The name Dunara is a Gaelic term which means house or fortress on a hill. It was the name given to our residence by the MacKinnon family when they originally built the home in 1898.
Dunara, as it is today, was first conceived by the original members of the Schizophrenia Society of Guelph. This is a nation wide support organization who’s local Guelph Chapter was formed in October 1981.
During the first years it was identified that there was a need for a community based program such as Dunara. This need grew out of recognition that there was no suitable housing in the City of Guelph to service the needs of the psychiatric population.
In 1983 they received letters of patent, and in 1985 approval was granted to them as their own charitable organization. In November of 1986 the house at 329 Gordon Street was acquired on a leasing arrangement from the Diocese of Hamilton. Once the provincial funding started to flow from the Ministry of Health we were able to begin renovations on the house during the winter of 1986. Renovations continued through the spring and summer of ’87 and on September 16, 1987 we held an official Open House.
On November 23, 1987 we admitted our first Resident into the program and have seen a steady stream of referrals ever since.
Under the direction and supervision of DUNARA staff there is a focus on daily living and the development of life-skills and social interaction.
Dunara is a successful integration of community spirit and dedicated leadership which we hope will continue to flourish.