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Acknowledgements

This book owes its existence to more individuals that I can mention here. There are, however, those to whom I wish to extend my special thanks.

To David Kidd, for his research skills and his vision, and to Jean Palmer, for her kind support, patience and leadership, I express my deepest appreciation.

I want to thank the members of the advisory committee: Conne Ross, Kate Stark, Albert Chan, A. Dharmalingham, Elspeth Heyworth, and Ruth Morris; and of the editorial group, Jim Ward, David Kidd and Wendy Block. Many former as well as current staff members and volunteers from each of the settlements shared memories, read drafts, wrote Forewords and offered suggestions; I’d like to thank them also for this invaluable assistance. Hariet Parsons, who for several years has been researching the early years of Toronto’s settlement houses, was also very helpful.

This project would not have been completed without the talent, enthusiasm and hard work of several students in the Book Editing and Design course at Centennial College. Marty Ahermae, Corinne Dixon, Katherin Engel, Connie Goodman, Alan Graham, Caroline Hebblethwaite, Barbara Hutcheon, Joyce Lee, Lucy Oleskevich and Shari Vella volunteered countless hours to work on editing, design, layout and photo selection. To this group I extend a special thank you.

I also wish to gratefully acknowledge the work of Joanne Durst, who donated her time and talent to create the cover drawings.

Keyboarding services were generously donated by MicroCHIP Youth Employment Service, St. Stephen’s Community House and Central Neighbourhood House. Free access to the computer printer at St. Stephen’s Community House made the production process much easier.

To those who edited and proofread the manuscripts – Portuguese, Chinese, and English – I wish to express my appreciation for their painstaking work. They include: Adelino de Silva, Legia Faria, Abilio Fario, Iara Lessa, Claudio Neves, Almerinda Rebelo, Peggy Shek, Helen Watt and Janet Wong.

Good Neighbours: A History of the Toronto Settlement House Movement 1910-1985 was completed with the financial aid of the Canada Ontario Employment Development Project, the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Culture, the Canadian Progress Club (Toronto Downtown), Church of the Holy Trinity, University Settlement Women’s Auxiliary, the E.W. Bickle Foundation and the Tippet Foundation. The Toronto Association of Neighbourhood Services and each of the member Houses also made financial and personnel contributions.

Generous donations by the following individuals made completion of the project possible:




J.D. Bain

Paul Zarnke

Dr. Norma C. Lang

Dr. I. Akande

Mae Harman

Norman A. Millington

Eva Bassett

Susan Kaiser

Dr. Gilbert de B. Robinson

Lois Becker

Margaret Kidd

Dr. Arnold and Tish Edinborough

Gordon Cressy

Valerie March

Eleanor Christopherson

Eve Davidson

Charlotte Maher

Mary Pat and Dick Moore

Eileen Garber

Dr. Helen Morley

June Flavelle Barrett


Anne Grasham

Florence L. Philpott

Mary and Bernie Snodofsky

John N. Haddad

Betty Quiggan

William and Beth Stern

Angela Longo

Gwen Philip

Helen Sutcliffe

Jeanne Rowles

Robert D. Smith

Elspeth Heyworth

Jean Palmer

A. Dharmalingham

Dr. Diane Johnson

Connie Ross

Judge J. Felstiner

Dr. Mitchell E. Kosny

Dorothy Rusoff

Jean and Ben Shek

Dr. Elspeth A. Latimer

Jean Taylor

Dr. R. B. Gwilliam

Paddy Ann Pugsley

N.Volk









Presidents of the Board of Directors Executive Directors




1918 – 1927


G. Tower Fergusson

1912 – 1917

Helen Hart

1927 – 1933

Sir. James Woods

1917 – 1921

Ethel Dodds Parker

1933 – 1938

Dr. R.J. Wilson

1921 – 1926

Marion Yeigh

1938 – 1949

Harold Crossin

1926 – 1928

Gwendolin Goldie

1949 – 1953

David M. Woods

1928 – 1933

Lally Fleming

1953 – 1955

A.P. Johnston

1933 – 1934

Anna Wilson (Acting)

1955 – 1958

James W. Walker

1935 – 1943

Mina Barnes

1958 – 1961

William Leggatt

1943 – 1953


Beatrice Wilson

1961 – 1964

William B. Ackerman

1953 – 1967

John Haddad

1964 – 1966

Margaret Moore

1967 – 1972

David Maben

1966 – 1969

Peter Beattie

1972 – 1980

Jean Palmer

1969 – 1971

Dr. Helen Morley

1980

Paul Zarnke

1971 – 1973

Letitia Edinborough







1973 – 1974

Don Bean







1974 – 1976

David Pinkus







1976 – 1977

Don Bean








1977 – 1979

Bunty Williams







1979 – 1981

David Gordon







1981 – 1984

Bob Gwilliam







1984

Peter Quinn






Highlights




1912

St. Christopher House opened at 67 Bellevue Place (later called Wales Avenue)

1913

Well Baby Clinic established

1913

Property on Lake Scugog purchased for camp

1914

White Shield Club held first meeting

1915


Toronto Playground Association & House began programming at Ryerson School

1918

St. Christopher House Board of Management formed

1919

Sir James Woods Men’s Club began meeting

1919

New gym built by Sir James Woods as memorial to son killed in war

1920

Sir James donated property to newly formed group of Trustees

1921

St. Christopher House Library became first branch of Public Children’s Library

1929

First Parent Education Class organized

1930

Music School opened

1931

First annual Alumni Association reunion held at the House

1933

Social Service work of College Street Church and St. Christopher House united under one board

1936

St. Christopher House Women’s Auxiliary formed

1939


House received first grant from Federation for Community Service (later called United Way)

1940

Music School initiated voice instruction and eurhythmics

1941

Death of Sir James Woods

1944

Board of Education provided hot lunches at House for children of working mothers

1945

Program for Japanese-Canadian boys initiated at House

1947

Afternoon Junior Kindergarten started by Nursery School

1950

Day Camp in Rosedale Ravine replaced Vacation Bible School

1953

House received first Civic Grant (used to hire a multi-lingual worker)

1954

Autumn Club, the House’s first senior’s program, organized

1955

Funtime Day Camp for five to seven year olds set up

1956

Decentralization of programming began with a children’s program on Carr Street


1957

White Shield Club disbanded after forty-three years

1959

Children’s Library moved out of St. Christopher House

1960

Residence closed

1960

United Church reversed decision to discontinue funding

1961

Community Development Worker, first in Toronto, hired by House

1963

St. Christopher House incorporated as an agency separate from the United Church

1963

First Beautify Our Neighbourhood Campaign held

1964

Future Plans Committee established to study options for the House

1965

Meals on Wheels Program, Toronto’s first, begun by House

1965

Steel Drum band played at Royal York Hotel

1968

Alexandra Park Housing Development opened

1971


Wales Avenue property sold to Toronto Western Hospital

1971

Women’s Auxiliary disbanded

1971

Older Adults Program designated as an Elderly Persons Centre

1972

Sixtieth Anniversary Party and Reunion held at House

1973

Move from 67 Wales Avenue to new building at 84 Augusta Avenue

1974

Portuguese West of Bathurst Project (PISEM) initiated

1978

Alexandra Park Community Centre opened

1978

Nursery Program at Kensington School closed

1979

New drama program for children initiated

1979

Scadding Court Community Centre completed

1980

Fiftieth anniversary of Music School

1980


Home Help Program initiated

1981

Sistering Program for women began

1981

Staff unionized with the Canadian Union of Public Employees

1981

Renovations of the older Adult Centre at 761 Queen Street West completed

1982

Decision made to relocate St. Christopher House west of Bathurst Street

1983

Domestic Violence Program for immigrant women began

1983

Metro Youth Job Crops initiated to assist employment-disadvantaged youth

1984

Music School started Introduction to Music program for young children

1984

MicroCHIP youth employment program established

1985

Sale of building at 84 Augusta Avenue, and purchase of house at 53 Argyle Street

1985

Administration offices moved to renovated facilities at 761 Queen Street West.


Historical material on St. Christopher House is available to the public at the City of Toronto Archives, located in Toronto City Hall.

Contents



PRESIDENTS OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS


2

EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS


2

HIGHLIGHTS


2

BACKGROUND: THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH IN CANADA


7

THE FIRST TEN YEARS

9

The Programs

9

The Clubs

10

The Library

11

The Toronto Playground Association

11

Camp St. Christopher

12

Health Services

13

The House Expands

13

The Staff


14

The Board of Management

16


THE 1920’s and 1930’s

17

The Library

18

The Music School

18

Adult Programs

19

Alumni Association

20

Relief Work

20

St. Christopher House and the United Church


20

THE 1940’s and 1950’s

22

The War Years

23

Adult Programs

24

Children’s Programs

26

Music School

27

Other House Activities

28

The House and the Church


29

ST. CHRISTOPHER HOUSE 1960–1984


29

Community Development

32

Beautify Our Neighbourhood Campaign

32

Alexandra Park

33

The Programs

33

Literacy and English as a Second Language

33

Cleaners Action

34

Sistering

35

Programs for Older Adults

35

Older Adult Support

35

Home Support Services

36

Programs for Children and Youth

37

Nursery School

37

Children and Youth

37

The 1980’s

39

The Music School

39

Volunteers


40

In the House

41

St. Christopher House Moves Again


41

ST. CHRISTOPHER HOUSE 1912–1984: CONCLUSION


43

NOTES

44

Foreward

The Settlement House movement deserves an honoured place in the history of social welfare and social work. Those of us who are an active part of the movement, as well as all the neighbours and friends whom St. Christopher House has touched at some time in their wanderings, will be enlightened, enriched and often entertained through this historical account of the House. We are provided with both the sweep of history and the fascination of detail; the author and the Toronto Association of Neighbourhood Services are to be commended for the appreciation of the Settlement movement and of the place of St. Christopher House within it.

Reading this history has reminded me of my many personal contacts with St. Christopher House staff. One was Ethel Dodds Parker, whose later years at the farm were shared with many friends and where reminiscences of her years at St. Christopher House often entered the conversation. Others were Marion Yeigh and Beryl Hollett, beloved social workers and colleagues at the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto who brought grace and strength of character to St. Christopher House in its early days. Through his family, I also feel I knew Charles W. Gordon (better known by his pen-name, Ralph Conor). I will always remember my own brief stay as a student in the St. Christopher House residence during a summer in the early fifties.

Although the House has grown both in size and complexity, and is very much a part of the modern world, the spirit of the Settlement endures as we work in partnership with the community toward a better life for us all.

January, 1986 Elspeth A. Latimer

Board Member of St. Christopher House







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