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Smiths Falls Community Hospital
South Unit

Originally a homestead that was bequeathed to the town of Smiths Falls, the Smiths Falls Community Hospital - South Unit as it was eventually known was the second hospital to open in the region. For 85 years the hospital served the community, expanding with their needs, but in the era of downsizing and amalgamation, it felt the stinging blade of redundancy.

Location attributes for Smiths Falls Community Hospital
Location   Smiths Falls, Ontario
Built :: Closed   1912 :: 1995
Status   Partially Demolished
Difficulty   ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Hazards Risk   ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Security Risk   ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
AUE Rating   ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

On May 16, 1910, Mrs. Mary E. Chambers donated the Chambers homestead for the purpose of providing a new public hospital for the town. Upon its opening in September of the same year, the new hospital was named the Chambers Memorial Hospital, in memory of Mrs. Chambers' deceased husband and son. The hospital opened as a 50 bed institution, and remained this way until the late 1950's.

In 1958, the first expansion came to the hospital, adding the southern wing and increasing the bed count to 94. A further addition in 1968 added a third floor to the new wing, and brought the final bed count up to 100.

The budget woes of the 1970's brought changes to the two hospitals in Smiths Falls (the other being St. Francis, operated by the Sisters of Providence and established in 1903). St Francis was acquired by the Ontario government, and the two institutions were merged under a single banner - the Smiths Falls Community Hospital. St. Francis became the North Unit, and Chambers Memorial became the South Unit.

The North Unit served as an inpatient facility, while the South Unit functioned as a chronic care and rehabilitation unit.

One lingering question is when the demolition of the original homestead occurred, which sat between the powerhouse and the 1958 addition - it is plainly visible from the scar on the two buildings and foundation ruins where it used to sit.

Regardless, the final change for the South Unit came in 1995, when the Smiths Falls Community Hospital merged with The Great War Memorial Hospital in Perth, located 23km to the west of town. After the amalgamation, it was decided that only one hospital needed to remain operational; and that was the North Unit. The South Unit was shuttered and left to rot away, despite attempts to sell it as office space.

 
 
Gone South - February 2011
   
 
 
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