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By Liz Gauthier, Director, Good Day Workshop

Good Day Workshop is a unique, non-profit venture founded by Sister Marilyn McGrath of the Grey Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, Pembroke with collaboration from Sandy Hill Community Health Centre. It was begun in response to a desperate need to provide individuals who were unemployable and suffering from mental illness and/or addictions a safe, supportive community in which to work, socialize and learn new skills. Over the years, a number of our participants have moved into regular employment outside the program. Approximately 30 participants, volunteers and supervisory staff work Monday through Friday to complete projects of furniture repair and refinishing for our customers. At the present time, we have a customer base of around 1,200. We are most appreciative of the customers who support our work because they believe in helping our participants.

In a marketplace inundated with new technology and innovation, the supporters of the Good Day Workshop needed to come up with a plan that would allow them to implement effective on-line marketing strategies and expand their production and market demand. Good Day Workshop with the help of the Community Economic Development Technical Assistance Program (CEDTAP) is attempting to do this. CompuCorps, a non-profit technical assistance program, has helped set up two computers at a minimum cost with the help of matching grants from CEDTAP and Microsoft.

This initiative is an arduous yet necessary undertaking. Certainly, there are still potential barriers to the progression of the initiative, but Good Day Workshop knows that potential problems can be averted and that it can indeed adapt to the ever-changing marketplace.
Participants at the GDW
Participants at the GDW

If you’re interested in learning more about Good Day Workshop, volunteering, or just need some help with some old furniture, please visit us at 211 Bronson Ave, Ottawa, ON, K1R 6H5 or phone GDW at (613) 236-4979.

This project has been funded with the generous support of the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) Foundation.


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