Excerpt from Deinstitutionalization Watch: (click for entire article)
I am writing today to share Ontario's experience closing institutions for people with a developmental disability.
On March 31, 2009, Ontario reached a historic milestone as the last three government-operated
institutions for people with a developmental disability closed: the Huronia Regional Centre in Orillia, the Rideau Regional Centre in Smith Falls and the Southwestern Regional Centre in Chatham-Kent.
By closing these institutions, we officially ended the era of institutional living for people with a developmental disability in Ontario.
These closures were a long time coming. The government housed people with a developmental disability in institutions for more than 100 years. Ontario once ran 16 of these institutions in rural settings across the province.
With time, however, attitudes started to change. Society began to see that people with a developmental disability didn't need to be secluded in an institution. People with developmental disabilities, their families, and society at large benefit when everyone is included. For the last 22 years, the Ontario government has been closing institutions across the province. With each election, governments from all three political parties did their part to meet our shared commitment to social inclusion.