Canadian Genealogy |Ontario Genealogy | Victoria County | Town of Lindsay

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Shelter for the Aged, Victoria County, Ontario Canada

The first step towards caring for the aged indigent of the town was made in April 1888, when a frame building on William Street opposite Makins' foundry was rented by the town as a Home for the Aged. A matron, Mrs. G. B. Helps, was placed in charge and supervision handed over to a Central Charity Committee. Mrs. Goodwin, Mrs. Neelands, and other lady directors were very active in this work.

In 1895, the inmates were transferred, much against their will, to the Mansion House building on the southeast corner of Glenelg Street and Victoria Avenue.

Meanwhile, a much larger institution, which would accommodate the indigent of the whole county, had been planned by the county council. In 1890, 1898, and 1900, elaborate investigations were made, and the councillors were unanimously in favor of taking action, but in each case the necessary bylaw was defeated when put to the vote of the people. Finally, in June 1903, provincial legislation made it compulsory for all county councils to build Houses of Refuge before 1906, and action was forthcoming at last.

In October 1903, a committee of nine went on a tour of inspection of charitable institutions in other counties and decided to adopt the plans of the Lambton county House of Refuge at Sarnia. As a site, seventy acres on the Curtin. farm, lot 18, Con. V, Ops, just southwest of Lindsay, was purchased for $7,425. The building contract was let to W. McLean of Woodville for $29,000. Waterworks and sewage systems were laid down in 1904 and the buildings set up in 1905. The main building was a three story structure of red brick, designed to accommodate 75 inmates. It was heated by steam and ventilated by an electric fan system. The cost of land, buildings and equipment totaled $47,250.

The institution was formally opened on October 25, 1905, by the Hon. J. W. Hanna, Provincial Secretary, and Dr. R. W. Bruce Smith, Inspector of Prisons and Charities. The first keeper was Robert G. Robertson, and the first matron Mrs. Robertson, his wife.

The Mansion House building, which was now vacated, was turned over as a Children's Shelter to the Children's Aid Society of Victoria county. This society had been incorporated under the Gibson Act in January 1895, with Duncan Ray as its first president and Dr. W. L. Herriman as its first secretary.
A Munificent Memorial Gift.

Lindsay was virtually without hospital accommodation until 1902, when it suddenly received one of the finest small hospitals in all Canada.

James Ross, a Montreal millionaire, offered in 1900 to build a hospital in memory of his parents, who had lived for many years in Lindsay, provided that town and county would guarantee its maintenance. The offer was accepted and a site purchased on the northeast corner of Kent and Angeline streets. Here, on a high, grassy knoll, 200 feet back from Kent Street, there rose, during 1901 and 1902, an imposing building of red brick based on foundations of white Longford stone. A main two story building, 86 feet by 60 feet, was flanked by east and west wings, each 28 feet by 32 feet. Every precaution was taken to make fire impossible. The frame consisted of steel girders; the floors were of English tile laid in cement; the main walls were of brick; the partition walls of steel lath attached to iron studding; and the ceilings were sheet steel imbedded in cement.

The new building was opened by the donor with a golden key on November 27, 1902. The first Board of Governors comprised the following:

Chairman, J. D. Flavelle
Secretary-Treasurer, J. R. McNeillie
Directors, John Austin, George. Ingle, Thomas Stewart, Robert Bryans, and Mrs. J. C. Grace.

The first Lady Superintendent was Miss Scott, who was assisted by a head nurse and four nurses in training. Miss Scott was succeeded in October 1905 by the late Miss N. M. Miller of Brockville, and the latter, on her demise in 1921, by Miss Reid, of Lindsay.

Town of Lindsay

Victoria County

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