House FAQs

How do I receive a referral to stay at the House?
Families wishing to stay at the House must be referred by a hospital social worker and complete an application form.

What is the minimum distance from the House a family must live in order to stay here?
Families who stay with us must live at least 55 km away from the House.

What diagnosis must a child receive in order to qualify to stay here?
Children receiving medical treatment for a life-threatening or serious illness at SickKids or another local hospital are eligible to stay at the House.

Can seriously ill adults stay at the House?
RMHC Toronto can only accommodate the families of seriously ill children, 18 years of age or younger.

How does the wait list work?
Families are added to the wait list the day they require a room. We are happy to accept post-dated referrals and applications. However, we receive referrals daily and can never really know what the day will bring. Families are placed in priority sequence first by inpatient, then by outpatient care, then by clinic visit. We then prioritize by distance, with families living furthest away being the highest priority. The priority list may change daily as new families are referred to the House or children are discharged from the hospital.  

How much does it cost to stay at the House?
While the actual cost to RMHC Toronto to accommodate one family is $183 per night, donations mean families are asked to contribute just $15 a night. A family is defined as up to two adults and their children.

How many people can stay in a room?
A regular family bedroom can accommodate a maximum of six people.

How can I be assigned one of the two-bedroom apartments at the House?
There is often a lengthy wait list for one of the House’s 15 two-bedroom apartments. When apartments become available, priority is given to families of outpatient children with the highest level of immune suppression. The priority list may change daily as new families are referred to the House or children are discharged from the hospital.  

Does the room fee include food?
Families are responsible for providing their own food and beverages. We do, however, have a pantry and common fridge stocked with free milk and other foods for families to use. Healthy, home-cooked dinners are sometimes prepared by volunteers groups as well.

What do I need to bring?
Bring your clothing, food and toiletries. We provide towels, linens, cleaning products, laundry detergent and kitchen items.

Do you have laundry facilities and a kitchen?
Yes, we have both. There are two large kitchens for families to use. The space is arranged according to room numbers. All families have a drawer to lock up their food and a space in the fridge for their refrigerated items. We also have a very limited amount of freezer space for each family. We have a large laundry room open all hours and laundry soap is provided.

Where can I store breast milk and my child's medication?
All rooms come equipped with a mini-fridge so medications and breast milk can be safely stored in personal space. We also have a breast milk freezer.

Is there parking available at the House?
Unfortunately, we do not have parking available for families to use during their stay at the House. There are paid parking lots available nearby. There is a short-term parking space next to the building that families may use while unloading and loading their belongings.

Is the House wheelchair accessible?

How far is the House from SickKids?
The House is located 450 metres from SickKids, or about a six-minute walk.

Are you affiliated with SickKids?
We are not formally affiliated with SickKids, but most of the families in the House have children being treated at SickKids, as well as a few other Toronto hospitals.

What if my surgery or appointment gets cancelled?
This happens frequently. Please contact your social worker and ask them to resend another referral form with the new date. Or, ask them to call our Family Services team with the new date. We can always change your expected arrival date in our files, but we must receive confirmation from your social worker.

What is involved in the criminal background check?
To ensure the safety of all families at the House, all adult family members and overnight guests are required to complete a criminal background check as part of the admissions process. You will be asked to complete an online form. Our decision on your eligibility to stay at the House can only be made after we receive the results.