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In the early 1950s, a group of parents who had a vision of a better quality of life for their children with intellectual disabilities met to discuss how this dream could become a reality. The parents’ major concern was that their children with intellectual disabilities had to be transferred to institutions far from their family homes in order to receive any education. Through the vision of these parents, they started an association which would have a tremendous impact on their community.
In 1954 the association of parents formed the “North Bay and District Association for Retarded Children”, and began to provide school services to eight children in a church basement. That same year, these parents joined the Ontario Association for the Mentally Retarded and received their charter as a charitable organization. Their first major project was West-Bay-Field School (named for the three areas it provided service for; North Bay, West Ferris and Widdifield). The school was built in 1963 and operated by the Association until 1969, at which time the Nipissing Board of Education assumed responsibility.
The second project was the building of a work training centre for handicapped adults. The centre opened in May 1969. Since then, the Association staff has grown from two (2) to a total of two hundred and seventy four (274) employees and provides a variety of services to the people of North Bay and surrounding area.
In 2008, the North Bay and District Association for Community Living changed its name to Community Living North Bay.
Community Living North Bay is registered as a Charitable Organization. The Association is incorporated under the Incorporation Act in the Province of Ontario.