First Women's Institute National Historic Event

The First Women's Institute was designated a national historic event in May 1937.

Historical importance: Foundation of the first women's institute in Canada in 1897.

Commemorative plaque: 552 Ridge Road, Stoney Creek, Ontario

This 19th-century farmhouse is the birthplace of the Women's Institutes (WI), an organization that played a vital role in thousands of small communities. Inspired by domestic science reformer Adelaide Hoodless, and supported by her husband Erland, Janet Lee drafted the constitution of the Stoney Creek Women's Institute here in 1897. From these roots emerged a movement that spread throughout Canada and the world. In meeting halls across the country, the WI brought women together to learn diverse skills and to promote civic reform, helping them break the grinding isolation of rural life.

Hoodless, Adelaide Hunter National Historic Person
Portrait of Adelaide Hunter Hoodless
© Estate of Marion Long / Library and Archives Canada, Acc. No. 1993-308-1
Erland Lee (Museum) Home National Historic Site of Canada
Main façade
© Parks Canada / Dianne Dodd, 2002

The National Program of Historical Commemoration relies on the participation of Canadians in the identification of places, events and persons of national historic significance. Any member of the public can nominate a topic for consideration by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.

Get information on how to participate in this process

Date modified :