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Our History 


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.

Today, 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.  

Since its founding, The Lung Association has undergone several name changes that reflect the shift in the Association’s work from the treatment of TB to the prevention and control of non-infectious diseases such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema and smoke-induced illnesses.

The Ontario Lung Association was incorporated in 1945, and has community offices across the province.

There is still, however, a lot of work to be done and The Lung Association remains dedicated to doing everything possible to improve lung health. Today, our primary work involves medical research, public education and promoting healthy living.