The Ottawa Mission

Ottawa Mission

This profile originally appeared in the 2018-19 Giving Guide. Read the full magazine here.

The Ottawa Mission has been helping people who are homeless and hungry in our community since 1906. Even back then – 112 years ago – our community saw people on the margins – some in temporary crisis and others with lifelong struggles. Today, with the help of a small, trained staff and a dedicated army of volunteers, The Ottawa Mission prepares and serves an average of 1,312 meals a day, shelters an average of 236 men and women (women are within the hospice) every night, and provides a wide range of life-changing programs.

Ottawa Mission
The front door of The Ottawa Mission at 35 Waller Street is open 24/7 for people who are homeless or hungry. Thanks to generous donors, our services are available 365 days a year.

At a glance

Year founded: 1906

Geographic region of focus: Ottawa Region

Total revenue for last fiscal year: $9,264,096

Top funding sources: 

  • Government funding: 42.72%
  • Individual donations: 42.24%
  • Other: 7.68%
  • Other charities: 5.52%
  • Corporate donations: 1.84%

How you can help


A corporate donation to The Ottawa Mission is an investment in the lives of people in need.  We value our corporate partners and the critical role they play, and work with them to direct their gift toward an area of need that aligns with their values and/or mandate. Through corporate donations we are able to expand our programs to impact more individuals, and increase opportunities for those who use our services to improve their situation. As a corporate partner of The Ottawa Mission, you can give back to your community and also provide engaging and meaningful opportunities for your employees.

Our funding priorities change from year to year depending on the operational needs of the shelter and the needs of those staying with us. The operation and maintenance of the buildings that house an average of 236 people every night present some challenging costs. As well, funds are sometimes needed to expand programs offered at The Ottawa Mission — like addiction treatment programs — as often there are waiting lists to access these programs.


A great way to help make a difference in the lives of people in need is to volunteer at The Ottawa Mission. The Mission not only supports volunteer opportunities for groups, but we also have many dedicated individuals who support us on a regular basis. There are many volunteer opportunities, such as helping with food prep for meals in our kitchen; organizing clothing donations; or tutoring someone at The Mission’s Stepping Stones Learning Centre. On average, 250 individuals a week volunteer at the shelter and together, they have a huge impact on the quality of services offered to people who are homeless and hungry. We are always seeking volunteers to join our team. 

If you are interested in having your place of work involved with The Ottawa Mission, please contact Erin Helmer at

Ottawa Mission
Our dedicated volunteers provide essential support to the services and programs offered to people in need at The Ottawa Mission.  An average of 250 volunteers a week come through our doors to help out.

Events and fundraising

Coldest Night of the Year 

February 23, 2019  CNOY is a fun, family-friendly walk-fundraiser that helps you raise funds for charities that serve hungry and homeless across Canada, including Ottawa.  Participants will experience challenges faced by those who are homeless, while raising funds to support The Ottawa Mission.

Holiday and summer fundraising campaigns

The Ottawa Mission offers three holiday meal campaigns a year, with the focus on raising funds to provide people in the community who are hungry and homeless with a holiday dinner at a special event in our dinning room. These campaigns run during the Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter seasons.  Additional funds raised through these seasonal campaigns are used to support the thousands of meals served throughout the year, as well as support for life-changing programs and services we offer to people in need. In addition, we also hold a fundraising campaign just before the summer to allow us to continue to offer support and programs to people in need during the summer months.

Young Professionals Network (YPN)

YPN is a volunteer-led collective of young professionals and philanthropists who want to network, volunteer, advocate and raise money to help people who are homeless and in need at The Mission.  To learn more contact Erin Helmer at

Board members and executives

Ottawa Mission
Executive director Peter Tilley (left), and board of directors President Matt Triemstra

Matt Triemstra
Director with Ensight Canada

Garth Steele 
Chartered professional accountant and partner at Welch LLP

Margaret Alexander 
Chartered Professional Accountant at McKechnie & Co.

Scott Hannant 
Carleton University Professor / Director of communications, Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction

Michael Pallett 
Portfolio manager & investment advisor with RBC Dominion Securities Inc.

Rev. Dr. Anthony Bailey 
Lead Minister at Parkdale United Church

Dr. Robert Cushman 
Director general of Biologics & Genetic Therapies Directorate, Health Products and Food Branch, Health Canada 

Gord Lorimer 
Architect, partner at Hobin Architecture Inc.

Jack Murta 
Former Member of Parliament, Co-ordinator of the National Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast

Lynn Plunkett 
Owner of Lynn Plunkett & Associates Marketing

Carl DeJong
Detective, Ottawa Police Service

Katie Burkholder-Harris
Project manager, Community Planning
Canadian Observatory on Homelessness 

Peter Saunders
Associate director, National Operations at Canadian Blood Services

Alan McCafferty
Founder, The Strategic Consulting Group

Get in touch

35 Waller St.
Ottawa, Ont.
K1N 7G4

Twitter: @OttawaMission
Facebook: Ottawa Mission