Pine River Institute respectfully acknowledges that our campus in Dufferin County resides within the traditional territory and ancestral lands of the Tionontati (Petun), Attawandaron (Neutral), Haudenosaunee (Six Nations), and Anishinaabe peoples. Our Toronto office resides within the traditional territory and ancestral lands of the Anishinaabe, including the Mississaugas of the Credit, Haudenosaunee, and Huron-wendat (Wyandot) people. These traditional territories upon which we live and learn, are steeped in rich Indigenous history and traditions. It is with this statement that we declare to honour and respect the past and present connection of Indigenous peoples with this land, its waterways and resources

Our History

What started as a vision from a group of volunteers determined to address a critical gap in services for youth and families struggling with mental health issues and addictive behaviours has grown into the most comprehensive residential treatment program in Canada and helped hundreds of youth rediscover themselves, forging new paths to a brighter and healthier future.

2001
2001
  • A Rotary Club of Toronto Task Force evolved into an incorporated entity called the Toronto Adolescent Recovery Centre (TARC), with the goal to build a treatment centre for youth who needed comprehensive, long-term residential treatment.
2004
2004
Karen Minden
  • A team of volunteers led by Karen Minden that included Dr. Harvey Schipper, Elyse Schipper and Samantha Yamada worked to complete operational planning for their proposed residential youth treatment centre
  • The Way Back Campaign led by Don Wright, launches and raises over $4 million dollars between 2004-2006.
  • TARC receives registered charitable status
2005
2005
PineRiver Maincampus
  • TARC is able to lease a property called the Pine River Outdoor Education Centre from the Toronto District School Board to house their new program.
2006
2006
grand opening

  • The name of TARC is changed to Pine River Institute
  • First student family welcomed to Pine River Institute
2008
2008
  • Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care begins funding the Pine River Institute program on a pilot basis, to a maximum of 23 beds.
2009
2009
  • PRI receives accreditation from the Council on Accreditation.  COA’s program of quality improvement examines our policies, actions and approaches and compares them to best practices in a variety of areas. 
  • Pine River Foundation is established to advance the work, reach and impact of Pine River Institute

2011
2011
  • The funding from the Ministry of Health becomes permanent for 29 beds.

2014
2014
morning view at pine river institute
  • Pine River purchases the property that they had leased from the TDSB since opening the doors in 2006.
  • This magnificent campus, situated on 200 acres just outside of Shelburne, Ontario is now Pine River Institute's permanent home.
2016
2016
  • Pine River is selected as a Research Designated Program by the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP).  The RDP designation is bestowed upon programs that have demonstrated data-driven outcomes, and Pine River is the only Canadian program to receive this honour.
2017
2017
PRI workshop in London, Ontario
  • A Social Return on Investment study from the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University finds that for every dollar invested in Pine River Institute there is an average return of 700%.  This means that from society’s perspective there is a return of seven dollars for every dollar invested in the Pine River program.
  • Pine River receives a $1M grant from Gary & Donna Slaight to fund the bursary program over four years, increasing access to Pine River by ensuring that more youth and families can participate in the Pine River program regardless of financial constraints.

  • Pine River’s first community workshop (“Risky Business”) is presented at Humberside Collegiate to over 100 parents and educators.

2018
2018
  • Pine River brings its Outdoor Leadership Experience (OLE), which had been run by a third-party provider for over a decade, entirely in-house which strengthened our leadership capacity in the wilderness.
  • A $2M gift from the Moffat Family is received to build a new dormitory that will almost double the capacity of Pine River.
2020
2020
  • Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the in-person Community Workshops become online Webinars and open up to a broader audience.
2021
2021
  • Pine River is the recipient of a $1M grant from Slaight Family that establishes the Centre for Family Initiatives, a community-based education and centre of excellence that encompasses our Waitlist Support Program, Community Workshops and a future Working With Families Training Program.
  • Moffat House opens, creating 24 new treatment beds that will make a significant, tangible impact on youth across Ontario.
  • The Government of Ontario announces they will fund 30 new youth treatment beds at Pine River Institute.