Due to the increase in immigration after the Napoleonic Wars ended in 1815, the Society was created for “‘the special purpose subserving to the wants and alleviating the misery’ of destitute emigrants”. (Pull from the article “Paupers and Poor Relief in Upper Canada” by Rainer Baehre). This was perhaps the first form of institutional poor relief in Canada. In 1828, the Society changed its name to The Society for the Relief of the Sick and Destitute, which allowed for relief to be given to local poor people and not just immigrants.

For more information on this topic, please read: Baehre, Rainer. “Paupers and Poor Relief in Upper Canada” Historical Papers/ Communications historiques 16, n° 1 (1981), p. 57-80.