The Parkdale Community Health Centre (PCHC) was developed by a group of residents who, from 1982 to 1984, negotiated with the Ministry of Health, Community Health Branch, to establish a community health centre in the Parkdale area. The organization was incorporated as Parkdale Community Health Centre, a non-profit and charitable organization. The catchment area was defined as the area bounded by Bloor Street, on the north side; Lake Ontario, on the south side; Dovercourt Road, on the east side; and Parkside, on the west side. Within that area, the following groups were considered priority populations: seniors; low-income families; new immigrants; and those dealing with mental health issues.
In 1984, funding was approved and the Board hired the Executive Director, the Administrative Assistant and the Health Educator. The Ministry of Health allowed for a pre-operational period of only four (4) months. During that period, the staff worked at the Parkdale Neighbourhood Church (later replaced by a mall). A site for a permanent location was selected at 1257 Queen Street West. Funds for the necessary construction were obtained from a private source (a friend of one Board member who believed in investing in the new community health centre). In those days, capital funds were not available from the MOHLTC, and banks would not consider loans to a newly funded organization. Strong relationships were developed with local agencies and institutions, especially St. Joseph’s Hospital. Programs were developed and reception staff and clinical providers were hired. Operational systems were defined and prepared for implementation.
The official opening was on December 8, 1984. The first patient was seen on November 26, 1984.
Since then, PCHC has grown. New services and programs have been added and the staff team has grown. The physical site has also expanded. PCHC added services for street involved populations in 1990 as well as an additional site, Parkdale Addiction Treatment Satellite, in 1993. In 2000, the Board of Directors of PCHC had to make the very difficult decision to approve the merger of the Satellite with an established addiction agency, Breakaway. This merger benefited the service users and assisted in the preservation of methadone treatment spaces. PCHC continued to maintain a connection to the Satellite with a cross appointment to the Breakaway Board of Directors.
In May 1998, the Centre moved into a new home at 1229 Queen Street West. The current facility is one that staff, clients and the community can be proud of. It was the result of four years of hard work, persistence and great support from the Board, staff, community members and the government. We celebrated our official opening in the new building on September 13 and 14, 1998.
In 2011, Healthy Smiles Ontario opened a dental clinic on our first floor to offer free services to low income children, adults, and seniors. In 2012, we received a transfer of Women’s Health Centre Programs from St. Joseph's Hospital and expanded by opening a satellite office at Queen Street West and Roncesvalles Avenue. Also that year, we partnered with the West End Food Co-op to open a community kitchen and food hub in our basement.
1982: Parkdale residents get together and form a committee to pursue a community goal – to establish a much-needed community health centre.
1983: Needs assessment completed. Parkdale CHC is incorporated.
1984: Funding is approved from the District Health Council of Metropolitan Toronto and Ministry of Health thereafter.
The first three staff are hired: Coordinator, Administrative Assistant, Health Educator.
An interim office opens at 1624 Queen Street West.
December 1984: Once Parkdale CHC opens to the public, staffing is expanded to include 1.5 physicians, 1 primary care nurse, and 1 receptionist. Programs and services begin.
1985: Multicultural health promotion begins.
1988: Violence against women program established.
1989: Seniors program launched.
Move to 1257 Queen Street West.
1990: Street Health program begins.
1991: Needle Exchange program initiated.
1993: Satellite program established to provide treatment
for opiate drug users.
1994: PCHC is granted capital funds to build a new facility.
1998: PCHC moves into its current location at 1229 Queen Street West.
Naturopathic medicine services begin to be offered in partnership with the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine.
Programs for homeless individuals begin.
2002: First accreditation by Building Healthier Organizations.
2004: Partners for Parkdale Health start planning for oral health services.
2006: West End Oral Health Clinic is launched.
2007: Diabetes program begins.
2011: Healthy Smiles Ontario Dental Clinic opens.
2012: PCHC receives transfer of Women’s Health Centre programs from St. Joe’s hospital and opens a satellite location to house them.
West End Food Co-op opens in PCHC basement.
2014: PCHC celebrates 30 years of serving the community.
2017: PCHC and Central Toronto CHCs come together in a voluntary integration.