Until 2021 the Eva Marsden Centre for Social Justice and Aging (EMC) was known as the N.D.G. Senior Citizens’ Council (NDGSCC). 

NDGSCC evolved out of a workshop on the “lives of retired persons” which was offered as part of a seminar on the Quality of Life in NDG during the Fall of 1972. It was initially created to provide a forum for older people in NDG to discuss common concerns as well as share information. The NDG Community Council initiated the seminar and created a Conference Advisory committee which focused on the needs of the vulnerable old living in the area.

During the summer of 1974, a federally-funded Student Community Service Project was developed to survey the needs of the isolated and shut-in seniors living in NDG. Based on the results of this project, it was recommended by the Conference Advisory Committee that a local, volunteer-based information & referral/advocacy center be created to address the problems of the elderly living in the area. Operation Contact was officially launched in January 1975. It expanded the following year to include Montreal West, and eventually became an integral part of the pre-CLSC known as “Les Services Communautaires Montreal-Ouest/NDG”.

NDGSCC continued to grow by leaps and bounds over the next ten years. A dedicated team of volunteers and a slowly-expanding staff worked diligently to develop a highly-credible and respected organization that stood up for the rights of all older people, regardless of their circumstances. NDGSCC exposed gaps in public policy and in services, all the while maintaining an informal, flexible and non-bureaucratic approach. Over the years, many programs have been initiated, developed from a real understanding of the needs of the older population. In 1985, NDGSCC became financially independent from the NDG Community Council, establishing itself as a separate Centraide-funded agency. It was awarded the Agnes Higgins Award by Centraide in 1988 for its progressive approach to respite, known as the Day Away program.

NDGSCC undertook a comprehensive, Centraide-funded strategic planning process in 2007. This led to the development of a greater emphasis on governance, planning and evaluation, all of which continue to be critical to organizational management in the current context. The 2006 census results indicated that the percentage of those aged 65+ had dropped to 14% from a high of close to 20% some fifteen years earlier. A new mission was created and individuals aged 50+ with low-income became part of an initiative to promote citizen engagement and participation.

In 2019 NDGSCC was invited to join the Community Health and Social Service Network as an NPI (Network Partnership Initiative).  As one of 25 such organizations across the province of Quebec, NDGSCC would work for improved access to health and social services, in particular for the English-speaking community within the CIUSSS-CODIM territory.

The global pandemic took its’ toll on the organization along with the entire health and social service system.  NDGSCC adapted its’ programming and reached out to funders as the needs of the vulnerable old continued to grow. 

In 2021 the organization was re-branded as the Eva Marsden Centre for Social Justice and Aging, in recognition of its’ wider territory and more comprehensive outreach.