Who We Are

Our History


1861
1861.jpgOn November 22, three Sisters of St. Joseph of Hamilton came to Guelph and opened a 16-bed facility for the sick, the aged and the infirm. This initiative was the area's first healthcare institution and was located in an old farmhouse purchased for the Sisters. The building was known as the ‘Gate House’ because it was located near a toll gate.

1862
1862.jpgA large two-storey limestone building was erected to increase the number of beds to 40. It was capped by a bell tower from which the Angelus rang out three times daily.

1877
A $4,400 addition to the hospital was added. Architecturally this building matched the existing 1862 building, increasing the bed count to 77.

1887
The first telephone was installed. Our phone number was 114.

1888
Due to a diphtheria epidemic, an isolation cottage or ‘Pest House’ as they were commonly called, was built behind the hospital. While over 100 patients were treated there, only 13 died from the dreaded disease.

1888
The cost of caring for one person for a day was 49 cents.

1894
Ground was broken for a new hospital on August 9th. The new structure was built on the same site as the old Gate House. Limestone from the old farm house was saved and used to build the foundation for the new building.

1895
1895building.jpgA new buff coloured brick building, completed for $38,027.74 opened in October. The older buildings, built in 1862 and 1877, were renovated and then used as the House of Providence.

1897
Sister Martina and Sister Leo went to Mercy Hospital, Kalamazoo, Michigan, to train as graduate nurses.

1899
St. Joseph's opened its own training school for nurses. In 1902, nine Sisters were the first graduates. In 1904 lay nurses began enrolling. Six subjects, taught by six doctors, were on the curriculum.

1923
The Sisters announced that they had the proposal of enlarging their institution under consideration. They felt an urgent need for better accommodation for the sick and afflicted in the hospital, and also for the aged and infirm in the House of Providence.

1925
1925bld.jpgTwo wings were added to the 1895 building at a cost of $130,000. The 104-bed hospital had private toilets, call buttons, telephone receptacles and a sunroom facing south at the end of each floor.

1934
The physiotherapy department opened in May with all the latest equipment.

1936
The Ladies' Auxiliary, with 60 members, was formally established.

1942
The cost of caring for one person for one day was $2.35.

1947
The cost of caring for one person for one day was $3.50.

1951
A five-storey addition built on the north-east corner of the existing building, facing Westmount Road, opened. The post-war baby boom was evident in a new third floor obstetrical department.

1955
A tunnel linking the Nursing School with the Hospital was completed.

1956
The cost of caring for one person for one day was $14.96.

1957
An emergency power generator was installed to provide critical areas with electricity in the event of a power failure.

1959
1959.jpgResidents of the House of Providence moved into a new building, St. Joseph's Home, facing Edinburgh Road. A second wing was set aside for the chronically ill. The spacious new residence included a craft room, barber shop and library.

1960
A new volunteer organization for the Home and Chronic Care residents was begun. St. Joseph's Guild, with over 120 members, purchased bed lights, craft supplies and physiotherapy equipment that first year.

1967
Board of Trustees talked of expanding the services of St. Joseph's Hospital and adding a new wing to the building.

1970
The cost of caring for one person for one day was $51.15.

1973
The Extended Care Wing was renamed the Continuing Care Unit.

1974
After 75 years of operation, the last class graduated from St. Joseph's School of Nursing. Nursing schools in the province then came under the jurisdiction of community colleges.

1976
The cost of caring for one person for one day was $136.00.

1984                                                                                                                                
A new logo and theme, designed to represent the recent amalgamation of the Hospital and Home, were introduced. The logo featured a stylized tree and cross in an oval.

1991
The Hospital took on a purely elective role providing the community with a growing Ambulatory Care Department and Day Surgery Program.

1992
Ontario’s Ministry of Health confirmed St. Joseph's future to rebuild as a long-term care centre of excellence.

1993
The Volunteer Association held the first annual Festival of Trees.

1994
The Staff Cafeteria received a new look and grand re-opening with a new name - The Basement Bistro.

1995
The Westmount Road lobby and Central Registration gained a bright new appearance.

1996
St. Joseph's Hospital and Home celebrated 135 years of service to the Guelph and area communities.

1997
The Edinburgh Road lobby was completely renovated and we opened a new therapeutic garden for the residents to enjoy. The cost of caring for one person for one day was $530.

2000
In January, excavation began on a new 254-bed long-term care centre.

2001
St. Joseph’s Hospital and Home changed its name to St. Joseph’s Health Centre Guelph.

2002
At the end of October our residents and patients left their old home at 80 Westmount Road and moved next door to their new home at 100 Westmount Road.

2004
During the summer and fall the old 1895 building and its various additions were demolished.

2006
On April 3rd, the Short term and Long term Rehabilitation Department transferred from the Guelph General Hospital to St. Joseph's Health Centre Guelph, Rosewood Neighbourhood

2009
On June 19 the ground breaking ceremony took place for the new 96 bed long term care addition

2010
In November, residents began being admitted to the 3rd and 4th floors of the new addition, the Elmwood and Ashley neighbourhood residents moved to the 2nd floor of the North wing while the floor was repaired on Elmwood and Ashley.

On November 22nd the ground breaking ceremony took place for the Residences of St. Joseph’s ~ consisting of 80 apartment rental units for seniors with low to moderate incomes and seniors with disabilities.

2011
In February, the Elmwood and Ashley residents moved back to the East wing and we finished admitting new residents to the 2nd floor new North Wing

On March 19, we celebrated the Feast of St. Joseph's in the new 2nd level auditorium with the newly ordained Bishop Crosby

On September 7, the 150 year old Silver Maple tree was felled and a new silver maple was planted near the Tranquility Garden


To date our Centre has developed expertise in many areas. Our community outreach programs – Meals-On-Wheels program, Out 'N' About Day Centre, Alzheimer Day Centre, ABI Day Centre, Speech/Language Pathology Program, and our medical, physiotherapy, and occupational therapy clinics all exemplify St. Joseph's history of service and help illustrate our motto:

It is an honour to serve