In January 1967, Osie Villeneuve, M.P.P. called a meeting in the Community Hall to promote a home for the aged. About 400 very interested clients attended the meeting and as a result a Steering Committee was named. It eventually consisted of Allan C. Vallance, chair, Dr. D.M. Gamble, Hubert Quart, William R. MacEwen and D.B. MacKillican.
By the end of February a corporation was organized with 12 members representing the local churches and certain organizations. Included were Mr.Vallance, Dr. Gamble, Mr. Quart, Mr. MacKillican, Verna MacGregor, Mr. MacEwen, Nick Haramis, Erwin Shields, John D. MacLeod, Ben F. Villeneuve and Keith Franklin.
In March, a 12 acre site was purchased west of Maxville High School on Mechanic St. from Neil Chisholm along with a part donated by the School Board. The name “Maxville Manor” was chosen and the plans for the building included facilities for 91 clients.
The estimated cost of the building’s construction was $700,000, the provincial government grants 5,000 per client and a fund raising campaign brought in about $100,000.
The first sod was turned by Osie Villeneuve on October 14, 1967 and construction began on November 23. The outer walls were completed by July 1968 and work proceeded on the interior.Archie Hughes was appointed administrator as of September 1, 1968.
The official opening was on November 1, 1968 with Hon. John Yaremko, Minster of Family Services cutting the ceremonial ribbon. The first seven clients were welcomed on November 28, 1968 and within a year; the full capacity of 91 had been reached.
The Story Continues…
In 1972 with the inception of the Ontario Extended Care Program, a 60 bed addition was made to the Manor; and bed designation changed to 60 Residential Care and 90 Extended Care. This was later changed to 100 Extended Care and 50 Residential Care.
Following the organization’s first formal strategic planning exercise in 1987, the Manor saw itself adapting to a new and varied role. Essentially the plan involved:
- re-developing the care facility by downsizing to 120 beds, providing mostly private rooms and en-suite washrooms
- an expanded community role to include providing a wide array of outreach services to help seniors stay in their own homes
- using the “life-lease” concept to build and provide a new seniors’ housing development
The Seniors Outreach Services Program was started and has grown to the point of providing a host of services to seniors in 3 townships within 2 counties.
The first group of 6 apartments opened in 1990, a second group of 6 were added in 1995; and this was followed with an additional 4 units in 2005.
In 1994 a $9 million renovation and addition was made to the Care Facility where the facility actually reduced its capacity to 122 but now provides 80% private rooms and the balance semi-private.
The development of Maxville Manor was a total community effort, drawing on the volunteer time of many of the area citizens and the generous donations of over 3000 people from the surrounding area, or with a connection to the area.
It continues today with that same community spirit, supported by the various groups and individuals, in the area, who assist us in our daily tasks to constantly strive to recognize and meet the needs of seniors both in the Manor and the community at large.
Written for the 40th Anniversary of Maxville Manor celebration by Craig Munro, former Executive Director 1977-2015.