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Head shot image of Anthea Innes, Director of Gilbrea
Anthea Innes
Director, Gilbrea Centre for Studies in Aging, Professor, Health, Aging and Society


The Gilbrea Centre for Studies in Aging entered a new chapter in July 2021, after ten years of support from a generous donor. We are now funded by the Faculty of Social Sciences, and I was delighted to take on the role of Director of the Centre around the same time.

The Centre has grown, both in terms of the projects we have been working on, and with many new members joining our research community. It is the staff, students, post-doctoral fellows, faculty members and Share Group Network who make the Centre such an exciting and enjoyable place to work. Together we are passionate about achieving our mission: to improve all aspects of the lives of older adults in the community and in long-term care by linking research, education, policy and practice with local, national and global initiatives.

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Gilbrea estate located in the Lakes district of Northern England


Why is the Centre called the Gilbrea Centre for Studies in Aging?

The study of aging from a social perspective has a long-established history at McMaster. In fact, McMaster was one of the first undergraduate programs of gerontology in Canada.  The McMaster Centre for Gerontological Studies was founded in 1985 and over the years has played a central role in teaching and research in Canada.

In 2011, the Centre received a generous donation, and became an endowed Centre for research into aging at McMaster. The Gilbrea name comes from our donor’s ancestral estate located in the Lakes district of Northern England (photos). In 1879 our donor’s family moved to Canada and Gilbrea became the name of a two hundred acre farm on Lakeshore Road between Oakville and Bronte (one portion of the farm is now the site of Oakville’s Coronation Park). Although the farm has long since disappeared, the name Gilbrea continues on across the generations with the donor’s family. The name Gilbrea now takes on a new meaning through its new association with leadership and innovation in the field of aging in Canada.