Giving back is part of the social fabric at Chartwell. Over the years, we have enthusiastically and compassionately supported a number of worthy initiatives, and many of our residences continue to support charities in their local communities. If you have a request or would like to discuss a charitable initiative, please reach out directly to the residence closest to you.
Fulfilling Wishes in partnership with Wish of a Lifetime Canada
In November 2015, we launched our national partnership with Wish of a Lifetime Canada, a charity devoted to granting lifelong wishes to seniors. The relationship builds on Chartwell’s vision of Making People’s Lives Better and Wish of a Lifetime’s commitment to raising awareness about the importance of helping to keep older adults dreaming, daring and living a life of purpose. Together, we are helping to make dreams come true, one wish at a time.
Canadian seniors, including Chartwell residents, are invited to submit their wishes by downloading an official application form at www.wishofalifetime.ca or speaking with a residence’s Lifestyle Program Manager / Program Support Services Manager.
Ruby of Hamilton, Ontario – A self-described adventurer, Ruby has always enjoyed the thrill of flight. Her first introduction to flying was in the form of a gift - a plane ticket for 2 to Paris from England - from her son years before she immigrated to Canada in 1964. At 95 years old, Ruby got her wish of soaring above her beloved hometown of Hamilton in a Cessna 172 with her son Peter. To add to her excitement, she even briefly piloted the plane!
Jacqueline of Gatineau, Quebec – Time hasn’t erased the fond memories Jacqueline has of spending time with her four girl cousins at their grandmother’s house while growing up. Separated by circumstance and distance over the years, Jacqueline longed to reunite with her one remaining cousin in Victoria B.C. This spring, much to Jacqueline’s delight, she reconnected with her dear cousin Claire after 27 years.
Warren of Mississauga, Ontario.
Warren’s affinity for flying goes back over 50 years, before he became a licensed pilot at the age of 17. Unable to fly later in life due to medical limitations, his love of flight never left him. Warren dreamed of one day flying in an aircraft like the ones he used to operate as a young man. His wish was granted and Warren had an unforgettable experience flying in a Cessna 172 from Golden Horseshoe Aviation in Niagara. As Warren soared in the skies over Toronto, a highlight was the moment he took the controls of the plane.
Marina of Pickering, Ontario.
As a young child growing up in Toronto, Marina had always been enchanted with the night sky. She fondly remembers looking up at the stars and identifying the constellations with her mother, and again later with her son and husband at a friend’s cottage. Marina’s wish of seeing the night skies as she had as a child became a reality when she visited the E.C. Carr Astronomical Observatory in Blue Mountain. Through the lens of a high-powered telescope, Marina was able to see more stars than ever before and was especially thrilled to see Saturn’s rings.
Lois of Sherbrooke, Quebec.
Lois’ love of music lights up a room wherever she goes. This passion was on display at a grand party celebrating her 97th birthday and her long, rewarding musical career. Lois’ professional career spanned several decades beginning as a violinist and singer for the Toronto Symphony in the 1940s and later as a Choir Director in Quebec’s Eastern Townships. Over 75 people joined in on the celebrations honouring Lois, accompanied by an uplifting performance by a string quartet and even Lois herself playing the piano.
Gordon of Calgary, Alberta – Nothing matters more to Gordon than his family. With his daughter in tow, he travelled all the way to Thailand to reconnect with his beloved grandson, Matthew, and meet his great-grandchildren for the first time. “I am sure stories from this trip will live on within our family long after we do,” his grandson said of the experience.
James of Belleville, Ontario – It wasn’t until age 60 that James decided to pursue his dream of becoming a pilot. Clocking in over 3,000 hours of flying over a 20 year period, he still had one last item he wanted to check off his bucket list. He was truly ecstatic as he flew in a C-130 Hercules aircraft from the Trenton Air Case and soared over the Ontario landscape in the plane he’d always admired.
Valerie of Markham, Ontario – A dedicated mother of five, Valerie wished to have her whole family together to celebrate her 94th birthday. Over 20 family members filled Cynthia’s Chinese Restaurant in Thornhill on Easter weekend, a favourite spot that she and her husband dined before he passed away a decade ago. “It was a terrific day among family, and I’m so glad to see that things came full circle for my mom,” said Valerie’s daughter, Heather.
Margo & Gerald of Orleans, Ontario – This duo is an outstanding example of lasting love and devotion. At the time of their marriage, they were young and could not afford to have a wedding ceremony, let alone a honeymoon. Their wish was to share a romantic night out together, which resulted in a 2-night stay at a beautiful bed and breakfast, where they celebrated 47 years of commitment and friendship.
Ivy of Renfrew, Ontario - A huge Ottawa Senators fan since the team’s creation, Ivy has always wanted to attend a hockey game and see all the live action. Her dream became reality when she attended a game as a special guest in the owner’s suite. She was given some Senators swag and even met former defensemen Chris Phillips, as well as Olympic Gold Medalist Erica Wiebe.
Peter of Surrey, British Columbia – Peter has always had a passion for classical music, but growing up under Apartheid in South Africa, he was never able to fully pursue his dream. Wishing to conduct an orchestra, Peter was given the unique opportunity to conduct "O Canada" at the world-class Chan Centre for the Performing Arts thanks to UBC Symphony Orchestra. CBC’s The National was also there to capture the moment.
Ann of Langley, British Columbia – For the entirety of her 77 years, Ann has nurtured a passion for animals – especially marine life. She devoted 23 years to volunteering at the Vancouver Aquarium for a total of over 10,000 hours! She was thrilled to return back to the aquarium and get up close and personal with a special beluga, as well as many of her other favourite creatures.
Carmen of Saguenay, Quebec - A teacher through and through, Carmen dedicated 32 years to the classroom, where her students had access to hands-on learning tools that she herself created. One of her former students, Member of Parliament Maxime Bernier, inspired her wish of wanting nothing more than to reconnect with him. She visited the House of Commons and spent the day with Maxime, a memory she won’t soon forget.
Antoinette of Saint-Eustache, Quebec – Family has always been important to Antoinette. One of 11 children, Antoinette fondly recalls memories from her childhood with tears of joy. More than anything, she wished to visit her dear brother, Omer, in his hometown of Michigan. Surrounded by family, the two were reunited and Antoinette has been “on cloud nine” ever since.
Rita of Langley, British Columbia – Rita has always had a passion for music—specifically classic rock—and lives her life by the simple rule that if you surround yourself with happy people, you, too, will be happy. Rita’s wish came true when she took a day trip with her granddaughter to the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) to see rock band Foreigner perform live at the fair. She was thrilled when she got to meet the band and have her picture taken!
Mary of Belleville, Ontario – For her 70th birthday, Mary—now 92 years old—organized a hot air balloon ride with a group of friends, but unfortunately it was cancelled at the last minute and never rescheduled. Mary’s wish was finally fulfilled as she soared high above the Ontario countryside as the sun was setting, covering more ground than she ever could with her walker.
Jack of Calgary, Alberta – A self-described “true cockney,” at age 16, Jack lied about being 17 just to enlist in the royal Air Force. Stationed in Nassau, Bahamas, he was confronted with the deaths of many fellow servicemen throughout the time he served. After recently learning about the construction of a war memorial, Jack travelled back to Nassau to fulfill his wish of paying his respects to the fallen.
Hermine of North Vancouver, British Columbia – Hermine, also known as Tutzi, fondly recalls the last trip she took to Victoria, B.C., with her late husband, Joe, almost 40 years ago. Her wish came true when she travelled back with her daughter, Kerry, to rekindle those wonderful memories, which included a visit to the beautiful Butchart Gardens, high tea at the Fairmont Empress Hotel and a drive up the coast to scenic Chemainus.
Lawrence of Mississauga, Ontario – Lawrence joined the Navy at the age of 18 and was stationed in Halifax, working as a stoker in the minesweeper’s boiler room. His wish was realized when he returned to the city with his family to attend the 71st anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic ceremony, where he watched from ashore as the ashes of his close friend were committed to the sea.
Napoléon of Gatineau, Quebec – Ninety-two-year-old Napoléon, a decorated Word War II veteran, remembers meeting a teenage Céline Dion during her pre-rise to fame. He travelled to Las Vegas to meet the international superstar again and see her star-studded show. “I’m still tingling from the whole experience,” he exclaimed, following his meet and greet with Céline.
David of Maple Ridge, British Columbia – Returning to his hometown of London, England, with his daughter was a wish come true for David. The pair visited many nostalgic places of his youth—including his former school. A Royal Air Force cadet and keen athlete, David came to Canada at the age of 23 and hadn’t made the trip back home in 60 years.
Bob of Calgary, Alberta – Bob was an air traffic controller for the Royal Canadian Air Force and has continued to give back to his community. He fulfilled his wish by travelling to Niagara Falls, Ontario, with his daughter to honour the memory of his late wife, Sandy. The two had always dreamed of seeing the natural wonder together during their 60-year-long marriage.
Read more in-depth Wish stories on our blog!