Since 1984 New Leaf: Living and Learning Together Inc. has been providing services and supports in the community to persons who have an intellectual disability and a dual diagnosis (developmental disability and accompanying mental health or behavioural issue). New Leaf was originally founded by Stan Smith and a small group of dedicated individuals from Toronto. Stan was the agency’s first Executive Director and remained in that leadership role until his retirement in 2006. Although officially retired, Stan remained very involved with New Leaf and provided important guidance and support to the agency up to the time of his death in 2009.
Under the leadership of Stan Smith, New Leaf developed its programming and expanded its services to meet the growing need for community based services for individuals with intellectual disabilities and complex needs. Much of this expansion happened as a response to the government of Ontario’s decision to close the provincial institutions for individuals with intellectual disabilities.
New Leaf embraced the move to community based programming and is proud to have played a role in this significant historical event. Today New Leaf operates 13 residential homes in addition to an active day support program. The day support program is situated on a 112 acre farm at 19601 Leslie Street in Queensville. In addition to the active farm program, New Leaf also operates a large pool and recreation centre complete with an expressive arts department and an aquatics program. This site is also home to the green houses and woodworking programs.
Today New Leaf employs 214 full and part-time staff and provides services to approximately 100 individuals. New Leaf is an active and respected member of the developmental services sector in both Toronto and Central East Regions.
Stan Smith’s original vision is today enshrined in New Leaf’s mission statement and guiding principles.