History

The Community Laundry Co-op (formerly the Centretown Laundry Co-op) was established to provide affordable laundry to people on low income in a safe supportive environment. The Co-op also offers an opportunity for its members to develop and use their skills to improve their quality of life and contribute to the community.



Sponsored by three organizations, First United Church, Centretown Community Health Centre and McLeod-Stewarton United Church, the Co-op was a response to a problem identified at the “People’s Hearings” held in Ottawa in 1997, which was an opportunity for those most affected by the Ontario government's cuts to social services.



A task force was formed in July 1998 and the Co-op opened in September 1999.



Since then, we have welcomed over 1,500 members, doubled our capacity from two washers and dryers to four, and moved to a larger location to support the growth of our contract laundry service, a community economic development initiative.



Here are some of our successes over the past years:

  • Opening our doors for the first time, September 22, 1999
  • First contracted laundry service, Spring 2001
  • Expanding and moving to Heartwood House, January 2007
  • Welcoming our thousandth member, April 2007
  • Contract with the Ottawa Mission to launder their bedding, February 2008
  • Incorporation as the Community Laundry Co-op, a not-for-profit co-operative, August 2008
  • Partnering with Families Matter Co-op (their members can now participate in the contracted laundry service, Spring 2009
  • Taking over management duties from Centretown Community Health Centre, June 2009
  • Achieving our independent charitable status, 2009
  • Celebrating our tenth anniversary, October 2009
  • Moved to 404 McArthur Ave. New Heartwood House building, February 2014
  • Celebrating our 15th anniversary, November 2014