A Vision and a Need
Fairview Seniors Community – or Fairview Mennonite Homes – is a charitable, not-for-profit organization that began in 1905 as a dream of various Mennonite churches in what is now the Mennonite Conference of Eastern Canada.
In 1942, a committee presented a report to the Conference stating the reasons in favour of creating this home:
- It would provide a place where church workers could be cared for when “they could no longer participate in activities of the church”.
- People who were childless and who were able to afford to pay for the service would be able to have a home where they could be cared for.
- An “Old People’s Home” would be a “systematic Christian method of discharging the church’s obligation to care for the poor”.
- The church had an obligation to the community at large. The report stated, “If a service of this kind could be extended to those who are not of our faith or to non-Christians as well, what a wonderful principle of love for others, as given by Jesus Himself, such an institution could be.”
These principles and values remain the foundation and springboard for all we do. They are reflected in Fairview’s commitment to “Build a Community for All”, its ongoing work to relieve poverty and the kindness initiative.
In 1971, The Board of Directors formally defined its philosophy on the approach to be taken to provide care to seniors: “Our purpose is to meet the total needs – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual – of the older person, to offer a secure environment, a sense of dignity and to help retain [the person’s] life style.”
This continues to be Fairview’s philosophy and is captured in its logo, with the circle representing community and a secure environment, and the three leaf shapes representing a person’s basic needs: physical, mental and spiritual.
For nearly 80 years, Fairview has welcomed people of all faiths, all cultures, all ethnicities. What began as a small retirement home with five people in Braeside Lodge in Preston is now a vibrant campus continuum of care with multiple housing options, from fully independent to long-term care, across three sites in Cambridge.
Fairview identified as a French Language Service Provider.
The Board of Directors and leadership team also recognized the growing closeness with Parkwood Seniors Community with the introduction of the ‘Fairview Parkwood Communities’ reference. This informal change continues to honour each campus, increasingly leveraging their individual strengths and programs for the benefit of all, such as the Home and Community program. Working together, the two communities benefit from a greater pool of experience and innovation and are able to implement new initiatives. This was a significant benefit during the COVID-19 pandemic.