A Brief History of Royal Victoria Hospital — Barrie, Ontario

Royal Victoria Hospital Barrie, Ontario

A Brief History of Royal Victoria Hospital — Barrie, Ontario

My fictional character Hettie Steward worked at her hometown hospital, Royal Victoria, in the year between finishing nursing school and joining the Canadian Army Medical Corps, Even though the hospital plays a very small role in Angel of Mercy, its history gives us an interesting glimpse into medical care during the first part of the 20th century.

Some facts about Royal Victoria:

  • It was founded in Barrie, Ontario, in 1891 on Duckworth St. It was located in a cottage and had four beds. At the time it was called Barrie General Hospital.
  • The hospital’s name was changed to Royal Victoria in 1897 when a 13-bed building was built on High Street.
  • The hospital spent $37.87 monthly on staff salaries. Patients were charged $1.14 daily for their care.
  • In 1902, the hospital moved to Ross St. after a 35-room building was built at a cost of $20,000.
  • The following year, the hospital purchased its first x-ray machine.

The above photo is what Royal Victoria Hospital looked like in Hettie’s time.


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Updated:  21 October 2020
Melina Druga
Most kids have an active imagination. My imagination has stayed strong into adulthood, and I’ve funneled that creativity into a successful writing career. I write history, both fiction and nonfiction, because although your school history classes may have been boring, the past is not. My goal is to bring the past to life in all its myriad of colors.

2 thoughts on “A Brief History of Royal Victoria Hospital — Barrie, Ontario

  1. I enjoyed your post cards very much, I am a bit of a history buff on the history of hospitals in New York, I trained at a hospital called the New York Foundling Hospital in 1966, in NY city, It was the largest infant and young child orphanage in the United States; with it’s roots going back to the 1880s. The original building was on Lexington Avenue, and there was a small bassinett outside the door, where poor desperate women left their babies ; The often left a note pinned to the clothing imploring that The Sisters of Charity take care of them…I then worked at Babies Hospital at 168 th Street and Broadway in the premature wing; It was a part of Columbia Presbyterian Hospital . It was founded in the 1700s and eventually evolved to a major hospital serving New York City.

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