By Gordon Gage


Family has been the key to the success of the Thorvaldson Care Center since its inception in June 1959. These past 65 years have been an exciting journey for the four generations of the Thorvaldson family. On June 6th, 2024, the family will host a 65th birthday party at their Care Home to celebrate and reminisce about the journey that brought them to this day.

In 1959, Herman Thorvaldson and his parents, Valdi and Lilja, purchased a 38-bed Convalescent home that had been owned by Herman’s aunt since 1932. Operating as the Thorvaldson Nursing Homes (at 5 & 7 Mayfair Place), the ambitious and arduous task began for the family. Lilja worked as ‘Matron’ and licensee of the home, and Valdi and Herman helped in various capacities while maintaining full-time employment elsewhere.

At the same time (1959), the Nursing Home Association of Manitoba (now known as the Long Term and Continuing Care Association of Manitoba) was founded. Herman was one of the original members and was Chairman from 1962 to 1978. That same year, he also became a founding member of the Canadian Long-Term Care Association, which is now located in Ottawa.

In 1980, the provincial government only sanctioned and funded newly built care facilities, so, being an older home, the decision was made to sell the property. As a result, the operation relocated a short distance away to its current address on Stradbrook Ave in the Osborne Village area. Herman and his wife, Julia, continued to care for the elderly, operating under a new name, the Thorvaldson Care Center- an ‘Intermediate’ Care facility – catering to those elderly who were seeking a lighter level of care than provided at the original nursing home.


Thorvaldson care home

Unfortunately, Herman would not see Thorvaldson Care Home’s 65th anniversary this June after passing away in April 2023. The facility he designed and built is now overseen by the family's third and fourth generations, with daughters Jocelyn and Karen and granddaughter Ally continuing to operate the only Intermediate Care facility in Manitoba.

The Center provides a higher level of health care and supervision than other housing options in the community. It is an ideal home for those who can no longer manage their living situation yet are not ready to be placed in a Personal Care Home. This facility provides 24-hour care/support by on-site Health Care Aides and a full-time Registered Nurse for those who need assistance managing physical limitations or cognitive issues. Residents receive comprehensive support with activities of daily living, including medication administration, bathing, dressing, grooming, and hygiene. Meals, housekeeping, laundry, and recreational activities are provided.

The family has always strived to set the bar high when caring for their clients. That was exemplified during the COVID pandemic when they sought and installed leading-edge air purification technology in their HVAC system that successfully prevented any outbreak and transmission of COVID-19 within the facility. Today, that technology protects Thorvalsdon’s residents from other airborne and surface-dwelling germs and pathogens.

It can be said that there is something special not only about the type of care provided here but also that having a family running a business and looking after other families' loved ones makes a difference. The Thorvaldson family feels privileged to provide compassionate care for seniors who are at a particularly vulnerable time in their lives, and they have worked earnestly to maintain integrity throughout the years.

Over the past six and a half decades, the Thorvaldson family has always sought to provide a moderately sized, non-institutional environment with the services to meet the needs of those in the later stages of life. They have sought to maintain a quiet, comfortable atmosphere where residents feel cared for and safe in a home-like environment. The family's primary goal has always been maintaining their residents' health, vitality, and quality of life. They feel they have been blessed with good staff, good luck, and a good reputation.