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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
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
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
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