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October 19th 2017


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International Women's Day 2023: Women, Life, Freedom

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Re: Sentencing of Colin Harnack in murder of Julie Berman

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The Trial of Julie Berman

In Solidarity with Ontario's Drag Performers

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City of Toronto, The 519, and Homes First Society announce Toronto’s first dedicated shelter for 2SLGBTQ+ adults

In Solidarity; A Community Vigil Honouring Colorado Victims and Survivors 

In Solidarity with Club Q

Public Statement on Trans Day of Remembrance (TDoR) 2022

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National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Status For All: Letter to PM Justin Trudeau and Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Sean Fraser

The 519 Board of Management Candidates 2022/23

August 2022

Notice of The 519 Annual General Meeting 2022-23

[Press Release] 2SLGBTQ+ communities release Media Reference Guide as a tool for more inclusive journalism

June 2022

Call for Nominations – The 519 Annual General Meeting 2022-23

World Refugee Day: Support LGBTQ+ Refugees Every Day

Green Space Festival 2022: Neighbourhood Information

Green Space Festival announces 2022 lineup: a Pride-weekend party in support of 2SLGBTQ+ communities

Pride 2022 at The 519: Upcoming Programs and Events

April 2022

Lifting the Blood Ban: A Step in the Right Direction

March 2022

Trans Day of Visibility: Affirmations and Calls to Action

Online Dating Safety 101

International Women's Day: Our History, Our Reality, Out Future

February 2022

The 519 Black Collective – Black History Month 2022: ‘Black Health & Wellness’

November 2021

Public Statement on Trans Day of Remembrance (TDoR) 2021

October 2021

PRESS RELEASE: The 519 Annual Gala 2021

The 519 Annual Gala 2021 – Meet the Artists

The 519 Welcomes LGBTQ Chechen Refugees in Toronto

The 519 is expanding its Refugee Support Program to provide settlement services for government assisted LGBTQ Chechen refugees in Toronto

Toronto, October 19, 2017: The 519 has entered into a partnership agreement with Rainbow Railroad to expand its settlement support services to help the government assisted Chechen refugees in Canada. The services include broad-scale language assistance, housing support, and trauma-informed counselling services. Engagement in art and cultural activities, volunteering opportunities at The 519, and sports and recreation initiatives are also part of the settlement plan to reduce social isolation and contribute to their mental and physical wellbeing. The 519 is working to expand capacity to be able respond to the increasing demand for LGBTQ-focused newcomer settlement support.  

“The LGBTQ Chechen refugees have endured unspeakable atrocities we know from our experience delivering services for LGBTQ refugees their settlement will be a long and ongoing process. LGBTQ newcomers and refugees face additional challenges in integration due to layers of oppression intersecting with their LGBTQ identities. There is a dire need for more LGBTQ focused settlement support services in Canada, and The 519 is fully committed to not only delivering those services, but also advocating for them.”  

–  Maura Lawless, Executive Director, The 519

In order to be responsive for the needs of the Chechen refugees, The 519 is working closely with Rainbow Railroad and other community partners, and seeking assistance from the community for interpreters, and Russian-speaking counsellors.

“Rainbow Railroad is committed to helping persecuted LGBTQI individuals from dangerous situations all over the world find safety. This includes helping persecuted LGQBTI people in Chechnya find safe haven in Canada and other countries. As part of the resettlement process, Rainbow Railroad relies on dedicated community partners to help these new refugees adapt to their new lives in cities across Canada, and we are grateful that The 519 Community Centre is taking a leadership role in this effort.” 

–  Kimahli Powell, Executive Director Rainbow Railroad

The 519 Refugee Support program focuses on helping LGBTQ newcomers access information, resources, and relevant services, while building strong community connections. The program has seen a sharp increase in demand over the last year – group program visits have increased by 87%, and one-on-one support has increased by more than 27%. The program serves LGBTQ newcomers and refugees from all over the world and has seen a steady influx from countries including Nigeria, Uganda, Jamaica, and Ukraine.

Media Contact:

For interview requests with the Refugee Support team at The 519, please contact:

Soofia Mahmood
Manager, Communications & Fund Development
416-392-6874 |

About The 519

The 519 is committed to the health, happiness and full participation of the LGBTQ community in Toronto and beyond. We are a City of Toronto agency and a registered charity with an innovative model of Service, Space and Leadership. With our programs, services, and capacity building initiatives, we strive to make a real difference in people’s lives while working to promote inclusion, understanding and respect.



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