Our History

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1988: The Beginning

Fife House was founded by a group of concerned community members inspired by the story of George Fife, a local lawyer who lost his battle with AIDS. On February 10, 1988, Fife House was established as a charitable organization to begin to fill the urgent need in Toronto for supportive housing for people living with HIV/AIDS.

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1990: Welcoming our first residents

After a heroic fundraising effort by community members, the first Fife House residence at Denison – with a capacity for five people – opened on July 1, 1990 and welcomed its first residents, fulfilling a vision of a community that had been in the making over the past two years.

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2001: ‘A Taste for Life’ begins

In 2001, Fife House hosted its first ‘A Taste for Life’ (ATFL) event in Toronto to raise funds for its housing programs and support services. The event was started in 1999 by Bruce House and Snowy Owl AIDS Foundation in Ottawa. The annual event – which continues to this day – brings Fife House’s supporters together for one evening each Spring for a meal at participating restaurants across the city. Learn more about ‘A Taste for Life’ here.

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2008: A new chapter on Sherbourne

In 2008, the Tony Di Pede Residence opened its doors after two years of construction and much anticipation by the community. The building was the culmination of the vision and hard work of many people and organizations, in particular the Wellesley Institute, Woodgreen Community Services, and Fife House – under the leadership of its Executive Director at the time, Ruthann Tucker. The building contains 112 units dedicated to housing for seniors and people living with HIV/AIDS. Today, the building continues to be the home of Fife House’s Sherbourne Transitional Housing Program, and the Fife House head office.

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2016: Oh my! The shade of it all

In 2016, the first Shady QueensTM event took place at the Danforth Music Hall. The labour of love of a group of dedicated volunteers together with staff, the sold-out event featured drag celebrities Alaska, Bob the Drag Queen, Courtney Act and Willam. The event raised tens of thousands of valuable funding for Fife House programs and services, and went on for several more editions over subsequent years, until the most recent one in 2021. Learn more about Shady QueensTM here.

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2018: Expanding into the historical Huntley residence

In May 2018, community members and leaders, donors, clients, volunteers, and staff gathered to celebrate the beginning of renovations to the historical Casey House building, which would be rebirthed and open its doors a year later as Fife House’s new Huntley residence, with capacity for transitional housing for 20 individuals. The building is famous for being the location of Princess Diana’s historic visit to Casey House in 1991, where she helped destigmatize HIV/AIDS, in a period where misconception and discrimination of people living with HIV/AIDS was rampant.