PART ONE: The Rise of the Orillia Asylum
Three Name Changes
The provincial institution in Orillia, Ontario, had at least three main changes of name throughout its history:
1876: The Asylum for Idiots and Feeble-Minded.
This was modified in the early 1900s by Dr Alexander Beaton, Superintendent, to Hospital for the Feeble-Minded, later shortened to Ontario Hospital.
1936: Ontario Hospital School.
1974: Huronia Regional Centre, its present name.
The institution was closed by the Ontario government in 2009.
Over ten thousand children, including infants, and adults with developmental and intellectual delays were committed by their parents over the last century to the provincial institution in Orillia, Ontario. Many spent entire lives within its grounds and wards.
To understand this phenomenon we need to look back at the history of the era before 1876:
1. Before 1876: Jails, Work-houses, Asylums
2. The Asylum for Idiots and Feeble-Minded, Orillia, 1876