Portage Ontario Outward Bound

AstraZeneca grant helps Portage provide more comprehensive Continuing Care and Family services

In 2011, Portage Ontario received a generous grant from AstraZeneca in support of the Continuing Care and Family Program for Portage Elora residents.  Thanks to this support, Portage has been able to provide more comprehensive assistance to youth following their substance abuse treatment at the residential rehabilitation centre in Elora.  Over this past year, the Continuing Care Program supported close to sixty youth as they worked through the challenging issues that can often arise when reintegrating back into mainstream society.
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Cornerstone 52 Foundation helping Portage to raise funds at a Beatles cover band concert

Cornerstone 52 Foundation event - PortageGet out your dancing shoes and come join Portage Ontario and the Cornerstone 52 Foundation for a night of Beatles Classics, performed by Classic Albums Live, on January 27 at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto.  Proceeds from the event, which is organised by the Cornerstone 52 Foundation, will go to Portage Ontario, helping youth who are suffering from substance abuse to seek rehabilitation treatment.  Through a generous matching grant offer by Preferred One, the Cornerstone 52 Foundation will donate $300 to Portage Ontario for every ticket purchased by Portage supporters.  If this sounds to you like a great way to put some fun into fundraising, simply print and fill out the reply form and return it to the Cornerstone Foundation. 
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Portage Ontario helps to create awareness during Addictions Awareness Week

During National Addictions Awareness Week, which took place from November 16-20, 2011, Portage Ontario did its part to help create awareness among local media and elected officials about the importance of drug addiction prevention and treatment.

Portage sent out a news release describing the extent of the drug addiction problem in Ontario, and explaining how the Portage Elora rehabilitation centre is an important part of the treatment network in the province.


Portage Ontario Recognition Ceremony
Portage Ontario will be holding a Recognition Ceremony in April 2012 to celebrate the youth who have completed their residential rehabilitation program at Portage Elora, as well as the graduates who have successfully maintained the healthy lifestyle they began while in residential therapy at Portage.  Residents and their families, staff members, board members, and community members will be on hand to acknowledge this achievement.

If you would like to attend this special event, please contact Jennifer Blunt, Director of Corporate Affairs and Development at jblunt@portage.ca or at 416-531-1333.


Portage residents volunteer at the Sensational Elora Festival
Sensational Elora is an eleven-day, award-winning festival of the senses, which took place this year from September 30 to October 10. Located in an outdoor farmers’ market in the heart of historic Elora, the festival celebrates local food, music, art, and film.

Four Portage Elora residents volunteered at the festival this year, which earned them Community Service hours for their high school credit. The girls were in charge of the face-painting station during “Sensational Pumpkin Day,” which featured pumpkin carving, pumpkin ice cream, and live music.

Sensational Elora Festival


Portage testimonial

“I have learned that, before I went to Portage, I was a people pleaser,” says Jacob, a Portage Elora resident. “I wanted to be a cool person to gain acceptance and fill a void. Now, I have learned that I don’t have to please everyone. I am much happier now. I have hobbies. I’m taking an interest in music, and I’m no longer wasting my life.”

Jacob’s story of overcoming addiction at Portage Elora

By the time Jacob had entered the 10th grade, he had experimented with marijuana, mushrooms, ecstasy, and oxycodone. The moment he tried Oxy, however, there was no turning back to any of the other drugs.  

“When I first started, I would take 40 mg every day. Then, it grew to 80 mg each day and 100 mg on weekends,” he says. “I was working at a restaurant full time, so I would spend my entire pay cheque.”

The highly addictive prescription pain relievers were easily accessible thanks to a friend who worked part-time at a local pharmacy. However, Jacob says buying oxycodone in St. Thomas, Ontario – a town of 33,000 – was not much of a challenge. “We’ve had a lot of factories close and a lot of people are out of work, so there have been a lot of people selling drugs.”

Within a span of a year and a half, twelve of Jacob’s friends had gone to Portage’s residential addiction treatment facility for youth in Elora. Read more…

Hit the Bricks – A new Portage event in collaboration with Outward Bound

Portage-Outward Bound - Hit the BricksPortage and Outward Bound will take their partnership to new heights this year – teaming up to bring you the first ever “Hit the Bricks” event on Sunday, September 30, 2012 at the Brick Works in Toronto.  “Hit the Bricks” will be a family oriented adventure festival offering plenty of opportunities for personal challenge and fun adventures.   Proceeds from the event will help more teens and families in crisis to overcome addiction and mental health issues by expanding the Portage-Outward Bound Program in Ontario and at Portage centres across Canada.
Read more…

Portage Canada
Holiday Time at Portage

Portage AGM 2011 2Those in treatment at Portage during the Holiday period have a lot to celebrate: they have decided to take control of their lives and rid themselves of their dependencies, to work on their relationships with their loved ones, and to become active and contributing members of society.

Portage’s rehabilitation centres do their best to make the Holidays a special time for the residents.  Staff members organise all sorts of activities, including festive lunches and dinners, outdoor adventures, and Holiday craft workshops.

At Portage Elora, the residents took care of decking the halls with their homemade ornaments and stockings.  They did a lot of Christmas baking and watched all the Christmas classics during movie nights. Each resident received a special gift bag, with new clothing and other personal items, which were donated to the youth as a result of the efforts of Portage Elora’s Volunteer Coordinator, Karen Thomas, and Harriet Goodman, a newly recruited Portage Ontario volunteer.
Read more…


Portage Canada
Portage’s 21 competencies

Throughout the substance abuse rehabilitation process, Portage residents are coached and encouraged to acquire Portage’s 21 competencies; tools to help them make the most out of a new life, free of drugs.

“The 21 competencies taught at Portage, as varied as patience, conflict resolution, being organised and orderly, and effective communication, are now pillars of our daily lives,” stated a graduate of the rehabilitation program for adults in Québec City. “We now have the tools to be able to live our emotions, both positive and negative, to really feel them and to be able to express ourselves in a constructive manner.”
Read a description of Portage’s 21 competencies… 

Portage Canada
Annual General Meeting and Governor Recognition Reception

Portage AGM Ontario Governor 2On November 24, Portage governors and staff members attended the 2011 Annual General Meeting and Portage’s first-ever Governor Recognition Reception.  Portage honoured six governors for the exceptional contribution they have made towards the organisation over the years.

  • Roderick Nolan, Portage Atlantic
  • André Chagnon, Portage Québec – Montréal Region
  • Yvan Caron, Portage Québec – Québec City Region
  • Michael Howlett, Portage Ontario
  • Robert and Susan Ruttan, Portage BC

Pictured above: Peter Howlett, President of Portage, presents an award for exceptional contribution to Portage Ontario Chair, Michael Howlett, along with Harriet Stairs, member of the Portage Ontario regional board.


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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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.


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