February 22, 2021

A day to recognize and celebrate chosen families of the LGBTQI2S community.

Friends are the family that we choose

Named for the family we choose, Chosen Family Day is the day we recognize and celebrate the valuable relationships between friends in the LGBTQI2S community and amongst allies. Working with partners, Friends of Ruby started the tradition in 2020 to honour the support provided by Chosen Families to LGBTQI2S youth.  

What is a Chosen Family? 

A Chosen Family is the family that you choose. It can be friends, co-workers, people from your community. It’s where you turn for support during rough times, and with whom you want to spend the good times with. Friends can be family too.  

Chosen Family Day happens in February, as it is a particularly difficult time for LGTQI2S youth, especially for those who are homeless or lack the support of the families they were born into.

The Importance of a Chosen Family

Friends of Ruby launched Chosen Family Day to raise awareness of the challenges faced by LGBTQI2S youth, and to celebrate existing Chosen Families who help them through tough times.

For those who haven’t yet found their Chosen Family, Friends of Ruby is here to provide support and housing when they need it most.

For LGBTQI2S youth who come out, family rejection can have devastating consequences on their mental health, career prospects, and even physical safety.

As a result, these youth are overrepresented amongst Toronto's homeless and precariously housed population, with 25-40% identifying as LGBTQI2S.

Show your support on February 22nd

#ChosenFamily Day


Share a story, share a snap of your Chosen Family, or simply wish the LGBTQI2S community a happy Chosen Family Day.

Share #ChosenFamilyDay

Community event

Lorem Ipsum Dolor Sit Amet

Location · Address

Saturday, February 22 · 11am–2pm


Event Title

Location · Address

Saturday, February 22 · 11am–2pm

Event Title

Location · Address

Saturday, February 22 · 11am–2pm

Gift Card Giveaway

Hair of the Dog Pub · 425 Church St

Monday, February 17 – Saturday, February 22

#ChosenFamilyDay Drag Brunch & Friends of Ruby Booth

Gladstone Hotel · 1214 Queen St W

Saturday, February 22 · 11am–1pm

#ChosenFamilyDay Drag Show & Friends of Ruby Booth

O’Grady’s Pub · 518 Church St

Saturday, February 22 · 10pm–2am

Buy 1, Donate 1

The Body Shop · 528 Church St

Saturday, February 22

Chosen Family Day Historical Walking Tour

The ArQuives · 34 Isabella Street

Saturday, February 22 · 2:30pm - 3:30pm

Community event

Lorem Ipsum Dolor Sit Amet

Location · Address

Saturday, February 22 · 11am–2pm

Make a Direct Donation
to Friends of Ruby

Friends of Ruby has pivoted their critical mental health services online to meet the needs of the LGBTQI2S youth they serve, and have opened the Friends of Ruby Home transitional House in 2020!

friends of ruby

In need of help?

In order to follow updated guidelines from Toronto Public Health and to help curb the spread of COVID-19, Friends of Ruby will have limited services until further notice.

While this will mostly affect the number of people allowed at the youth centre (489 Queen St. East) and in-person programming, we want to be clear: we will continue to be here for you during this time.  

Virtual services and programs are still on and you can still set up meetings with counsellors and case managers.

If you have any questions about programs and services at this time, or require information about accessing essential services, please contact us!

friends of ruby image

Drop-in hours

Monday: CLOSED

Tuesday: 1:30-4:30 p.m.

Wednesday: 1:30-4:30 p.m.

Thursday: 1:30-4:30 p.m.

Friday: 1:30-4:30 p.m.

friends of ruby location image

Contact us



Drop-in hours

Friday: 10:00 am–5:30 pm

Monday: 10:00 am–7:30 pm

Tuesday: 2:00 pm–7:30 pm*

Wednesday: 10:00 am–7:30 pm

Thursday: 10:00 am–7:30 pm

*BIPOC (Black, Indigenous & Person of Color) Only

A special thank you to our incredible partners for helping make this day possible.