FAQ’s

Where is Emily’s House located?

Emily’s House is located in beautiful Riverdale neighbourhood at 45 Jack Layton Way (just North of Gerrard Street East/Broadview Avenue) There is paid street parking along Gerrard, as well as some free street parking on side streets nearby between certain designated times. It is serviced by TTC Streetcar Routes 504, 505, 506 and by Bus Routes 306 (blue night streetcar route). Please click here to see a map.

Do I need a referral to access services from Emily’s House?

A referral to Emily’s House can come from a parent/guardian, pediatric palliative care physician, family physician, nurse practitioner, nurse, social worker, or case manager. Admission guidelines, referral and application forms can be found here.

Is there a cost to families for using Emily’s House services?

Families accessing standard respite are responsible for providing the child’s medications, diapers, special food, and other supplies required by the child for the duration of stay. Emily’s House will cover supplies related to advanced respite care as well as all direct costs of care. Emily’s House relies on the generous support of volunteers, individual donors and corporate sponsors in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care to offer our programs at no cost.

How is Emily’s House funded?

Emily’s House receives government funding that is further supported by fundraising efforts and generous private donations.

My child has complex medical needs, can he/she be cared for at Emily’s House?

If your child can be cared for at home with medical complexities, then they can be cared for at Emily’s House. Please contact the Intake Coordinator to find out if Emily’s House is right for you.

How many guests can Emily’s House accommodate at a time?

Emily’s House can accommodate a maximum of 10 children at a time. However, capacity may vary at any given time based on the unique needs of our patients and their families.

How long can my child stay at Emily’s House?

Children receiving standard respite are permitted up to 28 nights per year. Emergency respite care is dependent on availability. End of life care will take priority.

How do I make a booking at Emily’s House?

Please contact our Residential Care Coordinator, at [email protected] , to make a booking at Emily’s House. Please be sure to complete all the appropriate forms prior to admission. All forms can be found on this website.

Can the families of patients stay at Emily’s House?

Immediate family members are welcome to stay with their children at Emily’s House. Depending on available space and other resources, siblings may stay overnight. Permission must be requested and arrangements made ahead of time with the Residential Care Coordinator.

What does my child do while he/she is at Emily’s House?

Emily’s House is staffed by a play therapist responsible for planning recreational programs according to your child’s preferences and abilities. Emily’s House aims to provide a “home away from home.” A care plan will be developed with you and your child prior to admission that will include appropriate activities to meet your child’s needs.

What are visiting hours at Emily’s House?

Visiting hours, for guests (other than parents/siblings) are from 9:00am to 9:00pm daily. But if you have guests after 9:00pm, we recommend that you visit with your guests on the main floor. Visitors must sign in at the reception desk and obtain a visitor’s badge that must be worn at all times. All guests must be approved by the parents of the child being visited.

What are the admission and discharge times?

Usually admission and discharge times are between 8:00am and 10:00pm.

What should I pack for my child to bring upon admission?

Please review the Personal Belongings Checklist as well as our “What to Bring for Respite” section of the Family Handbook. All medications, special equipment, clothing (labelled with your child’s name), toiletries and special toys that your child requires should be brought from home. The personal belongings checklist can be found here and can be used as a guideline of things to bring for your child’s visit.
What if my child is missing a piece of clothing or equipment upon their return home?
Please review your Personal Belongings Checklist prior to discharge from Emily’s House to avoid forgetting any items from your stay. Should any items be forgotten, please contact our nursing station and they will assist you in locating the item(s).

What happens if my child becomes sick while staying at Emily’s House?

If your child is receiving advanced respite care, the Palliative Advanced Care Team would assess your child’s condition and provide recommendations for how to respond to your child’s change in health status. If your child becomes sick while receiving standard respite care, you will be contacted by staff for direction as to how to proceed. Together with you, Emily’s House staff will determine the best way to manage the situation. This may require you or a designated individual to pick up your child and remove him or her from respite care. If the situation requires, or Emily’s House staff is unable to contact you, EMS would be called and your child would be transferred to an acute care facility.

Who do I talk to about counseling, grief and spiritual support?

Please communicate your desire for additional counseling, bereavement, and spiritual support to our staff at Emily’s House and/or to the clinical nurse manager. They will then provide a referral for chaplaincy and spiritual support services.

I do not live in the Greater Toronto Area, but I have a seriously ill child. How can Emily’s House help us?

Emily’s House provides services for children all across Ontario. Please contact us directly to discuss how Emily’s House can best support your family.

My child and I were in the neighbourhood. Can we drop by for a brief visit?

Please call ahead and speak with the staff if you would like to visit Emily’s House. Every effort will be made to accommodate your visit, however, it may not be appropriate given the activities and circumstances occurring in the house at that time.
For any additional questions, please contact us at [email protected] and you will be forwarded to someone who can assist you. [Note: due to the volume of requests, we may not be able to respond to all inquiries in a timely manner.]

What is the difference between Emily’s House and Ronald MacDonald House?

Unlike Ronald McDonald House, which provides a temporary home for families who have children receiving medical care and treatments in a hospital, Emily’s House provides a home-like environment in which children with life-limiting illnesses and complex conditions can receive medical support, while their parents, have opportunity for much needed respite.