The Mothers' and Babes' Summer Rest Home was first organized in 1919 by Dora Till, Ida Siegel and Lillian Clavir, members of the Hebrew Maternity Aid Society. It was formed in order to provide convalescent care for victims of the influenza epidemic by offering a two week holiday to mothers and young children. First located in a home in Bronte, now Oakville, the Rest Home was officially brought under the auspices of the Hebrew Maternity Aid Society in 1921. By this time the Home had moved from being a convalescent home to being a place of respite in the country for women and children of modest means, although they continued to assist those with poor health. By the late 1930s, a search for a replacement location was underway, as the Bronte Rest Home became ill equiped to deal with the increased demand, primarily due to unsuitable grounds and facilities.
In 1941, after selling the home in Bronte, the Mothers' and Babes' Rest Home Committee built a second home on eleven acres of lakefront property in Tollandale, near Barrie. In 1948, the Rest Home was admitted into the Jewish Camp Council, which helped the Committee administer the camp and fill staffing vacancies. Following this move, the Hebrew Maternity Aid Society changed its name to the Mothers' and Babes' Summer Rest Home Association, to better reflect the fact that the home was their only remaining activity.
In 1957, the camp expanded its mandate to include the addition of two new programs at its facitilites: Camp Family Fun for fathers, mothers, and children up to the age of nine and Camp Good Fellowship, a program for senior citizens over the age of 60.
Dora Till was the Rest Home's founding president for a total of 15 years and remained active with the home until it ultimately closed in 1977.
Scope and Content
This series consists of records documenting the operation of the Mothers' and Babes' Summer Rest Homes in Bronte and in Tollandale. The records include minutes, reports, speeches, correspondence, financial records, invitations, brochures and pamphlets, architectural drawings and photographs.
The records have been arranged into seven sub-series: Executive Committee, Operational functions, Finance and accounting, Building operations and grounds maintenance, Programming and events, Associated groups and General photographs. The records have been described at the file level while a selection of the photographs have been described at the item level and have been digitally scanned.
Partially closed. Researchers must receive permission from the OJA Director prior to accessing some of the records.