Skip to main content

POSTED

June 26th 2015

News

April 2024

MEDIA ADVISORY: The 519 joins Rainbow Week of Action to march for LGBTQ+ refugee rights

November 2023

TDoR 2023: Statement from 2Spirit, trans, and non-binary youth / Déclaration des jeunes bispirituels, trans et non-binaires

September 2023

The 519 Board of Management Candidates 2023/24

July 2023

Notice of Annual General Meeting 2023

Call for Nominations – The 519 Annual General Meeting 2023

May 2023

[Media Advisory] The 519 Presents 'Enough is Enough!' a panel discussion addressing anti-2SLGBTQ+ hate

Pride 2023 at The 519: Upcoming Programs and Events

Green Space Festival 2023: Neighbourhood Information

[Media Advisory] Toronto’s queer and trans communities to protest against anti-2SLGBTQ+ hate on International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia (IDAHOBT)

March 2023

Trans Day of Visibility: How can we commit to being visible allies?

[Press Release] The 519 to Honour Esteemed Author John Irving with Ally Award

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

February 2023

Re: Sentencing of Colin Harnack in murder of Julie Berman

December 2022

The Trial of Julie Berman

In Solidarity with Ontario's Drag Performers

November 2022

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

September 2022

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

In Memoriam: Helen Rykens

It is with deep sadness that The 519 announces the passing of one of the most dedicated and longest-serving members of our team – Helen Rykens.

Helen retired from The 519 in 2013 following over 30 years with our organization. An integral part of the community and The 519 from almost the very beginning, Helen joined The 519 as a member years before she was hired on as staff.

She was integral in supporting the creation and administration of the AIDS Memorial, provided support and leadership to the AIDS Vigil Committee and was the central liaison to the community-led programs and user groups that call The 519 home.  Helen was the tireless project manager for our 2001-2010 capital expansion project and guided our organization through unprecedented growth – developing often overlooked but absolutely essential new privacy, space use, governance and community access policies and systems. When Helen first joined the team, 20 groups met at in our community centre and when she retired, that community had grown to over 650 community groups, NGOs and governmental organizations accessing our space and our available space grew 45%.

In the years since Helen’s retirement her absence has been real and tangibly felt by our staff, volunteers, members and broader community. A life-long ally and supporter of lesbian, gay, bi and trans human rights, Helen’s commitment to ensuring safe and welcoming spaces in our city where people could truly be themselves was a hallmark of her work with The 519 and the communities we serve.

It seems fitting that she stayed with us long enough for one more AIDS Vigil and one more Starry Night – two events she cared deeply about. At the AIDS Vigil, we “honour, remember and celebrate” those we have lost. Today we do the same for Helen and for her partner Dan.

In partnership with Dan and Helen’s family, The 519 will host a memorial later this summer, further details will follow.

Get our newsletter and special updates

Up Next:

Exclusive return engagement of k.d. lang for The Annual 519 Gala