First and foremost, we are a team of dedicated people working to build and strengthen communities in Simcoe County. Independent Living Services Simcoe County (ILS) is a non-profit organization that works hard to help people remain active members of their communities and thrive as independent individuals in their own homes. We provide individualized support for people with disabilities and seniors to promote independent living and create real relationships. ILS is accredited by CARF International which is an indication of our agency’s dedication and commitment to improving the quality of the lives of the people we serve.

Our world is an interconnected one, with different parts of life – like healthcare – all interacting with each other. We are all a crucial part of our communities. At ILS, we take a holistic approach to our care. It’s not just about providing healthcare services for us – it’s about building a sense of belonging and a culture of care in Simcoe County.

Our holistic approach means that we take all parts of our lives into account – clients, their families and caregivers, our team, and our community partners. Everyone needs to be supported so that we can support each other. We work with people 16 years and older with diverse abilities at different stages of life. Whether you or your loved one needs care now, or you are planning for the future, ILS can guide you through the process and find the best services for your needs. Let us be part of your circle of care.

Beginning of the organization with four members and $50.00 SEED funding from the Ministry of Community & Social Services.

Barrie & District Association for the Physically Disabled becomes incorporated. First provincial convention of United Handicapped Groups of Ontario. 350 delegates attend. The focus is housing, transportation & employment.

Elaine Knox initiates the rental and purchase and renovation of a house on Cook Street in Barrie.

“Elaine House” was officially opened to support five adults with physical disabilities live independently in October 1980.

Barrie Kiwanis Club & Easter Seals donates a bus to the Association to begin Barrie Accessible Community Transit (BACTS).

Bob Kerr & Bob Peebles advocate for the removal of barriers for people with disabilities. BDAP receives funding to provide Support Care Outreach to people in their homes. In the mid to late 80’s, the Outreach program expanded to provide services in Midland, Wasaga Beach, Collingwood, and Orillia.

By 1989, there were over 4000 registered riders, 22,000 trips/year and four buses in BACTS.

Supportive Housing units are opened in Barrie at Kozlov & Coulter, and Kozlov & Edgehill.

BDAPD changes its name to Simcoe County Association for the Physically Disabled.

BACTS transportation program transferred from SCAPD to City of Barrie.

With continued support from the Ministry of Health & Long Term Care, five supportive housing units opened in Orillia in 1991, and an additional nine units in Barrie. Supportive housing services were established in Collingwood and Midland by 1999.

The Ontarians with Disabilities Act received Royal Assent. SCAPD Board becomes involved with municipal Accessibility Advisory Committees. A network is formed to connect AAC members across Simcoe County and eventually the District of Muskoka.

SCAPD develops expertise in accessibility training through its Public Ed Program to help “Open Doors & Minds” in the community.

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act is passed. SCAPD broadens its training program to include Accessible Customer Service to municipalities, The Learning Centre PSW students, and businesses.

The Accessibility Resource Centre is established through LHIN funding to support people to live safely and independently.

The organization changes it name to Independent Living Services of Simcoe County & Area.

ARC expands to promote the re-use of equipment through the Assistive Device Exchange website. Launch of the Assisted Living Program to support seniors who are at risk of losing their
independence in the community.

ILS employs 150 staff, mostly as Attendant Care Workers. Over 130 individuals are supported with Attendant Care Programs, 44 seniors with Assisted Living Program and over 250 through ARC. The program at Elaine House closes.

ILS continues to assist individuals with physical disabilities & limitations, to live independently in our community by offering a variety of personal support services. Working in collaboration with our community members, ILS continues to help make Simcoe County a welcoming place for all citizens.

The Agency receives new funding to start the Personal Support Program to provide 1 to 2 hours of personal care to seniors living in Barrie and surrounding area.

The Assistive Device Exchange re-branded as Quipit, and launched a new, completely re-designed website.

We continue to support our clients, community and staff as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. We are proud to care for our community through these challenging times, as we plan for a more resilient and compassionate future.
2020 – Present

ILS partners with United Way Simcoe Muskoka and 211 to be a Regional Lead for the Barrie and Area region, to administer the Urgent Needs Fund (UNF). This grant offers one-time financial support to area residents when no other resources are available

Independent Living Services of Simcoe County and Area announces brand refresh to Independent Living Services Simcoe County.

ILS Simcoe County receives 3 Year Accreditation Designation from CARF INTERNATIONAL which demonstrates ILS’s commitment to exceptional, personalized care and while putting the needs of our clients at the centre of everything we do.