History of the CentreOur doors opened at our present location on Matchette Road near Chappell Street in March of 1978. Prior to this date, the Centre and school operated out of the Red Cross building, located then on Ouellette Avenue at Giles Boulevard.
It became apparent in the mid 1960's that the Red Cross rehabilitation complex would need new facilities due to limited space and wheelchair inaccessibility.
In November of 1965, a Steering Committee determined that there was a need to review the compatibility of the space. Plans for a new, fully integrated facility with a focus on children began shortly after by a Planning Committee chaired by John McGivney, who incidentally, is still a current member of our Board of Directors.
Approval to proceed with the project was obtained from the Ministry of Health in December of 1969 and after almost a decade of fundraising , the first sod was turned in March 1977. A Board of Directors had been elected, and working together with the Rotary Club of Windsor (1918), the Ontario Society for Crippled Children and the Provincial Ministry of Health, the Children's Rehabilitation Centre of Essex County officially opened its doors on June 26th, 1978 to the new $1.2 million facility. Physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, social work, school and preschool were provided for children with physical disabilities. At that time we served 150 families.
The Children's Rehabilitation Centre of Essex County celebrated its 25th Anniversary in 2003.
To date, we are one of only 21 Children's Treatment Centres in Ontario.
Currently, we host both preschool and school-aged programs on-site in conjunction with our core rehabilitation services including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, communication therapy, recreational therapy, family services, seating and augmentative communication. In addition to our daily programs, various medical clinics and camps are also held at the Centre along with toy and equipment loan and resource libraries for our families. We are also a training site for several post-secondary college and university professional programs, and high school cooperative education experiences. We participate in research and development, notably through membership in the Ontario Association of Children's Rehabilitation Services and our affiliation with CanChild, a research program through McMaster University.
On June 27, 2006, The Centre changed its name from the Children's Rehabilitation Centre of Essex County to the John McGivney Children's Centre. View press release.
The Centre has outgrown its facilities and must upgrade and significantly increase in size to adequately meet the needs of the community. Children, family and staff members face daily challenges related to insufficient and outdated facility space. As a result, we are embarking on a capital project which will allow for much needed facility redevelopment and expansion.
CRC Early Beginnings...
For more information:
Click here to read The History of the Cerebral Palsy Association of Windsor and Essex County.
Click here to read The History of the Windsor Red Cross School.