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The History of Mainstream

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Mainstream has been providing support services for adults with a developmental difference in Niagara since 1984. This timeline shows the evolution of the Mainstream.

1985 - 1987

  • Mainstream: An Unsheltered Workshop is officially incorporated.
  • Mainstream opened a laundromat to serve the community of Port Dalhousie
  • Receive $11,000 in United Way Funding.
  • The United Way enriches funding to $65,000 annually.
  • Ministry of Community and Social Services funds Workshop Program for $45,000 annually.

1988 - 1990

  • Mainstream Non Profit Housing Project is incorporated and receives funding for 20 units.
  • The Supportive Independent Living Program receives MCSS funding
  • Homes for the Homeless Project approved 1 - 3 bedroom home.
  • Supportive Independent Living Program received funding from MCSS.
  • Supported Living Program funded and 3 individuals from Oxford.
  • Regional Centre (ORC) move to Lafayette.

1992 - 1994

  • A second Supported Living home is funded and 4 individuals from Oxford Regional Centre move to Shoreline.
  • Mainstream restructures using Open Space Technology and the Resource Centre format is created.
  • Mainstream receives Ministry of Housing funding to build a 4 bedroom wheelchair accessible home on Rykert Street.
  • MCSS Minor Capital received to purchase new wheelchair van.
  • Rykert is opened for 4 individuals from Oxford Regional Centre.

1997 -  2002

  • IENACT funded by Environment Canada to naturalize the property at 212 Rykert St.
  • Supported Living Program proposal to add a 5th person at Rykert is approved.
  • Mainstream purchases a second van.
  • Options Niagara A Foundations Initiative is funded by MCSS.
  • Unit D at 25 Main St. is renovated to accommodate Options Niagara and Adult Literacy Programs.
  • Options Niagara begins operations.

2003 - 2004

  • Options Niagara received a funding enhancement from MCSS.
  • Supportive Independent Living program receives funding to support two individuals with higher needs.
  • Mainstream purchases 263 Pelham Rd. and renovations begin.
  • Mainstream moves offices and Resource Centre Program to 263 Pelham Rd.


  • Mainstream hosts a Grand Opening for our building at 263 Pelham Rd.
  • Mainstream Showcases Famous People Players.
  • Options Niagara receives a funding from MCSS to support 10 additional people bringing total people supported to 135.
  • Mainstream receives a personal donation to purchase a van for the Resource Centre.
  • Mainstream’s proposal to accommodate an individual moving from Southwestern Regional Centre (SRC) approved by MCSS.
  • Proposal to renovate Rykert St. basement approved and MCSS funds the $42,000 project.
  • Individual from SRC moves into Rykert.

2006 - 2007

  • Renovations to Rykert completed and Transitional Aged Youth moves in.
  • Mainstream receives MCSS funding to purchase a new van.
  • Funding Proposal ($630,000) to build 9 one bedroom apartments in partnership with Gateway and Mountainview Homes is approved.
  • A proposal to repatriate one person from Southwestern Regional Centre is approved.
  • Mainstream receives $70,000 in capital funding to add a great room to Rykert St.
  • 91 Pelham Rd purchased to accommodate growing need for program and office space.

2008 - 2010

  • Renovations completed at 91 Pelham and Options Niagara moves in.
  • Accreditation Coordinator is appointed and the Accreditation Dream Team begin weekly meetings.
  • Mainstream receives SIL funding from MCSS for 160 Ontario St to support five individuals with a dual diagnosis.
  • FOCUS Accreditation Services completes the on site validation.
  • 160 Ontario St. is completed and first tenants move in.
  • Mainstream is awarded a three year Accreditation status from FOCUS Accreditation Services.
  • Ministry of Housing hosts official opening of 160 Ontario St.

2011 - 2014

  • Mainstream receives MCSS funding to plan Person Centred Thinking Training for all 11 DS agencies in Niagara.
  • MCSS provides funding to support Mainstream’s Bullying Production.
  • Mainstream Bullying Production debuts and begins showing at all elementary schools in Niagara.
  • Mainstream receives a 4 year accreditation from FOCUS Accreditation Services.
  • Mainstream commits to becoming a Person Centred Thinking organization.
  • Mainstream’s Rights Committee presents at Brock University Summer Institute.

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