St. Patrick’s Home of Ottawa Inc. has a long and very proud history. Founded two years before Confederation, it is one of the oldest homes for the aged in Ontario.
A Brief History About St. Patrick’s Home of Ottawa
From its modest beginning in 1865, St. Patrick’s Home of Ottawa has been recognized in the community as a leader in the care of seniors. Inspired by the compassionate spirit of St. Marguerite d’Youville, physicians, staff, Sisters and volunteers care for and serve older persons of all religious and ethnic origins by creating a vitalizing and welcoming Home. We are further enriched by the diversity that residents and staff of all faiths and cultures bring to St. Pat’s.
As a not-for-profit, charitable Home, we are supported by a mission-driven, volunteer Board of Directors and the generosity of donors, who provide additional and necessary financial resources to ensure that each Resident receives the best possible care.
St. Pat’s Home is an active partner in the Ontario long-term care system, providing excellent care and services through a holistic, Resident-centred, interdisciplinary approach. The Home provides outreach services to seniors living in their own homes, including Meals-On-Wheels and other supportive services.
Additionally, St. Pat’s Home is committed to participating in gerontological research and the education of health care providers serving seniors.
We are pleased to announce that construction of the new St. Patrick’s Home is complete and 288 Residents are now being cared for in the new Home.
Resident needs have grown more complex since St. Pat’s was originally constructed in the early 1960s.
We are looking forward to providing our local Ottawa community with a brand new Home while retaining the special Spirit of St. Pat’s.
The Foundation: Building passionate community support for St. Patrick’s Home of Ottawa
Established in 1986, the St. Patrick’s Home of Ottawa Foundation provides a way for thousands of individuals and organizations to support St. Pat’s Home.
Through our capital campaigns, the annual Home Lottery and a variety of fundraising initiatives, the Foundation is committed to supporting compassionate and innovative Resident care.
The Foundation is a registered charity and issues tax receipts for donations received. Our Charitable Registration number is 88897 0399 RR0001.
St. Patrick’s Home – Historical Overview 1865-2016
St. Patrick’s Home of Ottawa has a long and very proud history. Founded two years before Confederation, it is one of the oldest homes for the aged in Ontario.
On December 17, 1865, a meeting of the Association of Members of St. Patrick’s Church took place in the Parish Hall to consider establishing a House of Refuge for Irish poor. It was unanimously accepted that this organization would be called St. Patrick’s Orphanage and Asylum.
Within two weeks of the decision, a Council of Management was elected from the Association of Members, to which was entrusted the governance of this Institution. The first official act of the Council was to rent a house on Church Street. The Grey Sisters of the Cross were approached to manage and provide the required care for ten children and four elderly persons who moved into the Home.
In 1866, an Act of Parliament was passed, incorporating the Home to carry on this work for the people in the Archdiocese of Ottawa. The Ladies’ Auxiliary was formed which was the first in Ontario and were essential to the success of St. Pat’s.
In 1871, the need for permanent and more suitable accommodation became apparent and land was purchased at the corner of Laurier Avenue and Kent Street. A new building was completed in May 1873, accommodating thirty-six girls, thirty boys and nineteen elderly persons, together with some Sisters and staff.
In 1887, a few acres of land on the Rideau River were acquired and a children’s summer home was built. In the years to come, this land would be expropriated and replaced with the land upon which the present Home is situated.
Legacy of the Grey Sisters of the Immaculate Conception
In 1926, the Grey Sisters of the Cross passed the operation of the Home to the newly-established Grey Sisters of the Immaculate Conception and in 1933 the name was changed to St. Patrick’s Home of Ottawa.
St. Patrick’s Home was known in the early years as a House of Refuge. It provided service only to those without money who met the local residence requirements, regardless of religion or origin. Change came in the 1950s as St. Patrick’s Home adjusted to two major government actions, the phasing out of orphan care by the Department of Welfare and the introduction of the Charitable Institutions Act.
The Home was founded in 1865 on a Mission to provide care to the needy, mostly young, who could not afford the service. Legislation had instantly changed that mission. By 1961, the focus of the Home shifted exclusively to the care of the elderly and, as a result, an upgrade of the facilities was required.
Through the 1960s and until 1972, the admission criteria contained in the Charitable Institutions Act continued to restrict admissions to St. Patrick’s Home to the well elderly. However, residents were living longer and developing conditions that required nursing care. “Extended Care”, a provincial government health program, was introduced and was intended to allow the residents to stay in St. Patrick’s Home rather than be transferred to acute or chronic care facilities.
On June 4, 1964, seventy residents were transferred to a new and modern one hundred and eighty bed Home located on Riverside Drive. The barrack-type accommodation at the Laurier residence was replaced with four bed, two bed and private rooms. All were considered luxury for the standards of the day.
In 1976, the Advisory Board of St. Patrick’s Home was invited by the Grey Sisters to form the first Board of Directors. Three years later, in 1979, the Home was the first Home for the Aged in the region to receive an accreditation award and has maintained this status to the present. In the same year, a Social Services department was established which initiated programs such as Meals-on-Wheels and Adult Day Programs.
Between 1985 and 1986, the building was renovated and expanded to meet growing needs and to permit a balance between individual privacy and companionship for the residents.
Meeting the Needs of Our Community
As a result of long-term care reform in 1993, St. Patrick’s Home ceased to be a “Home for the Aged” and become a “Long-Term Care Facility”. The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care controlled admissions through a central agency and restrictive new admissions criteria effectively eliminated the residential care program.
With the rapid health care changes and the necessity to continue a Catholic presence in the institutions sponsored by religious congregations, a new form of sponsorship was required. In 1997, the Catholic Health Corporation of Ontario (CHCO) was incorporated under civil and canon law. In 2000, the Grey Sisters of the Immaculate Conception transferred sponsorship of St. Patrick’s Home to CHCO. However, St. Patrick’s Home and other sponsored institutions continue to operate as separate corporations. The main role of the new corporation, CHCO, is to ensure an enduring Catholic presence in the health care institutions it sponsors.
In 2015, St. Patrick’s Home celebrated its 150th anniversary of caring in the community.
In 2013, St. Patrick’s Home was graced with a newly constructed Long Term Care facility accommodating 288 residents. The vacated 50-year-old facility was demolished in 2014. The new Home opened, with 288 provincially funded-long term care beds. St. Pat’s is proud of our legacy and honours the traditions and values of the Grey Sisters and our foundress St. Margerite d’Youville. We remain committed to progressive services that meet increasingly complex resident needs. Our core values of Spirituality, Hospitality, Sacredness of Life, Justice, Growth and Vision are lived every day in a spirit of joy, healing and hope.
Today, 1 in 7 Canadians is aged 65 or over. By 2041, nearly 1 in 4 Canadians will be over 65.
That’s why your support today, and far into the future, for the compassionate care provided by St. Patrick’s Home is so crucial.
In fact, our future vision is to help even more seniors in our community to find suitable, affordable housing that meets their needs at every stage of their journey. We are in the early stages of making plans for a new seniors’ campus that will provide a variety of living options, with extra support services as needed along the way.
Funds raised through the St. Patrick’s Home of Ottawa Foundation reach into every aspect of care at St. Pat’s Home. Every year, we work with the Home’s Board of Directors, leadership team and staff to choose important priorities that will have significant and direct benefit to our Residents.