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Orillia's first hospital had 20 beds and cost $16,000 (4 photos)

In today's Postcard Memories installment, we explore the origins of Orillia Soldiers' Memorial Hospital

Postcard Memories is a weekly series of historic postcard views and photos submitted by Marcel Rousseau. Some were previously published by the Orillia Museum of Art and History and in the book Postcard Memories Orillia. You can take a trip down memory lane with us each Saturday morning!

The Orillia General Hospital opened on May 28, 1908.

The building was the former Dunn residence on Dunedin Street which was converted to a 20-bed hospital at a cost of $16,000.

By 1920, the hospital had become overcrowded with 35 beds and, in 1922, the Soldiers' Wing opened and the hospital changed its name to Orillia Soldiers' Memorial Hospital.

The original building became known as the Queen Mary Wing. The message on the back of this card illustrates how immensely popular postcards became as a way of keeping in touch with relatives and friends.

Postmarked Oct. 22, 1914 and mailed to Mr. R. Bench, Atherley, the message reads:
"Dear friend, when you come over to plow, will you please call at Mrs. Browns for the corn we are getting from them.”
Yours sincerely,
M. James,

The second image is a 1909 view of the east side of the hospital showing a pathway that led down a small hill to the nurses' residence. At the bottom of that hill was a short bridge over a small stream that flowed through the property.

The third postcard shows a view of the west side of the hospital facing Dunedin Street. At that time, Dunedin Street ran straight from Mississaga Street to the Barrie Road, which was the main road coming north from Barrie.