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A rural retreat for Toronto's refugee community

Sanctary North York River

Sanctuary North is a haven: a place where refugee families can relax, explore nature, and build community. Since 2000, host organisations and volunteers have driven refugee families and groups 4 hours north-east of Toronto to stay in our cabins and bunkies, cook together, canoe, swim and take in a taste of Ontario’s wilderness.


Entirely volunteer-run, Sanctuary North is a non-profit organisation supported by a variety of individuals and organisations. Each year, from June to September, refugee-serving organisations bring groups of families and young people to Sanctuary North for three days or more. In May and October, groups of volunteers travel up to spend time both maintaining and improving the cabins and surroundings.


We believe that Sanctuary North is a gift that is meant to be shared. It belongs to no one and to everyone who comes here: a place where all living things, and especially human beings, are valued and protected.

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