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Recognition of Significant Contribution

Jean Lauder
jean-lauderJean Lauder made a significant originating contribution to the creation of services in Toronto for adults with cerebral palsy. Jean Lauder was a young person with cerebral palsy in the 1930’s when she was at high school at the Wellesley Orthopaedic School. Through discussions with her teacher, she began to think of alternatives to living at home with her parents and came up with the idea of a residential workshop. Into the 1940’s, Jean and her family further recognized the imperative of developing a community alternative to her situation of living at home.

In 1948, through the efforts of family, friends and mentors, the Cerebral Palsy Adult Association was created. This group, under the leadership of Muriel Heyland and members of the Alpha Gamma Delta Fraternity, decided to start work on the workshop and set up the Inter Fraternity Cerebral Palsy Association Workshop, now known as Corbrook Workshop. By 1956, now that the workshop was running, these two groups and the Cerebral Palsy Parents Council formed the Auxiliary of the CP Adult Association to work on developing a residence for adults with CP. Jean Lauder, Christine and Marie Lauder, Jean’s sisters, and Muriel Heyland led the group, which solicited help from other organizations including CNIB, Canadian Red Cross, a local Kiwanis Club, the Polio Foundation, Paraplegic Association, and Ontario Society of Crippled Children.

In 1957 they opened 718 Kingston Road for 6 women with Cerebral Palsy. Through the support of live-in staff and many volunteers, these women attended church, attend workshop for modest pay, did household duties and enjoyed their garden. Jean continued to contribute and have an active role in the development of Bellwoods Park House at 300 Shaw Street including membership on the residents’ council over many years. She always had good ideas. She was a great writer and enjoyed writing throughout her life. She has written a detailed history from the beginning up to 1983. Jean lived at 718 Kingston Road from 1956 to 1967, when she moved to Bellwoods Park House at 300 Shaw Street until her death in 1998. We greatly appreciate Jean’s courage, initiative and perseverance and the family’s leadership and support over the years. It is a truly amazing feat to have started the first residence for adults with physical disabilities in Ontario and, to our best knowledge, in North America.

Muriel Heyland
mheylandMuriel Heyland first become involved with the group in 1948 through volunteer activity of the Alpha Gamma Delta fraternity, upon the advice of someone at the Ontario Society for Crippled Children at the time. She initiated monthly social meetings, thus beginning a twenty year association of young adults with cerebral palsy and fraternity members, in which they all became friends.

“Mike” as Muriel was known, quickly earned the trust and appreciation of this group. Jean says that Mike was a “dynamo” and the “spark” in terms of “instigating things”. In 1956, three members of the Cerebral Palsy Adult Association met with Muriel to discuss developing a residence for CP. Through Mrs. Heyland’s leadership, members of three CP associations formed the Auxiliary of the Adult CP Association, which initiated the incorporation of the Adult Cerebral Palsy Institute of Metropolitan Toronto (ACPI) in August 1957.

The first Board searched for a year and a half for a property and finally found the house at 718 Kingston Road, which opened in 1959. “Mike” further helped by bringing on more volunteers such as Kiwanis Ladies Auxiliary and Scarborough Horticultural Society to provide social activity for the first six residents of the house. Bruce Heyland, Muriel’s son, became involved in Bellwoods in 1978 when he joined the Board. He continued until he became Chair from 1982-84, completing six years on the Board.

Bruce provided important leadership through the renewal and revitalization period when 300 Shaw Street was renovated from sixty-one rooms to thirty-two apartments in 1983. His strong leadership was a key factor in ensuring the continued viability of the organization as it went through this stage of development. We greatly appreciate Muriel Heyland’s leadership, which was the key to making the first pilot project on Kingston Road a reality. Bellwoods also recognizes Bruce Heyland’s contribution to moving Bellwoods forward during what must have been a difficult time.

John and Mary Yaremko
yaremkobyden170x237Muriel Heyland first become involved with the group in 1948 through volunteer activity of the Alpha Gamma Delta fraternity, upon the advice of someone at the Ontario Society for Crippled Children at the time. She initiated monthly social meetings, thus beginning a twenty year association of young adults with cerebral palsy and fraternity members, in which they all became friends.

“Mike” as Muriel was known, quickly earned the trust and appreciation of this group. Jean says that Mike was a “dynamo” and the “spark” in terms of “instigating things”. In 1956, three members of the Cerebral Palsy Adult Association met with Muriel to discuss developing a residence for CP. Through Mrs. Heyland’s leadership, members of three CP associations formed the Auxiliary of the Adult CP Association, which initiated the incorporation of the Adult Cerebral Palsy Institute of Metropolitan Toronto (ACPI) in August 1957.

The first Board searched for a year and a half for a property and finally found the house at 718 Kingston Road, which opened in 1959. “Mike” further helped by bringing on more volunteers such as Kiwanis Ladies Auxiliary and Scarborough Horticultural Society to provide social activity for the first six residents of the house. Bruce Heyland, Muriel’s son, became involved in Bellwoods in 1978 when he joined the Board. He continued until he became Chair from 1982-84, completing six years on the Board.

Bruce provided important leadership through the renewal and revitalization period when 300 Shaw Street was renovated from sixty-one rooms to thirty-two apartments in 1983. His strong leadership was a key factor in ensuring the continued viability of the organization as it went through this stage of development. We greatly appreciate Muriel Heyland’s leadership, which was the key to making the first pilot project on Kingston Road a reality. Bellwoods also recognizes Bruce Heyland’s contribution to moving Bellwoods forward during what must have been a difficult time.