Our History

A young boy is learning how to colour with a crayon using his prosthetic arms. A KidsAbility ECE staff member reads a book to two young girls.Children at the Centre pose around a a papier mache cake in honour of the 50th anniversary of Rotary International. Photo is circa 1970-1980.

1970s - 1980s


Plans are underway to meet the growing needs of the Centre. An addition to create a second floor over the existing one-story building is completed at a cost of $150,000 and funded entirely by the Rotary Clubs of Kitchener and Waterloo. This new space provides much needed room to accommodate the growth of occupational therapy and speech-language pathology. The expansion also provides an area for a social worker and psychological testing. Since the last addition in 1963, the caseload has doubled.


Increasing demands for speech therapy in Cambridge prompts the opening of a speech clinic so that children living south of the 401 do not have to travel to the crowded Centre in Kitchener. The speech clinic is set up in rented space in Grandview Medical Centre in Cambridge.


The K-W Rotary Children’s Centre serves 557 children on the active caseload supported by 42 staff, a 12-person medical panel, 100 volunteers, 25 Rotarians from Kitchener-Waterloo and Cambridge on the Board, with a budget of $550,000.


Roy Brown, the long-time serving executive director of the K-W Rotary Children’s Centre, retires in December. Roy served as the Centre’s first administrator and was celebrated with a friendly “roast” by the staff to acknowledge his tremendous contributions over the years.


Funded by Rotarians, a larger and more permanent site opens in Cambridge at 1425 Bishop Street. Within three years of opening, the new site sees 165 children.


In 1986, the Board of Directors realizes that the current facilities can no longer accommodate the ever-growing number of children and families that come through the doors each year. Planning begins for a new facility that will be able to serve more children.

Our Stories

Jason Koehler
Dan Lajoie
John & Mary Lynch
Melissa Martz
Barb Miller
Karen Morris
Jeff Poolton
Jennifer Ross
Carol Shantz
Dr. Janet Speight
Stephen Swatridge
Judy Winterburn