Simcoe Hall Settlement House was established, in 1935, by the Women’s Welfare League in response to human and health conditions created, largely, by the Great Depression of the 1930’s. During the war years of the 1940’s, the Women’s League remained active and dedicated to aiding the lives of less advantaged families and alleviating the consequences of poverty in Oshawa and surrounding areas.
In the post war years of 1950’s, they expanded their vision of a fair and equitable community, in which all members could prosper, by turning their attention to early education, intervention and prevention programs for children and youth. Thousands of adults, living and working in our community to-day, once passed through the doors of Simcoe Hall to attend the Simcoe Hall Nursery School and Children’s After School Programs. Seniors were also welcomed to participate in the community’s first recreation and leisure program called the Golden Age Club which still exists to-day.
The Women’s League also embraced several ambitious community building projects in the 1950 and 60’s including the on-site children’s gymnasium building, the construction of Eastview Boys’ and Girls’ Club and the Simcoe Hall Children’s School and Treatment Centre now known as Grandview Children’s Centre. Important programs such as Summer Day Camps and Big Sisters were brought to our community by Simcoe Hall Settlement House. During the recession of the 1980’s, Simcoe Hall expanded their existing food relief services and opened what has become the largest food bank in Durham Region.
Regardless of the times we live in there will always be children, families and vulnerable adults who have less than others and will be affected more than most by fluctuations in employment, changes in social policies and shifts in the local and global economy.