Ivan Franko Homes exists for the sole reason of providing accommodations and high-quality, individualized care for elderly Canadians of Ukrainian descent in a home-like, traditional environment.
Ivan Franko Homes’ long-term vision is the creation of a whole 'Campus of Care’, featuring facilities and a highly effective scheme of services serving the seniors of our community by providing a variety of different options, including any or all of the following: long-term care, assisted living, independent self-contained apartments and senior day programs, with the necessary complex of services to uphold and maintain every resident’s choice of high-quality, individualized care in a home-like, traditional Ukrainian ethno-cultural environment.
Ivan Franko Homes believes in the dignity and worth of the resident and in the right of all residents to live their lives to their fullest extent. We value partnering with our residents, families and the community. We strive towards excellence in everything that we do.
Ivan Franko Homes is committed to providing resident-centered care in the Homes and ensuring that residents are partners in all decisions regarding their care and accomodations in the Home.
Eugenia Pasternak (1919-2011) was Ivan Franko Homes’ founder and served as its President for almost five decades. Dr. Pasternak was well known in the Ukrainian community across Canada and even in Ukraine as she was not only a devoted Ukrainian patriot, but was also a teacher, administrator and gerontologist. She was recognized with over 80 medals and awards along with two honorary doctorates. Included are the prestigious Order of Canada, the Shevchenko Medal from the Ukrainian Canadian Committee and the Presidential Medal of Ukraine. She had a deep understanding and care for seniors and made Ivan Franko Homes what they are today. Dr. Pasternak created the perfect culture of a Ukrainian and Canadian home environment. As she aged, she moved to the Home in the Toronto location until she passed in 2011 after a lengthy illness.
During her tenure, she had the honor to welcome to the Ivan Franko Home the Prime Minister of Canada (the Right Hon. Pierre E. Trudeau) and President of the newly independent Ukraine
(the Hon. Leonid Kravchuk).
Long-serving and dedicated Executive Director, Terry Tonkovich,
retired in September 2020, after serving Ivan Franko Homes for over 50 years. Acquired degree: B.A. in Psychology and Sociology, University of Toronto, Ontario; Certified Administrator, Homes for the Aged, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario; Honorary Doctorate of Letters, International Biographical Association, Cambridge, England.
Since 1968, Terry has worked at all three Ivan Franko Homes' residences. First as a student, then Assistant Administrator, Terry worked her way up through all IFH’s administrative functions. From 1990-2009 she held the post of Executive Administrator of the two existing Ivan Franko Homes (Toronto and Mississauga). In 2009 she was appointed to the position of Executive Director,
in which she served until her retirement.
Mrs.Tonkovich has always been passionate about providing seniors with the highest level of professional and compassionate care possible within a traditional, cultural and home-like environment,
and inspiring staff to achieve this goal.
She has shown leadership and dedication through the development of IFH’s Museum of Ukrainian Folk Art, the promotion of the "Our Future Together" campaign, the creation of our "Legacy" Art Gallery, as well as the creation and development of IFH’s website and our InTouchLink communications program. She also initiated publications about our Homes’ history and activities, including IFH’s Chronicle; “Novynky z Pansionu”, later replaced by IFH’s quarterly Bulletins; our annual Calendars; and a book of residents’ biographies, entitled “My Way Home”. Mrs. Tonkovich demonstrated innovation and creativity in organizing a variety of new programs and events for senior adults and the broader community, such as IFH’s Seniors’ Day Program, the annual Open House and Picnic, IFH’s Wellness Centre, and the "Lys Mykyta" lounge for family celebrations.
Ivan Franko Homes are named after one of Ukraine’s most influential poets and philosophers. They are owned and operated by Ivan Franko Homes, which was founded in 1957 as a not-for-profit seniors’ care organization serving Canadians of Ukrainian descent.
The first Ivan Franko Home was officially opened in 1964 in a large private house at 35 High Park Gardens across from High Park. It was inspired and founded by Dr. Eugenia Pasternak, who continued to serve at the helm until 2009, when she became ill and eventually passed away in 2011, at the age of 92. Terry Tonkovich was appointed Executive Director in 2009 and served until her retirement in 2020.
The Homes proud to provide both independent and assisted living accommodations in Mississauga as well as long-term care in Toronto for a total of approximately 160 seniors, who reside in professionally staffed, caring and picturesque environments featuring Ukrainian language, cuisine and culture.
In 2013, our commitment to the highest quality care standards was recognized by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF International) through the award of three-year accreditation, the longest period possible for an initial designation for retirement and care centers. In May 2016, 2019 and again in 2022 Ivan Franko Homes were awarded accreditation for another 3 years.
Accommodating the growing number of elderly Ukrainians in Canada, specifically in the GTA, was recognized as an urgent need in the early Sixties. The Ukrainian Canadian Committee developed the idea of a culture-specific residence that would cater to their needs. The Ontario government granted $18,000, which was used for the furnishing and renovation of the house. The building had rooms for up to 24 residents and was beautiful, ideally situated beside the largest municipal park in Toronto with a large garden and close to the subway and streetcars. People who were previously skeptical of the need soon changed their mind after seeing how quickly the home filled with an ensuing waiting list.
Soon the demand necessitated building a new home that could accommodate 100 residents. Land was purchased in 1968 in Etobicoke and the new Ivan Franko Home was constructed at
767 Royal York Road in Toronto on a picturesque 1-3/4 acres overlooking Mimico Creek.
For several years students were sent to Ivan Franko Homes from local nursing schools for training while representatives from numerous ethnic groups (Polish, Italian, Chinese, German) continued to visit to learn from our initiative. Today, the Royal York location consists of 85 beds in private and semi-private rooms. In addition to various activity rooms, a large recreation room, a chapel, and a library, it features flowerbeds, ornamental trees, several decks, a large patio and a stunning view of the ravine and creek.
Despite having two Homes, Ukrainian seniors’ applications for admission continued to outpace availability. This demand led to building a third home. After a lengthy search, our organization bought a 10-acre site at 3058 Winston Churchill Blvd. in Mississauga. Construction of the new home began in 1980 and it officially opened on August 19, 1982. The High Park Gardens Home was sold and the residents were moved to the new Home. The stunning residence has three residential floors and accommodates 45 apartments and 23 private rooms. A dining room is available on each floor and the property features a chapel, library, medical clinic, a large three-storey atrium or ‘winter garden’, a museum, tuck shop and a newly built gym and spa. Outside there is a remarkable amount of open land with flowerbeds, ornamental trees, an orchard, vegetable gardens, fishpond, gazebos, park benches, traditional Ukrainian wooden sculptures, fountains and walking paths. Today our two Homes accommodate over 160 residents.
A detailed history of our Homes may be found in Ivan Franko Homes Chronicals (2 volumes) which are available at the Mississauga Home.