Open House* Saturday, September 22, 1-4 PM

*Chartwell Long Term Care homes in Ontario will not be hosting Open House events.

Wish of a Lifetime Canada


At Chartwell, the underlying purpose guiding everything we do is to Make People’s Lives BETTER. When we first learned of Wish of a Lifetime, we knew the charitable organization shared our values and genuine passion for seniors, their mission—to shift the way society views and values our oldest generations by fulfilling seniors’ dreams and sharing their stories to inspire those of all ages—aligning beautifully with our own. We are proud to have helped the charity expand into Canada to create Wish of a Lifetime Canada.

Since launching our national partnership in November of 2015, we have helped Wish of a Lifetime Canada grant the long-held wishes of numerous deserving older adults across the country, and will continue to help them raise awareness about the importance of keeping seniors dreaming, daring and living a life of purpose.

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.


Recent Wishes

Jim of Markham, Ontario – With a life-long passion for airplanes and an unfulfilled dream of flying as a crew member in a Lancaster bomber, Jim took to the skies from the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton, Ontario. Jim’s wish was a long time coming: he had enlisted in the RCAF at age 18 and began training to become a flight engineer. Just as he was gearing up for the last part of his training to become part of the crew, the Second World War came to an end, taking with it Jim’s dream of flying in the legendary warplane. The thrill of flying in a Lancaster was a dream that had eluded him for 72 years!


Matilda "Tillie" of Mission, British Columbia – Living in British Columbia, Tillie had not seen her beloved sisters in the family’s hometown of Welland, Ontario, for over 17 years. With two of her sisters unwell and another sister missing her terribly, Tillie’s desire to see her sisters one more time grew stronger by the day. Travelling 4,500 kilometres to see them, Tillie spent several days and some long evenings catching up on the past, sharing plenty of laughs and hugs! “Can you imagine?” said Tillie, “Six sisters and a sister-in-law around one table together? I couldn’t have asked for anything more in my lifetime.”


Bertrand of Sherbrooke, Quebec – Having grown up along the banks of the St. Lawrence River, Bertrand had a special affinity for its beauty. On a beautiful autumn day, he and his sister Nicole enjoyed a week-long cruise along the riverbanks, even meeting with the ship’s captain for an exciting lesson on navigation. For Bertrand and Nicole, the experience was thrilling, nostalgic and everything they could have hoped for.


Lloyd of Oshawa, Ontario – For 91-year-old Lloyd, marching bands are a powerful link to his past as a member of Toronto’s Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada. Knowing how meaningful it would be, Lloyd’s daughter, Cindy, nominated her father for a Wish of a Lifetime Canada: to experience a live drum band performance one more time. When members of Canada’s Band of the Royal Regiment visited his residence to perform for Lloyd, the music brought with it a flood of happy memories.


Ken of Vernon, British Columbia – Full of excitement and anticipation, 94-year-old Ken finally got to meet and spend several days getting to know his 51-year-old grandson, Sean, whom he had never met. Adopted at birth, Sean grew up in a loving family and over the decades longed to know more about his biological family. His search first led him to his uncle and then finally his grandfather, neither of whom had any knowledge of his birth. The heartwarming reunion between the two men was full of reflection and conversation, laughter and many loving hugs.


Brian of Chilliwack, British Columbia – A dream 40 years in the making came true for Brian as his helicopter landed atop a snow-covered mountain with Vancouver Island and volcanic Mount Baker in the distance! Earlier in life, Brian had missed out on completing a Royal Airforce lifeboat search and rescue training exercise while working as a Duty Officer at the Merchant Navy Training College. Brian’s flight above the breathtaking British Columbia scenery fully rejuvenated the thrill and excitement of his earlier memory.


Osanne of Boucherville, Quebec – Osanne’s dream of flying in a fighter jet began at age nine after seeing the view from the cockpit in the movie, the “White Cliffs of Dover.” “I knew at that moment I wanted to experience it,” she said, “and I have been thinking about it for the last 75 years.” Her thrilling life-long dream finally came to life when Osanne took flight in a L-29 Delphin Czechoslovakian Military Jet Trainer from “Les Faucheurs de Marguerites” Air Show in Sherbrooke, Quebec, this spring. Osanne’s passion for high-speed flight had her soaring high above the clouds on a glorious day never to be forgotten.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Read more in-depth Wish stories on our blog!

  Chartwell Partnership with Wish of a Lifetime Canada