Our History

ACT Logo Looking back, you can thank the Nanaimo club of the Associated Canadian Travellers (ACT) for their vision for a care facility for seniors in Nanaimo. ACT began raising funds in 1945, and in 1979 established the Nanaimo Travellers Lodge Society (NTLS) and secured registered charitable status. The Society purchased and renovated the old Nightingale Rest Home and renamed it the Nanaimo Travellers Lodge.

One of the hallmarks of NTLS from the very beginning was the focus on person-centered care practices. Person-centered care is a model of care that shifts the focus from institutional and biomedical goals to the unique needs of the person in care, and is viewed as a preferred model for residential dementia care.

In 1993, the Lodge had 65 staff working in six departments. An 18-passenger bus was purchased and the first strategic planning workshop was held. Stepping Stones opened, a pilot program and partnership involving the BC Ministry of Health and the Alzheimer's Support Group. Music therapy was introduced weekly and a Palliative Care Committee was formed.

Three years later, 75 residents called the Lodge home and a 10-bed dementia care extension was planned.

At the turn of the millennium, the main courtyard was designed to inspire participation and to provide freedom to wander. In spite of the expansion of services, demand kept rising for dementia care, and in 2004, the Lodge decided to dedicate all of its beds and day care spaces to those suffering from dementia.

In 2005, the Community Bathing program was started as a pilot project, and still continues today.

In 2006 with urging from Island Health our NTLS Board made the decision to replace the facility to meet the updated design criteria to allow residents to age in place. Our journey began with the purchase of 3 adjoining lots on Northfield for a combined 3.75 acres. The following year, the fourth Northfield property was purchased resulting in a final property size of 4.9 acres. Rezoning was approved by the City of Nanaimo in July 2010.

Finally in June 2013 after having been deemed the “Preferred Proponent” after a public tender process, NTLS signed a contract with Island Health to provide 130 complex care beds and our dream of a new person-centered dementia care residence was finally a reality. We made some design changes to stay within budget, and by July 2015 construction started at 1917 Northfield Road with an anticipated opening April 30, 2017.

We are proud to say that the project was completed on time, and on budget. As of April 28, 2017 our Elders and staff were moved into Eden Gardens, a beautiful facility thoughtfully designed to provide compassionate dementia care.

Eden Gardens
1917 Northfield Road, Nanaimo, BC V9S 3B6
Eden Gardens
(250) 758-4676