Endicott Centre

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Endicott Centre
Established 1951
Opened 1965
Current Status Active
Building Style Cottage Plan
Location Kootenay, BC
Alternate Names
  • Kootenay Society for Handicapped Children


The Endicott Centre was named for one of the founders, Dr. William Endicott, who in 1951, was involved in the organization of a non-profit group called the Kootenay Society for Handicapped Children. The Kootenay Society for Handicapped Children built a centre for children diagnosed with “mental retardation” in attempt to keep children close to their families. Dr. Endicott believed that with training these children could learn life skills and develop to their fullest potential. Over the next five years five more chapters were established in Nelson, Kimberley, Creston, Cranbrook, and Castegar, British Columbia. In 1955 the BC Association for the Mentally Retarded was formed and regional associations created policies and worked to affect provincial legislation concerning individuals who were diagnosed developmentally disabled.

In 1961 Dr. Endicott bought land and began development of a dormitory to house 30 children, this was completed by 1965 and in 1970 an adult residence was added to the original facility. Vocational training began in 1972 and many residents found part-time work in the community. In 1975 the Kootenay Society for Handicapped Children (KSHC) changed its name to the Kootenay Society for the Handicapped. In 1977 the facility was renamed to the Endicott Centre.

In the 1980s, the public school system took responsibility for the education of all children, including those with special needs, and the closures of large institutions in British Columbia which housed and cared for people with developmental disabilities began. Adult residents at the Endicott Centre were gradually transferred to autonomous homes and apartments, while younger residents joined foster families. The institution closed during this transfer sometime in the 1980s.

In 1989 the Kootenay Society for the Handicapped changed its name to Kootenay Society for Community Living and then in 2005 became the Kootenay Region Association for Community Living.