to alcohol or marijuana.

Clients progress through four phases of treatment, beginning with 6-8 weeks living with a small group of students and staff in Algonquin Park. The next phase is living at the Pine River Campus where therapy continues and youth can earn high school credits. Clients and their families are supported as youth transition back to living at home. The therapeutic approach is suited to meeting the needs of teens rather than strictly applying traditional adult treatment techniques.

PRI offers 36 client spots which are consistently filled, with a waitlist of about 200 families. Low-income clients have costs subsidized by the Ministry of Health, with clients paying $650 per month and spending an average of 559 days on the waitlist. Of the beds available, seven are reserved for clients who will not be receiving the ministry subsidy. For clients who have confirmed that they are going to pay for the service privately, the wait time is often 21 days with a monthly cost of $13,440.

Pine River Institute is raising money through its Room for Hope campaign, hoping to fund initiatives that will increase access to its program. Of the money raised, $2.3m will be used to construct a 20-bed girls’ dormitory building and any additional money will provide bursaries for clients who need help paying for care.

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Results and Impact

Charity Intelligence has evaluated Pine River Institute to have fair impact based on demonstrated impact per dollar spent.

In 2018, the charity received survey responses from parents and youth who were involved with PRI programs as early as 2010. The report reflects substance use, academics, mental health and learning issues, crisis situations, quality of life, and family life of previous clients, comparing outcomes of both those who completed the program and those who left prior to completion. Ci has chosen to highlight some of the report areas which found a statistically significant difference between completers and non-completers.

Program completers were less likely to have had suicidal thoughts or self-harmed at both three months and six months since leaving the program. Non-completers were significantly more likely to have recent contact with police at three months (42% vs 10%), six months (38% vs 11%), and one year (15% vs 6%) post-program. Measuring family functioning using the McMaster Family Assessment Device, PRI finds that families of youth who completed the program fare better than families of those that did not, considering factors such as problem solving, communication, behavior control, and involvement.

In 2017, three researchers from McMaster University evaluated the social return on investment of Pine River Institute. The report finds an average return of $7 per dollar spent based on factors including improvements in employment, reduced involvement with the justice system, and reduced hospitalizations for mental illness or substance use. The study unfortunately appears not to account for the overhead costs associated with operating the Pine Rive Foundation.   

Impact Rating: Low

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Charity Intelligence has scored Pine River Institute as a zero in financial transparency because the charity failed to provide full financial statements when requested. The financial analysis completed by Charity Intelligence uses the most recent financial information available to Ci, through a request to the CRA, at the time of writing this report.

Ci has consolidated information from Pine River Institute and Pine River Foundation for the following financial analysis. Financial statements and T3010 filings with the CRA provided information reflecting Pine River Institute finances, while information on the foundation is just from the T3010. 

Pine River Institute is a small charity with donations of $910k in F2018. It received $4.3m in government funding, representing 69% of total revenues. Administrative costs are 18% of revenues less investment income, and fundraising costs are 41% of donations. For every dollar donated, 42 cents go to the cause, which is outside of Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending. PRI has $2.6m in funding reserves which could cover seven months of program costs.

This charity profile is an update that has been sent to Pine River Institute for review. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on July 16, 2019 by Madison Kerr.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending March
Administrative costs as % of revenues 17.6%19.3%17.4%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 40.7%39.6%23.3%
Program cost coverage (%) 61.8%46.9%42.2%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 910580771
Government funding 4,2724,2634,263
Fees for service 986985928
Investment income 1345
Other income 55542
Total revenues 6,2355,8875,969
Program costs 4,2854,1364,236
Administrative costs 1,0921,1371,040
Fundraising costs 370230180
Cash flow from operations 488384514
Capital spending 000
Funding reserves 2,6471,9411,786

Note: Grants from the institute to the foundation have been removed from T3010 institute program costs, ($243k) in F2017 and ($323k) in F2016. Grants appear to have already been reported separate from program costs in F2018 no no additional adjustment was made. Ci has removed grants from the foundation to the institute and from the institute to the foundation, affecting revenues and expenses by ($531k) in F2018, ($370k) in F2017, and ($417k) in F2016. Ci has used institute program, administrative, and fundraising costs from the T3010. Amortization has been removed from program, administrative, and fundraising costs pro-rata for both the institute and foundation. Ci has adjusted for addition errors found within the foundation’s T3010 filing and discrepancies between the institute’s financial statements and T3010 expenses, affecting expenses by ($21k) in F2017 and $11k in F2016.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 41

Avg. compensation: $62,976

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 F2018

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Comments & Contact

Comments added by the Charity:

The comments that follow apply to an earlier version and may be not reflect the current profile. 

Pine River is a community initiative that was created entirely by private donations, in response to the urgent and overwhelming need for intensive treatment for teens in crisis in Canada.  It was the first, and is still the only treatment program of its kind in the country. We offer a family-centered, comprehensive, and individualized program based on best practices for adolescent development and addiction treatment.  At Pine River, we address the self-destructive behaviour. We teach math skills and life skills side-by-side. We take all the time it takes to rebuild a life. And we remain supportive of our families long after the program ends.

After almost a decade of research and planning we opened our doors in June 2006, and have since helped over 200 students and their families.  Our students have a tremendous success rate, as shown through research and outcome evaluation, and the program has received awards and recognition nationally, internationally, and from various disciplines.

In addition to the tremendous and growing community support, Pine River has substantial government support from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care, the Ministry of the Attorney General, and the Ministry of Education.  Professionals in the field recognize Pine River as a program that works, and we receive referrals from organizations such as the Hospital for Sick Children, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, community agencies from across the province, and from professionals and families across the country.

Our mission is to provide the highest quality care to our participants so they can regain their lives, their families, and their futures.  We are also committed to advancing the field of adolescent development and addiction treatment.  Our vision is to transform the way that adolescents and families struggling with mental health issues, and specifically addictive behaviour are treated in Canada and beyond.

The generous support of our donors sustains everything we do to ensure that youth in crisis, and their families, have access to the best possible care and services.

“To all of you who played a part in helping and supporting and teaching and showing our daughter that she is worthy of so much more, we, my husband and family and sister, thank you beyond words.  I can never say how amazed and grateful and thankful we all are. She has gone from the saddest of places to hope and light.”

Charity Contact

Website: www.pineriverinstitute.com
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