Personal recovery is an overarching goal that underpins mental health community support and clinical services in Canada. Surprisingly, little information is available about the personal recovery needs of community-dwelling Canadians with mental illness. The purpose of this study is to describe these needs in a sample of adults living in a large urban centre. We performed a multi-site cross-sectional survey of adults who receive community-based mental health services in an urban setting. Participants were asked to complete six patient-reported outcome (PRO) measures about personal recovery, hope, mastery, and depression. We used descriptive and correlational analyses to summarize the data according to an established evidence-based theoretical conceptualization of recovery. Two hundred and twenty-eight individuals participated in the study. Participants indicated high levels of self-reported empowerment and hope and optimism about the future. In contrast, participants reported low levels of perceived connectedness, identity, and meaning in life. In conclusion, this study identified that recovery-oriented PRO measures can improve our understanding of the needs and goals of individuals with mental illness and highlight the ways in which individuals can achieve a sense of meaning in life. Understanding the recovery needs of Canadians with mental illness may help foster recovery-oriented healthcare by bringing person-centred approaches to the point of treatment, so as to ensure greater quality and accountability of mental health services.