SAS began as an initiative of the Spadina/Bloor Inter-Church Council in May 1972, offering several weekly activities and special events such as spring tea and friendly visiting for a dozen seniors. The organization has had roots in the Annex since its founding. Most activities were held at the Bloor Street United Church or St. Thomas Anglican Church until 2000, when the programs were moved to the Senator Croll Building (formerly known as the Rochdale College). In the Fall of 2018 SAS moved out of its home in the Annex and relocated to St. Matthews-Bracondale House at Christie and St. Clair. In April of 2019, SAS integrated with St. Matthew’s Bracondale House becoming a division of their programs.
Over the years, SAS has evolved into a full-time program, offering recreation, exercise, wellness and social activities to a growing seniors population who are living longer. Our programs bring seniors together to address the problems of social isolation, which have been proven to be detrimental to health. Our programs would not be possible without funding from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network, Ontario Ministry of Senior Affairs and the City of Toronto Community Service.
Research on senior centres demonstrates that participation is associated with social, mental, and physical health benefits. Senior centres provide access to health and support services, encourage healthy aging, and foster social environments that are conducive to participation and well-being. Senior centres are also ideal venues for health promotion interventions, such as falls prevention, influenza vaccines, diabetes management, etc.