It is with overwhelming sadness that we announce the passing of Liane Regendanz, former Executive Director of St. Stephen’s Community House. Liane’s impact on St. Stephen’s and all the people who came through our doors was profound.
For more than 30 years, Liane was integral to St. Stephen’s, and the surrounding community. She strove for equity and opportunity, first as manager of the Youth Employment Centre, then as Executive Director in 1996.
Liane’s leadership and passion for social justice spurred incredible innovation and growth at St. Stephen’s including:
The Augusta Centre Capital Campaign to renovate 260 Augusta Avenue for our Urban Health, Youth and Newcomer programs, as well as development of the onsite L.L. Odette Centre supportive housing
Opening of the Senior’s Activity Centre, Waterfront Child Care Centre, North York Newcomer Centre, North York Conflict Resolution office
She was a pioneer of youth employment programming, the moving force behind LL Odette Place Supportive Housing, a huge supporter of innovative youth programming, and a real community activist, serving as past Chair of Toronto Neighbourhood Centres. On June 9, the City of Toronto issued a condolence motion and held moment of silence in memory of Liane.
Liane’s impact on the people who worked with her was just as great: Her tireless energy inspired all of us to go the extra mile. Liane’s warmth and compassion helped her connect with the people we serve, and demonstrated to everyone that we are all equal.
Oliva Chow once described Liane as a force of nature: Liane was driven to improve the lives of the city’s most vulnerable people. As a testament to her dedication and passion, in 2012 Liane was the first recipient of the Frances Lankin Award, given to a person who made significant contributions to the Toronto non-profit sector. When she retired in 2015, a fund for youth was named in her honour: Liane’s Fund for Youth Opportunity.
In her retirement, Liane lived life to the fullest, fueling her passions and seeing the world. That world, and the world of all those she touched, is forever lessened without her.
In Toronto, a public gathering to celebrate Liane’s life will be held at a later date when the current restrictions have ended.
In lieu of flowers, Liane's husband, Michael, requested that donations be made to Liane’s Fund for Youth Opportunity.