Glenn Haddrell

SEPT.24, 1930- AUG.20, 2016

Glenn passed away peacefully at the age of 85, after a prolonged battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was predeceased by his wife Vida Mae (To whom he affectionately referred to as ‘Lovely’), Also predeceased by his parents Charles (Ace) and Mary. Glenn will be sadly missed by his children, Craig (Christina), Blair (Cheryl), Lisa, Tara (Nick), grandchildren, Shaun (Caitlin), Brandon, Claudine, Reanna and Maisie, great grandchildren, Elissa, Kaidance, Clark and Carson. Glenn was a loving and dedicated husband, father, and friend to many. He was a tireless supporter and creator of Co-Operative Housing across Canada. His legacy will live on in all the lives he touched, by creating affordable housing; including a co-operative housing complex that bears his name in Ottawa. Glenn loved to travel and sample fine ales from different lands, and enjoyed opera and classical music. He read enough books in his lifetime to fill a library. A memorial service will be held Sept. 3, 2016 at 1:00pm at Garden Hill Funeral Chapel, 11765 224th Street, Maple Ridge, BC. In lieu of flowers, a donation could be made to the Parkinson’s Society.

CHF Canada mourns founding figure, Glenn Haddrell
AUG 26 Members and staff of Canada’s housing co‑ops are saddened to learn of the death of CHF Canada’s first executive director, Glenn Haddrell.

“In no small measure, nearly a quarter of a million low and middle-income Canadians owe their co‑op homes to Glenn Haddrell’s ground breaking work,” said current CHF Canada Executive Director Nicholas Gazzard. “Glenn really planted the seeds of our movement.”

Glenn began his career in B.C. as a forestry worker and union organizer where he developed a passion for economic justice. As assistant manager of the Abbotsford credit union, he realized that the co‑op business model could be applied to help his credit union members find affordable housing. This is how he became the developer of one of Canada’s very first continuing housing co‑ops, Abbotsford Co‑op Villa, providing financing for it with a loan in his own name.

He was then hired by the newly formed Co‑operative Housing Foundation of Canada (later CHF Canada) as executive director and only staff person. During his tenure from 1970 to 1986, he almost singlehandedly convinced the federal government to create programs supporting the development of tens of thousands of co‑op homes. He also shaped CHF Canada into a powerful, democratic institution supporting the success and growth of co‑op housing through education, training and advocacy. In the process, Glenn mentored many future leaders of the co‑op housing movement.

“While he would be the last to claim any credit for it, Glenn Haddrell’s nearly two decades at the helm of the Co‑operative Housing Foundation (now Federation) of Canada is surely the most significant contribution any individual has made to the success of co‑op housing in Canada,” said CHF BC Executive Director Thom Armstrong.

After serving as executive director, Glenn was recognized as a CHF Canada Honorary Life Associate in 1988 and received the CMHC Award for Outstanding Contribution to Co‑operative Housing in 2000. He stayed active in the co‑op housing sector, working as a developer with Columbia Housing in B.C., later becoming its executive director. He also served as vice-chair of Four Corners Community Savings, an institution set up to provide banking services in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

“My dad was a kind, sensitive, generous, patient and helpful person – a psychologist, counsellor and mediator, not to mention a socialist,” said Glenn’s daughter, Tara Haddrell. “He was open minded and careful never to judge others. He loved travelling and one of his most memorable trips was a bus tour he did of Cuba in the 90s. He loved music and reading. He was a fan of opera and musicals, and the books he read over the years could fill a whole library.”

There will be a memorial service for Glenn which is open to the public on Saturday, September 3 at 1:00 pm at Garden Hill Funeral Home, 11765 224th Street, Maple Ridge, BC.

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  1. I’m so sorry to hear of Glenn’s passing. Glenn attended noon hour fitness classes at the Ottawa Central Y. I was the volunteer instructor of those classes. We used to chat on the Y bus that took us to and from classes. Glenn was very charming and witty, with a great sense of humour. As we got to know each other over the years it was an absolute pleasure and privilege for my Chartered Accounting firm to become the auditor for CHF of which Glenn was the founding Executive Director. After Glenn left CHF I again had the privilege of being his personal accountant.

    Glenn was always inquisitive and made informed decisions. Through ups and downs he maintained a charming and devilish smile…you always knew that he would soon insert a joke to make you laugh. He was thoughtful and respectful of others. I remember when one of our Y regulars, Ernie Lourme, was retiring to BC. Glenn showed up at my office with a farewell card for Ernie to include my signature on it.

    Glenn wanted me to continue as his accountant when he moved to BC. We talked about it at length. He was fiercely loyal to those he trusted. I wanted very much to continue to serve Glenn but I thought it was in his best interest and it would be more convenient for him to find someone else to provide accounting and tax advice at a local level.

    To Glenn’s family and friends, I share in your loss. Glenn Haddrell was a pioneer in the housing co-operative movement. He was instrumental in establishing government programmes and funding which immensely improved the housing standards and corresponding lives of thousands upon thousands of Canadians from coast to coast to coast. Glenn Haddrell has truly played an immense role in improving the lives of Canadians and making Canada great. It is only fitting that there is a Glenn Haddrell Housing Co-operative in Ottawa.

    I am so very grateful to have known and worked with Glenn. As we say in the Jewish religion, may Glenn’s memory be a blessing. My dear friend, rest in peace. You will always live in our hearts.

  2. There were few at 111 Sparks 4th floor in the mid 70s: A trio: Glenn, Ursula and Nick for CHF and Len Harman, Gilles Ménard, Nancy and myself at CUC. Alex Laidlaw would drop by and share a story with us… in the lunchroom. Housing co-ops were emerging everywhere in Canada. Glenn was a leader and a pillar of the movement. He listened carefully and offered simple solutions. A great Dad… a great grand Dad to remember.

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