Unitarian House of Ottawa

Unitarian House of Ottawa logo.
Editor's Note

This profile originally appeared in the 2021 Giving Guide. Read the full magazine here.

Unitarian House is Ottawa’s not-for-profit Retirement Home and Senior Apartments. With 45 Retirement Suites and 67 Independent Living Apartments. Our residents enjoy the peace of mind of affordable housing in a warm, caring and community-minded environment. 

The main reason why our community is so connected, is our volunteers! We rely on our wonderful volunteers to man our front desk on evenings and weekends, assist with special events and activities, drive our van for outings and appointments, and offer companionship. 

At a glance:

Year founded: 1984

Total revenue for last fiscal year: $849,152

Facebook: /UnitarianHouse

Top funding sources:

  • Individual donations: 90%
  • Corporate: 5%
  • Endowments: 3%
  • Other charities: 1%
  • Other: 1%

Geographic region of focus: Greater Ottawa Area

The front of a brick building. Outside, there are chairs and tables, as well all flowers and plants. The building's sign says "Unitarian House."

How you can help


Donations & financial contributions are what make Unitarian House possible!

To make a one time gift, become a monthly donor, or sponsor an upcoming project call Susan Faith, our Administrative Manager at 613-722-6690 extension 234 or visit



Volunteers are our lifeblood! Without them many of the activities, special events and programs available to our residents wouldn’t be possible.

We welcome volunteers of all ages and from all backgrounds. To learn more about volunteer opportunities, reach out to Jennifer Brierley our Activities & Volunteer Coordinator at 613-722-6690 extension 224

Events and fundraising

Like most charitable organizations the Covid-19 pandemic forced us to postpone or cancel the majority of our Fundraising Events for the past two years. 

In September 2021, we participated in the inaugural year of The Grand Parade here in Ottawa. A fundraising walk, in support of Senior focused charities across Canada, and are already planning the 2022 event! 

Just in time for the Holiday season, we have Resident designed Holiday Cards available! A package of 12 cards sells for $15 with proceeds directed to the Retirement Living Unit Assistance Fund. 

Moving forward, we can’t wait to reintroduce our much-loved Fall Fair – a community rummage sale featuring books, toys, vintage treasures & clothing, and a revamped Annual Gala with live entertainment, plated dinner and silent auction, as soon as we can!  

Board members and executives

Two headshots of two women/
Mélanie Lefebvre is CEO of the Unitarian House of Ottawa; Merle Bolick is the board president

Mélanie Lefebvre


Merle Bolick

Board President

Pam Garner

Vice President

Anne Arnott


Walter Nibogie


Trevor Shannon

Deputy Treasurer 

Bruce Grant


Brian Castledine


Janet Bradley


Janice Gray


Ross McIntyre


Rhodena MacDonald


Shannon Martin


Blair Erskine

Church Liaison 

Mo Gabe

Funding priorities

Our main priorities each donation year are our Retirement Living Assistance Fund and our Rent Geared to Income program. These funds allow us to offer financial assistance to the residents on both the Retirement Floor and in the Independent Living Apartments. Meaning, that they can remain here, at home, should they fall on financial hardships or outlive their financial resources. We are also encouraging donations geared towards our Retirement Living Floor and Activities funds to help support the need for the modernization of our activities with senior-friendly tablets and technology-based programs.

Get in touch

20 Cleary Ave.

Ottawa, Ont.

K2A 3Z9