RMHCO Facts!

  • Our House has been a source of safety and support to families for almost 40 years.
  • RMHCO gives families a place to stay during what is one of the most difficult times in their lives.
  • Families stay here together while their child receives care at CHEO, rarely having time to pack and prepare; many families are immediately split up and sent into hospital life hours away from home.
  • We currently serve families who are over 80 km away: many from Cornwall, Pembroke, Timmins, North Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, and the Canadian North, including Nunavut.
  • RMHCO was one of the original 5 Ronald McDonald Houses built in Canada in 1984, and we will be the last to grow.
  • Costs of rentals and hotels could equal thousands and thousands of dollars each month out of pocket; many families unexpectedly have weeks/months – sometimes years – added to their child’s diagnosis.
  • We fill a critical gap in Canada’s social infrastructure and enable equitable access to Canada’s pediatric hospitals.


  • The House currently has: 14 bedrooms, a large communal kitchen and dining room, a library, a games room, a TV room, outside grounds to play in and more. Homecooked meals cooked by our volunteers; movie nights; birthday and holiday celebrations; a beautiful outdoor serene space; and pet and music therapy visits, among many others.
  • We have represented families from every province and territory in Canada except the Northwest Territories
  • We operate at an occupancy rate of 100%, while our wait list continues to grow (in one year we turned away nearly 150 families)
  • We aim to annually provide 3,100 meals in House to the families staying here, donated through our Meals That Heal
  • We have provided approximately 170,000 Nights of Comfort for families.
  • Our longest stay was a family from Nunavut, 734 nights at the RMHCO, saving them over 2 years’ worth of living expenses, projected at over $200,000.
  • We’ve had 12 families stay over a year, 36 families longer than 200 nights, and 107 families over 100 nights.
  • Within CHEO we operate 2 family rooms staffed by volunteers, one in Pediatric Intensive Care on floor 3, and another on the 5th
  • The RMHCO rooms within the hospital offer large, comfortable lounge space, snacks, coffee and tea, shower facilities, laundry services and 4 over night sleep rooms. Most often, these rooms are used by families who live in Ottawa offering the comforts of home within the hospital.
  • Both of our Family Rooms are heavily used, in one year alone, we saw over 28,000 visitors.


  • We need to add 22 rooms to meet the current needs, for a total of 36 bedrooms.
  • During an average year we can have around 500 family-visits, but with this new build we can accommodate over 1,300 family-visits per year.
  • We are breaking ground this spring to make room for ALL families who need a home-away-from-home while their child seeks medical care.
  • We will have spaces tailored to the diverse needs of every family.
  • Our parcel of land is large enough that we do not have to move to grow, we are 167 steps door-to-door from CHEO.
  • Adding this “new house” will shorten the eligibility distance for families living closer than 80km away.
  • Our carbon-neutral House will be Rick Hansen Foundation Certified, following the highest level of accessibility standards, and built to the LEED Gold standard.
  • “CHEO saved our daughter… Ronald McDonald House saved our family.”