Our History

A large group of Rotarians are joined by staff and dignitaries to kick off the largest fundraising campaign to date: $6.9 million dollars to build the new Waterloo site. Children who receive services at KidsAbility hold toy shovels and dump trucks surrounded by Rotarians at the ground breaking ceremony for the new Waterloo site. After the opening of the new Guelph site, children and families are pictured at the first ice skating party. 

1990s - 2000s


The ground is officially broken on April 15 on the property of the Centre’s future site in Waterloo.


The K-W Rotary Children’s Centre completes construction of a 54,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility in Waterloo to replace the smaller facility in Kitchener. This facility opens in September following a successful $8 million capital campaign supported by government, local Rotary clubs, corporations and many private supporters.


In the fall, Cambridge services moves into the newly constructed Cambridge Family YMCA on Hespeler Road. Our co-location partnership provides enhanced facilities for our children and families and is the first and only partnership of its kind in Canada.


Following continued growth, a Guelph-based service team becomes a reality through pilot funding from the Ministry of Health, and a partnership through the City of Guelph. The caseload grows that year from just 17 children in September to 90 children by April 2000. The pilot proves to be a success and permanent funding is granted in 2000.

In November, the Board approves a new referral policy that makes it possible for a family, caregiver or community agency to refer a child for service. Up until now, referrals had to be made by a doctor. Referrals jump significantly as a result of this change from 978 referrals the year prior to 1,229. This change improves access to services and supports the goal of early intervention.


A Fergus site is established through the support of the Rotary Club of Fergus-Elora. KidsAbility Foundation assumes the primary responsibility of fundraising on behalf of KidsAbility. Previously, they had been tasked with managing the endowment fund arising from bequests.


May 30, the organization is officially renamed KidsAbility™ Centre for Child Development to more accurately reflect its mission, vision and purpose, and to respect Rotary International’s request that “Rotary” no longer be used in the name.

In September, KidsAbility renews its strong partnership with the Cambridge YMCA opening an expanded site. A new classroom is added that allows KidsAbility School to increase enrollment from 62 to 81 children.


KidsAbility’s Guelph site moves to a newly renovated 5,000-square-foot site at the West End Community Centre


The first annual Kids Can’t Wait Radiothon raises $108,000 over two days through the support of 96.7 CHYM FM.


December 12, KidsAbility and the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine Waterloo Regional Campus at McMaster University celebrate a historic partnership. The new partnership provides medical students with training in family medicine and pediatrics and gives them an opportunity to learn about children with special needs and their families.

Our Stories

Caitlin Beacock
Kellie Bell
Bob Blowes
Bonnie Bremner
Brown Family
Stephen Cameron
Melissa Clark
Bob Collins Wright

Lauren and Caroline Davidson
Vikki Dupuis
Gord and Shirley Ferguson
Stacey Gorloff
Bob Grant
Tom Jeary
Lindsay Kalbfleisch
Harley Kaufmann-Sacrey
Graydon Large
Dr. Mike Lawrie
Braden Martz
John and Lynda Moseley-Williams
Josh Nelson
Elaine Ormston
Michael and Melissa Papaioannou
Dan Rocha
Peter Snyder Etril
Kitty Stahle
Stultz Family
Lisa Talbot
Erick Traplin
Denise Watson