A COMMITMENT TO CARING
AND SHARING SINCE 1954.
We have been taking care of people for more than 60 years by providing to individuals and families in need a range of emergency services that ensure their basic needs and maintain their integrity. We also contribute actively to crime prevention and we promote physical, social and intellectual development of the youth through education, sports and recreation.
Aware of the challenges linked to poverty and crisis situations, we provide emergency services such as food assistance as well as clothing, medical, financial and material assistance.
We also collaborate with municipal police forces and other partners to increase neighbourhood’s security through crime prevention activities in schools, in the streets or in the community at large.
We contribute to the physical, social and intellectual development of young people through a sports program preparing the young athletes to a competitive level while providing them help and guidance with their school curriculum. We also offer a recreation program, a day camp and seniors club.
Our basic objectives are to alleviate poverty and prevent exclusion.
In order to channel their energy in a positive fashion and in view of the limited activities available to them, a group of youngsters including Earl De La Perralle and Sid Stevens, respectively 9 and 13 years old at the time, created in 1954 a handwritten newspaper called “The Clark Street Sun”. The newspaper is a reflection of the everyday life of these inner-city disadvantaged children from a largely immigrant-populated neighbourhood. Rather than being sold, the Clark Street Sun, which is only printed in two copies (the original and a carbon copy) is loaned to families in the area at 2 cents a copy. The profits allowed them to finance the purchase of sports equipment and the organization of sports and recreation activities.
Sun Youth is a registered charity and a non-profit organization. It derives most of its revenue from many generous private and corporate donors and relies on the faithful cooperation of community and humanitarian organizations, of municipalities and governmental instances as well as that of media partners.
Clark Steet Sun on Typewriter
1954 - 1967
The First Years
The Clark Street Sun newspaper was first created in the kitchen of Sid Stevens’ parents. Shortly after, the youngsters began to search for a permanent place to serve as headquarters. A local shoemaker (Weiner Shoe Shop) agreed to lend them a section of his St. Cuthbert back store for free so they could work on the production of their weekly newspaper. Operation in the first year generated a record amount of $500! Over the years, the production resources were improved. The newspaper was now printed with photos, feature articles and even advertising for local businesses. Profits were still used for the purchase of sports equipment as well as for the rental of a gymnasium for sports and recreation activities. As of 1964, The Clark Street Sun was renamed “The Sun” and the youth group which it supported became known as “The Sun – Youth Organization”.
1967 - 1981
In 1967, the year of Montreal’s Universal Exposition, the youngsters moved their headquarters into a small building at the foot of Mount Royal (corner Park and Mont-Royal), thanks to the Mayor of Montreal at the time, Jean Drapeau. These larger premises allowed us to increase diversification of our activities. The attention was now focused on the problems youths attending our organization were facing. We offered food assistance sporadically, mainly during the Holiday period.
We also began on-site assistance to fire victims and a community crime prevention program, including exchanges with the community on topics such as neighborhood watch, abuse of drugs and alcohol, shoplifting and dangers surrounding the abduction of children. In collaboration with the police we also organized bicycle safety workshops. During this time, “The Sun”, published weekly, becomes monthly paper as our young founders wish to devote their resources and energy on helping the needy. The newspaper ceased publication in 1978 but will have left its mark in the Montreal community landscape.
1981 - 2004
The year 1981 brought many changes. First, our organization moved to the former Baron-Byng High-School on St. Urbain Street. It was also the year we became the first Food Bank in Montreal, the second in Canada after the Edmonton’s food bank which was created the previous year. We adopted the French legal name of Jeunesse au Soleil. Over the years that followed, we implemented various programs to help people in need and worked since the mid-1990s to assist victims of major disasters affecting populations here and abroad. Some thirty different programs were offered through three divisions: Emergency Services, Crime Prevention and Sports & Recreation. During this time we also operated our own summer camp located in Rivière-Rouge (L’Annonciation sector) in the Laurentians.
50 Years of
We celebrated our 50th Anniversary in May 2004. For the occasion, we brought together partners and friends in the Chalet of Mount Royal. Several dignitaries were present to celebrate our 5 decades of service to the community. In preparation for this event, we made our entry in the online world by creating our first website. By doing so, we acquired an additional tool to inform our donors and our clientele on the various services that we offer and how people can support our mission. Our website served as a complement to the brochures and pamphlets already published.
A New Chapter
As of the 9th of november 2018, a new chapter will begin for Sun Youth Organization. Following the decision of the Montreal School board to take back Baron Byng and transform it into a school again, we have decided to take our future into our own hands and work towards getting a building of our own that will suit the needs of our community. Although we haven’t found our final destination and still want it to be on the Plateau Mont-Royal, we have found a very suitable solution for the mid-term.
Thanks to the City of Montreal, our head office and sports and recreation programs will be going back to the little White House on the corner of Mont-Royal and Park ave. Meanwhile, we will be opening a service center at 6700 park ave. There, people will be able to have access to the same services they had at Baron Byng: our food bank, clothing bank, access to medication, fire and crime victims services, financial help for family with sick children and much more.
Earl De La Perralle
The year 2018 has seen the passing away of our co-founder Earl De La Perralle, who had a tremendous impact on the lives of thousands of Montrealers. Although extremely sad, we will rally up and continue his work with pride, dedication, empathy, and respect so that his vision lives on.
We would like to thank the city of Montreal for its tremendous support through our history and its renewed confidence shown towards our organization. We would also like to thank the Montreal community for its support and generosity and we will need its support like never before. Although necessary, the move will be very taxing on our resources and we will need all the help we can get to make sure we pursue our mission of helping the community be a better place for thousands of Montrealer.