The Third Rail

The Third Rail features discussions led by health practitioners, educators, and local activists who’ve worked to improve the political and social determinants of health that affect health care provision in Ontario and beyond.

The Institute for Education Research (TIER) is pleased to deliver this series in partnership with UHN Bioethics, UHN Collaborative Academic Practice, and CACE at The Women’s College Hospital.

Past Lecture

  March 5, 2020
  Cathy Crowe
  A Knapsack Full of Dreams

Watch the recording

Cathy Crowe is a Canadian Street Nurse, educator, social justice activist, and filmmaker specializing in advocacy on homelessness in Canada. She is the author of Dying for a Home: Homeless Activists Speak Out and is a frequent commentator on issues related to health, homelessness and affordable housing. Her articles have been published in The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and NOW Magazine, as well as on

​Cathy was an executive producer in the Home Safe documentary-film series and is the subject of the film Street Nurse, directed by Shelley Saywell. Cathy is a co-founder of numerous advocacy groups, including the Toronto Disaster Relief Committee. She previously received the Economic Justice Award Fellowship from the Atkinson Charitable Foundation and the International Human Rights Award in Nursing from the International Centre for Nursing Ethics in Amsterdam.

​Besides her diploma in nursing from the Toronto General Hospital School of Nursing in 1972, her Bachelor of Applied Arts in nursing from Ryerson University in 1985, and her Master of Education (Sociology) from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education in 1992, she has been awarded an honourary doctorate from the University of Victoria, McMaster University, the University of Ottawa, York University and the University of Windsor.

Cathy Crowe
Photo Credit: Lisa MacIntosh

Cathy received the Order of Canada in 2018 and is currently a Distinguished Visiting Practitioner in the Faculty of Arts at Ryerson University.

​Cathy continues to fight for the right to shelter and a fully funded national housing program.

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