Our History

The Kiwanis Club of Nanaimo was chartered in 1923 and began serving the Nanaimo community with a variety of service projects.  By the early 1950’s, the club saw a need for seniors’ housing.  The Kiwanis Club of Nanaimo, along with the Soroptimist Club of Nanaimo and 14 other service organizations, formed a consortium and registered a society in British Columbia.  This society, named the Nanaimo District Senior Citizens Housing Development Society, was incorporated in 1955 and still governs Kiwanis Village today.

From the very beginning, the mandate for this society was to offer low-cost housing for seniors.  The six-acre parcel of land off of Nelson Street was purchased and the first building project, a series of 9 duplex cottages, was completed in 1957 with funding from the BC Government. In 1970, two four-plexes were added to the village, again with provincial funding.

By the early 1970’s, it was realized that an intermediate care facility was desperately needed in Nanaimo.  Once again, the society, under the direction of Kiwanians Gordon Frith and Dr. Rollie Radcliffe, worked to build a facility to meet these needs. In 1976, the Kiwanis Village Lodge was opened and was acknowledged as one of the finest facilities of its kind in the province.  In 1991, the Auditorium and Activity wing was added to the Lodge and has been a meeting place for seniors from the Village and from the Nanaimo community ever since.

At the beginning of the new millennium, the society began to address the ever-increasing need for senior care and housing.  Kiwanis Manor, a subsidized building for low-income seniors, was built in 2001 with funding from BC Housing.

Soon afterward, in September 2003, a new Kiwanis Lodge was opened with 75 complex care units.  The following year, the original Lodge was totally renovated, refurbished and renamed Kiwanis House, catering to assisted living clients.

About this time, the role of the Kiwanians was blended into the role of the society‚Äôs Board of Directors.  The planning and development of new projects continued with the completion of the 45-unit Soroptimist Suites in January of 2008.  This unique building offers both private-pay supportive living and publicly-funded assisted living options.

Our final project, the Kiwanis Villa, was completed in September 2009.  This 31-unit, state-of-the-art building offers private-pay supportive living, and completes our campus of care.

While there have been many changes over the last 60 years, the original mandate of the Kiwanians and the governing society remains the same.  We are committed to providing Nanaimo’s seniors with affordable housing and multi-level care options that foster pride and dignity.

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