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:
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.