Distress Centres of Greater Toronto

31 Adelaide St E
Toronto, ON M5G 1B1
Executive Director: Robert Ridge
Board Co-Chair: Mark Sklar

Charitable Reg. #:10702 1016 RR0001


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

[Charity Rating: 4/5]



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) 89 cents are available for programs.

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About Distress Centres of Greater Toronto:

Distress Centres of Greater Toronto is a 4-star charity with Average demonstrated impact. It has an above average results reporting grade and it is financially transparent.

Founded in 1967, Distress Centres of Greater Toronto (DCT) operates several 24-hour hotlines 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. DCT merged with Brampton-based Spectra Community Support Services effective May 2019, which allowed DCT's services to expand to include multilingual language lines, enhanced support for isolated seniors, and a transitional support program for those aged 16+. The charity reports that approximately 4,000 people take their own life by suicide in Canada each year, and for every suicide loss, there are an estimated 20-25 attempts made.

DCT has a total of 12 phone lines tailored to clients in varying levels and categories of distress. In F2020, the charity provided over 180,000 helping interactions (up from 172,546 in F2019). No breakdown of spending by program was provided by the charity.

408-Help Line: This line received the largest influx of calls in F2020, totalling 61,129 calls. This program covers a broad range of support services, including: emotional support for those with chronic mental health problems, support and crisis intervention services for those in crisis, family violence response, suicide prevention, and emergency intervention and response.

Multilingual Distress Line: DCT answered 24,519 calls on this line in F2020, 82% of which regarded mental health issues and 87% interpersonal issues. This program is a distress line that provides support for a broad range of issues in eight languages: English, Cantonese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Spanish, Hindi, Punjabi, and Urdu.

Canada Suicide Prevention Service (CSPS): This program is a national, dedicated crisis and suicide phone and text service. In F2020, DCT responded to 19,578 CSPS interactions (10,088 Text Interactions, and 9,490 Voice Interactions).

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Results and Impact

Distress Centres of Greater Toronto reports that 30% of 408-Help Line callers experienced a decrease in isolation and loneliness, as well as 30% reduced emotional intensity following the conversation with DCT staff in F2020. Of DCT's Canada Suicide Prevention Service, 46% of callers reported an increased ability to cope, 184 emergency interventions were made and 255 suicide plans were disabled. 

Distress Centres of Greater Toronto also runs two programs, one for survivors of suicide loss, and one for survivors of homicide loss. In F2020, 215 survivors attended individual sessions, 101 survivors attended group sessions, and 100% of participants were satisfied or very satisfied with the support and/or would recommend the program to those in need.

Charity Intelligence highlights these key results. They may not be a complete representation of DCT's results.

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

Impact Rating: Average

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Distress Centres of Greater Toronto received donations and special events revenue of $1.6m in F2020. DCT also received $718k in government funding, representing 31% of total revenues. Administrative costs are 6% of revenues (less investment income), and fundraising costs are 5% of donations. For every dollar donated, 89 cents go to the cause, which is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending.

DCT has $1.0m in funding reserves, which could cover six 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 12, 2021 by Rachel Leteta.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending December
Administrative costs as % of revenues 5.7%7.1%9.2%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 5.2%9.3%20.1%
Total overhead spending 10.9%16.3%29.3%
Program cost coverage (%) 50.4%52.4%45.3%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $s
Donations 1,556,5021,116,904896,296
Government funding 717,841460,835118,820
Fees for service 032,51862,266
Special events 36,52689,00498,173
Investment income 4,2054,158147
Other income 25,8533,9158,177
Total revenues 2,340,9271,707,3341,183,879
Program costs 1,998,8971,487,730856,963
Administrative costs 132,404120,190108,513
Fundraising costs 83,277111,982200,211
Total spending 2,214,5781,719,9021,165,687
Cash flow from operations 126,349(12,568)18,192
Capital spending 000
Funding reserves 1,007,323779,593388,302

Note: Ci adjusted for the difference in government funding reported in the charity's T3010a filing with the CRA in donations. Revenue from TTC, EMS, PARO and CAMH was included in donations. Ci did not include amortization of deferred contributions in revenue, decreasing total revenue by $9k in F2020, $10k in F2019, and $9k in F2018. As the charity did not allocate wages and benefits by activity, Ci used the charity's T3010a filing to report program, administrative and fundraising costs. Amortization was removed from program, administrative and fundraising costs on a pro-rata basis. Financial information from 2019 reflects two periods of financial statements combined due to the amalgamation of Spectra Support Services and Distress Centres.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 20

Avg. compensation: $55,000

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 F2020

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Comments & Contact

Comments added by the Charity:

No comments have been added by the charity.

Charity Contact

Website: www.dcogt.com
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001