Syl Apps School

475 Iroquois Shore Road
Oakville, ON L6H 1M3

Syl Apps School

Syl Apps Youth Centre


Syl Apps School is a forensic mental health facility serving youth from all over Ontario. There are three Programs at Syl Apps Youth Centre:

1. Secure Treatment - mandated through the Child, Youth and Family Services Act.

2. Ontario Review Board – mandated through the Criminal Code of Canada.

In the Secure Treatment program, youth are referred from various sources including hospitals, community mental health workers, Children’s Aid Society (CAS) and others. Once a youth is accepted into the program, there must be an application made in a Family Court for a Secure Treatment order.

Youth admitted under an Ontario Review Board order are found unfit to stand trial or not criminally responsible by reason of mental health status. Syl Apps Youth Centre is designated as a hospital under the Criminal Code of Canada to provide treatment for clients under the purview of the Ontario Review Board.

Youth are referred to Syl Apps as a result of identified or suspected mental health issues. These youth must have Secure Custody orders to be admitted to the facility for treatment.

Youth at Syl Apps have a variety of complex mental health issues and high risk behaviours including, but not restricted to depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, psychosis, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, suicidality, aggression, and addiction issues.

Clinical intervention at Syl Apps focuses on evidence-based practice and includes Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy and Motivational Interviewing. Treatment generally includes both individual therapy and group interventions. All youth are connected to an interprofessional team that includes teachers, community stakeholders, the youth and their families, as well as Syl Apps staff. Treatment staff include child and youth workers, nurses, social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, an art therapist, and a therapeutic recreational practitioner.

Youth, aged 12-18, enroll in a variety of compulsory and elective courses. The focus of the school is improving literacy and numeracy skills, safety and well-being, and career pathways.