What began as an ambitious vision has become a staple in our community for half a century.
In 1972, Audrey and Vic Pond championed the idea for a seniors’ Drop-In Centre in Simcoe. On September 15, 2023, the Simcoe Seniors’ Centre will celebrate its 50th anniversary.
After gathering support and forming an executive committee, the original board spent several months working to secure a grant allowing them to rent two small rooms in the old factory building at 89 Pond Street in Simcoe. A grand opening ceremony on September 15, 1973, with about 150 in attendance, featured then-Mayor Alfred Judd and Audry Pond cutting the ribbon.
Within a year, membership growth and activities provided had outgrown the original rooms, and the Town of Simcoe allowed for an expansion to an additional room. The space — and membership — continued to grow until 2020, when the old factory building became unfit for further use.
Looking towards a brighter future, the entire Seniors’ Centre moved to the Simcoe Recreation Centre, where it continues to operate, serving close to 1,000 members.
While the membership and volunteers are the backbone of the centre, annual funding through the Province of Ontario’s Seniors Active Living Centre (SALC) program, provided through the Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility, as well as support from Norfolk County, helps to keep the centre viable.
“It’s inspiring to see the Simcoe Seniors’ Centre celebrate such a tremendous milestone,” said Norfolk County Mayor Amy Martin. “The centre keeps our seniors active and engaged and provides opportunities to build friendships and be a part of a community. We want our local seniors to know that the centre provides amazing opportunities to stay fit and have fun.”
The Seniors’ Centre is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with 85 members volunteering to keep the facility thriving and cost-effective—a year-long membership is $45.00.
The centre offers over 30 activities, including card games, strength training, aerobics, yoga, line dancing, darts, pickleball, shuffleboard, crafts, billiards, and so much more.
The 50th anniversary celebration will take place at the Simcoe Seniors’ Centre, located at 182 South Drive, from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (on September 15) and is open to all past and current members and residents. Mayor Amy Martin will speak at noon, ushering in the next 50 years of fun.
To view all classes, programs, and activities at the Simcoe Seniors’ Centre, visit NorfolkCounty.ca/SimcoeSeniorsCentre.