Corporate Name Authority
The Homewood Sanitarium was founded in 1883 as a private institution in Guelph, Ontario for the treatment of mental illness and substance abuse.
The sanitarium was incorporated by Letters Patent in 1883 as the Homewood Retreat Association of Guelph, Ontario. The institution was established by former Inspector of Prisons and Public Charities for Ontario, J.W. Langmuir, and Stephen Lett, former assistant physician at both the London and Toronto Asylums. Together they purchased the Donald Gutherie house and property of 19 acres on the outskirts of Guelph. The institution was established as "a private asylum for the Insane and an Asylum for Inebriates." Known as the Homewood Sanitarium after 1902, additions were built in 1883, and a 1911 fire resulted in construction of a new Manor building in 1913. Accommodation for patients was increased over the years so that by 1919 the sanitarium was licensed to receive 150 patients.
The first meeting of the provisional Board of Directors was held in 1883, with patients being admitted in December of that year. Stephen Lett served as the first Medical Superintendent of the Retreat, before being forced to resign by ill health in 1901. He was succeeded by Dr. A. T. Hobbs, who, although forced by ill health to resign as Superintendent in 1922, remained an active member of the Board of Directors until his death in 1931. His successor was psychiatrist and administrator C.B. Farrar, who resigned in 1925 to become professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. Dr. Harvey Clare, advisor to the Hospitals Department and Administrator of the Ontario Hospital in Toronto, became the new administrator, serving until 1942. His successor, F.H.C. Baugh previously worked at the Ontario Hospital at Brockville, and served as Homewood administrator until 1952. The institution is still in operation as the Homewood Health Centre.
Homewood Health Centre
Archives of Ontario, fonds 1398