Our History

Since our beginnings in the 1970s, West Parry Sound District Community Support Services has grown by leaps and bounds. Our mission, however, has always been the same: to provide necessary support and services to individuals in need in our community.

This is Our Story

In the early 1970’s, the Canadian Red Cross volunteers approached Belvedere Heights Home for the Aged Dietary Department to prepare meals for Parry Sound Meals on Wheels. The first meals were placed into a delivery system that was heavy and cumbersome for volunteers to handle. Each individual meal was placed in non-disposable, washable containers, and those containers were placed and enclosed in a wooden box each client was assigned a wooden box.

Volunteers experienced many trials and errors with the early delivery systems. Delivery systems have evolved and so has the program. In the beginning, the meals were offered three times a week within the Parry Sound Town limits.

Today, hot and frozen meals are offered five days per week within the Town limits of Parry Sound. The hot meals are offered twice per day for lunch and supper. Frozen meals are available to individuals living in remote rural areas.

Timeline of Events

Click on the years below to learn more about our history, and the progress we've made since our humble beginnings!

April 1987

The Ministry of Community and Social Services approved the funding for Meals on Wheels, Transportation, Friendly Visiting, Emergency Response System and a Senior Day Away Program.

April 1992

The Ministry of Health and Long Term Care is the new funding source for community programs. The Home Support Program is sponsored by the Management Board of Belvedere Heights Home for the Aged. The program provides services primarily to seniors and to individuals who have a physical disability within the Town of Parry Sound and several of the immediate Townships on the West side of the Parry Sound District.

The Components of the Home Support Program (now known as Community Support Services) were:

Meals on Wheels: MOW delivered by volunteers 3 days a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) to individuals who have a physical disability and senior citizens living within the Town limits of Parry Sound.

The Transportation Program: The Belvedere Heights (owned by Belvedere) bus provided transportation assistance to individuals who have a physical disability and senior citizens living within the Town limits of Parry Sound as well as the neighbouring Townships of Rosseau, Mckellar and Orrville.

The Emergency Response System: The E.R.S. a program that provided a link to emergency assistance and/or services. The eligibility criteria was flexible and service cost(s) reflected client need.

Senior Day Program: This program provided services to community residents within the Home for the Aged during the day period. Share the Day offered social activities, crafts and hobbies, companionship and supports.

August 1996

The West Parry Sound Day Program Planning Group recommended the Friends as the organization to house and administer the Day Away Program. April 1997 – The new Day Away Program is now housed at the Friends.

April 1997

Home Maintenance for snow and lawn care was added to the roster of services. The Day Away Program at the Home for the Aged was replaced with a greater focus on developing Friendly Visiting.


Belvedere Home Support now known as Belvedere Heights Community Support Services.


The Ministry of Health Long Term funding a new Wheelchair accessible van.

June 2004

Community Support Services was successful in the application for $21,000.00 Ontario Trillium Grant to conduct and implement Risk Management analysis and implement continued risk management quality assurance and improvement.


$25,000.00 Horizon Grant – The project title: “Opportunity Plus for Seniors” The vision was to stimulate community participation and volunteerism by older people, children, youth and individuals with physical disabilities through offering not-for-profit barrier free intergenerational community workshops, events, activities and partnerships. We plan to achieve this vision through facilitating and promoting access to life-long opportunities for social contribution, socialization, education, volunteering and sharing social support. Senior Citizens have a wealth of experience available; youth also are able to enrich quality of life for seniors and persons with special needs have important stories and wisdom to share.


The North East Local Health Integration Network purchases a 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan. Area A5 Lions Club provide a donation to have a new turny seat installed in the Caravan. This new seat ensures the van is accessible to individuals who are frail and elderly.


The North East Local Health Integration Network approved the proposal for the Seniors Safekeeping Program. This program assists vulnerable adults in need of help and allows older adults to maintain their independence and their dignity with a minimum of helpful intervention. This program trains individuals to recognize the signs of danger and to report their concerns. Seniors Safekeeping l builds a stronger community care network that saves lives more importantly this program takes very little time or effort, and the rewards are tremendous. “Working together” we can make a difference. This service is innovative, preventive, cost efficient and assists to prevent acute care hospitalization and premature long-term care admissions.


The North East Local Health Integration Network provides funding for CSS to purchase a wheelchair accessible vehicle (MV1).


The North East Local Health Integration Network in conjunction with the Stay on Your Feet Regional coalition approved a proposal for Community Support Services to become the funding flow through agency for exercise programs on the East and West Parry Sound District.


Received the Healthy Change Champion Award “Helping to enhance access to quality care in Northeastern Ontario.” NE LHIN


CSS received A CARF Three-Year Accreditation was awarded to Community Support Services. CARF accreditation demonstrates CSS quality, accountability, and commitment to the satisfaction of the persons served. CARF International is an independent, nonprofit accreditor of health and human services providers in the areas of Aging Services, Behavioral Health, Child and Youth Services, Durable Medical Equipment, Employment and Community Services, Medical Rehabilitation, Opioid Treatment Programs, and Vision Rehabilitation Services. For more information on CARF, visit www.carf.org.

January 2016

Community Support Services in collaboration with the Town of Parry Sound negotiated an agreement for CSS to operate a Dodge Pro-master which was purchased by the Town of Parry Sound.

CSS Today

Our staff has grown from one to a total of 3 full-time employees and one full-time job share position. Everyday day we are proud of our volunteer team and thankful for everyone they help.

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