What would you do if you turned 100? Have a party of course!

Central Neighbourhood House kicks off a Year of celebration:
100 Years of Neighbours

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TORONTO, Jan. 27 /CNW/ - Central Neighbourhood House, (CNH) a United Way member social agency serving newcomers, families, the homeless, seniors and many others in the downtown east end of the city, celebrates its 100th anniversary today by kicking off a year of exciting events including storytelling, historic exhibits and multicultural celebrations.  This year of festivities is made possible by the generous support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation and Heritage Canada.

During more than a century of service CNH has provided a place for hundreds of thousands of people to gather in common purpose, to both help and be helped.  Grace, for example, came to CNH 20 years ago seeking subsidized child-care.  Soon she was volunteering in the childcare centre, then working part time, studying for her ECE and finally taking on the position of Director of Childcare Services, and even Interim Executive Director.  Today Grace has moved beyond CNH and is successfully leading another major childcare agency in Toronto. 

Lydia came to Canada 5 years ago with her young family, and looked to CNH for support in raising her children in a new country.  Today she has proudly celebrated her children's graduation from high school, and continues to participate in our women's club, where she is able to share her experiences and support other moms.

CNH alumna and former Toronto Mayor, Barbara Hall Chairs the 100 Years of Neighbours Steering Committee comprising neighbours, local business people, long time volunteers and staff.  

"From the beginning CNH has been about building community, about neighbours helping neighbours." says Barbara Hall. "They did that in 1911, we did it in the 60's when I worked there and it continues today. There's so much to be proud of from the past but still many people who need our support today," said Ms. Hall.  "2011 allows us to celebrate and showcase our past accomplishments but also to prepare to meet the need of the next 100 years.  The support and involvement of the community helps us make a difference," Hall adds.

"We are thrilled to have volunteers like Barbara Hall leading our Centennial Celebrations", says CNH Board Chair, Tim Hughes.  "Like so many of our clients, staff and volunteers over the years she remains committed to the work we do building communities. We're glad to have her experience as a former CNH employee and Mayor of Toronto as we move into the next century," adds Hughes.

Founded in 1911, Central Neighbourhood House is the second oldest settlement house in Toronto.  Inspired by the vision of a true social centre, where people of all ages and origins could find respite from the daily struggle of life in Toronto's downtown slums, it was founded by social reformer J.J. Kelso, students from Victoria College and local activists.  Today CNH continues to provide a range of vital services to young people, seniors, new Canadians and all members of the downtown east community.   

In 2010 CNH programs provided over 400,000 community based experiences to more than 7,000 of its neighbours.   For more information on Central Neighbourhood house please visit www.cnh.on.ca

SOURCE Central Neighbourhood House

For further information:

Elizabeth Forestell,
Executive Director,

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Central Neighbourhood House

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