FST Historical Records – City of Toronto Archives
In 2014, Family Service Toronto marked 100 years as one of the city’s oldest and most vital social service organizations.
FST started as the Neighbourhood Workers Association (NWA) in 1914 when a group of volunteers came together to address the growing levels of poverty faced by many families in the city. See our Celebrating a Century in the City centennial video.
In 1962, NWA changed its name to “Family Service Association of Metropolitan Toronto”. In 2008, the name changed again to Family Service Toronto.
Originally, NWA served as an umbrella organization, bringing together churches and other charitable organizations to co-ordinate the provision of relief to families in need.
The association was instrumental in organizing relief during the influenza epidemic in 1918 and the Great Depression during the 1930s. NWA’s constitution charged the agency with the responsibility to acquire “information regarding the social needs of the community” and promote “the means to meet those needs.”
Today, provides more counselling and community building services than relief, but we are still here for Toronto’s most vulnerable citizens. While our organizational structure and nature of our work has evolved over time, our core values haven’t.