VHA Home HealthCare has a long and vibrant history of providing community health and support services to people of all ages and cultural backgrounds when, where and how they want it. Our history is rich as each member of our current and past leadership has played a key part in developing VHA's history and establishing our organization as a leading homecare agency.


The Visiting Housekeepers Centre is founded by Miss Barbara Blackstock to provide homemaking services to families where the mother is ill. By the end of its first year, 14 housekeepers are trained and in service. The Canadian Red Cross, Toronto Branch, provides a building and temporary financial support for the service.


The Visiting Homemakers Association (V.H.A.) incorporates.

A handout with two children looking up at a woman with the text "introducing your visiting homemaker"Visiting Housekeepers Centre brochure


V.H.A. administers a fund to provide parental relief for polio victims.


Homemaker services extended to care for sick children of working mothers of single-parent families.

Black and white photo of VHA staff feeding a child beside a mother in bedBlack and white photo of VHA employee bringing food to 6 children around a dinner tableBlack and white photo of VHA employee with three childrenBlack and white photo of VHA employee with three children


A three-year pilot project begins to determine needs for home care of the aged.


Home care initiated under a federal health grant. V.H.A. is a participating agency. Provincial legislation means the province now provides financial assistance to municipalities for homemaker.


V.H.A. receives grant from the Rotary Club to ensure pilot project with the elderly continues. V.H.A. provides service to Home Care Program. The Borough of East York begins providing senior services.

Sepia photo pf PSW with two of her elderly clientsSepia photo of a PSW reading to her elderly clientSepia image of PSW and her two elderly clients


V.H.A. moves to 170 Merton Street — a building donated by the W. Garfield Weston Foundation in memory of Mrs. Garfield Weston, a V.H.A. client.

Black and white photo of man standing in front of a sign that says "visiting homemakers association"


Parental Relief Program is financed by United Community Fund.

Family Support Service begins offering homemaking to families with a physically handicapped mother or one-parent families with a physically handicapped father.


V.H.A. is accredited by the National (U.S.) Council for Homemaker-Home Health Aide Service Inc.


Parental Relief Program receives subsidy from Metro Department of Social Services.

Sepia photo of a nurse and her clientBlack and white photo of a VHA employee and 3 babies in a crib


V.H.A.’s Executive Director becomes the first President of the newly incorporated Canadian Council on Homemaker Services.

1981 to 1985

Increasing demand for homemakers and growing provincial government awareness means by 1985, 355,000 hours of service are provided.

PSW with a client and their caregiverPSW doing her client's hairVHA PSW and her client


Nursing and health services programs are developed to complement the home and community support services. Complex nursing and medical procedures are increasingly performed in a client’s home. V.H.A. Registered Nurses and Registered Practical Nurses work in private homes as well as hospitals and long-term care facilities.

Nurse and her wheelchair bound clientPSW with a client, smiling


V.H.A.’s 75th anniversary year.

Three-year accreditation status is awarded by the Canadian Council on Health Services Accreditation.

United Way, along with the City of Toronto’s Homeless Initiative Fund, support V.H.A.’s Extreme Cleaning Program. The service helps people—often suffering from mental health challenges—facing eviction because their home does not meet public health standards.

Hoarding support employee doing cleanup

2001 to 2002

Our name officially changes from Visiting Homemakers Association to VHA Home HealthCare, reflecting our growing continuum of health and home support services.

More than one million hours of care are delivered to over 9,500 clients and their families across all VHA programs.

Owned by VHA, Adams House, a supportive housing complex for tenants with severe mental illness who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, opens in downtown Toronto.

VHA staff with his clientVHA staff, young client, and the client's mother smiling

2003 to 2005

Our long-serving CEO/President David Wright retires and VHA welcomes Carol Annett as its CEO.

VHA wins breakthrough CCAC nursing contracts with Durham Access to Care, North York, Chatham-Kent and Sarnia Lambton CCACs growing our nursing program by over 100,000 service units.

VHA is accredited for a second three-year term.

To commemorate our 80th anniversary, VHA launched the Heroes in the Home Award as a way to recognize and honour unpaid caregivers in the health care industry - family members and friends who provide extraordinary home care to their loved ones.

Carol AnnettWoman and senior smilingVHA staff with young child


COTA Health’s Rehabilitation Services – which includes physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, social work services and diet and nutritional services – joins the VHA family to become VHA Rehab Solutions.

VHA earns accreditation status from Accreditation Canada for a third time.

Physiotherapist and his client doing leg lift


VHA celebrates its 85th anniversary.


VHA moves its head office to 30 Soudan Avenue, Suite 600.

Its tagline is changed to “Creating More Independence” to better reflect what we provide to clients. After an in-depth analysis of our history and future aspirations as an organization, VHA revitalizes its Vision, Mission and Core Beliefs.

Front of Thirty Soudan, VHA's head office


Accredited with Exemplary Standing by Accreditation Canada for a second consecutive time.


VHA introduces the Client and Family Voice, including creation of a Client and Carer Advisory Council. As a community care trailblazer in incorporating client and family insights, VHA begins speaking on the experience at conferences and, in 2015, is asked to advise other home care organizations on creating similar programs.

Group of VHA partners posing in a groupA nurse with a young client


VHA celebrates the 90th anniversary of the organization and the 10th anniversary of its Heart of Home Care Award!

After three years as a candidate, VHA becomes a Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (RNAO) Best Practice Spotlight Organization (BPSO) designate.

A group of VHA staff posing with an award


Accredited with Exemplary Standing by Accreditation Canada for a third consecutive time.

Electronic Medical Records Initiative (EMRI) is rolled out province-wide, beginning with adult nursing program service providers.


VHA receives Anchor Partner status with the United Way Toronto and York Region.

VHA expands Nursing and Dietetic teams in the Greater Toronto Area and discontinues service in Erie St. Clair.


VHA continues partnership with University Health Network and Sunnybrook Hospital for two research fellowships for VHA staff and service providers.


VHA’s new and inspiring Strategic Plan 2020-2025: CARE to Transform was developed, setting the organization on a strong path to continued success in an evolving health care system.

VHA is once again named a Best Practice Spotlight Organization (BPSO) designate by the Registered Nurse Association of Ontario (RNAO).

VHA plays a key role in five of the first Ontario Health Teams that are announced in November 2019.

Ontario Minister of Health, Christine Elliott, poses with ETHP Leads


VHA is once again accredited with Exemplary Standing from Accreditation Canada for a three-year term.

VHA enhances its integrated care partnership with University Health Network and is named their lead home care agency.

VHA launches VHA Virtual Care in response to the urgent need to provide care whenever possible, without being face-to-face, during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Virtual Care allows VHA to enhance both client care and client safety, and address health care staffing issues, during the pandemic.

VHA collaborates with Michael Garron Hospital to begin operating a Transitional Care Unit known as the Kew Beach Unit to ease hospital capacity pressures during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Staff speaks with client over computerKew Beach TeamVHA Home HealthCare and Michael Garron Hospital launched the Kew Beach Unit, a transitional care program located at 500 Kingston Rd., during the COVID-19 pandemic. The unit runs at the site of the Atrium at Kew Beach retirement residence site. Photo by Alan Shackleton.


Dr. Kathryn Nichol is welcomed as VHA’s new President and CEO following the retirement of longtime CEO Carol Annett.

VHA is re-designated as a Best Practice Spotlight Organization (BPSO) by the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) for a further two year term.

In response to the changing needs of Ontario’s healthcare system and the urgency of the provincial vaccine rollout in the wake of a COVID-19 third wave, VHA created THRU, which stands for Tactical HealthCare Response Unit.

A picture of Dr. Kathryn NicholThree members of the VHA THRU Team stand, socially distanced, at a clinic


Expanding our involvement in integrated care initiatives across Ontario, VHA joined its 18th Ontario Health Team.

VHA welcomed the first Client Partner to join the organization’s Board of Directors.

VHA launched our myVHA Client Portal to give our clients greater control over how and when they receive care and to enhance our ability to communicate effectively with our clients and their families.


VHA welcomed a team of In-House Pharmacists. This team filled first-of-their-kind roles as full-time experts to help our frontline teams and clients ensure safe medication management.

VHA is re-designated for a fifth term as a Best Practice Spotlight Organization (BPSO) by the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) for 2023-2025.

VHA expanded our integrated care programs, helping more clients to recover and receive care at home with the launch of two hospital-to-home programs with North York General Hospital and Michael Garron Hospital.

VHA launched a new charitable program in York Region, newly supporting clients needing extreme cleaning and hoarding support services in this region.