Welcome to the former site of the Huronia Regional Centre.

Today you have the option to visit different parts of the site. However, some buildings are currently closed or deemed unsafe and will not be available. The following video includes descriptions of those buildings…

In 1876, the Government of Ontario opened its first institution for people with a developmental disability – the Huronia Regional Centre.

At its peak, Huronia was home to more than 2,500 residents and was one of Orillia’s largest employers.

In the early years, residents of Huronia lived and slept in large wards, often with beds arranged side by side in long rows, like the ones found in Cottage O. Cottage O was a residence for both males and females that closed in the 1990s and has since undergone exterior and interior renovations.

Some residents also lived in group homes such as Terrace Manor, Terrace Villa, The Haven, Cedardale Group Home, Maplewood Group Home and Pathway Group Home. Six residents lived in each house.

Other senior-aged residents lived in what was once the children’s dormitory but was then changed to Complex S, TV8, TV9 and TV10. The majority of rooms in this complex were single rooms. In 1999, the building was deemed unsafe and was closed.

Day-to-day life for residents at Huronia included attending school, vocational training programs and recreational activities.

The Vocational Services room offered various programs that assisted residents to further develop their work skills. These included a sewing program in the 1960s where residents would learn how to sew clothes, and a program that taught counting, sizes and shapes.

A number of residents participated in a vocational training program in the Laundry building, preparing laundry for Huronia and other facilities. In 1986, the Laundry building was closed due to a fire, and then was later turned into a kitchen.

Some residents participated in a vocational training program at the Greenhouse with the landscaping crew. They would help grow seedlings and plant annuals in flowerbeds throughout the property.

Other residents participated in a vocational training program at the car wash located in the Garage. The car wash training program ended in 1999.

The Clothing Stores offered both new clothes and a mending service for residents. They could try on new clothes in the fitting rooms, or drop their clothing items off for hemming or repair.

The Main Stores supplied dried goods, paper products, personal care items and cleaning supplies to the residential areas. Residents would help staff pick up weekly supplies for their building.

The Huronia Regional Centre closed in March 2009, and today both the Orillia courthouse and OPP operate on the property.