NOW Magazine: Emotional demonstration marks National Day of Action on overdose deaths

Emotional demonstration marks National Day of Action on overdose deaths

The overdose crisis is our crisis


APRIL 23, 2019

Renovation Update

Over the past few months, two South Riverdale locations have been under renovation.

Since the “great flood” of January, 2019, our 955 Queen Street East location has been undergoing renovation to repair the affected floors, ceilings, walls and built-ins. We continue to monitor air quality and safe access to our spaces.

While groups and activities have been cancelled at this location, we are making efforts to accommodate programs and groups at other locations in the community. Our community partners have been extremely generous and very accommodating to ensure that our programming continues. And we very much appreciate our community’s patience while the renovations continue.

As well, our location at 2 Gower Street is expanding its kitchen area and renovating main floor bathrooms. In partnership with Community Food Centres Canada, we are building a welcoming community space — a Community Food Centre — where people can come together to grow, cook, share and advocate for good food.

Thank you to all of our clients for your patience during this challenging time. We look forward to seeing you at our renovated, cheerful and always welcoming spaces!


Remembering Chris: A Tribute to Chris Gort

In 1979, Chris Gort came to South Riverdale Community Health Centre in search of a family physician. Over a period of 20 years, he was a SRCHC member and served on the Board of Directors.

In an interview for SRCHC’s 40th Anniversary, Chris said, “When I ended my term as Board chair, I met with Lynne. She asked me for some parting advice. I suggested that the Centre should pick two things and become outstanding in those areas.  I bumped into her a few years later and she told me they had done this through the harm reduction program (COUNTERfit) and the diabetes program (DECNET). I’m proud of this place. I’m a member and patient here and I’ve always appreciated it. I am thankful that I’m getting good health care and I hope to remain a member and patient for many more years.”

Two years ago, Chris was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). It causes the death of neurons which control voluntary muscles, leading to physical deterioration and, ultimately, death. Over the past year, Chris wrote a blog about his situation, the pleasures of family and friends and his gratitude for all the small but important things he continued to enjoy, like the wind blowing the trees outside his window.

On March 24, 2019, some SRCHC staff members attended an event in his honour. Chris was also at this event, a testament to his long and close relationship with Elaine, his life partner and wife. She said that she wanted to share the event with him, not wait until he died to have a memorial without him. Elaine and Chris were lucky in so many ways to have had this time together, both sacred and challenging, and appreciated that others had not been so fortunate.

Chris continued to represent SRCHC at the Partners for Health table up until two years ago. I will always remember his wisdom, support and ability to navigate muddy waters. Most importantly, I will remember that he left us a set of principles by which we have continued to operate: to be thoughtful and bold, courageous and humble, reliable and accountable. Going at times where others fear to tread. One cannot build on a weak foundation; Chris played a key role in creating a strong foundation which we have continued to support and which is now written into our collective story.

On April 2, Chris passed away peacefully at home. We will forever remember his appreciation of small things, his compassion for others who have less and his contributions to the Centre. And we thank him.

Lynne Raskin, CEO