Traveling along Canton Street, not far off the main drag of Downer Street, sits a large building known as Canton Woods Senior Center.
Every day the building is bustling with activity whether a pitch tournament is in progress, a speaker is visiting or seniors are simply using the on-site library. This is a place for seniors to meet, eat, socialize and be with friends -- a recreational center for the elderly and more. The center also offers classes, computers and outreach services.
The facility was formed in 1978 through the efforts of the Northwest Human Services Council. The building it occupies was a former physician's building purchased for $72,150. Since the purchase, the building has expanded to 8,500 square feet through two expansion projects. Funded by the towns of Lysander and Van Buren, the village of Baldwinsville owns the property and all three municipalities help to maintain it.
The Baldwinsville Messenger recently met with the Canton Woods Senior Center's current and former director to learn more about the facility.
Frank Foster has served as the director since 2000. Below are his responses:
What is Canton Woods in your words?
Senior citizens are a valuable community resource. Canton Woods multipurpose senior center meets the challenges facing older Americans by offering stimulating social activities, education and recreation programs, nutrition, health and other activities. Canton Woods -- helping seniors to remain active members of the community. This is our mission and it is what I see Canton Woods as.
What does Canton Woods mean to area seniors?
To many seniors, it is their home away from home, for some it is their only home. Over the years, I have had hundreds of seniors tell me they wouldn't know what to do without the center.
How long have you been director?
For eight years, but I have been with Canton Woods for 20 years, starting out as a student intern in 1988.