LLIR Home Page

Education is not preparation for life. Education is life itself.
So says Philosopher, John Dewey,  (1859-1952)
You are never too old to get better.
So says Engineer, Irving Schwartz (1940 –        )


GLENDON STRIKE: Currently no plans to cancel LLIR courses.
Online 2015F/2016W course registration for existing LLIR members is now open until Mar 13.  For step by step instructions on how to do this, click the following link: Registration cheat sheet 20150207 Please note that this is a set of instructions. Do not try to register on the cheat sheet. Many members have tried and failed. Go to the Registration and Membership page of this website to register.
Don’t be shy. Give it a try.
WEATHER ADVISORY: Every Friday looks perfect. No snow cancellations expected.
If we are confronted with a weather cancellation, we will announce it here after 7:15 AM on Friday.

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    • Feb 27: Added poster for march 02 Climate Change Event on March 02. See the Member’s Page.
    • Feb 18: Updated Detailed course outline info for the Photography course
    • Feb 18: Added details of the Glendon Gallery ShowFéminin Dédoublé – Reflecting Feminine”  Go to the Members’ Page.
    • Feb 09: Updated Membership Guidelines 
    • Jan 30: Short Course Outlines 2015F/2016W added to “Course Information” menu.
    • Jan 17; Added lecture slide documents for various classes. This will be ongoing throughout the term.
    • Nov 06: Updated Detailed Course Outline for the Photography class.

LLIR, Who We Are.

Living and Learning in Retirement (LLIR), the oldest 3rd Age learning program in Canada, is an autonomous, not for profit organization for retired persons eager to pursue the challenge of continuous learning, but without examinations or term papers.

It was established in 1973 by a small group of volunteers, who met with staff from the Glendon faculty of York University to explore ways to enrich their retirement years. The group was able to obtain a start-up grant under the federal ‘New Horizons’ program and Glendon made facilities available for this purpose. The first lecture was presented on September 28, 1973, with 144 registrants. Since then, membership has grown to over 1000, with ten to twelve courses presented during each academic year.

What LLIR is all about

Our Vision        To be a leading Third Age Learning organization providing academic opportunities that meet the learning needs of the increasing number of retired adults.

Our Mission    To plan, direct and manage excellent academic programs for the education and pleasure of retired adults.

In providing service to our members, the following values represent the elements that we are committed to preserving and enhancing as LLIR moves forward to meet future challenges and opportunities. In effect, these core values also become the base criteria for evaluating future decisions and initiatives.

  • Learning and its contribution to the quality of life for retired adults
  • Program and course quality
  • Accessible and affordable courses
  • Professional organization of classes and administrative procedures
  • A warm and caring atmosphere that is conducive to learning
  • A spirit of community that recognizes our members’ social interests
  • Our relationships with Glendon College, its students, faculty and staff
  • A committed, active volunteer Board of Directors



President, Norbert Hartmann’s address to LLIR members at the

March 28 2014 AGM.

I would like, first and foremost, to thank each and every one of you for the steadfast support of Living and Learning in Retirement. It is your commitment to life-long learning, which along with the work of a dedicated corps of volunteers, whether they be our attendance takers, our audio visual support, our course co-chairs or our Board of Directors,  makes it possible to mount such an array of interesting lectures each year.

I am sure you will all agree that this was a stellar lecture season. We were treated to such a variety of talented, knowledgeable and informative lectures. Whether we were part of:

  • Guy Proulx’s insightful and oft whimsical look at how our brain ages;
  • Sergei Plekhanov’s timely history of the evolution of the Russian state;
  • Stan Kirschbaum’s masterful overview of the place of Canada in the international community;
  • Thabit Abdullah’s backdrop to Islam’s historical role in the development of the contemporary Middle East;
  • Katherine Barber’s journey through the beauty and quirks of the English language;
  • Mike Daley’s look into the ways in which technology has and will continue to change our everyday lives;
  • Anne Golden and Ken Greenberg’s vision of our city; or
  • Iain Scott, Rick Phillips and Robert Fothergill’s insights into the role opera, music and theatre play in our cultural lives;


we all came away richer for the experience. On your behalf, I would like to offer our sincere thanks to each of these lecturers for their contribution to our learning.


A special thank you also needs to be extended to our Program Committee – Naomi St. John, Jane Sims, Bob McElhinney, Ruth Brouwer, Gaylen Racine, Ann Moore, Berit Dullerud and those who support them – our Finance Chair Colin Graham, our Treasurer Mike Antoniades, and our Registrar’s team led by Gail Carson and assisted by Anne Gilbert, Ann McKibbon, Dick Cousland, Mary Lou Rankine and Molly Greenwood. It is this group of people who develop course themes that reflect your suggestions, search out lecturers to offer them, work with those lecturers to ensure that the content and approach will meet the needs of mature learners, and make sure that the resources, structures and processes are in place for you to have a rewarding, informative and seamless experience.

As you have already heard from Carole Langford, volunteers are the backbone of this organization. Without them, none of what LLIR has been able to offer over the past 40 years would be possible. Today we are bidding farewell to four who have served you for many years in a wide variety of capacities. Anne Gilbert was the rock to which our registration processes were bound. Peter Stille most recently served as our Facilities Co-ordinator. Among his many other services Dick Cousland ensured that the best legal advice always guided our discussions and decisions. Madeleine Nevins served you in the leadership capacity of Vice-President, President and Past President. During the year we also lost the services of our long-time Secretary Bob Jenkins, and Mark Garscadden. To all of them a heartfelt thank you.

One of the nice things about LLIR is that even once directors’ terms come to an end, many continue to volunteer their services in other capacities. In that regard I would also like to thanks the members of our Ad Hoc Governance Committee – Margaret McGovern, Bill Toyne, Robin Barfoot, Nancy Christie, Alan Morson, Al Johnson and Madeleine Nevins – who offered the perspective of their past experience as presidents and board members on how we might best organize our work to serve you in an ever better fashion.

LLIR is a healthy, vibrant and exciting community of learners. We are over 1,000 members strong, and the demand for what we offer continues to grow. Our waiting list of 300 would be even larger if we were to open it up further.

Coping with growth and pent-up demand has spurred us on to new practices and procedures. Your embrace of technology to replace many of the manual, paper-based procedures of the past has helped us immensely in responding to your needs. Whether it is your use of our friendly, simple-to-navigate and highly informative website, the ability to download forms to offer course suggestions and course evaluations, our web-based newsletter or our new process for electronic registration and payment, it is a medium which allows us to serve you in a more effective manner as we continue to grow. None of this would have been possible without the work of a dedicated group of volunteers led by Gaylen Racine, Molly Greenwood and Bruce McCallum. Look for more exciting developments in this area over the next year.

We have also formalized a new category of service to LLIR – the volunteer committee member. It will allow us to harness the talents of our members in specific areas of expertise by formally sitting on the working committees of our Board without the requirement of 2 years of membership, full duties of a director or the long term commitment asked of full Board members. And these are positions for which we will be formally recruiting. So this year we are welcoming not only two new directors – Bob Clapp and Gary Schlee – but also three persons – Bill Goodings, Del Milbrandt and Dianne Hare who have volunteered to act in this capacity should committees need assistance. This too is a process that is in its infancy and will be further developed by our Past President Carole Langford. I would like to thank Carole, not only for her work as your President over the past year, but for also taking on this important task in the coming year.

Lastly, I would like to say that we are not just an engaged community of learners, but a compassionate one. We understand that the process of learning has different requirements at different stages of life. Nothing demonstrates this better than your commitment to the Friends of Glendon. In addition to the $600,000 we have contributed over the years and the $25,000 donation in honour of our 40th Anniversary, your generosity has raised far in excess of our annual goal of $26,000.

I wish you all a pleasant Spring, whenever the gods decide to let it escape from where they have hidden it, and a healthy, restful summer, and I look forward to seeing you all back for the next lecture season.


If there is anything you feel needs to be added to the site, then please send a note to info@llir.ca . We appreciate your input.

Thank you for visiting the site. We hope you find it useful.