In 1979, the South Granville Seniors Centre was founded by members of Chalmers United Church and other neighbouring churches. Originally named “Chalmers’ Seniors Centre”, the Centre was located on the eponymous church’s first floor. The building itself was constructed in 1912 for the Chalmers United Church (1899-1994) and is now listed as a Heritage Building.
Program development and construction plans for the Centre began in 1979, and the Centre officially opened its doors in the new Pioneer Hall of Chalmers United Church under the name “South Granville Seniors Friendship Centre” on February 12th, 1982.
The Centre was created to address the lack of seniors’ recreational facilities in an area with many older adults and retirement homes, such as Chalmers and Shaughnessy Lodges. Prior to the creation of the Centre, the only seniors-related activities offered in the neighbourhood were the Mustard Seeds Seniors Craft Program, the South Granville Stroke Club, and the Seniors Drop-In Centre, all of which operated out of a limited space inside the Chalmers United Church. The Centre’s establishment allowed for the implementation of many more programs and services, as well as the creation of a non-denominational, multicultural space that has since welcomed seniors of all backgrounds.
For instance, one of the Centre’s most successful programs, the Spanish Seniors Program, was established in 1995 as a joint effort between the Centre and the Hispano-American Seniors of British Columbia. To this day, the program continues to contribute to the promotion of cultural diversity and understanding in our community, and has inspired the development of a number of other multicultural initiatives at the Centre, including our annual Seniors Multicultural Festival.
Over the years, the Centre has endeavoured to maintain a welcoming and friendly space that is adaptable to the changing needs of seniors in South Granville/Fairview. A number of our programs have continued to run since the Centre’s beginning. For instance, the Mustard Seeds Knitting Group was founded in 1977 by Mrs. Wyn Whuly and is still facilitated by SGSC today, making it our oldest program to date. At the same time, changes in seniors’ services and older adults’ needs have prompted the Centre to develop and implement new programs, including our Peer Information and Referral Program, our Community Volunteer Income Tax Preparation clinics, Legal Clinics with Access Pro Bono, Brain Gym, Computer Lessons, and Representation Agreements.