In 1879 the Sisters of St. Joseph of Hamilton opened the House of Providence to care for the elderly and disadvantaged. Reverend Father John McNulty aspired to create a welcoming, caring home for seniors. Father McNulty had his eye on Coleman’s Castle, a regal, stately home located in the heart of Dundas. Built by a wealthy businessman, the late James Coleman, the property was surrounded by a beautiful ravine and lots of land. The manor house towered over all other buildings in the area.
With only $8,000 in his pocket, Father McNulty started a tradition that would last for 92 years. That year, the inaugural House of Providence Picnic raised the additional $2,000 he needed and on August 22, 1879, Father McNulty purchased the home for a cool $10,000 and gifted the House of Providence to the Sisters of St. Joseph’s of Hamilton. The House of Providence Picnic became the highlight of the Dundas Social season and attracted a crowd of thousands every year.
The Sisters not only ran House of Providence for the elderly but also took in orphan children and nursed those who suffered from a variety of illnesses. It quickly became a resource for the entire community.
The Sisters were devoted to serving all those in need, people of all faiths. Their compassion and care were met with great generosity from citizens and civic leaders from Dundas and the surrounding areas. When the original building was practically destroyed in a fire in 1900, the community rallied together and reconstructed the House of Providence in just one year.
1970 marked a new age for the House of Providence, with the construction of a new and modern building renamed St. Joseph’s Villa. The former House of Providence was demolished only a year later after a second fire left it beyond repair. St. Joseph’s Villa transformed with the construction of two new additions of the Margaret and Charles Juravinski and Neil and Anne McArthur Family wings. Orchid Garden, a 12 bed unit was opened in January 2015, expanding the Villa to our current home with 390 long-term care beds. The St. John Vianney Residence was built in 2016 to provide a home for eight retired priests.
The Villa is excited to expand our campus of care in the community, building a 6 bed hospice, with 4 additional rooms for specialized care, set to open in the fall of 2020.
Today, St. Joseph’s Villa is not just a long term care facility. Over 300 people from the community attend 26 classes each week, & an additional 100 children attend swimming lessons here!
Check out our video that captured the 140th-anniversary celebration at St. Joseph’s Villa Dundas.