The Junior League of Toronto (JLT) funds its operating expenses through Member dues, donations and renting part of our building at 539 Mt. Pleasant Road. To fund our community projects, provide seed grants to qualifying community agencies and participate in a variety of other community efforts, it is necessary for our organization to fundraise.
The signature fundraisers for the JLT from 1983 to 2009 were Designer Showhouses. The Junior League of Toronto has showcased seven homes of distinction to raise $1.6 million to support their community partners, projects and programs in the Greater Toronto Area.. The Junior League of Toronto Showhouse™ rallies the generosity of Toronto’s finest designers, suppliers, and corporate sponsors to restore a Toronto landmark home; and raise money for a charitable purpose.
Most Recent JLT Showhouse (2009):
The Junior League of Toronto held its 8th Showhouse at McLean House in May, 2009.
Showhouse Co-chairs – Valerie Mines and Dawn Drayton
JLT President -Kelly Koselek
Beneficiaries -The major beneficiary of the JLT Showhouse at McLean House in 2009 was the St. Alban’s Boys’ and Girls’ Club. The Women & Babies Program at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre was also a beneficiary of this major fundraiser.
St. Alban’s Boys’ and Girls’ Club is dedicated to providing a safe, supportive place where children and youth can experience new opportunities, overcome barriers, build positive relationships and develop confidence and skills for life.
The Junior League of Toronto is committed to providing financial and volunteer support to Sistahood (ages 11-14) and Girls on the Move (ages 15-18), programs designed to empower girls to become healthy, educated, contributing young women. Financial support from the Junior League of Toronto Showhouse™ has introduced these programs to two new areas in the Jane & Finch and Weston-Mount Dennis areas of Toronto.
Through Junior League of Toronto Showhouse funding, workshops were presented on body image, fashion, nutrition, cooking, self-esteem, bullying and conflict resolution — inspiring 55 girls to pursue their dreams, build self-confidence and live life in healthy way.
The Women & Babies Program at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre is the second largest high-risk birthing centre in Ontario and provides care for one in five infants in the province weighing less than three pounds. Of the 4,000 infants delivered each year, one quarter are high-risk deliveries that require specialized critical care in the Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. With our financial support, the new facility ensures healthy living by giving full-term, premature and acutely ill babies the very best start in life.
Past JLT Showhouses
Glendon Hall – May 8 – June 6, 2004. Glendon Hall, built in 1924 by E.R. Wood and bequeathed to the University of Toronto in 1950, and subsequently donated to York University in 1961, was the location of the Junior League of Toronto Showhouse™ in 2004.
Showhouse Co-chairs – Ela Landegger and Jane Clark.
JLT President -Lorie Sikura.
Beneficiaries – The proceeds, of almost $635,000, allowed the Junior League of Toronto to donate $360,000 to the scholastic program of The Pathways to Education Program in Regent Park. $40,000 went to additional programs at Pathways and the remainder went to support Junior League of Toronto programs.
Graydon Hall – May 5 – June 4, 2000. The site of the sixth Junior League of Toronto Showhouse™ was Graydon Hall, a Georgian revival manor originally owned by Canadian financier Rupert Bain. The home was restored to the elegance of a grand English manor.
Showhouse Co-chairs – Willa Gauthier and Edie Michel.
JLT President – Patricia Hetherington-Keys
Beneficiaries -The majority of the proceeds were directed to the National Breast Cancer Fund. Other Junior League of Toronto initiatives such as the Ceiling Tile Art Project at Sunnybrook were also funded from these proceeds.
The Bob Rumball Centre for the Deaf – May 8 – May 29, 1996. The Bob Rumball Centre for the Deaf was selected for the fifth Junior League of Toronto Showhouse™ in 1996. This beautifully restored manor continues to be used as an office and hostel as well as a training and hospitality centre for the deaf. In Reverend Rumball’s words, the Junior League of Toronto Showhouse™ “made the invisible handicap visible.”
Showhouse Co-chairs – Suzy Brenninkmeyer, Vicki Hand and Patty Murphy
JLT President – Elizabeth Gray
The JLT Showhouse at the Bob Rumball Centre for the Deaf created a beautifully decorated and functional Manor which continues to be used as an office, hostel, training and hospitality centre for the deaf community. The proceeds of this Showhouse were used to establish a breakfast program at the Brookdale School in Oakville and starting Growing Together – an early intervention program focussed on the needs of young children and their families in the St. Jamestown area as well as other Junior League community initiatives.
Ronald McDonald House – Sept. 29 – Oct. 17, 1993. Ronald McDonald House was arguably the most ambitious project. The building of this house represented a lengthy collaboration between Children’s Oncology Care of Ontario Inc., Ronald McDonald House Children’s Charities and the Junior League of Toronto.
Showhouse Co-chairs – Nancy Love and Denise Howe
JLT President – Mary Beadon
Beneficiaries -The major recipient of the Showhouse was the Children’s Oncology Care of Ontario Inc.
George Brown House April 28 – May 22, 1989. In 1989, George Brown House, owned by the Father of Confederation, was “lent” to the Junior League of Toronto by the Ontario Heritage Foundation and enabled visitors to experience a piece of Toronto history.
Showhouse Co-chairs – Lynda Rogers Chaired the George Brown Restoration Showcase and Nancy MacDonnell was the Sustainer Co-chair.
JLT President – Jane Clark
Beneficiaries – Some of the proceeds went to the Toronto with Ease project and some hostels and shelters for needy and homeless teens.
Valley Halla May 18-June 21, 1985. The site of the second Junior League of Toronto Showcase was Valley Halla, the country estate of the late Dr. Robert Jackson. In partnership with the Metropolitan Toronto Zoo this magnificent home was showcased in 1985. It has been designated a landmark home under the terms of the Ontario Heritage Act.
Showhouse Co-chairs – Martie Russell from the Junior League of Toronto Chair and Ron D. Barbaro from the Metro Zoo.
JLT President – Bette Martin
Beneficiaries -The proceeds went to the continued funding and support of New Directions and various other community projects.
McLean House May 16-June 12, 1983. In January of 1982, Mr. David Rollins, a partner at Rollins Raeburn Interior Design Inc. and a vice-president of The Interior Designers of Ontario (now ARIDO) invited the Junior League of Toronto to participate in a Designer Showcase. After investigating many successful Showcases in the United States, Mr. Rollins concluded that the necessary ingredients required were a special piece of property, a high standard of quality, and a dedicated group of volunteers. The League’s determined volunteers teamed up with the I.D.O. to restore the magnificent McLean House and the first Junior League of Toronto Showhouse™ was born.
Showhouse Co-chairs – Janiss Florian from the Junior League of Toronto and David Rollins from the Interior Designers of Ontario.
JLT President – Anna Jane Gilchrist
Beneficiaries – Some of the community projects that were beneficiaries of these funds were Toronto with Ease, a Palliative Care Project and New Directions – a support service for displaced homemakers.