Victory House project is making strides as its Victory Lap store re-opens

June 17, 2021   ·   0 Comments

By Rob Paul, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

When women find themselves in an impossible situation, they need the ability to feel safe and the support to push through. That was the basis for the idea for Victory House, to provide women in need with a place to go when they needed it most.

After living in Caledon for nearly 40 years and aiding other women when they were at their most vulnerable, Patricia Valliere, Victory House founder and Executive Director, knew more could be done to help with the healing process while providing an opportunity for meaningful change.

That’s how the story of Victory House began.

It was a vision that is now leading to the creation of a transitional home for women and children in a time of crisis.

It has grown into a reality and attained charitable status thanks to the board that makes up the Victory House Association of Dufferin Caledon (Valliere, Paul Reader, Debra Tigchelaar, and Al Tupper).

With over 50 volunteers, the goal is to provide each woman at Victory House with coaching and a program designed to their own personal needs in areas such as budgeting, housing, legal support, childcare, resume building, or further education.

Women at Victory House, and those who graduate from it, will also have the ability to support one another through group work that looks at each individual’s personal journey.

The purpose of the program is to provide a shoulder to lean on for the women who need it most in the Caledon community while empowering them to change their lives.

To help with fundraising for Victory House, the group purchased Victory Lap Emporium, hoping to use the store as a way for community members to lend a helping hand by donating household items to be sold to benefit the project.

Under Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopening, which started June 11, non-essential retailers are now able to welcome customers into their stores at 15 per cent capacity, so Victory Lap has officially reopened its doors to the public.

Valliere says she is excited for what the store is able to offer shoppers, especially considering it’s all for a good cause at the end of the day, supporting Victory House.

It’s been nearly seven months since the official opening of the store and despite not being able to consistently make sales during the pandemic, Valliere says they’ve benefited in other ways thanks to all the donations from the community.

“We had to shut the doors so there was nothing we could do, and of course it’s frustrating, but you know what, we’ve been able to do a lot of different things behind the scenes,” she said. “We actually had to shut off taking any more donations, that’s how full the store is. Normally it’s not a big enough store to take furniture, but we’ve even taken some—we’ve got some beautiful antique benches. We’ve got lots of high-end things—dinnerware, crystal. Anybody that comes into the store can’t believe it and they go, ‘Oh, I didn’t expect it to look like this.’”

As the Victory House project continues, they’re making substantial progress and though there’s no firm date of when everything will be up and running, the re-opening of Victory Lap for in-person shopping is helping to accelerate the work.

“We’re hopefully close to coming to the final part of our construction at Victory House in the two-bedroom bridge house that we’re doing,” she said. “It’s a two-bedroom apartment that we’re renovating in the existing house on the property at Caledon Hills Fellowship Baptist Church before we get into the big stone building. This is a way to get it going and get a couple of women in to get it started.”

Even if they haven’t been able to be open frequently throughout the pandemic, it’s been a positive and overwhelming experience with the sheer number of volunteers who have been looking to help where they can with the store.

“When we were open for the few weeks, we could have two people in the store volunteering at a time and we were open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and we were so blessed with so many people coming in to volunteer.

“We have a woman who has taken on the responsibility of the volunteers, and she has people coming to us all the time asking what they can do to help — we’ve been very happy with the support. We just look at it as a gift from God that he knows when he wants this to happen and how, so if we just listen and wait and be patient it will happen.”

For more information on Victory House or to volunteer visit and for more information on Victory Lap Emporium visit

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