The Ottawa Mission

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This profile originally appeared in the 2019-20 Giving Guide. Read the full magazine here.

Since 1906, The Ottawa Mission - our city’s oldest and largest emergency shelter - has been at the forefront of caring for people who are homeless and in need in our community. We do this by providing the basic necessities of life, including food, shelter and clothing. And then we do even more – we help people regain their dignity, hope and purpose in life. 

Today, in Ottawa, there are too many people who struggle with poverty, addiction and poor mental health. Last year we served 495,360 meals and provided safe shelter to more than 2,000 people. We also provided addiction and trauma treatment, mental health services, care at our medical and dental clinics, housing support and care for terminally ill men and women at our hospice. The Mission also offers education and job training to help people change their lives for the better.

At a glance

Year founded: 1906

Geographic region of focus: Ottawa region

Total revenue for last fiscal year: $9,404,923

Top funding sources: 

  • Individual Donations: 48.6%
  • Government Funding: 39.4%
  • Corporate Donations: 5.8%
  • Other Charities: 3.7%
  • Other: 2.5%

How you can help


Through corporate donations, we are able to expand our programs to help more individuals and increase opportunities for those who use our services to improve their situation. As a corporate partner of The Ottawa Mission, you can give back to your community and also provide engaging and meaningful opportunities for your employees.  

A newly launched corporate giving program, Business on a Mission (BOAM) offers companies the opportunity to make change happen directly in their community.  By making a symbolic gift of shelter for one year - from $1,000 for a single bed and up to $15,000 for an entire floor – corporate partners are not only providing the immediate help that so many need, but their gift will directly support a full spectrum of core programs at The Mission this year that enable people to move on to meaningful and productive lives. 

These gifts will be a much-appreciated way to support the significant rising costs required to keep shelter services at The Ottawa Mission operating. For example, in terms of operational costs, we estimate that one shelter bed costs more than $55 a day to maintain or more than $20,000 per year. 

As a BOAM corporate champion, companies will be able to access a range of great marketing and recognition benefits. For more information please visit:


A great way to help make a difference in the lives of people in need is to volunteer at The Ottawa Mission. The Mission not only supports volunteer opportunities for groups, but we also have many dedicated individuals who support us on a regular basis. There are many volunteer opportunities, such as helping with food prep for meals in our kitchen; organizing clothing donations; or tutoring someone at The Mission’s Stepping Stones Learning Centre.

On average, 250 individuals a week volunteer at the shelter and together they have a significant impact on the quality of services offered to people who are homeless and hungry. We are always seeking volunteers to join our team. If you are interested in having your workplace involved with The Ottawa Mission, please contact Erin Helmer at

Coldest Night of the Year

Events and fundraising 

Coldest Night of the Year (CNOY)

On February 22, 2020, you have the opportunity to support a unique fundraiser to benefit The Ottawa Mission. CNOY is an annual Canada-wide event that raises funds for people in need.  Participants in CNOY experience the challenges that our homeless population faces during the winter by walking on 2, 5, or 10K routes through Ottawa's downtown core. You can join us as a corporate team or sponsor.  For more information on our corporate offerings for CNOY visit or please contact Erin Helmer at

Young Professionals Network (YPN)

YPN is a volunteer-led collective of young professionals and philanthropists who want to network, volunteer, advocate and raise money to help people who are homeless and in need at The Mission. To learn more visit or contact Jennifer Graves at

Board members and executives

Tilley and Triemstra
The Ottawa Mission CEO Peter Tilley (left); President of the board of directors Matt Triemstra

Matt Triemstra
General manager, Ensight Canada

Gord Lorimer
Architect and partner, Hobin Architecture Inc.

Jack Murta
Former member of parliament and co-ordinator of the National Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast

Margaret Alexander
CPA at McKechnie & Co.

Scott Hannant
Carleton University professor and director of public affairs and communications at the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addictions

Sgt. Carl DeJong
Detective, Ottawa Police Service

Rev. Dr. Anthony Bailey
Lead minister, Parkdale United Church

Dr. Robert Cushman
Director of biologics and genetic therapies directorate, Health Canada

Kaite Burkholder-Harris
Senior policy analyst, Government of Canada Homelessness Policy Directorate

Peter Saunders
Associate director of national operations, Canadian Blood Services

Alan McCafferty
Founder, The Strategic Consulting Group

Shaun Baron
International policy advisor, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

Get in touch

35 Waller St.
Ottawa, Ont.
K1N 7G4

Facebook: /OttawaMission
Twitter: @OttawaMission