The History of Copernicus Lodge

Our Vision of Caring

In 1972, Father Michael J. Smith was entrusted with the mission of establishing a home for the elderly within the Polish Community. Guided by his motto, “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all other things will be given to you as well”. Father Smith envisioned a Home that would strive to meet the needs of the whole human being… physically, socially, medically, spiritually, and culturally.


Dream Becomes A Reality – Phase I     

With the help of many friends, Copernicus Lodge responded to the needs of an aging Polish community by building a retirement home with 100 self care apartments for active senior tenants able to live independently. On March 4, 1979 the Lodge welcomed its first residents.


 Growth Was Inevitable – Phase II

 The demands of an aging population and the need to provide nursing care services soon hastened plans for Phase II of the project. The renewed building, housing a total of 150 self care apartments and 108 Long Term Care beds providing light nursing care, opened in November, 1983.

Over the years Copernicus Lodge grew to include multiple levels of care for those who could no longer attend to their basic needs. While promoting the concept of “aging in place”, a dramatic increase in the level of care was created in both the apartment setting and LTC.



Built For the New Millennium – Phase III

 In May 1995, funds were received from the Ministry of Health to provide 24 hour Supportive Housing Services in response to the increased personal care and homemaking needs of our apartment tenants.

The structural limitations of Phase I and Phase II no longer met Ministry of Health design standards and the needs of our aging LTC residents. Demographic studies showed that the need for more LTC beds would reach critical proportions by the year 2010, when the number of people over the age of 65 would increase by 45% and those over 85 would increase by 125%. To meet these growing needs, Copernicus Lodge expanded and built a new Long Term Care Home consisting of 228 beds, which opened its door to its new and existing residents on February 25, 2004. The existing LTC beds were then retrofitted back into an additional 60 self contained apartment units.


Response to Community Needs – Phase IV

 While responding to the expansion of our Long Term Care Home and the Seniors Apartments, Copernicus Lodge recognized a further need to ensure that programs and services continued to meet the growing and changing needs of our residents but also the needs of seniors from the community. In response to this need, an area located on the ground floor of the apartment building was renovated to support the operation of an Adult Day Program. This community based service opened in January 23, 2006 and allows for seniors from the local community to come into Copernicus Lodge for the day and participate in daily activities and programs intended to support their health and well being in a familiar, supportive, caring environment within their own cultural milieu and within their own peer group.


Continuum of Care – Aging In Place

 Our Long Term Care residents, apartment and supportive housing tenants and seniors from our community are able to age in place as they move along the continuum of care which exists at Copernicus Lodge through the adult day program service, the independent apartments, supportive housing services, and lastly the long term care home, all within a familiar, supportive, caring environment within their own cultural milieu and within their own peer group.




Local Health Integration Network