History

Since our founding in 1944, Ukrainian Credit Union Limited has helped tens of thousands of Ukrainian Canadians and others, immigrants and locally born, with their financial needs. The road was not always smooth, but with skill, determination, and sheer hard work, we have built an organization that will continue delivering superior service in the coming decades.

Early Ukrainian settlers in Canada arrived for the most part with few assets, little disposable cash, and often only a rudimentary financial education. Only by organizing and helping each other could they hope to thrive in their adopted homeland. Community-based credit unions in Canada grew out of this need. In 1939 the first Ukrainian credit union, New Community, opened in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The next year the Carpathia opened in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Learning from these pioneers, the first Ontario credit union was founded by the lake in Hamilton in 1943. The Ukrainian National Federation followed suit here in Toronto in 1944 by establishing our first branch: The Ukrainian (Toronto) Credit Union. Initially, 26 UNF members participated in the charter. By the end of the year, membership comprised 91 members with nine outstanding loans totalling $17,600.

Building on this start, UCU's membership and assets increased steadily. Early growth came from post-war settlers, later new deposit and loan products drove growth in the 60s and 70s. We understood the value of technology early on, becoming computerized in 1975, beating some of our larger, more established rivals in the Canadian banking industry to the punch. We were also among the first financial institutions to adopt ATM technology.

Since the 1980s, UCU has welcomed more than a dozen smaller credit unions into our family. In that time we have also expanded our branch network by opening several new locations. A brief history of the growth of our credit union follows:

1944

Members of Ukrainian National Federation Toronto Branch found Ukrainian (Toronto) Credit Union Limited (May 25)

Charter No. 197 granted by Ontario Government (July 4)

Election of first Board of Directors and Committees (July 12)

1945

UNF Toronto along with the Credit Union move from 300 Bathurst Street to 783 College Street

First Annual General Meeting (February 11)

1949West Toronto, Branch office opens in “the Junction” at UNF West Toronto Branch, 105 Edwin Ave., to serve members living in in the first Toronto neighborhood settled by Ukrainians in the early 1900s
1950Operations begin at 297 College St. at the newly erected UNF Toronto Branch community centre
1952Membership reaches 1,000
1955

Assets top $1,000,000

Personal chequing introduced

1972Safety deposit boxes introduced
1975Fully automated banking system installed
19741974 Edwin branch moves to new home of UNF West Toronto in Bloor West Village
1977Mississauga Branch is opened
1978Line-of-credit loans and daily interest accounts introduced
1980St. Mary's Dormition Parish (Mississauga) Credit Union Limited, founded 1975, merges with UCU
1981UCU officially opens its head office in the newly built building at 295 College Street
1984Plast (Toronto) Credit Union founded 1969, merges with UCU
1985Daily interest chequing accounts introduced
1986Etobicoke Branch opens Membership tops 10,000
1988

Ukrainian (London) Credit Union, founded 1955, merges with UCU

Ukrainian People's Home Credit Union, founded 1955, merges with UCU

St. George's Parish (Oshawa) Credit Union, founded 1959, merges with UCU

1989

Ukrainian (Windsor) Credit Union Limited, founded 1946, merges with UCU

Name formally changed to Ukrainian Credit Union Limited form Ukrainian (Toronto) Credit union, to reflect our province-wide operations (July 25) UCU MasterCard first introduced

1990Telephone banking introduced
1993

Member Card® (debit card) introduced

Automated Funds Transfers (AFT) introduced

Mutual funds through the “Ethical Fund” introduced

19941994 Thunder Bay Branch is opened
1997

Members get access to CUMIS Home and Auto insurance

US dollar chequing accounts introduced

Internet banking and electronic bill payment introduced

1999

 Ukrainian (Sudbury) Credit Union Limited, founded 1944, which was earlier joined by two other Sudbury credit unions, St. Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Church Credit Union and Ukrainian Youth Association Credit Union, merges with UCU

St. Demetrius Parish (Etobicoke) Credit Union Limited, founded 1966, merges with UCU. St. Demetrius earlier merged with Holy Eucharist Parish (Toronto) Credit Union

2001Wealth Management Centre launched in Etobicoke
2003

After operating a Service Point for several years hosted by North York Community CU, UCU North Branch opens at 5799 Yonge on the 6th floor and in 2006 moves to ground floor

Head office moves to 145 Evans Ave, Etobicoke

Membership tops 20,000
Assets approach $280,000,000

2006ucublu virtual high-interest savings accounts introduced
2007UCU joins the Exchange Network giving members surcharge-free access to 2,000 ATMs across Canada allowing for both deposits and withdrawals.
2008

Ukrainian (St. Catharines) Credit Union Limited, founded 1946, merges with UCU

Thunder Bay Branch moves to new location at Port Arthur Prosvita

Mobile web banking introduced
Microchip enhanced debit cards issued
TFSA accounts are introduced

2009The 65th Anniversary Special Share Offering is made available to all members.
2010

So-Use Credit Union, founded 1950, merges with UCU

Assets exceed $500,000,000

2011

Wealth Strategies Group office opens at 2265 Bloor St, Toronto (former So-Use head office)

Oshawa Branch moves to a new location at 145 King Street West

e-statements are introduced

2012

United Ukrainian (Hamilton) Credit Union Limited, founded 1943, merges with UCU. UUCU arose from the merger of three Hamilton Credit Unions, Ukrainian (Hamilton) Credit Union, St. Vladimir Ukrainian Orthodox Credit Union, Holy Spirit Ukrainian Catholic Credit Union

New ATM and community room opens at St. Joseph’s Ukrainian Catholic Church in Oakville

Cheque imaging introduced

2013

Ottawa Service Point opens at Ottawa Women's Credit Union

Interac e-transfers introduced

2014

Thunder Bay Branch moves to new location at 697 Red River Rd

New Business Services Centre co-located with the UCU Wealth Strategies Group

A web mobile application for Android and iOS devices is launched to provide our members with the latest in banking convenience

2017Assets surpass $800,000,000
2018

North York Branch moves to 1600 Steeles Ave. West, Vaughan

Contactless debit cards introduced

2019

Foreign exchange services are enhanced offering purchase and sale of over 80 currencies and home delivery

Ottawa Branch opens at new Carling and Holland location