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Portage Ontario News - Winter

A great turn out at Portage Ontario’s Awareness Evening 2010

Portage Ontario News - Awareness Event2On November 16th, Portage Governors Dianne Gillin and Jill Veale co-hosted an Awareness Evening in support of Portage Ontario at Peter and Dianne Gillin’s Forest Hill home. The event brought together over 60 guests—representing parents, educators, healthcare providers, and business professionals—to raise awareness about the important work Portage does helping youth in crisis with addiction.

Guest speaker Mr. Peter Vamos, Executive Director of Portage, gave a brief history of the organisation and described Portage’s treatment approach, which is based on the principles of self-help and positive psychology. Participants had the opportunity to mingle and learn more about the Portage Program and its astounding track record of helping young people turn their lives around.

Portage wishes to thank everyone who participated and helped make the evening a success.

Portage Ontario helped to organise a conference on adolescent substance abuse

Last October, Portage Elora entered into a partnership with the Guelph Neighbourhood Watch and the Drug Strategy Committee to organise a conference on preventing and addressing substance abuse and crime among youth.  
Read more…

Outward Bound trips instill confidence and teach self-sufficiency

Portage Ontario News - Outward BoundPortage Ontario’s partnership with Outward Bound has proven to be an incredibly valuable therapeutic tool for the residents’ rehabilitation process at Portage Elora.  All those who have participated in the hiking, canoeing, or dog sledding trips in Algonquin Park have been profoundly affected by the experience.  These several-day trips, along with the many day trips and Outward Bound activities at the centre, force residents to step out of their comfort zone and to confront physical outdoor challenges head-on.  Many of these challenges can be tied back metaphorically to their substance abuse rehabilitation process, which encourages them to put into practice the competencies they have learned at Portage.
Read more…


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Portage celebrates the Holidays!
The entire Portage Elora facility was decorated by residents and staff members for the Holidays.  Stockings were handmade by the residents and hung on the mantle, and several Christmas trees were decked with ornaments.  Residents also made crafts and gifts on the last day of school classes, as is the tradition every year.  In addition to watching all the Christmas classics at the centre, many outings and activities were planned:  a snow shoeing afternoon with a cookout over a fire, a tobogganing outing, a lantern-making workshop (the lanterns were then taken on a night walk on the winter solstice), as well as curling, bowling, swimming outings and a night out at the theatre to see the latest Harry Potter movie.

Rock Climbing Program a hit among residents
At the beginning of October, Portage Elora residents went on several outdoor rock climbing day trips.  The trips were such a hit with the residents that the centre’s Outward Bound Coordinator subsequently created an indoor rock climbing program for the winter months.
Read more…

Portage Ontario News - Rock climbing2
Portage Ontario News - Testimonial

“At Portage I realised that you can have friends without drugs – and real friends that actually care about you and what you’re going through in your life, and that actually want to help you.”
– Ben, Portage Elora Graduate

Ontario Annual Appeal hits 80% mark: Can we put it over the top?

The Portage Ontario 2010-11 Annual Appeal was launched in June 2010 with the goal of raising $300,000 in support of three Portage Ontario Program needs:

  1. The Portage Ontario Treatment Fund – helps cover the cost of providing care to Ontario youth who are in urgent need of residential addiction treatment. By funding extra beds at Portage Elora, the Portage Ontario Treatment Fund helps alleviate the wait list for residential youth treatment in Ontario.  Read more…
  2. The “Continuing Care and Family” Program – contributes to the long-term success of the Portage Program by ensuring that the skills and strengths developed by the youth in residence are successfully transitioned to, and solidified in, the home setting. The Program provides 18 months of on-going case management and group sessions, as well as opportunities for youth to return to Elora for back-in-touch sessions.  Read more…
  3. The Portage Outward Bound Program – helps give every Portage youth a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience a 7-day wilderness adventure in the final stages of their residential program. This program challenges youth in new ways, thereby enhancing self-esteem and cultivating the leadership and team-building skills developed in the Portage Program.  Read more…

Thanks to the generosity of many donors and the devotion and hard work of the Campaign Committee, chaired by Mina Wallace, Executive Vice President of Global Services & Client Support at Algorithmics, the Portage Ontario Campaign has already received $240,000 in contributions.  

Please click here to support any one or all of the above program areas and help us reach our goal!

Portage Canada
Accreditation Canada grants unconditional accreditation to Portage!

                                            News_Accreditation2.jpgPortage has obtained unconditional accreditation thanks to the substantial collaborative efforts of its Governors and its organisational team members over the past four years. Accreditation recognises Portage for the quality of the services it provides, the abilities of its employees, and the expertise of the organisation. Recognition by Accreditation Canada demonstrates Portage’s commitment to the ongoing improvement process surrounding the quality of its services.
Read more…

Portage Canada
The Holidays at Portage

Portage News - HolidaysIn the weeks leading up to Christmas, the Portage centres across Canada geared up for the Holiday Season, decorating the facilities and holding special activities and events for the residents.
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Portage Canada
The 2010 Portage Employee Recognition Ceremonies

Portage News - Employee RecognitionThe employees at Portage – both clinical and administrative – are at the very heart of the organisation’s mission, contributing immensely every day to the rehabilitation process of our residents. Portage is very proud of the quality of its personnel at the Portage centres across Canada, many of whom have been with the organisation for a long time.  

Given that it is the first year of the program, all staff members with at least five years of service were recognised.  Of the 114 staff members celebrated, fifty-seven people have devoted more than five years to Portage, twenty-eight people have provided more than ten years, eighteen people have provided more than fifteen years, eight people have provided more than twenty years, two people have provided more than twenty-five years, one person has provided more than thirty years, and our Executive Director, Peter Vamos, has provided more than thirty-five years of service to Portage.
Read more…

Portage Canada
Annual General Meeting 2010

Portage’s Annual General Meeting took place on November 18, 2010 at the Saint-James Club in Montréal. Portage Governors and staff members were in attendance and, after participating in the business of the meeting, shared a wonderful dinner together.


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 Development
Portage Ontario


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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 35 years.  Portage Ontario was established in 1985.

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

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