Project Description

The Huronia Regional Centre

The Huronia Regional Centre (previously the Ontario Hospital School, Orillia, and initially the Orillia Asylum for Idiots) was an institution for developmentally disabled children operated by the government of Ontario, Canada between 1876 and 2009.
 
In 2010, several former residents of the Centre, together with litigation guardians Marilyn and Jim Dolmage, sued the government of Ontario, alleging that the hospital staff perpetrated systemic physical, sexual and emotional abuse against the children between 1945 and 2009.
 
As a result of this lawsuit  a settlement was reached that allowed for any unclaimed funds set aside in trust for the survivors would be used to their benefit for a variety of projects.  We were humbled to have our project proposal selected for funding.  
PROJECT ELEMENTS

Web Design, Project Planning, Video Production, Audio Production, Historical Research

DEVELOPMENT STAGE

Ongoing, Expected Completion Date Summer 2020.

The Huronia Regional Centre

The Huronia Regional Centre (previously the Ontario Hospital School, Orillia, and initially the Orillia Asylum for Idiots) was an institution for developmentally disabled children operated by the government of Ontario, Canada between 1876 and 2009.
 
In 2010, several former residents of the Centre, together with litigation guardians Marilyn and Jim Dolmage, sued the government of Ontario, alleging that the hospital staff perpetrated systemic physical, sexual and emotional abuse against the children between 1945 and 2009.
 
As a result of this lawsuit  a settlement was reached that allowed for any unclaimed funds set aside in trust for the survivors would be used to their benefit for a variety of projects.  We were humbled to have our project proposal selected for funding.  
PROJECT ELEMENTS

Web Design, Project Planning, Video Production, Audio Production, Historical Research

DEVELOPMENT STAGE

Ongoing, Expected Completion Date Summer 2020.

The Rootspring Huronia Documentary

For the last two years have been interviewing survivors with the intent of producing a full length documentary as well as developing a website to act as an online resource for them regarding available community supports.
The stories of these survivors are tragic and deeply affecting.  Tales of cruelty and daily trauma, mental, physical and sexual abuse and even the murder of children both through wilful neglect by staff and outright physical violence make this the most challenging project we have ever undertaken.  We recognize the tremendous responsibility that this project places on us and in the memory of those that have already gone we are resolved to preserve the memory of what happened at the Huronia Regional Centre and hope to see these tragic events gain the recognition they deserve in our shared Canadian consciousness.

Huronia

In the photo: Miranda Root; Rootspring Media, Matthew Lachance; Rootspring Media, Bev Link; Huronia Survivor.

Of the 32 projects that were selected for funding, we have been directed to consider the First Nation experience at Huronia.  As many are now aware there is a history of child apprehension of First Nation children in Canada.  When those children that were taken had irreconcilable difficulties acclimating to the residential school system imposed on them by Canadian CAS agencies they would often end up in placed like Huronia.

The photos above are of the grounds and past tenants of the Huronia Regional Centre.

Questions?

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