Celebrating 60 years of the Ontario Long Term Care Association

Looking back over the last 60 years

In 1959, a group of seven nursing home operators with a passion for long-term care united together to form the first Associated Nursing Homes Incorporated of Ontario (ANHIO). Over the next two years, the Association, led by John Whitebread as President, began the process of bringing together more than 100 long-term care home operators to create a unified front to both government and the public.

Throughout the 1960s, the dedicated men and women of ANHIO lobbied for common standards and legislation, and encouraged the government to make nursing home care a universally accessible and insured service. This was realized in 1972 with the introduction of the Nursing Homes Act and the Extended Care Program. That same year ANHIO, which by then represented over 250 homes, changed it’s name to the Ontario Nursing Home Association (ONHA). Along with the name change, the Association's structure and scope was expanded.

Into the 80s, ONHA and its members rose to the challenge of ever-increasing accountability, while at the same time became advocates for an equitable system that encompassed all long-term care homes in the province. Several achievements over the next 30 years helped increase the level of quality care and services provided to residents. Public and government relations campaigns were launched; the Residents' Bill of Rights was developed; and common funding, inspection processes and qualifications were established.

At the dawning of a new millennium, it was the perfect time to ensure a name that was reflective of these changes. And so, in 2001, under the leadership of Doris Bilitz, the Ontario Long Term Care Association was born. The name was chosen to reflect our homes' ability to work together to ensure the best possible care for the residents we serve, with every type of long-term care operator welcomed to contribute. 

Today, the Ontario Long Term Care Association is the largest association of long-term care providers in Canada and the only association that represents the full mix of long-term care operators – private, not-for-profit, charitable, and municipal. We represent nearly 70% of Ontario’s 630 long-term care homes, located in communities across the province. Our members provide care and accommodation services to more than 70,000 residents annually.

Help us celebrate!



For 60 years, the Association has been committed to advancing the quality of long-term care services in Ontario. With advocacy and leadership as a key focus, the Association has been able to influence legislative, policy and regulatory change, support sector expansion and redevelopment, and provide educational opportunities to ensure the increasing needs of residents are being met with safe, high-quality care.


We invite you to join us as we reflect on 60 years of growth, success and change in our sector, and celebrate our 60th Anniversary at our This is Long Term Care 2019 conference. Sponsored by Medical Pharmacies, we'll be hosting an anniversary celebration as part of the event's kick-off, at Liberty Commons at Big Rock Brewery. Conference delegates and exhibitors alike are invited to network, grab a bite and a drink as we kick-off the conference and toast to another 60 years ahead. To register for the conference, click here.

   Anniversary Party Date & Time: Tuesday, September 17, 2019 from 7:00-11:00 pm
   Location: Liberty Commons, Big Rock Brewery (42 Liberty Street, Toronto, ON M6K 3E7)
   Dress Code: Casual

The Association extends a special thank you to our 60th Anniversary and Conference Kick-Off Reception Sponsor, Medical Pharmacies, for their ongoing support over the years. To learn more about Medical Pharmacies, click here.