St. Christopher House, 1912-2012: a century of social services in Toronto

Early in 1965, Mr. and Mrs. K. Martin approached the director of St. Christopher House with their concerns for the aged and homebound. Mrs. Martin worked on the development of a Meals on Wheels program in Britain during the war and was interested in initiating such a program in Toronto. That spring, the Board established a Meals on Wheels Committee with representatives of social agencies, the Public Health Department, the Social Planning Council and concerned citizens, and the Laidlaw Foundation agreed to fund a three-year pilot project. Eight different women’s organizations, including United Church Women, Catholic Women’s League, B’nai B’rith, Junior League, Anglican and Unitarian women’s groups – 300 volunteers in all – provided cars, drivers and deliverers. The meals were prepared by the students in the Food Services Department of the nearby Provincial Institute of Trades (later becoming George Brown College). Within three years of its introduction at the House, there were nine voluntary agencies operating similar services; and by 1985, Metro had thirty Meals on Wheels programs.

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