Our Story

Ernest Winch was born in 1879 in Harlow, England and immigrated to Canada in 1910. He apprenticed as a bricklayer and became active in the trade union movement, eventually serving as president of the Vancouver Trades and Labour Council.

Mr. Winch migrated to politics and became very politically active in his community of Burnaby. He was a co-founder of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) in 1932, the precursor to today’s New Democratic Party. He was elected in 1933 as the Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) representing the CCF in Burnaby and was re-elected six times, serving until his death in 1957.

Ernie Winch was a tireless advocate for social welfare reforms and for addressing the problems of the aged. In 1943, he founded The New Vista Society to provide housing for convalescing single women with psychiatric problems. He further succeeded in establishing housing for “pensioners and arthritics” and in 1953, he introduced a bill in the Legislature to guarantee the permanence of the New Vista project and to preserve its purpose under a Board of Trustees. By 1957, The New Vista Society had built 125 apartments in Burnaby in 15 buildings at five separate apartment projects. Through his efforts, the low rental New Vista Homes for Senior Citizens was planned, built and inhabited under the directorship of The New Vista Society.

As the demographics and needs of the surrounding population has evolved, so has the focus of the Society. Responding to the needs of the community, The New Vista Society today operates 236-bed Care Home, the Cranberry Cottage Adult Day Program supporting frail seniors living in the community and provides 540 low cost housing units along with support services for seniors and families in South Burnaby.

A commemorative stone and plaque (left) honouring Ernie Winch lies at New Vista’s JS Woodsworth housing complex in south Burnaby. We are proud of our founder’s commitment, and we continue to uphold the ideals of supporting the people in our community who need our help.

New Vista Society Timeline

1943

New Vista Society Founded

The New Vista Society was founded by Ernie E. Winch, Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) representing the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) to provide housing for convalescing single women with psychiatric problems he further succeeded in establishing housing for “pensioners and arthritics”

1956

In the Beginning

Between 1943 and 1956 The New Vista Society built 125 apartments in Burnaby. There were 15 buildings in five separate apartment projects. One of these apartment projects, which opened in 1956, the Lambert House, had eight bachelor and four one-bedroom suites.  All the suites were designed for wheelchair access and had ground floor entry.  The New Vista Society had established a strong base in providing responsible effective housing for seniors.

1972

Winch Tower Constructed

Ernest Winch Tower a 14-storey high-rise, located in the south Burnaby neighbourhood of Edmonds, is built. Winch Tower features 146 bachelor apartments and 28 one-bedroom apartments of social housing for low-income seniors.

1974

Vista Place Tower Completed

2 years after Winch Tower opens, it’s sister tower the Vista Place Tower opens, with an additional 146 bachelor apartments and 28 one-bedroom apartments of social housing for low-income seniors, The towers are home to 404 seniors in our community.

1975

New Vista Care Home Built

In 1975 a personal Care Home with 301 beds was built. Initially the New Vista Care Home was only responsible for providing room and board, and limited care.

1978

Long Term Care Program

In 1978 the Care Home became part of the provincial government’s Long Term Care Program and was designated as a personal care/intermediate care facility.  As the needs of the seniors in the community changed, the needs of the Care Home residents changed as well.

1987

Douglas Manor Built

During the Care Home renovations, the New Vista Society continued to build quality housing for seniors.  Two apartment projects within walking distance from the care home were built during this time. Douglas Manor seniors’ housing complex was built adjacent to the care home in 1987

1989

Addition of Dementia Care

Between 1989 and 1993 the facility was converted from a personal care/intermediate care facility to an intermediate Care Home.  This involved major renovations that resulted in a decrease in the number of beds from 301 to 236. Currently, the Care Home has a special care unit. This is for people with dementia of the Alzheimer’s type.  There are 23 residents in the program.  These residents are given special care and attention in a secure environment that is specially suited to support their needs.

1992

Adult Day Program Begins

Cranberry Cottage opens as a health-oriented, social recreation service that offers a wide range of activities to seniors with chronic health conditions so they can continue living in their homes in the community. Where our health care professionals provide a comprehensive and individualized program for seventeen clients a day. The program is designed to help our clients maintain optimal levels of physical and cognitive functioning, meeting our mandate to alleviate their loneliness, helplessness and boredom.

1994

Grace McInnis Place Built

Grace MacInnis Place, a project designed for seniors’ independent living, was built across the street from the care home in 1994.  Douglas Manor and Grace McInnis Place together made room for another 84 seniors to live independently within our community.

1998

JS Woodworth Court Phase I

The New Vista Society opened J. S. Woodsworth Court, a 40-unit social family housing project.  This new project also includes four units for seniors.

1999

JS Woodsworth Court Phase II

The second phase of this development opened two years later with a further 38 units for families and seniors.

2001

Margaret Bacchus Manor Opens

Margaret Bacchus Manor opened its doors on April 1, 2001 and is comprised of 39 one bedroom units for seniors.  This building now completes the corner and a beautiful courtyard and gazebo were added in 2001 for the enjoyment of the whole campus.

2002

Second Dementia Care Unit

A second Dementia Care Unit opened in August of 2002.  This unit is specifically designed and secured for 30 people who have a need to wander, a symptom of dementia.  This unit offers opportunity for residents to wander freely, both inside and out, in a secure and supported environment.