Our History


YWCA Edmonton has been a part of our community since it was founded in 1907.

Our first program, Cushing House, rented rooms to single women, newly arrived by train to Edmonton, for $60 per month. From those humble beginnings, YWCA Edmonton has become a cornerstone of our community, responding to the evolving social services needs of Edmonton.

At the heart from the start

YWCA Edmonton contributed support, experience and expertise to the development of many of the most important social services programs for women and children in Edmonton. Some of the Edmonton programs which began under the banner of or in partnership with YWCA Edmonton are:

  • United Way, Capital Region (formerly the Edmonton Community Chest)
  • Edmonton’s First Daycare
  • Edmonton Association of Continuing Education and Recreation (EACER)
  • Foster Parents Association of Edmonton
  • The Business and Professional Women’s Club
  • Big Sisters
  • Women in Need (WIN) House
  • Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton (formerly Rape Crisis Centre)

As we move into our next 100 years of serving Edmonton, we remain committed to empowering women and families and bringing new and effective social innovations to our community.

YWCA Edmonton is here for you

The YWCA has operated in Edmonton for 115 years, supporting our community through two world wars, the great depression, the Spanish flu and most recently the COVID-19 pandemic. For more than a century we have adapted and innovated to support Edmontonians through extraordinary times, remaining a reliable, steady source of support for all those in our community who need us.