The City is improving care, services and quality of life for Two-Spirit, Lesbian Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and gender- and sexuality-diverse (2SLGBTQI+) residents living in long-term care homes, and for Toronto seniors, with ground-breaking programs and initiatives.

Download the Toolkit

Purpose of the Tool Kit

This revised Leading and Learning with Pride Tool Kit includes new content, resources and guidance from 2SLGBTQI+ seniors to:

  • Build individual knowledge and skills in the delivery of support to 2SLGBTQI+ seniors, including sections on terminology, current research and best practices and allyship.
  • Build organizational capacity to create inclusive environments for 2SLGBTQI+ seniors, with 10 concrete recommendations that empower staff and senior leadership to champion change efforts.

Who the Leading & Learning with Pride Tool Kit is for

This revitalized Tool Kit is hosted by the City’s Senior Services and Long-Term Care (SSLTC) division.

It includes useful examples and lessons from the 10 City long-term care homes and various community programs.

The Tool Kit also serves as a resource for any and all service providers and care partners working with or supporting 2SLGBTQI+ seniors (for example, long-term care homes, retirement homes, hospitals, social service settings, homecare agencies, other community-based organizations).

Terminology used in the Tool Kit

This Tool Kit uses the initialism “2SLGBTQI+” and the shorthand “Queer and Trans” to describe diverse and expanding communities of gender- and sexuality-minority seniors. The “2SLGBTQI+” acronym was adopted following close consultation with the working group and reflects a modest step in centering the lived experiences of Two-Spirit people and LGBTQI+ Indigenous communities.

Acronyms, initialisms and language related to sex, gender, and sexual orientation are context-sensitive, imperfect, and continually evolving.

Next Steps

The release of this Tool Kit is just the first of many steps Seniors Services and Long-Term Care (SSLTC) is taking to create truly inclusive long-term care and seniors’ services for 2SLGBTQI+ communities.

To advance our commitment, SSLTC has also undertaken a comprehensive Pride & Education campaign for residents, staff, and sector partners, including:

  • Mandatory 2SLGBTQI+ competency training for all SSLTC staff, including video learning modules and interactive workshops delivered in partnership with The 519 and Senior Pride Network. Learn more here.
  • Gender-sexuality Alliances in City long-term care homes to provide welcoming spaces for 2SLGBTQI+ residents, staff, families, volunteers, and allies.
  • Tool Kit information sessions delivered to SSLTC staff and sector partners across the province to enhance uptake.
  • Divisional Pride programs and celebrations, including leadership in Pride Parade Seniors’ Contingent.

This final evaluation report provides an overview of strengths, limitations, and recommendations for ongoing training to advance Tool Kit implementation and 2SLGBTQI+ inclusion at SSLTC.




The City defines respectful, inclusive and affirming care as a set of practices, policies and principles that acknowledge the diverse experiences of 2SLGBTQI+ seniors and respond to their physical, psychological, emotional, social, and spiritual needs. These principles are reflected in the following:

  • Respect is the foundation – Respect means considering the experiences of 2SLGBTQI+ seniors and upholding their rights to dignity and freedom from discrimination.
  • Inclusion is the next step up – Inclusion means providing equitable access to resources and opportunities for 2SLGBTQI+ seniors, who may otherwise experience barriers and marginalization.
  • Affirmation goes one step further – Not only are 2SLGBTQI+ seniors respected and included, but their lived experiences and participation are actively encouraged, supported, and celebrated.

Two-Spirit, Lesbian Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and gender- and sexually-diverse (2SLGBTQI+) seniors navigate complex challenges as they age.

In long-term care specifically, 2SLGBTQI+ seniors sometimes make the difficult decision to conceal their identities and “go back into the closet” for fear of discrimination from staff and other residents.

To address these gaps, Seniors Services and Long-Term Care (SSLTC) embarked on a journey to enhance respectful, inclusive and affirming care for 2SLGBTQI+ seniors through the development and implementation of a training Tool Kit.

2004: SSLTC became one of the first providers in North America to embrace a 2SLGBTQI+ inclusive model of long-term care.

2008: SSLTC released the first version of the Tool Kit.

2017: SSLTC revised the Tool Kit to share lessons about delivering care to 2SLGBTQI+ seniors.

2021: Under Recommendation 22 the Toronto Seniors Strategy 2.0, SSLTC revitalized the 2SLGBTQI+ Tool Kit in close collaboration with a working group of community members, service providers, advocates and allies.

2022: SSLTC launched the new Tool Kit, Leading & Learning with Pride, alongside a comprehensive Pride & Education campaign for residents, staff and sector partners.

Every year, City-operated long-term care homes host events with residents, their loved ones and staff members to celebrate Pride.

This year, we created videos to highlight lived experiences of 2SLGBTQI+ seniors to facilitate discussions on equity, diversity, and inclusion:

  • Coming Out (video) Conversations with 2SLGBTQI+ Seniors
  • Finding Family (video) with 2SLGBTQI+ Seniors
  • Aging Out, Loud & Proud (video) 2SLGBTQI+ Seniors on Solutions
  • A Better Tomorrow (video) 2SLGBTQI+ Seniors Share Stories

And, year round, we work with and for 2SLGBTQI+ communities to make long-term care more welcoming for all.

Talk to a member of the long-term care home’s management team to learn more about how you can get involved, or send suggestions to