Abbeyfield offers a warm, family-style House and a balance between privacy and companionship, security and independence, combined with the special caring element provided by dedicated volunteers and the support of a House Coordinator.

The Abbeyfield concept is very simple. Typically, twelve to fifteen residents of retirement age live in their own private bed-sitting rooms furnished with their own things. The residents share lunch and dinner, plus a self-serve breakfast from a well-stocked breakfast bar. Snacks and drinks are also available throughout the day. A House Coordinator attends to the daily running of the House, the shopping and the preparation and serving of meals. Privacy and independence are preserved yet the gentle supportive domestic atmosphere provides companionship and freedom from worries and chores.

What is Abbeyfield Canada?

Abbeyfield Canada supports and promotes local community-based and volunteer-led Abbeyfield Societies to develop and manage local Abbeyfield Houses, which provide independent seniors with affordable residences.

We now have 21 Abbeyfield Houses in Canada housing about 300 residents. Three additional Abbeyfield Houses are under development and construction and several more projects are in the planning stages. Abbeyfield Canada is exploring ways to further increase Houses throughout Canada.

Guiding Principles

We believe:

  • Firstly, seniors often seek companionship and practical support in their daily living while remaining integrated in the larger community,
  • Secondly, that seniors have an important role to play in the lives of their families, friends and communities,
  • Thirdly, that individuals can secure a happy life within the companionship of other seniors.


Abbeyfield Canada is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors and managed by an Executive Director:

  • Denis Laframboise, ON – President and Director
  • Bill Statten – Treasurer and Director
  • Tim Shearman, ON – Treasurer and Director
  • Robert Gunn, BC – Secretary and Director
  • Andrea Geary, MB – Director
  • Liz Birchall – Director
  • Garry Hoffart, AB – Director
  • Judy Maile, BC – Director
  • JP Melville – Executive Director (Interim)

Abbeyfield International

Canada joined Abbeyfield International in 1985 and remains committed to the Abbeyfield ideals first articulated by the founder of Abbeyfield Richard Carr-Gomm.

In 1956 Major Richard Carr-Gomm resigned his commission with the British Army and bought a property in South London, for £250. It was run down, had six rooms, no bathroom, outdoor lavatory and two cold taps. It was to provide housing for four people – the only qualification being loneliness. He was the first housekeeper and was dubbed by the press The Scrubbing Major.

Today this prototype has provided a vision and the impetus for hundreds of Abbeyfield Houses operating all around the world.

Abbeyfield International promotes the Abbeyfield concept globally using its network of member national societies and, through them, an extended network of local societies.

Currently there are many countries affiliated to Abbeyfield International, with hundreds of Abbeyfield Houses providing homes for thousands of seniors.