Gillian's Place Logo

We’re Working to Build a Safer Future.

A campaign for the future of Gillian’s Place.
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Woman smiling

On any given night in Canada, over 6,000 women, children, gender, and sexually diverse folks are finding haven in shelters like Gillian’s Place.

Over the last 45 years, we’ve grown from a small 8-bed volunteer-run shelter to a multi-site provider of client-centered compassionate support services.

Circle Circle

Sadly, our work is not yet done. Today, demand for our services has never been higher.

While we were able to shelter 322 adults and children last year, we were forced to redirect 430 due to capacity limitations. Each and every time this is a heartbreaking reality, as we know a survivor’s best chance of breaking the cycle of abuse is here at Gillian’s Place.

Our community outreach services designed to provide intensive support to survivors, yet not safe shelter are also experiencing all-time high demand. Since the start of the pandemic, these services have responded to an over 90% increase in demand. Since moving to our building in 2008, many of these programs and services did not exist or were limited in scope, but have grown out of the need to provide superior service to our community.

In the last five years there have been 850 deaths of women and girls in Canada, or one every 48 hours.

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Urgent Needs Demand Bold Action

It is clear that the demand for our resources at Gillian’s Place is reaching a breaking point. The size and layout of our current 18-bedroom, 34-bed shelter are no longer adequate to respond to the growing need. Nor is it conducive to achieving the compassionate care we strive to deliver. Not only do several areas of our shelter need to be reimagined, but we also need to expand to meet our vulnerable clients’ unique and complex needs effectively.

The proposed improvements necessary to provide service excellence at Gillian’s Place involve renovations to our existing facilities, and a 9,000 sq. ft., three-story building expansion. This will be home to the…

Marotta Family Centre for Violence Prevention & Outreach Support.

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This critically needed project comes in at the cost of $10 million dollars and includes:

5 new bedrooms
10 shelter beds
Security upgrades Security upgrades
Communal spaces Communal spaces
Staff wellness space Staff wellness space
Pet shelter Pet shelter
Child & youth room enhancement Child & youth room enhancement
Group programming, life -skills & collaboration room Group programming, life -skills & collaboration room
Revitalized client services spaces Revitalized client services spaces
Private & separate bathrooms Private & separate bathrooms
Non-denominational prayer & healing space Non-denominational prayer & healing space
Expanded outreach department Expanded outreach department
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Four women

How close are we to our goal?

70% of $10 million
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Our Supporters




The Marotta Family
Anonymous (1)


Lynn & David Zwart


The Bond Family in Honour of Nancy & Wayne Crawford
Kerry & Todd Shoalts


Enabling Accessibility Fund Through Employment & Social Development Canada
The Estate of Norma Sinclair Hintz
Mark & Amanda Ewert
Ontario Trillium Foundation
Turner Family Foundation
Wise Guys Charity Fund


The David S. Howes Fund at The Niagara Community Foundation


Anonymous (1)
RedRover’s Safe Housing & The FAM Network
Jennifer Wallace
Heidi & Glenn Burgess
PenFinancial Credit Union
City of St. Catharines


Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation
Anonymous (1)


Graeme Dargavel & Kevin Jong
Nicole & Mike Regehr
Kimberly & Troy Gillespie
Marion Wright
Court Holdings Limited

In-Kind Support


Announcing a Special Gift…

Gillian’s Place will be home of Marotta Family Centre for Violence Prevention & Outreach Support.
Marotta Family Centre

Gillian’s Place is excited to share that longstanding donors, Angela Marotta, Melissa Marotta-Paolicelli, and their family have generously donated $1.5 million the Build a Safer Future Campaign. This gift will establish the Marotta Family Centre for Violence Prevention and Outreach Support in recognition of the Marotta’s generosity. The Marotta Family Centre for Violence Prevention & Outreach Support will see a three-story nine-thousand-square-foot expansion to the current Gibson Place facility. In addition, the Centre will be home to a new outreach counselling department, designed for women who require support but not safe shelter. Demand for this type of service has increased by 98% since the pandemic’s start, with survivors requiring more intensive and interconnected levels of support. The Centre will also house expanded areas for legal advice and support, transitional housing and support, the domestic violence response initiative, community education, and violence prevention programs. Many of these programs and services either did not exist or have significantly increased since 2008, when Gillian’s Place converted the former Victoria Public School to our current operations.

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Volunteer Leadership

Honourary Chair

  • Gillian Dooley

Campaign Co-Chairs

  • Kim Gillespie
  • Dan Stefels

Honourary Patrons

  • Angela Marotta
  • Melissa Marotta-Paolicelli
  • Lynn Zwart
  • David Zwart

Campaign Cabinet

  • Jennifer Wallace, Board Chair
  • Ken Janzen

Gillian’s Place Leadership

Nicole Regehr - Executive Director

Nicole Regehr

Executive Director
905.684.4000 ext. 231
Graeme Dargavel - Director of Development & Communications

Graeme Dargavel

Campaign Director
905.684.4000 ext. 254

Help build a safer future

Donate Now

To learn how you can build a safer future, please connect with:

Graeme Dargavel, Campaign Director
905.684.4000 ext. 254
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