Our History

Education, improved job skills and helping women find employment quickly became priorities for the first board of directors of the local YWCA.

The list of services was considerably shorter than the programming provided today, but the year was 1902 and community services were in their infancy. The need however was evident and as participation and community support continued the organization relocated several times in order to meet a growing demand on service.

In 1928, the YWCA began construction of a permanent home at the corner of Mary and Curtis Streets and with the new building came the Woman’s Residence Program. It offered women in transition or need, safe housing. Programs and services reflected the social, economic and political climate of the time.

ground breaking 1902
Courtesy of the Elgin County Archives.

Ground Breaking Ceremony

During the First and Second World Wars the YWCA offered First Aid training courses, shelter referrals and recreational services to members of the armed forces as well as the community. In the 1940’s, as women entered the work force in greater numbers and in non-traditional roles, physical fitness programs were developed for them and for school children.

In the 50’s and 60’s, youth groups and the YWCA pool campaign were highlights of the evolving programming. Counselling services, an abused women’s shelter and building renovations were made possible in the 1970’s. As information technology came on-line the YWCA kept stride and brought the community computers, classes and access to the internet. Adult learning, children and family programs, job search workshops and specific women’s programming are key elements of the services and opportunities offered at the YWCA today.

The YWCA St. Thomas-Elgin is rich in history and over the past 117 years the community has given of its time and resources as the YWCA maintained a role as innovator and provider of required community services. The YWCA is proud of its work and its place in the fabric of St. Thomas and Elgin County.

Recent News

Cancellation notices to parents/guardians

UPDATE March 30, 2020 Our Before & After School care survey, in collaboration with the TVDSB is now closed and all September registrations have been removed. Thank you to everyone who participated by showing their interest in our programs as this viability study...

CANCELLED – Port Stanley Spring Fashion Show & Shopping Event

CANCELLED – Port Stanley Spring Fashion Show & Shopping Event

CANCELLATION NOTICE: The health and wellness of our partners, guests, volunteers and staff is our priority. Please be advised that due to the COVID-19 Virus Pandemic, our Port Stanley Spring Fashion Show scheduled for April 25, 2020 has now been suspended. We are...

Notice to current parents/guardians (childcare)

Notice to current parents/guardians (childcare)

February 19, 2020 The TVDSB has recently published information about the upcoming 2020/21 school year and how to express interest in Before & After School Child Care. As a current family with the YWCA school age program you are not required to indicate your...

Women’s Day – SOLD OUT

Women’s Day – SOLD OUT

Saturday, March 7, 2020 - SOLD OUT Enjoy a day out with women in your community through health and wellness, arts and crafts, self-enhancement, cooking and physical fitness. This annual event takes place in March and provides you with an opportunity to try something...

Job posting: Childcare staff (various positions available)

Job posting: Childcare staff (various positions available)

We are currently hiring for Program Supervisor, Program Assistant and Relief Staff to provide care for children during our Before & After School Childcare Programs. Hours are 7 am to 9/9:30 am and/or 3 pm to 6pm. Utilizing excellent behavior management techniques...

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