About Us

Our Story

West Side Family Place was founded in 1973 by two local mothers, Ellen LeFevre and Mary Lynn Burke, with the goal of building community connection and support for the well-being of local families.

Over the decades, WSFP has responded to the changing needs of local young families and now offers a wide range of parenting resources to its diverse community.

WSFP became the first recognized Family Resource Program in Canada. We have since served as a model for hundreds of similar programs across the country.

Today we are known as a welcoming refuge for all families in the community: parents and caregivers come together to share the experiences of parenthood while their
children learn through play.

We Offer

Programs and services that promote child development, early learning and literacy, as well as positive social interactions for your family. They include:

  • A stimulating family program 4-days a week that includes play-based exploration and a staff-led Circle Time
  • Theme Day activities including seasonal multicultural potluck meals and celebrations
  • Music classes for babies and toddlers
  • Toy lending and parenting resource libraries

West Side Family Place also provides parents and caregivers with family support, parent education, and information about other services in the community.

Our Values


To provide a nurturing and supportive environment for all parents, caregivers and their young children.

To greet parents and caregivers with empathy and care to relieve feelings of isolation.

To play an important role in encouraging non-judgemental inclusion and to foster a safe and welcoming community for all.

To provide connections to vital family resources.

We do this with thoughtful programming that benefits early childhood development and enhances parenting skills for the well-being of the entire family. Staff can provide family resources during these programs.

Our Impact on the Community

The demographics of our local communities have changed over the years but the same issues and challenges remain: new parents learning to adjust, societal expectations of parenthood, as well as how to cope with sleepless nights, crying babies, challenging toddler behaviour, and so on.

During the pandemic, WSFP quickly adapted and remained open for outdoor activities, and organized a community outreach to families with young children and newborn babies.

The Play and Learn Family Drop-In is the core program where parents access additional support services. In 2019, WSFP welcomed an average of 32 families a day to our Play and Learn Family Drop-in.

WSFP also provided over 150 hours of parent education, family programming, as well as countless hours of one-to-one parent support.