An exemplar for young-adult driven, community-based mental health
Offering free mental health services for young adults aged 16 to 29, Stella’s Place has emerged as an innovator for young-adult driven, community-based mental health services in downtown Toronto. Stella’s Place fosters a sense of community through a welcoming, fully accessible space featuring a contemporary café, one-on-one counseling rooms, group rooms, a teaching kitchen, and staff workspaces.
For the new Stella’s Place flagship location, we were engaged to reimagine and renovate a three-story 1940s post-and-beam former candy factory. Understanding how the built environment influences the health and well-being of building occupants, our young adult design team worked directly with Stella’s Place participants, peer counselors, and staff in a collaborative design process. Celebrating the industrial character of the original warehouse, the design features interior brick walls and heavy timber frame that is playfully contrasted with thoughtful, modern interventions. Based on thoughtful feedback from the users, a double-height entrance lobby was carved into an otherwise utilitarian space to create an open, daylight-filled, and non-clinical invitation into the building.
Today, Stella’s Place is safe, welcoming space for young adults to seek peer support, learn new skills, find connections, find respite, and become empowered on their mental health journeys.
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