Growing Alongside Our Community

While the approaches and philosophies may have changed over the years, our basic premise has remained the same – support for people and families in their community to help them achieve a better life. We’re proud of our history and how we’ve grown to what we are today.

In 1952, John and Laura Zoller approached the Windsor Board of Education and asked them to develop an education program for their son Charles. The result of this meeting was the establishment of a small class which began meeting at the YMCA in October 1952. Each parent paid $5 per week, out of which the group was able to hire a retired teacher for $25 per week. Word of the class spread quickly and so on others were making enquiries about enrolling their children. With such growing interest, the parents decided to incorporate as the Greater Windsor Parents Association, the second such association in Ontario.

After a year, the need for more space forced a move. The Association approached the City of Windsor,which offered a house at 1304 Church Street for an annual rental fee of $1. In 1954, the children’s program with 35 students moved to the home and named it Churchwood.


By 1958, the Churchwood program had more than doubled its size. A $50,000 cost-matching donation from The City of Windsor and surrounding municipalities permitted the Association to build a new

Churchwood School on Virginia Park. This was the first Ontario school for children with disabilities built entirely with public funds.

Today our supports continue to evolve. While the approaches and philosophies may have changed over the years, the basic premise has remained the same– support for people and families in their community to help them achieve a better life, as it was in 1952.


THROUGH THE YEARS

1952 – formed as the “Greater Windsor Parents’ Association for Retarded Children”
1955 – renamed “Windsor Association for Retarded Children”
1963 – renamed “Metropolitan Windsor Association for Retarded Children”
1968 – renamed “Windsor Association for the Mentally Retarded”
1989 – renamed “Windsor Community Living Support Services”
2002 – renamed “Community Living Windsor”
picture compilation from historic CLW moments

Our supports continue to grow and evolve every day.