Ontario Government Agency History (BA551)

Huronia Regional Centre

History and Function

Huronia Regional Centre
Dates of Existence
The Huronia Regional Centre was a facility in Orillia, Ontario, that housed, assessed, and treated developmentally disabled individuals, with an emphasis on education and training.
Administrative History

The Huronia Regional Centre was the first provincial institution to house developmentally disabled individuals in Ontario. Although the facility was a branch of the Toronto Asylum for mentally ill patients from 1861-1870, it opened as a home for developmentally disabled persons in 1876. Initially known as the Orillia Asylum for Idiots, the institution expanded and received new accommodations in 1885. As early as 1888, the institution strongly encouraged the education and training of residents.

The school was renamed Hospital for Idiots in 1890 and Hospital for the Feeble-Minded in 1911. It was not until 1936 that the institution was renamed the Ontario Hospital School to reflect its educational component. At this same time the facility began experimenting with halfway houses and reintegration of select residents into the community.

The Hospital School came under the auspices of the Department of Health in 1930. In 1966 the Department of Education assumed administrative responsibility for the facility but part of it continued as a facility for the developmentally disabled. The institution became part of the Ministry of Community and Social Services in 1974 and training of the developmentally disabled was again emphasized. It was at this time that the facility became known as the Huronia Regional Centre.

The Huronia Regional Centre was closed on March 31, 2009.

Authorizing Agent

No authorizing agent was found for this agency.

Agency Also Known As

Orillia Asylum for Idiots

Hospital for Idiots (Orillia, Ont.)

Hospital for the Feeble Minded (Orillia, Ont.)

Ontario Hospital School (Orillia, Ont.)

Source Note

Functional Analysis for the Developmental Services Sub-Function in the Ministry of Community and Social Services, 1998

Ministry of Community and Social Services Annual Reports, 1974-1984

Ministry of Community and Social Services website, newsletters section.

Archival Record Series Created by this Agency

Click on a reference code for more information about a series of records.

Reference Code Series Title

RG 29-24

Huronia Regional Centre historical files

RG 29-25

Huronia Regional Centre residents' registers and case files

RG 29-26

Huronia Regional Centre Medical Superintendent's letterbooks

RG 4-154

Huronia Regional Centre class action records

RG 10-333

Ontario Hospital School, Orillia, Medical Superintendent's correspondence