In 1956, a group of Montreal Presbyterians were concerned about the well-being of the elderly members of their community. They created St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Homes Inc., which built St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Home on Cavendish Boulevard on land donated by members of the Beattie family.
The Home was opened in 1961, initially housing 50 seniors. Over the years, as the population aged and medical demands grew, the Home expanded. At first, a separate infirmary with 20 beds was built; later, a new home with 70 beds was built with the support of the Presbyterian community and the government of the province of Quebec.
In 1978, the St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Homes Foundation was created to raise funds to ensure the highest level of care and support for seniors. Together with a group of dedicated Presbyterian leaders, Mr. W. David Angus assembled the initial Board of Directors and served as the founding President until 2001. By raising funds and encouraging community members to include the Foundation in their wills, they solidified what is now one of the Foundation’s largest sources of capital: bequests and endowments. Mr. Angus, a lawyer and a former Canadian Senator, has made an invaluable contribution and given unwavering service to the Home and Foundation for over 50 years.
The Corporation continued to operate the Home until the 1980s, when the Quebec government gradually took over running it. In 2010, the Home and the land were transferred to the Quebec government, marking the end of the St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Homes Corporation.
However, the Corporation’s spirit is still very much alive today in the work of the St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Homes Foundation. Today, residents at the Home enjoy a caring, home-like atmosphere through the hard work of staff, volunteers, and family members, as well as the ongoing efforts and financial support of the Foundation. In 2013, the Foundation further expanded this work with the creation of the Seniors’ Support Program, reaching elderly Presbyterian living in their own homes.
Under our dedicated leadership the Foundation continues to be committed to living out its motto - “Caring in Action” for our seniors. We are pleased to be a part of today’s solution, enabling our elderly to continue to lead rich and dynamic lives.
History: A Video
St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Homes Inc., a registered charity, is established by a group of Montreal Presbyterians who recognize the need for a warm, comfortable residence for elderly people, especially those without substantial financial resources.
The privately run St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Home is opened as a direct result of the generosity of the Presbyterian community. James and Jessie Beattie, together with their brother Donald McFarlane Benny Beattie, a Presbyterian minister in Edinburgh, donate the land for the Home, which initially accommodates 50 residents with minimal health care needs.
As the Home’s residents grow older and require increasing medical care, an infirmary is built adjacent to the Home providing an additional 20 beds.
Founding President, Mr. W. David Angus, spearheads the creation of the St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Homes Foundation to receive donations, legacies, and other voluntary contributions. St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Homes Inc. continues to operate the Home, now with the financial support of the St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Homes Foundation.
Over time, due to rising operating costs, it becomes apparent that the Home can no longer financially support itself. The Quebec government gradually takes over running the Home, and the official name becomes Centre d'accueil presbytérien St. Andrew’s.
A completely new Home built to the most up-to-date standards for long-term care, is officially opened, with capacity for 70 residents. Mr. Fergus Groundwater oversees the building project, during his much-appreciated tenure as President of Homes Inc. from 1988 to 2001.
Mr. Groundwater becomes the Foundation’s President, a position he holds until 2014. During this time, he leads the development and building of a state-of- the art independent living home, Heritage Gardens in St. Lambert. The home opens in 2012, and is transferred over to a management company one year later.
The Centre d'accueil presbytérien St. Andrew’s and the land it was erected on are transferred over to the Quebec Government. The St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Homes Inc. ceases to exist. However, its spirit remains very much alive, as residents at the St. Andrew’s Home (officially changed to the St-Andrew Residential Centre), continue to enjoy a caring home-like atmosphere through the hard work of staff, volunteers, family members and the ongoing financial support of the Foundation.
Recognizing that many Presbyterian seniors want to remain in their own homes despite facing significant health challenges, the Foundation introduces the Seniors’ Support Program. Led by then Vice-President Mr. Bruce Bolton, this initiative assists elderly Presbyterians living in their own homes to live active and productive lives.
2017 and beyond
The St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Homes Foundation continues to provide value-added services and equipment for the residents of the St-Andrew Residential Centre. The Foundation funds services and items that are not provided for by the government, but that significantly improve the quality of life for the Home’s residents. For more information about our current work in the Home, click here. The Foundation also continues to fund the Seniors’ Support Program. For more information about our current work through the Seniors’ Support Program, click here.