About Us


Our Vision:

A world free of oppression and violence for all women and children

Mission Statement:

Sandgate Women’s Shelter of York Region Inc. is a feminist organization, dedicated to empowering all persons who identify as women and their children through safe shelter, resources, information and advocacy in order to eliminate violence in their lives.

Statement of Purpose:

Sandgate Women’s Shelter of York Region Inc. is mandated to provide services to all persons who identify as women (who have experienced violence) and their children in and around York Region.



Organizational History

Where we came from and where we’re going.

On January 31, 1991, Ellen Sands was brutally murdered by her estranged husband. Ellen was 39 years old and a mother of three.

In the span of 18 months prior to her death, two other women had also been killed by their partners. All took place in Georgina, a town of only 10,000 people.

Ellen’s murder prompted an outpouring of support for action towards ending violence against women in the community. A group of concerned citizens formed the Committee Against Domestic Abuse (CADA) with the support of the Georgina Community Resource Centre.

The committee’s goal was to establish an emergency shelter for women in Georgina. CADA worked for more than a year and encountered numerous challenges before they found approval, funding and a suitable location for the shelter.

On June 1, 1992, Sandgate Women’s Shelter opened its doors for the first time. The shelter, purchased with funds from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) was named after Ellen Sands and Westgate Lodge, the original building in which the shelter was now located.

Sandgate opened as a ten bed emergency shelter for women and their children fleeing abusive situations and offered a 24-hour crisis line.

Since 1992, Sandgate has grown considerably and has gone through numerous transformations, including:

  • The expansion of emergency beds from 10 to 30 and the addition of a second shelter in Richmond Hill
  • Increased service provision from one site in Georgina to four distinct locations in York Region
  • Extensive building renovations to improve the shelter spaces
  • The addition of four Second Stage/transitional housing apartments in Jackson’s Point
  • Being assigned the lead to 12 violence against women affordable housing units from the East Markham Non-Profit Homes, Tony Wong Place initiative.
  • Taking the lead in the development of the York Region Centre for Community Safety, a collaborative co-location hub model offering multi-sectoral response to intimate partner violence
  • Providing leadership in responding to violence against women involving forced marriage, honour based crimes, trafficking and mental health

By far the most significant transformation of the organization has been the development of the agency into a leader in the community as a feminist, anti-violent, anti-oppressive organization. Today, Sandgate Women’s Shelter of York Region is an equity-seeking organization that strives to meet the needs of all women in an inclusive and respectful manner.

Annual Reports

Please click below to view our annual reports.

Annual Report 2014-2015

Annual Report 2015-2016

Board of Directors

Sandgate Women’s Shelter of York Region is lead by a dedicated  and experienced team of volunteer Board of Directors from the community who are committed to supporting quality service delivery in a feminist, women-centered organization.

Please click here to view our Board of Directors Profiles