History

A Vision and a Need

Fairview Seniors Community – or Fairview Mennonite Homes Inc. – 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:

  1. It would provide a place where church workers could be cared for when “they could no longer participate in activities of the church”.
  2. 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.
  3. An “Old People’s Home” would be a “systematic Christian method of discharging the church’s obligation to care for the poor”.
  4. 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.

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Fairview Milestones

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.

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1943
Fairview began in 1943, as Braeside Lodge, a retirement residence in a remodelled home at the corner of King and Eagle Streets in Preston with five residents. opened with 5 people in residence. In the years that followed, Braeside grew and ultimately ran out of space. This prompted construction of the new facility at 799 Concession Road.
1943
1955
July 2, Cornerstone laying ceremony for Fairview Mennonite Homes at 799 Concession Road, built to accommodate up to 80 residents. The first resident moved from Braeside to Fairview on January 26, 1956, followed by its official opening on February 10.
1955
1956-1970
Cottage-style homes were built on Langs Drive.
1956-1970
1957
The Women’s Missionary and Service Auxiliary of the Mennonite Conference set up Fairview’s Auxiliary, appointing Mrs. Vera Hunsberger as President.
1957
1958
Addition to accommodate boilers and electric generators.
1958
1967
Expansion to support crafts and activities, two infirmaries and four additional residential care beds.
1967
1978
Eight-storey building with 124 Independent Living Apartments, and a Seniors’ Centre with a therapy pool, recreation area, bowling alley, auditorium, craft rooms, green house, library, store, dining room and other supportive services to enable seniors to maintain their independence officially opened on May 13. Both were built on land donated by Eugene Langs.
1978
1981
Fairview acquired Preston School, a heritage school built in 1852, saving it from demolition by converting it to seniors’ affordable housing.
1981
1995
The original cottages were removed and replaced by the current Fairview Villas.
1995
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1999
Fairview Mennonite Home, an 84-bed Long-Term Care facility, was finished. This replaced the old Nursing Home.
1999
1999
Fairview acquired the Seniors Apartment building at 770 Concession Road. It is now known as Fairview Courts.
1999
2001
Original Nursing Home at 799 Concession Road renovated and reopened as Fairview Suites Retirement Home.
2001
2015
Kitchen renovated and expanded.
2015
2019
Home and Community program awarded to Fairview, providing care for seniors in independent and assisted living apartments, both on campus and to the broader community.

Fairview identified as a French Language Service Provider.
2019
2019-2021
Renovations to Campus including the warm water therapy pool, the dining room, and the fitness area.
2019-2021
2020
Fairview Seniors Community welcomed Saint Louis Adult Learning and Continuing Education and opened its ‘Living Classroom’ to train PSWs onsite on October 8.

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.
2020
2021
On March 18, the Ontario Conservative government allocated 108 new spaces and renovations to the existing 84-bed LTC home to Fairview Mennonite Homes, originally built in 1995. This project will result in a modern, purpose-built, three-storey, 192-bed home.
2021

Free PSW Program and PAID Placements at Fairview