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Our Roots

The Canadian Lung Association was founded in 1900, under the name The Canadian Association for the Prevention of Consumption and Other Forms of Tuberculosis. As one of Canada’s first voluntary health organizations, its aim was to provide facilities for the care of TB patients.

The double-barred cross is one of many crosses famous in history. Godfrey of Bouillon, Duke of Lorraine, was the first Christian ruler of Jerusalem. During the crusades, his banners bearing the double-barred cross signified courage and success to crusaders.

In 1902, tuberculosis workers from many countries met in Berlin to discuss how TB could be wiped out. At that time, tuberculosis was the leading cause of death, outranking all other diseases, famine and war.

As the fight was to be universal, a universal emblem for the movement was needed. Dr. Gilbert Sersiron of Paris suggested that as it was a crusade, the emblem of a successful crusader was appropriate. His recommendation of the Cross of Lorraine was adopted, and the double-barred cross became the worldwide sign of the fight against TB.

The double-barred cross continues to be used as an emblem by the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease with members in 152 countries around the world, and by Lung Associations throughout North America.

While we were originally founded to provide care for tuberculous patients, over the years we’ve evolved to meet the changing needs of Ontarians, expanding our focus to asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer and other forms of lung disease. Ontario Lung Association is a registered charity operating as The Lung Association – Ontario.

Today, The Lung Association continues to evolve to build a better breathing future for all of us.