Fall Back into Abbotsford Seniors Centre

Conversational Spanish Class in Abbotsford Seniors Centre

By: Pat Goyeche

The evenings are starting to cool and we begin to remember feelings of ‘back to school’. Fall always seems like a fresh start full of new beginnings.  You might want to get yourself a new pencil case or perhaps a new set of watercolours, weights, yoga mat or deck of cards!

Finding your artistic, intellectual, and social side are all possible at Abbotsford this fall.

Our ever popular fitness classes, favourite instructors and well loved arts courses are returning to Abbotsford this fall, alongside new programming such as Beginner Tai Chi , Beginner Bridge, Learn to ‘Jam, Beginner Piano, Highland and Scottish Dancing, Beginner Spanish and Beginner Pottery.  

Lunches are available to members on a first come-first served basis on Tuesdays and Thursdays. $10 gets you a sandwich, soup, salad, fruit, dessert and coffee or tea.

Abbotsford has a Trishaw, a three-wheeled electric powered passenger bike to take older adults on rides on the pathway near the Rideau canal. Thanks to a New Horizons for Seniors grant, we are equipped to have volunteers pilot the passenger bike so members and clients can view the fall colours. Many have enjoyed the Trishaw experience so far and we will continue to offer rides into the fall until the snow flies.

Our Community Support Services staff continue to help older adults and caregivers in our surrounding neighbourhoods navigate challenges to remain at home safely. Call or email us, if you have any questions about drives to medical appointments, dementia day programs, Luncheon Club for those who need extra support to socialize, friendly visiting or service arrangements to connect to businesses and home supports. 

The fall guide is available on-line at: see Abbotsford Seniors Centre and drop down menu to Current Program Guide.  Check out the full complement of programs for Adults 55+ online or pick up a paper copy at the centre.

New beginnings have never been easier than it will be this fall, so join in and participate in all that we have on offer that interests you.  Meet new friend and old friends alike and Loiter With Us at your leisure.

Memberships are half price currently and are valid until December for new members trying Abbotsford for the first time. All members and friends of Abbotsford receive emails outlining upcoming events and interesting programs. Be sure to open those emails from us as we promote special events to all the members. Watch for free coffee time and bingo games with prizes, new this fall.

Abbotsford is dedicated to forging new partnerships in our community, implementing new programming through grants and fundraising. We continue to work with our governments, business partners and sector networks that help keep our centre viable, sustainable and our 55+ population active and engaged. 

Fundraising is a necessary aspect of our charitable organization. We rely on memberships, sponsorships, donations, fees for services and engagement with the greater Ottawa community to keep Abbotsford thriving. It is key to ensuring our programs are interesting and affordable to our members and services meet the needs of clients.

This year we have a magical fundraising event to be held the evening of Thursday October 12 in the Horticultural Building, Lansdowne Park.  The theme is Mystic Carnivale!  Be prepared to be dazzled by performers, beguiled by delicious cuisine, delighted with games, prizes and marvelous auction items.  Take a turn on the dancefloor, take in the fun and festive atmosphere and support seniors in your community.  Bring your mom or let her bring you and your friends. It is guaranteed to be an entertaining and memorable evening.

Check out website for our current gala sponsors, businesses that get behind Abbotsford Seniors Centre and all that we do to support older adults. It takes an entire community to support our seniors’ centre.

It is ‘cool to be in school’ so join in and participate in all that we have on offer.

Abbotsford Seniors Centre is your community support centre for Adults 55+.  We are the community programs and services of The Glebe Centre Inc., a charitable, not-for-profit, organization which includes a 254 bed long term care home.  Find out more about our services by dropping by 950 Bank Street (the old stone house) Mon- Fri 9-4 pm, telephoning 613-230-5730 or by checking out all of The Glebe Centre facilities and community programs on our website

Abbotsford Has Butterflies and 3-Wheeled Passenger Bike

By Shirley Lee

Abbotsford has been the home of 20 painted lady caterpillars and now butterflies.  The clients in the Abbotsford Adult Day Program and Luncheon Club have enjoyed watching the caterpillars transform into chrysalises and eventual emerge as butterflies of the course of a few weeks.  Just before the painted lady butterflies were release, the clients had an opportunity to get up close and personal with the butterflies.  The butterflies will be released into our patio area where we hope that they will lay more eggs and produce the next generation of butterflies for all to enjoy. 

Next month we will be caring for Monarch caterpillars in an effort to increase the Monarch butterfly population in Ottawa. As part of the effort to attract butterflies, Abbotsford will be growing butterfly friendly plants and milkweed.

Rolling soon into Abbotsford House will be our Ami Trishaw as part of our Cycling Without Age program.  Thanks to a grant from New Horizons for Seniors, Abbotsford House has purchased a special Trishaw, a 3-wheeled electric powered rickshaw, designed to give older adults and people with disabilities rides piloted by volunteer pilots. The 500-watt electric motor and gears will allow volunteer pilots to ride up steep hills such as the overpasses with ease.

Abbotsford House is fortunate to be located steps away from the Rideau Canal bike path with access to Ottawa’s beautiful inner-city lake, Dow’s Lake, and other beautiful vistas along the canal.

We have partnered with a business called RentABike to assemble the Ami Trishaw. Special thanks to Jill Messier, Fleet and Shop Manager at RentABike, and her crew for hearing about this challenge and enthusiastically agreeing to assemble the Ami Trishaw which was a 6-8 hour endeavour.  RentABike is located at 2 Rideau Street, under the Plaza Bridge downtown.

Volunteers will be trained throughout the summer and depending on their availability they will take older adults and adults with disabilities for rides. Gary Bradshaw is a member of Cycling Without Age, a global initiative, and we are pleased to have him assist with the training.

If you are interested in volunteering as a pilot contact Bridget MacInnes at 613 238 2727 ext 353. If you want more information on the Cycling Without Age program contact Shirley Lee at 613 230 5730 ext 309.

Abbotsford is your community support centre for Adults 55+.  We are the community programs of The Glebe Centre Inc., a charitable, not-for-profit, organization which includes a 254 bed long term care home.  Find out more about our services by dropping by 950 Bank Street (the old stone house) Mon- Fri 9-4 pm, telephoning 613-230-5730 or by checking out all of The Glebe Centre facilities and community programs on our website

Abbotsford’s Rain or Shine Sale on Sat May 27th

Volunteer led sale will take place as part of the Great Glebe Garage Sale on Saturday May 27th

By: Pat Goyeche

Excitement is in the air at Abbotsford Seniors Centre these days as we ready for our big fundraising event.  We are participating in the Great Glebe Garage sale on Saturday, May 27th.  We have wide array of quality donations for sale including Art, Elegant Treasures, Jewelry and Flea Market items.  To ensure we have a successful sale, we will be selling both indoors and outdoors at this Rain or Shine Sale!

2023 will prove a hard year for Abbotsford programming and services as we work to offset a significant loss of municipal (City of Ottawa) sustainable funding.   We want to thank our many friends, members and volunteers who have donated items throughout the year such as women’s clothing, books, jewelry, cards, household items and decorative items.  Without your generous donations and hours of work sorting and pricing we would not be able to have such an amazing array of goods to offer for sale.

Abbotsford is blessed with a very dedicated crew of volunteers who work tirelessly in different departments to categorize, price and present useful, fun and beautiful items for general sale.  This batch of donations is a good one, tell your neighbours to pop in for the sale!

This year we will have all of our Flea Market items for sale in our large first floor multipurpose room, high-end jewelry will be in the lounge and the dining room will be filled with Elegant Treasures and Vintage items.  Our regular array of women’s clothing will be in the ‘Dorothy’s Boutique’ and the Sunroom will be packed with books for you to peruse.

Artwork, small furnishing and extra women’s clothing will be outside as well as some costume jewelry.  We hope to lure our customers inside where the majority of our items will be.  We can process Visa, Debit and MasterCard the day of the sale as well as cash.  Please bring your own bags to take away your items.  We will open our doors at 9:00 am to the public.

For those of you who have items that you wish to donate to Abbotsford, we ask that you do so promptly so that volunteers have time to prepare.  We are open Monday through Friday from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm and would very much appreciate your quality donations.

Abbotsford is your community support centre for Adults 55+.  We are the community programs of The Glebe Centre Inc., a charitable, not-for-profit, organization which includes a 254 bed long term care home.  Find out more about our services by dropping by 950 Bank Street (the old stone house) Mon- Fri 8:30 am-4:30 pm, telephoning 613-230-5730 or by checking out all of The Glebe Centre facilities and community programs on our website

Living Well and Luncheon Club March 2023

Luncheon Club at Play!

Julie Ireton

As Roberta Brown gets set to celebrate her 109th birthday this spring, she has no secret to longevity to share, but she says being a regular member of Abbotsford’s Luncheon Club helped her stay active throughout her “younger” senior years. 

Brown, who now lives at the Ottawa Grace Manor long-term care facility, grew up in a small farming community in the Outaouais called West Templeton. She was born just a couple months before the start of the First World War, in June 1914.

While Brown says there are a few people at Grace Manor who are over 100, she’s definitely the oldest.

“I don’t know anyone that old,” laughed Brown.

And while being isolated from family over the past three years hasn’t been pleasant, she said to date, she’s made it through the pandemic without getting COVID-19.

“Am I ever glad that’s all over,” said Brown. 

Over the years she’s survived two husbands, a daughter, many friends and family members. But she takes pride in having six grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren and six great-great grandchildren. 

“We’re just happy to have her every day,” said her son, Maynard Dunn. 

While she stayed home with her three children when they were small, she later got a job in downtown Ottawa. 

“I was a sales lady at Murphy Gamble’s on Sparks Street,” said Brown, referring to the now long-gone department store. “That’s where I worked for 12 years. I sold clothing and pretty much everything. It was considered one of the best stores in Ottawa.” 

In her retirement in the mid-1990s, Brown lived in the south-end of Ottawa and a neighbour convinced her to come along to Luncheon Club at Abbotsford House at the Glebe Centre. It’s the old stone farmhouse across from Lansdowne Park. 

Brown remained part of Luncheon Club for about 25 years. 

“On Tuesdays at the centre we’d watch a movie, play cards, or trivia and games,” said Brown. On Fridays we went to one of the shopping centres.”

The club offers a gathering space for seniors considered ‘socially isolated’, people who might benefit from the interaction with a group of peers.

“Currently, the Luncheon Club program meets Tuesdays,” said Kirsten O’Brien who facilitates community support services for Abbotsford at the Glebe Centre. “It fosters caring and support to each of the clients, provides activities of interest and then lunch.”

Roberta Brown now uses a walker and hearing aids, but she still plays cribbage and enjoys visits from her family. 

Along with her birthday celebration this spring, she said she’s looking forward to spending time in the Grace Manor garden with its flowers and birds. 

For more information on how to qualify for the Luncheon Club please contact Community Support Services: or call 613-230-5730.

Referrals are accepted from Champlain Home and Community care. To initiate a referral please contact 613-745-5525.

Abbotsford is your Seniors Active Living Centre for Adults 55+.  It houses the community programs of The Glebe Centre Inc., a charitable, not-for-profit, organization which includes a 254 bed long term care home.  Find out more about our services by telephoning 613-230-5730 during regular business hours or by checking out all of The Glebe Centre facilities and community programs on our website

Winter Wonderland

Snow Moles meet at Abbotsford House and report to Councilor Shawn Menard

Winter Wonderland

By Pat Goyeche

Snow & Snow Moles

Such a snowy winter to date with accumulations in January alone surpassing most of our expectations!  There are many benefits of snow, brightening the landscape, softening city noises, snowshoeing and skiing but…it can be a hazard as well.

With the snow comes slippery, unploughed sidewalks and dangerous conditions for walking.  Out come the ‘Snow Moles’ lead by The Council on Aging, auditing the people pathways and pointing out the problems.

Councillor Shawn Menard joined a group of intrepid ‘senior’ auditors this year to see for himself the barriers many seniors face daily in their day-to-day activities.  Unplowed crosswalks, bus stops with mounds of snow between the sidewalk and the door of the bus and slippery pathways make for dangerous conditions for everyone but these can be insurmountable for seniors.

Thank you to the snow moles for dropping by Abbotsford for a warm drink and cheer on their quest to audit the conditions in early February.  Your trepidation will help ensure the City is aware of the dangers and will now target known areas that pose particular barriers to seniors in our City.


The Executive Director of the Glebe Centre, Lawrence Grant retired late in January after 15 years of service.  The Glebe Centre long-term care home held a party for him to celebrate his accomplishments and wish him well. 

The search is now on for a new Executive Director who too, will oversee both the long-term care home at the Glebe Centre and Community Programs and Services through Abbotsford Seniors Centre.  Susan Zorz, the Director of Operations for the Glebe Centre will ‘keep the ship on course’ as Acting Director in the interim.

Spring Programming through Abbotsford

Spring weather brings new programing through Abbotsford Seniors Centre.  As the snow, slowly melts and we seek out crocuses and snowdrops we can renew plans to join in the varied activities offered through Abbotsford. 

The spring guide will be in circulation by mid-March, make sure you check out all that is on offer by looking at the website:  Abbotsford Programs & Services and Current Guide.

The spring Learn & Explore ‘Speaker’s Series’ will have a special three part series on seniors housing in late May in conjunction with volunteers with SWOOS (Seniors Watch Old Ottawa South) who are interested in exploring the Abbyfield model of housing.  Dates and topics will be available in the spring guide, which can be seen on-line or picked up in person at Abbotsford house by mid-March.

OTF Grant Helps Senior Stay Connected Virtually

MEDIA RELEASE                                                                                 January 9th, 2023

Abbotsford House Seniors Active Living Fair $96,300 OTF Grant helps Seniors Stay Virtually Connected

Ottawa, ON – On Thursday, January 5th, local MPP Joel Harden of Ottawa Centre joined the Abbotsford House team and local community gathered at the Abbotsford Seniors’ Fair as the organization recognized the $96,300 Resilient Communities Fund grant received from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF). The funding has been used to connect older adults to online programs, family, friends and volunteers using tablets on loan from the Tablet Project. 

“Abbotsford House has done an amazing job supporting seniors in our community by giving them a place to socialize, learn new skills, and stay active,” said Joel Harden, MPP for Ottawa Centre. “The staff and volunteers at Abbotsford House did incredible work in keeping their programs going with proper COVID-19 regulations, and I am excited to see how they have used their Ontario Trillium Grant to combat the social isolation many seniors have felt throughout the pandemic.”

Powered by the OTF grant, Abbotsford House has been able to rebuild and recover from the impacts and challenges of COVID-19. This was achieved by hiring staff and procuring 100 tablets for member use. This project started in May 2022 and gives older adults in the community improved access to online programs at Abbotsford House, reducing the social isolation that many seniors have experienced at an increased rate since the start of the pandemic.

Karen Anne Blakely, Director of Community Programs stated, “Many older adults have found that using the tablets was not as hard as they first thought. With the help of Shirley Lee, the Abbotsford House Program Facilitator, seniors connected with their adult children and grandchildren through video chats, shared emails and photos and participated in fitness and yoga programs online. Some learned to do online grocery orders, video chats with their doctors and participated in online art classes. Winter storms may stop some people from going outside but with the tablet knowledge they have gained, older adults will continue to connect, enjoy the company of others and continue to be active in their leisure activities in a virtual way.”

Abbotsford House is a vibrant community centre for adults 55+. Abbotsford House is the community programs of The Glebe Centre Inc., a charitable, not-for-profit, organization which includes a 254-bed long term care home.  Find out more about programs and services by dropping by 950 Bank Street in Ottawa, Mon- Fri 8:30 to 4:30 pm, telephoning 613-230-5730 or by checking out all The Glebe Centre facilities and community programs on our website

The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF), an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations celebrates 40 years of grantmaking in Ontario and making a lasting impact in communities. Last year, OTF invested nearly $209M into 2,042 community projects and partnerships, which included funding for the Government of Ontario’s Community Building Fund. Visit to learn more.


Organization Contact for Media Inquiries:

Karen Anne Blakely, Director of Community Programs

Abbotsford House

The Glebe Centre

613-230-5730 ext. 322

Meet and Greet at Abbotsford

Meet and Greet at Abbotsford

By Julie Ireton

After retiring from a busy career as the director of education at a school board in Manitoba, Constance McLeese was ready for a low-key, stress-free job — and it was OK that her new role wouldn’t pay in money.

Two days a week, McLeese volunteers at Abbotsford House at the Glebe Centre, answering phones, working on databases and helping with fundraising efforts. 

The reward, she said, is she’s keeping busy and meeting new people in a safe social space, especially during COVID.

“I was very busy in my career, so it’s hard to just go full stop,” said McLeese, who along with her husband relocated to the Glebe after retirement. 

“It’s interesting and I can’t predict what I’ll be doing when I come in. Just whatever needs done is what I’ll be doing,” she said. “If someone is concerned about something, I direct them to a hired staff member.” 

Volunteers are essential to the work at both the senior’s centre across from Lansdowne Park, and at the long-term care facility. 

Whether it’s driving seniors to appointments, visiting elderly residents, or helping raise money for various programs, volunteers help fill the gaps at the facilities.

McLeese had only started pitching in about six months before COVID hit. After the pandemic began, she started helping screen Abbotsford visitors, making sure people were vaccinated and filling out the necessary paperwork.

“We have a very fragile clientele and we don’t want COVID running rampant over here,” she said. 

Like many of the volunteers at the centre, she’s also an Abbotsford member, taking part in the water colour art courses and trying out zumba classes. 

“They have great teachers,” she said. “For zumba, I was going outside my comfort zone. I’m not a dancer, and you need a bit of rhythm for it, but it is very non-threatening and you certainly get exercise.” 

“It’s a wonderful place.” 

For Isla Paterson, her introduction to Abbotsford House began when her mother moved into the Glebe Centre long term care home next door.  She would take her to activities there. She loved the outdoor garden, the music concerts, the teas,” said Paterson.  “I enjoyed taking my mother over there, so I became a member myself.”

The speaker’s events and the ‘how to use your cellphone’ course are among the favorite activities for Paterson. 

“I also joined their play reading program. This is a unique opportunity. I’m really enjoying that. Six to eight men and women get together on Tuesday afternoon and we read plays,” she said. 

Her mother was a resident at the Glebe Centre for six years before she died last winter. But Paterson continues to volunteer as the secretary-treasurer for the facility’s family council. This group meets once a month and advocates for the 254 residents.

She’s glad Abbotsford and its many activities are now part of her life. 

“It’s a one stop shop for information for elderly,” said Paterson. “You can call and get reliable information. They offer a meeting place, a place for exercise and intellectual stimulation.” 

Abbotsford House and the Glebe Centre are always looking for volunteers.

If you are wondering about volunteer opportunities to contact Lonelle Butler at volunteer services 613-238-2727 (ext. 353). If you are thinking of becoming a member, call Abbotsford or drop in any weekday at reception.

Abbotsford is your Seniors Active Living Centre.  We are the community programs of The Glebe Centre Inc., a charitable, not-for-profit, organization which includes a 254 bed long term care home.  Find out more about our services by dropping by 950 Bank Street (the old stone house) Mon- Fri 9-4 pm, telephoning 613-230-5730 or by checking out all of The Glebe Centre facilities and community programs on our website

Abbotsford House Birthday GALA, 150 Years Old

That was a ‘Night to Remember’

By: Karen Anne Blakely

The Abbotsford House Gala certainly was “A Night to Remember”! On October 19th 2022 on a rainy evening, 225 supporters gathered at the Horticultural Centre to honour and celebrate the 150th anniversary of Abbotsford House. The striking gothic revival home built for Alexandra and Dorinda Mutchmor and their family in 1872 still displays its remarkable gingerbread gables and solid grey stones, a gem of a historic building on Bank Street.

Attendees of the gala enjoyed gourmet tapas by Dave Smith Catering; live music by the Glebops and then Peter Liu and the Pollcats; Fred Astaire Dance Studio dance demonstrations; and a watercolour artist and student Meredith Lyman skillfully painted an breathtaking image of Abbotsford House for the auction. For theatrical amusement, Pat Goyeche and Ross Imrie dressed in period costumes to portray the characters of Mr. and Mrs. Mutchmor. Local businesses and artists donated numerous gift certificates and art for the silent auction.

All proceeds raised support Abbotsford House for programs and services to seniors and adults with disabilities.

While the final revenue results are still being tallied, we are pleased to report sponsorships totaled $32,000. Led by platinum level sponsorships: Judy Faulkner Real Estate, offering boutique and personalized realty services; and Amica the Glebe, a state of the art retirement home that opened its doors to residents in July 2022. Gold level sponsorship companies included Minto Communities; Whole Health Compounding Pharmacy Glebe; and the Jack Uppal Real Estate Team. Rounding out this corporate support were silver sponsors: Hulse, Playfair & McGarry; McKeen Metro Glebe; and Carmichael Engineering. Bronze sponsors were Randy Douglas Echelon Wealth Partners; Stinson & Sons; BMO; and Capcorp.

Among the many highlights during the evening was the announcement by MC Joseph Cull that an anonymous Abbotsford House member had agreed to match all donations secured that night to a maximum of $5,000. The end result? One amazing gift of $5,000 from the Jack Uppal Real Estate Team, a second generous anonymous donor for $5000, and many others who gave for a total over $15,900.

The gala was a grand and hugely successful evening in support a worthy cause, Abbotsford House!

FINE FINDS Fundraiser

This grand affair will be held on the ground floor of Abbotsford House on Saturday, November 12th from 2:00 – 5:00 pm.  We will be featuring Art, Jewelry and Elegant/One of a Kind Treasures that are ‘new’ to Abbotsford.  Every item is individually priced and can be purchased by a ticket holder on a first come first serve basis. 

Enjoy a relaxing afternoon with a limited number of other attendees over a glass of wine and canapés. Your $20 ticket can be purchased by calling Abbotsford Monday-Friday 8:30 am – 4:30 pm at 613-230-5730.

The items on offer have never before been displayed at any of our other sales; they are unique and ‘new’ to you. 

Find your FINE FINDS and support your local seniors centre.

Abbotsford Holiday Craft Fair

Saturday, November 26

10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Abbotsford House 950 Bank Street:

-Home made Crafts, Ornaments, Baby Clothes, Knit Wear, and other clever and creative gift ideas.                                                      

-Hand made Teddy Bears & other delightful comfort creatures.                                                                  

-Home baked goodies including frozen apple pies to go.                                                                      

-Tea Room to restore, chat and enjoy the comfort of food and friends.         

Abbotsford is your community support centre for Adults 55+.  We are the community programs of The Glebe Centre Inc., a charitable, not-for-profit, organization which includes a 254 bed long-term care home.  Find out more about our services by dropping by 950 Bank Street (the old stone house) Mon- Fri 8:30 am-4:30 pm, telephoning 613-230-5730 or by checking out all of The Glebe Centre facilities and community programs on our website

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