Portage Ontario - Graduate and mother

Portage graduate and mother, panellists at adolescent addictions conference

At the end of September, Portage graduate, Catherine, and her mother, Jane, attended a conference in Barrie, Ontario called “Building a Community of Practice in Adolescent Mental Health and Addictions: Sharing the Challenge of Outcome Research.”  With several other parents and youth, Catherine and Jane made up a panel of experts for a discussion entitled, “What we expect when we are desperate,” led by Gloria Chaim, Deputy Clinical Director of the Child, Youth and Family Program at CAMH (Centre for Addictions and Mental Health).

Catherine led off the panel address to the mental health and addiction professionals in the audience by pointing out that, for every young addict, there are at least six people who are closely affected by their addiction.  Not only the child, but the entire family unit needs support.
“When I was in crisis, so were my parents, my siblings, and my grandparents,” she said.
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New Community Engagement and Volunteer Program at Portage Elora

In May 2011, Portage hired Karen Thomas to head up the new Community Engagement and Volunteer Program at the Elora centre. As Volunteer Coordinator, Karen has been seeking out volunteer opportunities for the youth in therapy, as well as establishing a system to welcome volunteers to the rehabilitation centre.
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The Residents’ Activities Committee, headed and run by the youth at Portage Elora

The Residents’ Activities Committees, one for the boys’ community and one for the girls’, are made up of residents who have volunteered to take on an active role in the programming at Portage Elora.  Having discussed the needs of the community with their peers, they get together once a week to identify a theme for the following week, along with activities and topics for discussion.
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Yoga for wellness courses now being offered at Portage Elora
Beginning in September, Portage has partnered with yoga instructor, Miranda Kissick, to offer bi-weekly yoga classes at the Elora facility. During these classes, residents are learning basic yoga postures as well as breathing and meditation techniques that can be used in everyday situations to reduce stress and improve overall health.  Portage is thankful for the support of community partners, like Ms. Kissick, who volunteer their time and expertise to offer the youth at Portage access to ancillary recreation programs that would not be possible without their support.

New downtown Toronto office for Portage Ontario
Portage Ontario is pleased to announce a new home for the Portage Ontario Development Office at 2 Toronto Street, Suite 500, Toronto (ON) M5C 2B6.

Portage Elora residents give back to the community
During their summer break from Portage Academy, many Portage Elora residents got involved in the community as volunteers. Members of the boys’ community had the opportunity to volunteer at the Elora Festival of the Arts as well as a classic car show. Members of the girls’ community volunteered at a community church pancake breakfast and at the children’s face painting station of a local fireworks festival.
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September 1, 2011 – Snap Bloor West
CIBC gives Portage a lift – Read


Portage Ontario - Testimonial

“It’s like someone takes a shackle off you,” says Kyle of his experience at Portage. “Even looking at people and objects while not under the influence is like being in a different world. Before Portage, I had a lifestyle, but now I have a life.”

Kyle’s story of overcoming addiction at Portage

Fuelled by cocaine or oxycodone, Kyle’s skeletal-like body would log exactly one hour and fifteen minutes on the treadmill each day. A full meal might reach his parched lips once every three days while marijuana and alcohol were daily supplements his body craved to bring him down from an amphetamine high.  

“I was drinking alcohol and doing drugs at the same time, battling anorexia and bulimia, and stealing from my parents,” says Kyle, a 17-year-old high school student who spent six months at Portage Elora.  “I was out of control, super vulnerable, and I knew I needed help.”
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Outward Bound – “It doesn’t only make your stronger physically, but emotionally too”

Portage Ontario - Outward Bound Fall 2011The end of the summer and beginning of fall has been a busy season for Outward Bound outings and trips.  There has been a canoe trip every month, alternating between the boys’ and the girls’ communities, and in between these, Portage’s Outward Bound Coordinator, Sarah Connolly, led residents on day trips to go swimming at the gorge and canoeing on Guelph Lake and Laurel Creek.
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Portage Canada
Portage Academy

Portage AcademyAll Portage rehabilitation centres for youth provide mandatory on-site school programming, recognised by local school boards and adapted to the needs of the residents. Whereas in the past many Portage residents have struggled with school and some have even abandoned their studies altogether, Portage Academy helps them rediscover their academic abilities and often reawakens the drive to complete secondary school and even to go on to post-secondary studies.
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Portage Canada
Portage has a new website!

Portage News - WebsitePortage.ca has a brand new look and feel, designed to be more user-friendly and to provide more of the information that our visitors are looking for.  Whether you are seeking information about substance abuse rehabilitation for yourself or a loved one, or if you are interested in our organisation’s work and would like to get involved, there is a section designed specifically for you.  Please visit www.portage.ca.

About Portage

Portage is a non-profit organisation dedicated to helping people who are suffering from substance abuse-related problems to overcome their dependencies and to live healthy, happy and productive lives. Portage is a vital and progressive force in the drug addiction treatment field in North America, with service centres in Québec, New Brunswick, Ontario, and British Columbia. Through drug addiction treatment best practices and the therapeutic community approach, Portage helps residents develop their self-esteem, confidence, and the competencies necessary to overcome addiction. Portage has been operating drug rehabilitation centres in Canada for over 38 years. Portage Ontario was established in 1985.

Read more about Portage’s mission, vision, and values.


For admissions information, please contact our centre in Elora, Ontario:
Tel. 519-846-0945
Fax 519-846-5703

For the Portage Ontario Board, Campaign, and volunteer activities, please contact:

Jennifer Blunt
Director of Corporate Affairs and Development
Portage Ontario


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