VON (Victorian Order of Nurses) is Canada’s only and largest national, not-for-profit, charitable home and community care organization. For more than 115 years, our nurses, therapists, and other health care providers have cared for Canadians in their own homes.
Today, we offer more than 75 home care, personal support, and community services designed to help people of all ages to get healthy and stay healthy. Our team of more than 5,000 staff and 9,000 volunteers serves Canadians in more than 1,200 communities across our country, including Kingston, ON.
VON Canada has been pioneering care at home for over 120 years. Today, we are a highly-trusted non-profit organization that works with our clients, employees, volunteers, and partners to provide innovative clinical, personal and social support to people who want the comfort and peace of mind of living in their own homes and communities.
- Assisted Living Services for High Risk Seniors
- Footcare (In-Home & Clinic Locations)
- Health Van Program
- Home Help Maintenance
- In-Home Respite
- Meals on Wheels
- Personal Support/Home Support
- SMART® (Seniors Managing Active Roles Together)®
- Exercise Program
- SMILE Program
- Stroke Support Groups
- Volunteer Transportation
To residents in Kingston, ON.
In the late 1890s, Canada faced a dangerous shortage of nurses, doctors, and hospitals, especially in remote areas. Lady Ishbel Aberdeen, wife of Canada’s Governor-General, learned just how badly this affected people when she participated in the annual meeting of the National Council of Women held in Halifax in 1896. She later wrote about the “pathetic stories” she heard, “where young mothers and children had died, whilst husbands and fathers were traveling many weary miles for the medical and nursing aid which might have saved them.”
The National Council passed a resolution asking Lady Aberdeen to found an order of visiting nurses in Canada in honour of the 60th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s ascent to the throne. Lady Aberdeen accepted the challenge with determination, becoming the inaugural president of the Victorian Order of Nurses (VON). The Order’s first challenges were to provide visiting nursing services to areas without medical facilities and to establish small “cottage” hospitals in isolated areas.
Sir Wilfred Laurier, Canada’s Prime Minister, motioned for the inauguration of the new Order in 1897. But when parliamentary support faltered because of criticism from Canada’s medical establishment, Lady Aberdeen enlisted the help of Dr. Alfred Worcester, a Harvard professor and founder of the Waltham Training School for Nurses in Massachusetts.
Dr. Worcester spoke to large audiences of doctors in Ottawa, Toronto and other Canadian cities about the urgent need for nursing and the critical role nurses could play in remote and under-served areas. He also recruited Charlotte Macleod, a Canadian who had studied with the legendary Florence Nightingale, to help set up the VON Canada. She became VON Canada’s first chief superintendent, welcoming the first 12 nurses into the Order in November 1897 — just a month before Queen Victoria granted a royal charter to the VON Canada.
Today at VON Canada, we deliver more than 75 different programs and services through 52 local sites staffed by 5,000 health care workers and a dedicated team of more than 9,000 community volunteers. Local volunteer boards and professional staff work together at each site to ensure their VON Canada services meet the unique needs of their community.
At the local, provincial and national levels, we also come together with families, other organizations, governments, and communities to influence the health and social policies that affect Canadians. As always, our goal is to ensure superior health care is available, affordable and accessible to everyone in Canada — no matter where they live.
The VON (Victorian Order of Nurses) is Canada’s largest charitable organization providing care in people’s homes and communities.VON Canada has been pioneering care at home for over 120 years. Today, we are a highly-trusted non-profit organization that works with our clients, employees, volunteers, and partners to provide innovative clinical, personal and social support to people who want the comfort and peace of mind of living in their own homes and communities.