About Gilda’s Toronto

Helping people live while living with cancer

Three woman talking
Father and son

What We Do

“No one should face cancer alone.”

This was Gilda Radner’s mantra and our guiding principle to this day. Gilda believed everyone navigating cancer should have access to comprehensive psychosocial cancer support through therapeutic programs delivered by mental health professionals. Because it’s not just about getting through cancer – it’s about living, while living with cancer.

As a registered charity, Gilda’s Club Greater Toronto (Gilda’s Toronto) has been a beacon of hope since 2001 for those dealing with cancer. Patients, their families and friends all benefit from the emotional support and practical resources we provide. Patients especially feel empowered as they gain a sense of control and experience less of the isolation and stress that can come with a cancer diagnosis.

Our comprehensive, evidence-based programs and services support individuals free of charge, each on their own unique cancer journey. We assess and guide new members towards the most relevant of the 600 tailored programs and mind and body activities we provide. From support groups to enhanced virtual offerings, our emphasis on community diminishes the feelings of fear and anxiety members might face.

This community approach extends to our commitment to inclusivity and equality. Our people and the 12,000+ members we serve represent all backgrounds. Age, gender, race and socio-economic status are never barriers to positive experiences with Gilda’s Toronto.

Gilda would be proud of the work we do in her name. A beloved cast member of Saturday Night Live, she drew strength from her visits to a Wellness Community in Los Angeles during her own cancer treatment. The first Gilda’s Club opened in New York City in 1995 to support those touched by cancer. After Linda Rechtsman visited Gilda’s Club in New York, she came home convinced that people in Toronto living with cancer would benefit greatly from this unique approach to support. By 1996, Linda and her colleagues Ricki Harris, Helen Burstyn and Lorna Rosenstein had founded Gilda’s Toronto, setting the stage for the official opening in 2001. By 2009, Gilda’s Club Worldwide had merged with the Wellness Community under the Cancer Support Community (CSC).

Today, we continue Gilda’s legacy as part of the largest professionally led non-profit network for cancer support with over 175 locations worldwide. We’ve been helping people live, while living with cancer since 2001. And we’re just getting started.

Gilda’s Toronto Founders 2011

Our Goal

We are here because Gilda believed people should have exceptional, comprehensive and evidence-based psychosocial cancer support. We meet their evolving needs through programs and services provided by a diverse group of professionals, partners and communities.

Our Purpose

To help people live, while living with cancer.

Our Core Values

A woman consoling another

Be Compassionate

Photo of seven people

Act With Integrity

Gilda's Toronto Family Camp 2023

Inclusive in All We Do

Work Collaboratively

Strive for Excellence

The Cancer Support Community (CSC)

Gilda’s Toronto is an affiliate of the CSC, a global community of 190 locations providing personalized cancer support, all free of charge, with an overarching mission and vision that all affiliates abide by.
To learn more about our affiliate, visit the Cancer Support Community website.


CSC uplifts and strengthens people impacted by cancer by providing support, fostering compassionate communities and breaking down barriers to care.


Everyone impacted by cancer receives the support they want and need throughout their experience.

Group meeting

“I know the Gilda’s Toronto community will not only help me “live with cancer” but “thrive” with it.”

Maria-Leena Clarke