Home | Locations & Hours of Operation | About the Centres | Links
About the Centres
A Brief History
Centres for Seniors Windsor, a non-profit, multi-service organization and registered charity, is mandated to provide social, recreational, educational, volunteer and service opportunities for older adults, 55 years and better.
The official opening of the Greater Windsor Senior Citizens' Centres on February 24, 1962 was a direct result of the community's concern for the welfare of senior citizens. Contributions were received from industries, businesses and unions to provide the needed funding to open the first Centre. The community was asked to donate through a very successful Porchlight Drive Campaign initiated by local service clubs.
In 1963, the Centre became a member agency of the United Way. In 1966, we became the first Centre in the province to receive provincial funding through the Elderly Persons Centres Act.
As a community focal point, the Centres have taken the lead in provision of services to seniors. Our community Meals on Wheels program was initiated at the old Elliott Street Senior Centre, and was later transferred to the Victorian Order of Nurses.
In 1973, we opened our second facility in East Windsor - the Riverside Associate Centre. In the same year, we joined other centres across the province in forming a provincial organization. We have been a proud member of the OACAO (Older Adult Centres' Association of Ontario) for over 30 years.
In those early years, senior groups contacted the Centre for support and direction. Today over 65 senior clubs and groups in Windsor-Essex offer a variety of programming options for older adults to stay active and involved.
In 1983, the Centres Association purchased the former Christian Missionary Alliance Church at 706 Goyeau Street. The Centre was closed for renovations and construction for two months and reopened on February 13, 1984. Renovations continued for another year. Financial assistance was received from numerous foundations, service clubs, all levels of government, members and friends.
In 1988, the Riverside Associate Centre moved to the Edward Street Community Centre, and was renamed the Edward Street Neighbourhood and Senior Centre. In subsequent years extensive renovations to ensure accessibility were completed at both facilities. In keeping with our wellness and health promotion policies, both Centres became smoke-free facilities in 1988.
In the same year, members' council - elected representation of the membership - was constituted. The mandate of the Members' Council is to recommend, advise, and liaise with members, staff, and Board of Directors.
As the Centres Association grew throughout the 1980s, so did our Community Support Programs - Footcare, Transportation (ESCORT), Friendly Visiting and Telephone Assurance. In 1990, with funding assistance from the Ministry of Community Social Services, we purchased an agency van. Today, the administration of these programs is funded by the Ministry of Health - Long Term Care. Operating costs are supported by United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex County, plus service fees.
These programs are well utilized and support older adults in their efforts to remain active and independent.
A mandatory membership policy requested by the membership was endorsed by the Members' Council, and subsequently approved by the Board of Directors in 1991.
In response to senior requests, the Olde Sandwich Towne Senior Centre opened one day a week in West Windsor in January 1993. In September of that year, with the help of United Way Venture Grant funding, we expanded, opening two days a week.
In 1994, the Centres Association changed its name to Centres for Seniors Windsor. To address requests for more flexibility in our membership policy, Centres for Seniors Windsor introduced a non-member participant fee in 1996.
We are recognized as a fiscally responsible, responsive, caring and dynamic service provider. The success of the Centres Association would not have been possible without the on-going support of volunteers and members.
Today, the Centres Association is funded by United Way, the City of Windsor, the Ministry of Health - Long Term Care, through our own fund raising efforts, membership dues and service fees. We have been supported along the way by service clubs and government grants.
In 1997, the Board began planning for the future of the Goyeau St. Centre. Recognizing the need for more flexible programming space, renovation and relocation were both considered. After much discussion, planning, and development of a strategic plan, we were ready when the opportunity arose in 2003 to relocate the Goyeau Street Centre to a vacant school at 635 McEwan Ave in the west side of Windsor. Renovation of the school is slated to begin in November 2003, with move-in planned for late March 2004.
Like all not for profit organizations, we have faced exciting and challenging times - they continue today. We are proud of our 41 year record of service to seniors.
Come catch our enthusiasm! Senior Centres are Wellness Centres.