About Us

Our New Facility is now open

ARC was born of a vision to advance the integrative cancer care in Canada and has expanded to include other wellness themes.

Abbey Retreat Centre is located on the beautiful Abbey Gardens Community Trust property across from scenic Grass Lake on Highway 118 in Haliburton County in Ontario, Canada.

Renovations to an existing building on the property have been completed to allow Abbey Retreat Centre to officially begin offering programs in our own home.  The Retreat Centre offers several programming areas, a commercial-grade kitchen, office space, and sleeping accommodations for 8.

The Abbey Gardens property enhances the retreat experience for guests as they are immersed in a peaceful setting in nature. On Abbey Gardens’ 300 acres, beautiful walking and snowshoeing trails exist, a pond, a 2-acre market garden of flowers, fruits, and vegetables, and heritage animals. Site plans are in development and construction drawings have begun for additional overnight guest accommodations to house retreat guests.

Key Partnerships

From our inception, we have worked in close partnership with:

These partnerships provide a multi-pronged and informed approach for whole person care. The Integrative Cancer Care Clinic at CCNM as well as OICC and WHC are all active day clinics providing evidence-based integrative cancer care for patients.  The PI`s primary focus is research; evaluating what existing research indicates are most effective interventions to improve quality of life and treatment success, and conducting and publishing research on the programs at CCNM, WHC and ARC. CCNM is primarily an educational institute training naturopathic doctors. Each of these clinical centres as well as ARC will provide a context for training of students and informing the curriculum in the naturopathic oncology program at CCNM.
It is our belief that offering those with cancer, as well as their support person, some time out of the spin of life dealing with cancer, a time to re-centre, to reflect on life, and to learn practices that promote health and well-being for anyone will help them find healing in their life.

About our Team

Director Profiles

Jeanne Anthon


Jeanne has been a permanent resident in Haliburton since 1991 and a seasonal resident in this area since 1962. She recently retired from the position of Minden Hills Councillor and was the past Warden of Haliburton County.

Since moving here permanently in 1991, Jeanne has served on numerous committees and boards including, Haliburton Highlands Health Services Board (past Chair) and the Haliburton Community Support Services (Past Chair).

She is currently a member of: Minden Rotary Club (28 yrs), Haliburton Concert Series, Coalition Haliburton Lake Associations (CHA), U-Links Haliburton, Festival of the August Moon, Minden Terry Fox Run, Minden Events Committee and the Minden Mandatory Septic Inspection Committee.

Joy Davey, PhD, CPsych

Past President

Joy Davey is a Haliburton resident and registered psychologist with 18 years’ experience owning and facilitating programs at a retreat centre in the Catskill Mountains. In this capacity, she became familiar with all aspects of operating a successful retreat business including the administrative, financial, and operational; marketing and public relations; community development, fund-raising; and the development and facilitation of a program that consisted of a variety of retreat experiences. She brings a wealth of experience in running the business side of a retreat centre, working with people in a healing context, and in training and supervising people who are learning these skills.

Thea Patterson, BA, MA


Thea Patterson, also a Haliburton resident, comes to ARC with a wealth of teaching and curriculum-building experience.  In addition to her experience in Canadian schools, she has extensive international experience developing and presenting management seminars and workshops.  She was an active volunteer internationally implementing literacy, nutrition, and health programs in India and Africa.  She is a member of the Canadian Federation of University Women and a member and volunteer for many local community organizations.

Sheila-Mae Young, MD


Sheila-Mae Young is a 2016 retired Lindsay Family Physician in the City of Kawartha Lakes. From November 2008 to May 2015, Dr. Young held the position of Primary Care Lead for the Central East Regional Cancer Program of Cancer Care Ontario, and served for a short time as the Provincial Primary Care Lead at Cancer Care Ontario.  She is recognized for her extensive community and international work and is a well-respected publisher of cancer guidelines for family physicians.

Doug Norris


Doug Norris and his family have been part of the Maple Lake community for the past fourteen years as they built the family home where they will live year round, and Doug is now delighted to be moving into this new role at the Abbey Retreat Centre, to work with the Board and staff in further developing the remarkable program of innovative cancer care and community building on the growing ‘Abbey’ campus of organizations.

Following a long career as a senior minister in United Church congregations, he brings experience in organizational mission, involvement in community activities such as poverty reduction, non-profit housing, refugee resettlement, as well as care and support with people on the cancer journey.

Doug’s training includes degrees through the Universities of Toronto and Edinburgh
(Scotland), trauma response, contemplative group guidance, and trainee supervision.  Doug has enjoyed success as a writer in magazines and community newspapers.  On the lighter side, he is a private pilot, motorcyclist, carpenter, and an avid YouTube trained amateur mechanic/machinist.

Donna McCallum


Donna McCallum is the retired CAO, Municipality of Dysart et al. She has served as a Director for the Ontario Trillium Foundation for 8 years representing Haliburton and has been a member of HCDC Community Economic Development Committee for 15 years.

I was thinking of making a donation to ARC. How does my money get used?

We are grateful to everyone that donates their energy, time, and money to support the Abbey Retreat Centre. We make every effort to keep operating costs low and focus on allocating the funds we receive to support people on their cancer journey. We need your help and support to continue to offer our retreats to participants free of charge.  Click here to make  secure donation.