Our Approach

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A Mission to Serve

The mission of the Spruce Lodge community is to strive for excellence in accommodation and services for seniors and the physically and mentally challenged in a pleasant, caring, homelike environment, ensuring dignity and quality of life for all.   Our Logo is a geometric depiction of a spruce tree, however more importantly it depicts our “People First” vision, and our approach to care and to serve.

Our “People first” Vision

At Spruce Lodge we put “People first”.

Being a people first organization means that even though we operate in an industry that is highly regulated and controlled, we are first and foremost an organization all about the people we serve.   We are inspired and motivated each and every day by the life stories of our people, which we purposefully gather and which help us to meet people where they are at.  Knowing where someone has been, or where they are on their life’s journey helps us to honour their individuality.   This philosophy of care or approach recognizes those we serve are the pinnacle of all we do, and our reason for being, and acknowledges our staff and volunteers as the heart and soul of who we are and who we strive to be.  We continuously strive to focus on the persons served and what they can do, versus what they can’t, or ability not disability, and what makes life meaningful to them, and how we can work together to make that happen.

  • We believe in treating our people with courtesy, care, respect and dignity at all times.
  • We believe in prioritizing the needs and interests of the people we serve over everything else, and we rely on their input, their direction and their feedback in all decisions that may affect their quality of life.  
  • We believe that quality service comes from successfully getting to know our people, figuring out what is important to them and then coming up with a plan that seeks to meet their needs and interests over time.
  • We believe that while change is inevitable, we will not do so without first involving those that may be affected by the change.
  • We believe that making the Spruce Lodge campus a great place to work will help to make it a great place to live for all those we serve. 
  • We believe that our staff are ladies and gentleman serving ladies and gentleman, and we believe that this approach sets the correct tone for a mutually respectful relationship and a quality experience here at the Lodge for all.
  • We believe in diversity and inclusion and that everyone is important, has something to offer, and should be heard.

We Value People FIRST    

Here at Spruce Lodge our values are FIRST  and we use these values when selecting new team members.


Friendly:                    We value people that strive to be friendly to each other and to all stakeholders.

Inspired:                    We value people that are inspired by the work they do such that their passion shines through and                                            they inspire others to be at their best. 

Resident focused:       We value people that understand and appreciate that all we do is intended for the immediate or                                              the eventual benefit of our residents. 

Solution oriented:       We value people that focus on the solutions and not the problems. 

Teamwork:                We value people who understand they are part of a team, by caring how their actions affect others,                                          by putting the interests of the team above their own, and by realizing that doing so helps                                                        everyone.

A Logo that means something                                                   

While some may see a geometric depiction of a Spruce Tree, we see “People First”

People First Tree Picture.png

Municipally owned and governed since 1896

Municipal Non-Profit

Spruce Lodge, as it is seen today, was built in 1965 to replace the old “County Home” that was built in 1896 on the same site. The original structure was owned and operated by Perth County. However, when the new building was erected, the City of Stratford became an equal partner with the County. In 1978, the Town of St. Mary’s joined the County and the City as a part owner of Spruce Lodge. The residents of all three municipalities now enjoy the use of the Lodge, as do so many that come from other parts of the Province.

As owners, The County of Perth, the City of Stratford and the Town of St. Marys each contribute their proportionate share toward Spruce Lodge operations. These contributions are intended to enable the Lodge to meet municipal obligations and to ensure a standard of care and service that each Municipality can be proud of together.

The overall operation of the Lodge is the responsibility of a Board of Directors that is comprised of Municipal Councilors who are appointed by their respective Councils. The governance chart below identifies the relationship of the three participating municipalities in the governance of the Lodge.

A Brief History

  • 1896
    • County of Perth builds its House of Refuge.
  • 1897
    • The first resident moves in.
  • 1947
    • The House of Refuge becomes the Home for the Aged.
  • 1955
    • The Home of the Aged adopts its current name, Spruce Lodge, in recognition of the large majestic spruce trees that adorned the property.
  • 1965
    • The City of Stratford becomes involved as an equal partner with the County of Perth. The new Spruce Lodge is built and the former House of Refuge is taken down.
  • 1978
    • The Town of St. Marys becomes involved in the ownership and governance along with the City of Stratford and the County of Perth.
  • 1985
    • Woodland Towers I is built.
  • 1990
    • Woodland Towers II is completed.
  • 1990
    • Hamlet Estates units are started.
  • 1992
    • Spruce Lodge is redesigned into seven living areas, including secure cottage units for those at risk of wandering.
  • 2009
    • Woodland Towers III is completed.



The Not for Profit Difference

Re-investment in Care

Not for profit operators that generate a surplus re-invest these monies to increase the level of service they provide.   Additionally not for profits typically contribute additional resources to enhance and expand services;  all in an effort to meet the needs and interests of the people they serve.  Here on the Spruce Lodge campus we survey all of our stakeholders on a regular basis and we are continuously searching for ways and means to make our campus a great place to live and a great place to serve.

Local Accountability

Not for profits and municipal organizations are accountable to the public through elected representatives and charitable boards that include Resident representation.  This is a key element for ensuring the appropriateness and effectiveness of the programs and services delivered.  Accountability is strengthened by greater transparency, including annual general meetings and regular resident and member meetings.  Each element of our campus’s financial books are fully open and available to those we serve, and we value the input we receive toward the greater good.

Strong Community Support

Not for profits are deeply rooted in the communities we serve.   We have a proud history of caring and we are a bold and dynamic sector that is continuously exploring opportunities to improve.   Grassroots support of not for profits and municipal entities comes in many forms, including active involvement by local volunteers and generous financial contributions from friends, families and municipal partners.  Here on the Spruce Lodge campus we are fortunate to have hundreds of volunteers, and we have multiple community networks and partnerships we are engaged with on a regular basis

Innovation and Excellence

From the complex care requirements of the frail elderly, to the needs of more independent seniors, not for profits have been at the forefront of innovation and service delivery.  Leaders in developing and delivering programs that meet the specific needs of people, we believe in creative solutions that solve or address unique individual needs and wants.  On the Spruce Lodge campus you will find a wide range of services and programs, some of which we partner with others to provide and some of which we champion ourselves;  Alzheimer day programs, supportive housing, respite care, foot clinics, music therapy, end of life care, exercise and balancing classes, therapeutic swimming, congregate dining, long term care and much more, all designed and developed to enrich lives and to help seniors to remain in their own homes for as long as possible.  Our approach to innovation and excellence is simple;  we start with the person served, we get to know their wants and needs, we involve them in how best to meet their wants and needs, we put in place a plan to get there, and we continuously adjust course to respond to changes and opportunities.