70 Years Of Caring & Innovation

lily-kidsFor 70 years, the “Butters” name has pioneered social innovation and caring in social services and rehabilitation for people with intellectual disabilities and autism in Quebec.

In 1946, before the government provided social services for people with disabilities, Mrs. Lily Butters founded a home for intellectually disabled children. Today, Mrs. Butters would be recognized as a social entrepreneur.

Founded by Mrs. Butters’ family and friends in 1976, the Butters Foundation has created a legacy of:

  1. Pioneering innovative new services based upon the latest research to improve social services for people with intellectual disabilities and autism.
  2. Enabling major public cost savings through a dynamic public/private partnership with the Quebec Government rehabilitation agency.
A History Of Firsts

For 37 years, the Butters Foundation has partnered with the Government rehab agency, investing $7M in housing, respite, parent group support and specialized equipment. The Foundation has repeatedly paved the way for change.

  • Piloted the first successful deinstitutionalization project in the Province of Quebec; paving the way for new legislation, the “Human & Social Imperative” in 1988, ending institutionalization in Quebec.
  • Invested $500,000 creating new initiatives designed by families for families, including parent-based telephone and on-line counselling; parent-led support groups; and specialized home-care equipment.
  • Partnered with the Ministry of Health, CRDITED de la Montérégie-Est1 and academic community in 2009 to finance the first Quebec facility dedicated to treating severe behavioural problems in disabled & autistic people. It was fittingly named la Maison Lily Butters.

We continue to create a more effective and cost-efficient public system, and to ensure that no child or adult with an intellectual disability or autism is turned away.



Jean-Guy was only 16 when he arrived at la Maison Lily Butters. He was highly medicated and had had no contact with his mother or father for many years. He had lived in far too many places for such a young age. He was full of anxiety and smiling was not natural for him.

By the time Jean-Guy left the House, he was smiling, had a relationship with his father, and was interacting on a regular basis with his caregivers. Jean-Guy had a life. He was a teenager.