Transformative gifts in the fields of education; healthcare and social services.

Education

Healthcare

Social Services

Mission

“The Bickle-Wilder Foundation empowers change through transformative gifts in the fields of education; healthcare and social services for youth-at-risk.”

About The Bickle-Wilder Foundation

The foundation was created in 1959 by Toronto business man and philanthropist, Edward William Bickle and was called the E. W. Bickle Foundation. In 2020, the Wilder name was added when Toronto business man William Price Wilder and his wife, Judith Ryrie Wilder gave additional funds, in the same spirit of philanthropy.

The Bickle-Wilder Foundation meets twice a year and the deadlines for submission are March 31 and September 30 annually.

CURRENT BOARD OF DIRECTORS

PRESIDENT – Martha Wilder
VICE-PRESIDENT – Martin Abell
DIRECTORS – John Barford, Geoff Wilson, Ellen Wilder, Justin Vergne-Wilder
SECRETARY/TREASURER – Janet McDonald

PAST DIRECTORS

PRESIDENT – William E. Wilder
VICE-PRESIDENT – Andrew Wilder

PRESIDENT – William P. Wilder
VICE-PRESIDENT – Billie R. Wilder
DIRECTOR – Grant Reuber
DIRECTOR – Robert Patterson
DIRECTOR – Patrick Vernon
DIRECTOR – James Walker

PAST PRESIDENT: William Edward Wilder

Bill Wilder Jr. was President from 1995 to 2021. As President, he was a dedicated leader, sympathetic and generous to the many charitable requests. Bill led with a steady hand in guiding the Board in its deliberations and demonstrated how to effectively transition from one generation to the next. He preserved legacy causes important to his parents, while expanding the scope of the foundation into initiatives important to the next generation.

“Bill led in a collaborative manner ensuring all at the table were heard and building consensus in deciding on a course of action for the Foundation. His gentle manner and sense of humor put people at ease and facilitated outcomes that everyone could support”. John Barford

“Bill led a transition to more focused areas of giving, indicative of his generation’s interests and fully respectful of the past. His concise words and caring actions made for a smooth transition, the results of which we still work with today.” Martin Abell

Learn More About Our Generous Contributors

Our foundation was created using start up capital from Edward William Bickle, William Price Wilder, and Judith “Billie” Ryrie Wilder.

FOUNDER: Edward William Bickle

Ed Bickle was born in 1890 in Toronto and attended public school. He left school at a young age to work in a variety of jobs. At the age of seventeen, he went into the finance field, when he took a job with Wood Gundy. However, when the First World War broke out, he joined the 48th Highlanders and served in France with the 1st Division. He fought at Ypres and was invalided home in 1916.

After the war, he formed Wills Bickle & Co. which financed many interesting initiatives, including Maple Leaf Gardens. In the early 1930’s he became a Director and then President of the Gardens. And a memorable tradition was established, when the 48th Highlanders opened the first game of each season!

Throughout his life and into retirement, Bickle was a director of many companies and involved in the community. He was Chair of Canadian Food products; Director of Manufacturers’ Life Insurance Company, Trans Canada Airlines, Argus Corporation, Abitibi Power and Paper Co. Ltd., Canadian Bank of Commerce and TransCanada Pipelines, to name a few. He was President of Queen Elizabeth Hospital (now known as The Toronto Rehab Hospital) and Treasurer of Victoria College (now part of the University of Toronto).

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William Price Wilder

Bill Wilder was born on September 26, 1922 in Toronto. He attended Upper Canada College, followed by a commerce degree at McGill University. However, his studies were interrupted by the Second World War. After officer training at Royal Roads Naval College, he was seconded to the Royal Navy and saw active duty as a sub-lieutenant on the destroyer HMS Whitshed.

Wilder returned to McGill after the war to complete his degree and then joined Wood Gundy. He started as a bond salesman, and after a few years, decided to pursue an MBA at Harvard Business School, a life-changing experience.

Returning to Wood Gundy, Bill Wilder was promoted to Executive Vice -president in 1961 at the age of 38 and six years later, was named President and Chief Executive. Under his leadership the firm came to play a dominant role in financing Canada’s big energy companies and their projects.

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Judith “Billie” Ryrie Wilder

Billie Wilder was born on November 16, 1928 in Toronto, the daughter of Edward William Bickle and Helen Ryrie Bickle. Although her birth certificate stated Judith as her name, she was christened, “Billie” and was affectionately called “Billie” throughout her life. She attended Havergal College followed by McGill University. Interested in pursuing a career in journalism, she enrolled in Lorne Green’s Radio Academy. However, soon afterwards she met Bill Wilder to whom she was married for over 66 years.

She was generous to family and friends and gave her time as a volunteer in the community. As a voracious reader, she took an active interest in the Osborne Collection of Early Children’s Books. She was a loyal supporter of Canada’s National Ballet School and The National Ballet Company over many years. Her love of classical music inspired her to give a transformative gift to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra at a crucial time in their development.

Billie Wilder followed in her father’s footsteps, and became a member of the board of The Toronto Rehab Hospital in 1972 and later Chair. In 2007 she made a transformative gift to the “Everything Humanly Possible” campaign – helping support the creation of the IDAPT Centre, Toronto Rehab’s world-famous centre for research and discovery. Billie Wilder’s gift was recognized with the renaming of the Queen Elizabeth site at 130 Dunn Avenue to The E.W. Bickle Centre for Complex Continuing Care. The surrounding area of The E.W. Bickle Centre will soon be complemented by “The Billie Wilder Therapy Gardens”.

Application Process

Funding Interests: We support education, health-care, and youth-at-risk

Granting Region: Toronto and Montreal

Deadlines for Submission: We meet twice a year and the deadlines for submission are: March 31 and September 30.

 

Types of Support

We grant to Canadian registered charities. 

Our grants typically go to schools, universities and hospital foundations and to youth-at-risk programs.

Support for schools, university and hospital foundations is mostly in response to capital campaigns. 

Support for youth-at-risk is often given to social service charities, which offer programs (mentoring, tutoring, shelter, addiction support, after-school recreation). Many are member agencies of the United Way. 

We also strive to be active grantors meeting critical needs of the day. During the covid pandemic, we pivoted to food banks and continue to support them. 

Funding Restrictions

Grants will not be made to individuals for research projects, conferences and seminars; deficit financing, emergency funds; or to individuals for awards, fellowships, scholarships; while we support mental health and addiction issues for youth, we do not support many health disorders.

Criteria

When considering applications, the foundation looks at strong-trusted leadership with a track record of results.

All charity applications, must include the full financial statements. For charities with more than $250,000 in revenues, these financial statements must be audited as per the CRA Charity Directorate’s guidance.

Role of Charity Intelligence

Charity Intelligence plays a consulting role in reviewing applications. Charity Intelligence’s analysts may contact you for further program information about your grant application. 

To learn more about Charity Intelligence’s important work, visit its web-site: https://www.charityintelligence.ca/

Charities We’ve Supported