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Home Away From Home

How did The Georgina Foundation come to be? Imagine the loneliness of a young lady back in the early 1900s coming to the big city, Toronto, to seek employment or education and not knowing a soul. Jobs for women were scarce and were typically office jobs or housework that did not pay well. How would young women ever be able to cope in the big city, away from family and friends, let alone find decent and safe accommodation on their meagre incomes?

The answer lay in the generosity of Mrs. Georgina Broughall, wife of Canon Broughall, a former rector of St. Stephen's Anglican Church in Toronto. Through her interaction with young women in her Anglican Bible class, Mrs. Broughall learned how difficult it was for young women to find suitable and affordable living accommodations in Toronto. Her vision was to provide a residence that women could call their home away from home, where they could share good meals together, make friends and share their experiences in a safe and inviting atmosphere. With that mission in mind, Mrs. Broughall sought support from other Anglican Church parishes, businessmen, interested parties and fundraising activities. In 1908, the women of the church formed the Georgina House Association.

In 1909, her dream came true with the opening of an inter-denominational residence at 106 Beverley Street. A second home was opened next door on October 1, 1953 at 108 Beverley Street. For many years a safe haven was provided to young women seeking work or education in Toronto.

The mission of the Georgina Houses Corporation was “to provide houses and accommodation for girls and women earning their own livelihood where they could have all the benefits and comforts of home and be surrounded by a healthy moral influence until such time as they could be located in permanent places of abode which the Corporation would assist them to procure”.

In 1977, the Georgina Houses on Toronto’s Beverly Street were sold and the proceeds of the sale were used to form the “Georgina Foundation” whose mission it is to fund worthwhile projects involving the health and well-being of others. In 1978 the Corporation was renamed “The Georgina Foundation”. The Foundation is responsible for the disbursement of the majority of the yearly interest income resulting from investing the net capital from the sale of the Georgina Houses. Georgina Broughall’s legacy lives on.

For information about donating to The Georgina Foundation click here.

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