As early as 1916 the Ezras Noshem Society (a mutual benefit society for Jewish women) started to raise funds to purchase and renovate what would become The Toronto Jewish Old Folks' Home (Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care’s forerunner) after its members recognized the need for a home in Toronto where the Jewish elderly could receive kosher meals and communicate with staff in their own language. Property at 31 Cecil Street was purchased in 1917 and sometime between September 1918 and January 1920 the Home officially opened there. The Home was run by a small staff and the women of Ezras Noshem who volunteered their time to make beds, cook kosher meals, do laundry and sponsor fundraising events. By 1938 the Home had expanded into its neighboring houses at 29, 33, and 35 Cecil Street and was caring for 115 residents. It provided residents with synagogue services, a hospital ward and social activities. At this time the Home also became a member of the United Jewish Welfare Fund.
In 1946, the need for a larger and more modern building prompted a fundraising campaign, which was headed by Abe Posluns, to purchase and build a new facility. In December 1954, the new building opened at 3650 Bathurst Street and consisted of two new institutions: The Jewish Home for the Aged and Baycrest Hospital. This location continued to expand over the years, including a new building for residents in 1968, an apartment building for seniors called the Baycrest Terrace in 1976, and a community centre known as The Joseph E. and Minnie Wagman Centre in 1977. These additions enabled Baycrest to expand its programs to include a day care program, recreational programs, and a Sheltered Workshop which was run in cooperation with the Jewish Vocational Service and provided residents with employment. In 1986 a new Baycrest Hospital was erected, and in 1989, the Rotman Research Institute, which is also affiliated with the University of Toronto, opened to create a research facility where top researchers could study and find new treatment methods for the elderly.
In recent years, Baycrest’s services and programs have continued to expand. In 2000, the Apotex Centre, the Jewish Home for the Aged and the Louis and Leah Posluns Centre for Stroke and Cognition opened to help residents with progressive dementia caused by vascular disorders. In 2001 a condominium building opened at 2 Neptune Drive for seniors, and in 2003 the Sam and Ida Ross Memory Clinic was established to provide out-patient services for seniors with memory disorders. Baycrest Centre also provides numerous cultural and religious programs for the inhabitants and the greater community, including a heritage museum, art exhibits and a Holocaust program.
Records were donated to the OJA in a series of accessions from a variety of sources, including the Baycrest Women's Auxiliary and the Multicultural Historical Society of Ontario.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of records documenting the history, governance, and activities of the Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care. Included are meeting notices, agendas and minutes, correspondence, reports, speeches, photographs, artifacts, constitutions, publications, press releases, financial records, event invitations, programs, a scrapbook, a poster, lists, theatrical scripts, newspaper clippings, brochures and booklets, flyers, a land deed, certificates, schedules, annual calendars, cards, questionnaires, and lists.
Fonds is arranged into eleven series: 1. Board of Directors and Executive Committee; 2. Annual General Meetings and Annual Reports; 3. Committees and meetings; 4. Women's Auxiliary; 5. Men's Service Group; 6. Toronto Jewish Old Folks Home; 7. Programs and services; 8. Religious services; 9. Fundraising; 10. Publications and publicity; and, 11. Events. Records are described to the file level with some item level descriptions.
Associated material note: related material at Library and Archives Canada includes a small Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care fonds, and the Eric Exton fonds. For architectural records see the Irving D. Boigon fonds 243 at the City of Toronto Archives (Boigon was an architect who designed many of Baycrest's buildings between the 1970s and 1990s). Contact Baycrest Centre's Heritage Museum for committee records from the 1930s, and consult Baycrest's website to access electronic copies of current issues of Baycrest's publications.
Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care
Ezras Noshem Society (Toronto, Ont.)
Jewish Home for the Aged (Toronto, Ont.)
Jewish Old Folks Home (Toronto, Ont.)
Old age homes
See Gordon Mendly Fonds 18, series 3-4; Jewish Vocational Services of Toronto fonds 75; United Jewish Welfare Fund fonds 67; accession # 2009-6-2; Dora Till Fonds 52; J. Irving Oelbaum Fonds 24; Jewish Community Centre of Toronto fonds 61, series 1-1; Gilbert Studios fonds 37; Ben Kayfetz fonds 62, series 3, file 3; JFWB fonds 87, series 6, files 5 and 6; JIAS fonds 9, series 7, file 1; Harold S. Kaplan fonds 27, series 1-4, and Morris Norman fonds 22.
Series consists of records documenting the activities of the Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care's Board of Directors and Executive Committee. Included are meeting minutes, correspondence, speeches and reports.
Series consists of records documenting the various committees and ad hoc meetings of Baycrest Centre as well as its participation on joint committees with other agencies. Included are meeting notices, agendas and minutes, reports, correspondence and lists.
File consists of a meeting notice and accompanying report for a Convenience Services Group meeting. The report documents the planning and operation of Baycrest's Centre's convenience services (Beauty Shop, Library, Gift Shop, Banking services, Dry Cleaning, and food services).
The Women's Auxiliary (WA) of the Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care was established in 1955 as a fundraising arm of the Baycrest Centre as well as a provider of services to the residents and patients. It represented the amalgamation of the two women’s auxiliaries that had previously operated at the Jewish Old Folks’ Home (Baycrest’s predecessor) – The Ladies Executive and the Young Ladies Auxiliary. Dora Till served as the founding President and was succeeded by Lillian Soles in 1959.
The WA’s initial activities included running the volunteer service, the Beauty Salon, the Tuck Shop, religious and festival programming, communicating information about Baycrest to the community, and managing the memorial books and card services. These activities soon expanded to include recreational programming for residents, such as outings, an annual fashion show, and Mazel Tov nights, running Baycrest’s Day Care program, and managing the library, Gift Shop, and Snack Bar. Originally, the WA raised funds through membership fees, the sale of happiness and condolence cards, and memorial inscriptions. In 1959 the WA began organizing an annual Theatre Night fundraising event, which was supplanted by an annual Auxilorama in 1968. During the 1960s members of the WA served in Baycrest’s Women’s Corp to help raise money for the Building Expansion Fund. In 1971, the WA established a junior auxiliary called the Capricorn Group.
Today the WA continues to run many of its programs and services and to fundraise through annual events and campaigns such as, a Gala evening, a spring sale (or Bargain Bonanza), Games Girls Play (an evening of board games and arts and crafts activities), and a Women of Baycrest campaign (to support research into women’s brain health and aging). In 2000, the Women’s Auxiliary Winter Garden opened in the Apotex Centre, which was sponsored by the WA.
Scope and Content
Series consists of records documenting the formation, governance, and activities of the Women's Auxiliary of Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care. Included are meeting notices, agendas, and minutes, reports, speeches, correspondence, lists, invitations, financial records, theatrical scripts, a scrapbook, photographs, newspaper clippings, programmes, brochures, booklets, a survey, statistics, flyers, a certificate, memos, newsletters, questionnaires, and coins.
Series is arranged into the following sub-series: 1. Board of Directors and Executive Committee; 2. Annual meetings; 3. Committees and meetings; 4. Capricorn Group; 4. Festival Committee; 5. Programs and services; 6. Volunteer program; 7. Fundraising; 8. Membership; 9. Publications and publicity; 10. Finance; 11. Administrative functions; and, 12. Events. Records are described to the file level with some item level description.
Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care. Women's Auxiliary
For additional records related to the Women's Auxiliary, see the Dora Till fonds 52, series 2.
According to the Women's Auxiliary's first constitution, the Board of Directors had "charge of the affairs and funds of the Auxiliary". All actions of the Executive Committee were subject to the Board's approval. Officers of the Auxiliary consisted of a President, Vice-Presidents (up to 4), Recording and Corresponding Secretaries, a Treasurer, a Dues Treasurer, a Social Secretary and any additional officers as deemed necessary for the Auxiliary to carry out its work. The President was the Auxiliary's Chief Executive Officer, appointed all Chairmen (subject to the Executive Committee's approval), and had to be present at all Auxiliary meetings. Although initially the Board had between 76 and 120 members and met at least four times per year, these numbers were reduced by 1970 to between 50 and 78 members and at least three meetings per year. Members of the Board were elected at the Auxiliary's annual spring meeting for a two-year term. The Executive Committee consisted of the elected Officers and Chairmen of standing committees. They met once a month, except during the months of July and August.
Scope and Content
Series consists of records documenting the activities of the Women's Auxiliary Board of Directors and Executive Committee. Included are meeting notices, agendas and minutes, reports, speeches, correspondence, slate of officers lists, meeting calendars, and meeting prayers.
The Women's Auxiliary held an annual meeting every spring to elect Officers and Directors, present annual reports and review "any other business that may arise." The Auxiliary held one or more additional general meetings each year, which generally took place in the fall and around the time of Chanukah. These meetings often showcased special guest speakers and performers. They sometimes also included fashion shows or arts and crafts shows.
Scope and Content
Series consists of records documenting the annual and general meetings of the Women's Auxiliary. Included are invitations, reports, meeting agendas and minutes, speeches, financial records, a theatrical script, guest lists, correspondence, newspaper clippings, and photographs.
Sub-series consists of textual records documenting the various committees and meetings of the Women's Auxiliary. Included are meeting notices, agendas and minutes, constitutions and by-laws, correspondence, lists, and reports.
File consists of meeting notices and minutes for various ad hoc committees and meetings of the Women's Auxiliary, including: a special Advisory Council meeting, a special meeting against Soviet antisemitism, a Department Head meeting, a joint meeting of the Women's Auxiliary and Men's Service Group, and a Chairmen's Worskhop.
The Festival Committee's goal was to ensure that each Jewish holiday was a joyful celebration for residents and patients and to enrich their religious and cultural life. The Committee sponsored four events each year: Purim, Mother's and Father's Day (often held in conjunction with Shavuot), Sukkot, and Chanukah. Planning for each event typically began six weeks in advance and a finalizing meeting was usually held ten days prior to the event. Once the event was over, the Committee held an evaluation meeting. Residents and volunteers helped Committee members prepare decorations and other items for the events.
Scope and Content
Sub-series consists photographs and textual records documenting the activities and programs of the Women's Auxiliary's Festival Committee. Included are meeting notices and minutes, program notices, reports, speeches, correspondence, financial records, lists of Committee members, invitations, event programmes, and photographs.
File consists of meeting notices and minutes of the Festival Committee. The meetings primarily document the planning and evaluation of the Committee's various programs including: Purim, Sukkot, Shavuot and Mother's and Father's Day, and Chanukah.
Sub-series consists of textual and graphic material documenting the various programs and services of the Women's Auxiliary. Included are meeting notices, agendas, and minutes, reports, correspondence, invitations, financial records, newspaper clippings, brochures, a survey, statistics, and photographs.
8 photographs : b&w and col. ; 21 x 25 cm or smaller
Baycrest's library officially opened in May 1957; however library services were available to residents as early as 1956. The library distributed complimentary local newspapers to residents on a daily basis, and once a week a volunteer visited residents with the book cart so that those unable to make it to the library could access its material. A Talmudic Study Group met in the library every afternoon and a Yiddish reading group met in the library twice a week. The Library Committee's first Chairmen were Hilda Spivak and Frances Wintrob.
Scope and Content
File consists of photographs and textual records documenting the operation and activities of Baycrest's library for residents. Included are meeting notices and minutes, correspondence, event invitations, bookmarks of the Jewish Public Library, and material related to the library's involvement in Toronto's first Jewish Book Fair. Also included are images of the Talmudic Study Group meetings and library staff.
Sub-series consists of textual and graphic material documenting the Women's Auxiliary's volunteer program. Included are reports, a study, information booklets and guides, correspondence, invitations, photographs, lists, a speech, newspaper clippings, event programmes, and an agenda. The bulk of the material relates to volunteer recognition events.
Sub-series consists of textual and graphic material documenting the various fundraising projects and activities of the Women's Auxiliary, such as, Theatre Nights, Auxilorama, Gala events, raffles, card services and memorial funds. Included are meeting notices, agendas, and minutes, invitations, reports, speeches, event programmes, financial records, brochures, donation receipt books, a certificate, lists, flyers, canvassing material, and newspaper clippings.
File consists of meeting notices, agendas and minutes for various committees responsible for arranging Auxilorama '79. Committees documented include: the Sponsors and Patrons' Committee, Booklet Committee, Liquor Committee, Food Committee, Tickets Committee, Art Committee, and the Prizes Committee. Also documented are general planning meetings, progress report meetings and an evaluation meeting. File also includes lists of members of the Auxilorama Committee.
File consists of a flyer advertising the Baycrest Mezuzah Project, which was operated by the Women's Auxiliary and raised money for through the sale of mezuzah's that were hand-painted by residents and patients.