Message from the CEO

We enter August with big smiles on our faces, beaming from the Ontario government’s announcement that they will be investing $330 million into the province’s paediatric health system. This investment includes up to $45 million from the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services (MCCSS) for children’s rehabilitation services, including Grandview Kids.

This announcement is met with much excitement by Grandview Kids and our sector partners, recognizing that chronic underfunding continues to put pressures on our system, despite ever-increasing demand for services. We are grateful to the government for this investment, enabled through the incredible advocacy of the Children’s Health Coalition. The Coalition, made up of more than 150 child and youth organizations across the province, includes our member association – Empowered Kids Ontario (EKO). Through the Make Kids Count campaign, the Coalition identified a series of urgent investments to help kids get the right care they need, in the right place, and at the right time.

We are awaiting more information on how this investment impacts Grandview Kids programs and services, and ultimately, the clients and caregivers we serve. But, be assured will continue to advocate at local, regional, provincial and federal levels for sustainable investment into our sector, aligned to local demographics and community needs, so children and youth with communication, physical and developmental needs receive timely access to paediatric services in Durham Region.

As we close out summer, many are focused on the school year ahead. Starting in September, Grandview Kids is making improvements to its School-Based Rehabilitation Services (SBRS), offering tiered Occupational Therapy (OT) services at some schools in our Region. Read more in the Project Spotlight below.

In the meantime, there are many ways to stay connected and be involved at Grandview Kids for the rest of Summer. Attend a Family Engagement event this month – perhaps I will even see you there. Join our Ambassador Program, where you can share your story to make a difference to the broader Grandview Kids community. Or, participate in the Grandview Kids Foundation’s Get Active Challenge, combining the benefits of exercise (at your own pace) with impactful fundraising.


Tom McHugh

CEO, Grandview Kids 

Client stories: Teagan and Logan

These sisters are both part of the Grandview community. As their mother says, “Just walking in the doors at Grandview equals home and family… knowing that it is ok to act as themselves is the biggest thing, knowing that they are feeling secure in their environment.”

Read more as we celebrate National Sisters Day on August 6 >

New Build update

Construction is well underway at The New Grandview Kids. Watch new fly-over footage of the construction progress (filmed in Spring 2023) at our new build site. It’s exciting to see us move through Phase 2 of construction, with our superstructure and building enclosure being worked on.

Click here to watch exciting drone footage showcasing our progress!

Family Leader Program

Seeking Grandview Kids Ambassadors!

The Ambassador Program was created to give Grandview Kids families an opportunity to share their Grandview journey with the community. It began in 2012, when parents voiced a desire to give back to Grandview Kids for the support they receive. They wanted to share how Grandview Kids viewed their child(ren) and families as individuals with an important and impactful story.

Ambassador Families are highly valued by Grandview Kids and the Grandview Kids Foundation. They play a key role in communicating the value of Grandview Kids and its services.

Grandview Kids families often share their story over and over again in clinical settings. Through the Ambassador Program, they can share their stories in an authentic and personal manner, allowing emotion and the power of experience to resonate. Participation in the Ambassador Program is also an excellent opportunity to practice writing, public speaking and advocacy skills. But don’t worry, our Ambassador Advisor provides coaching and support along the way!

Ambassadors must have a child/youth currently or formerly receiving services at Grandview Kids. These clients, caregivers and families have a passionate story to tell of how much Grandview Kids has made a difference in their lives. They also provide a strong message about the importance of giving in order to help children and youth with communication, physical and developmental needs in our community.

If you would like to join the Ambassador Program, please email to express your interest. Don’t miss this chance to tell your story to make a difference for other families in your community!

Recognizing our YAC on International Youth Day

August 12 is International Youth Day, which began in 2000 by the United Nations (UN) to recognize the input that young people make in education, community development, environmental groups and volunteering for different social projects.

At Grandview Kids, we recognize that youth have different needs, dreams and goals than their caregivers or parents, so their voices need to be heard, too. That’s why, in 2019, we launched our Youth Advisory Council (YAC).

Our YAC is comprised current clients, siblings and grads who are 12 to 25-years-old. This motivated group of youth works to host inclusive events for Grandview Kids families and take the lead on events, such as our very popular Accessible Halloween event at the Safety Village. It offers members an opportunity to provide feedback to the organization on topics important to them, while earning valuable volunteer hours.

The YAC helps members feel connected to other people who understand their experiences, so they gain a sense of belonging and value… while having fun along the way!

Thank you to our amazing YAC members for their insights, energy and efforts:

  • Nicholas Barry
  • Mia Belanger
  • Emily Petrik
  • Sam Keane
  • Treston Nemisz
  • Andrew Neufeld
  • Shayaan Qureshi
  • Kurt Snow
  • Eliott Smith
  • Darren Thorogood
  • Adam Whittick
  • Taylor Willis

For more information about the YAC, please visit our website or contact Brad Sexton, Peer Navigator, Family Engagement Team, at

From the archives

In honour of our 70th Anniversary, we have launched the all-new Grandview Kids Archives. We have kept an archive since our founding in 1953, though have very rarely made items accessible to the public. However, we are excited to announce that, not only are we making the archives publicly available, but we are also taking the Archives on the road.

Be sure to keep an eye for the Archival Roadshow Schedule, where pop-up displays will be set up across all Grandview Kids sites, showcasing select objects from our collection. In addition, stories and artifacts will be shared in newsletters and on our social media channels for even more glimpses into our past.

At the moment, we are in the process of adding all of our artifacts to our artifact database and assigning each object a special tracking number called an “accession number. This enables us to keep track of each object in the collection. The accession number is a code that is typically made up of three or four sets of numbers, for example, “2023-03 – 01 – 01.” This accession number would mean that this was the first object of the third collection, added to the collection in 2023. It also notes that there are multiple pieces of an object in the collection.

When not being used for research or display, the collection is housed in acid-free storage containers, being looked after by our Archivist and Ability Acceptance Presenter, Mitchell Daniels. Over the coming weeks, we will be preparing the collection to go on the road. In the meantime, enjoy this preview of what you can expect to see at a location near you!

Want to hear more about Grandview

Kids' history?

Check out this video featuring staff, clients and caregivers who have been part of the Grandview story over the years!

Provincial investment into paediatric health system

At a press conference on July 19, Premier Doug Ford, MCCSS Minister Parsa and Health Minister Jones announced new funding to support the paediatric health system. Grandview Kids Executive Lead for Clinical and Client Services, Leslie Suite, was honoured to attend this historical announcement.

From left to right: Rita-Marie Hadley, Executive Director, Lansdowne Children’s Centre; Karen Eisler, CEO, Children’s Treatment Network; Linda Kenny, CEO, KidsAbility Centre for Child Development; Tina Bennett, CEO, George Jeffrey Children’s Centre; Jennifer Proulx, Vice President, Child Development and Community Services, CHEO; Jennifer Churchill, CEO, EKO; Hon. Michael Parsa, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services; Leslie Suite, Executive Lead, Clinical and Client Services, Grandview Kids; Susan Mendelsohn, Director, Development & Rehabilitation, CHEO; Margaret Van Beers, Acting ED, Quinte Children’s Treatment Centre; Noella Klawitter, Director, KidsInclusive; Scott Pepin, CEO, Five Counties Children’s Centre.

The Ontario government is investing an additional $330 million each year in paediatric health services to connect children and youth to more convenient and high-quality care close to home at hospitals, clinics and community-based healthcare facilities across Ontario. With this new investment, over 100 high-priority initiatives (see news release for more info) will be quickly implemented to ensure children and youth in every corner of the province can connect to emergency care, surgeries, ambulatory services, diagnostic imaging and mental health services. For the current fiscal year, funding is prorated to $240 million. This investment includes up to $45 million from the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services (MCCSS) for children’s rehabilitation services.

Read more about the advocacy that led to this funding announcement on the Empowered Kids Ontario (EKO) website.

Program spotlight: Service Navigation

Service Navigation supports families and professionals with the referral process to access Grandview Kids services. In addition to connecting clients and families with programs and services at Grandview Kids, the Service Navigation Team can provide information about other helpful community resources.

Who is eligible?

Any family in the Durham Region looking for information about Grandview Kids’ services is interested in initiating a referral for therapeutic support, has questions about service options, or is inquiring about eligibility criteria, is encouraged submit a referral. Service Navigation offers a “No Closed Door” policy; our team will do our best to connect families with appropriate services to meet their child’s needs.

If you are unsure where to start but have questions about your child’s development, you may benefit from the SmartStart Hub at Grandview Kids. This includes referrals to services not offered by Grandview Kids.

What can you expect from our Service Navigation team?

The Service Navigation team collects client information based on demographics, developmental milestones, and parent reports through telephone intake interviews. Service Navigators will discuss eligibility requirements and anticipated timelines and answer questions about Grandview Kids’ services, based on the information shared concerning your child’s needs.

Grandview Kids recognizes the diversity of the Durham Region. Service Navigation is available in English and French, and interpretation in other languages can also be arranged to assist families who do not speak English or French.

How do I make a referral?

Clients (youth) and caregivers can now make a referral using our secure, online referral form. The referral form should also be used if you have any questions about service offerings. Doctor referrals are required for Medical Services.

I am already a client. When else should I contact Service Navigation?

Please call the Service Navigation team at 905-728-1673 x2468 if you need to:

  • Update primary contact information, such as a change in address; or
  • Transfer services, such as if you are moving outside the Durham Region.

Our Service Navigators are often the first people you interact with at Grandview Kids! Their warmth and commitment ensures a great experience from the first interaction.

Project spotlight: Tiered Occupational Therapy in schools

School-based Occupational Therapy (OT) services are growing and changing. This fall, Grandview Kids (at some schools) is moving to providing OT supports to students in a model called “Tiered Intervention.” 

The Tiered Intervention Model has been created and studied by CanChild, and is being used by more and more Children’s Treatment Centres across the province.

Tier One - Universal, Good for All

  • Strategies and/or equipment that anyone in the classroom can use if it is helpful
  • Accessed through workshops or links to resources for teachers, EAs, caregivers or students
  • Examples: wiggle cushions, classroom activity centres, pencil grips, different kids of scissors, different height desks, noise cancelling headphones, movement breaks, pictures of steps when using the bathroom or getting ready to go out for recess, etc.

Tier Two - Targeted, Necessary for Some

  • Strategies and/or equipment for a specific student
  • Can be done in small groups
  • Addresses difficulties that have a greater impact on school
  • Examples: Chrome book, several strategies needed for one challenge, off the shelf solutions, such as step stool at sink and toilet, student-specific pictures of an activity, etc.

Tier Three - Individualized, Essential for One

  • Includes one-to-one assessments and customized solutions
  • Examples: bathroom renovations, student-specific sensory plan, special switch access to computer, staff training for complex lifts and transfers, etc.

Caregivers can choose to refuse Tier One classroom supports. Referrals with parent consent are needed for a student to be seen in Tier Two or Tier Three. Students can be in more than one Tier at a time, and can move between tiers as their goals are met or if their needs change.


Grandview Kids and the local school boards are launching this in a phased approach, so your child’s school may or may not be included this year, but will be for the 2024/2025 school year. If your school is involved, you will get a letter home in September from the school.

If you want to learn more, visit CanChild’s website, or review the Grandview Kids Fact Sheet and Frequently Asked Questions document about Tiered OT in schools.

Your voice matters

Ask us anything

Got a question about Grandview Kids? Send it our way for possible inclusion in a future edition of the Gather newsletter. Submit your questions in this survey.

Last month, people asked: How is Grandview Kids building community partnerships?

Grandview Kids is proud to partner with a number of individuals and organizations – aligned to our vision and values – to optimize resources, inspire innovation and better serve our clients and their caregivers. Currently, we partner with the following organizations, across a number of areas:

Existing partnerships include offerings such as our Complex Care Program (Sick Kids, Home and Community Care Services, Lake Ridge Health), membership in the Durham Children/Youth Planning Network and Best Start Network, and association membership with Empowered Kids Ontario (EKO). Partnerships also include those with whom we work to advance the field of disability research, such as Trent University, Ontario Tech University and the Ontario Shores Join Research Ethics Board (to name a few). We also have employment and education partners, with focus being on experiential learning, training and recruitment opportunities. We also partner with many community organizations to deliver a multitude of programming, such as an advisory panel to Durham Transit, and the development of sensory kits and training tools (e.g., Clarington Fire and Ajax Public Library).

At our March 2023 Family Advisory Council (FAC) meeting, we asked our parent and caregiver advisors, “How might we broaden the network of Grandview Kids to form meaningful partnerships within and beyond Durham Region?”

The FAC provided input on current partnership gaps and opportunities, which will be used to inform our new Strategic Plan. The FAC recommendations included:

If you have ideas of other community-based individuals or organizations that you think would be a great partner to Grandview Kids, we would love to hear your suggestions via email to

Research opportunities

The CP-NET Research Database is an Ontario Brain Institute-funded research project. We are collecting information to better understand how kids are affected by Cerebral Palsy (CP) in different parts of Ontario and what causes CP, so that we can improve care and treatments.

What’s involved?

Study participants will attend two research assessments, approximately one to four years apart. During the first assessment, we will ask you questions about your family and medical history and your child’s experience with CP. We will collect saliva samples from you and your child. We will also ask to review your family’s medical charts and collect any past brain scans your child may have had. During both assessments, your child will be seen by a doctor who will examine his or her movements. Lastly, your child may be given a brief learning assessment during the second assessment.

Who can participate?

Children aged 2 to 7-years-old, who have CP and live in certain regions of Ontario.

Why should you consider participating?

Your participation will enable researchers to study the causes of CP, identify risk factors and develop treatments and interventions to improve outcomes and care for children with CP. You will receive a $20 gift card to Chapters after the completion of each research assessment.

Questions? Email or check out the “Research” tab on the top menu of our website, which includes information on all studies currently recruiting applicants.

Community Corner

Ajax Public Library

2023 TD Summer Reading Club

Registration and reporting for points continues until August 19 at

Upcoming specials include:

Best Summer Borrows

Events and important dates

Family Engagement events

Find all Family Engagement and Grandview Kids-hosted events here on our website!

Thank you to those who joined us for our trip to the Oshawa Zoo in July. We had a ton of fun and hope to organize something similar again in the future! Click on the images below to see them in full view.

Park Playdates

  • When: The first two Tuesdays (1st and 8th) and the third Wednesday (16th) in August from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. (weather permitting)
  • Where: Grandview Kids' Oshawa Main Site - 600 Townline Rd. S., Oshawa

Park playdate activities:

  • August 1 - Dress-up day
  • August 8 - Rock painting
  • August 16* - Tie-dye day (please bring something white to tie-dye)

*Please note this is the last Park Playdate this summer, with Playdates resuming later this September.

Other events

Adolescent Transition Program launch event - Register here!

  • When: Thursday, August 3, from 6 to 8 p.m.
  • Where: Grandview Kids' Oshawa Main Site - 600 Townline Rd. S., Oshawa

Purchased Services

Dates of significance

August 6 to 12: International Assistant Dog Week

At Grandview Kids, we aim to foster an understanding environment where people are respectful toward those who use disability aids.

Check out Ability Acceptance Presenter Mitchell Daniels two-part vlog (available on Grandview Kids social media channels) on how to interact with service animals. Mitchell introduces us to his Service Dog, Sasha, talking about the different types and duties of service animals and the intense training they undergo to best serve their carers. Mitchell and Sasha teach us about the pieces of legislation that help protect the rights of service animals. They also show us how to properly interact with service animals and their handlers.

Spinach Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Awareness Month

Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects the motor nerve cells in the spinal cord and impacts the muscles used for activities, such as breathing, eating, crawling and walking. SMA Awareness Month strives to raise awareness of the condition caused by the deficiency of a motor neuron protein called SMN and other rare forms of SMA that stem from chromosome mutations.

MedicAlert Awareness Month

LOOK: MedicAlert identifications come in many different forms: Activity trackers, bracelets, dog tags, necklaces and watches. They are worn at pulse points, either on your neck or your wrist.

READ: The text on a MedicAlert provides details about life-threatening conditions, illnesses, allergies, medications or devices.

CALL: In any emergency, call EMS/9-1-1. If an individual is wearing a MedicAlert product, provide the unique ID number to the dispatcher. The EMS team can use this information to access the full Personal Health Record, providing access to valuable information for a fast, effective treatment.

To learn more about a MedicAlert bracelet and a paid subscription to its services, visit:

Grandview Kids Foundation

Golf Fore Grandview Kids Golf Charity Classic

Get ready for an electrifying and impactful event as the Golf Fore Grandview Kids Charity Golf Classic returns for its remarkable 27th year. Mark your calendars for August 10, 2023, and join us on the greens for an exhilarating day, packed with laughter, delicious food and abundant sunshine.

Register today to join in on the fun. This highly anticipated event will occur at Deer Creek Golf and Banquet Facilities, where a wonderful lunch, shotgun start, on-course competitions, raffle prizes and reception await you. By participating in Golf Fore Grandview Kids, you are directly contributing to the Grandview Kids Foundation's efforts in supporting essential services and therapy at Grandview Kids. Together, we can empower children and youth in the Durham Region to live life at their full potential.

Get Active Challenge

We are thrilled to announce the commencement of Grandview Kids Foundation's annual Get Active Challenge. Whether you choose to register as an individual or gather a team, brace yourself for an exhilarating summer journey filled with captivating activities and impactful fundraising. Participating couldn't be easier! Simply visit the Get Active Website and register as an individual or team. Select your preferred activity to set your personal summer challenge, determine your fundraising goal, and let the fun begin! Don't forget to spread the word about your fundraising page on your social media channels, and rally your family and friends to join the cause.

By registering for the Get Active Challenge and setting your own personal goal, you become a beacon of inspiration within the Durham Region. Embrace your unique style and participate however you like! Run, roll, walk, or dance—the choice is yours! This summer, let's move and groove together in the pursuit of making a meaningful impact.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our Community Engagement and Donor Relations Officer, Lisa Pargetter (

Donate now!
Our E-Newsletter
Follow us!

How did you like this issue of Gather? Share your feedback and suggestions via this survey to help us make the newsletter better for everyone.

Content in Gather is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor. Views expressed in posts and resources listed do not signify endorsement by Grandview Kids.

Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  LinkedIn  YouTube