Advocacy and Art About Huronia 

Watch the film Unloved: Huronia's Forgotten Children



In Unloved: Huronia's Forgotten Children, Barri Cohen uncovers the truth about Alfie and Louis, her two long-dead half-brothers. They were institutionalized at the Huronia Regional Centre in Orillia in the 1950s, with one brother unceremoniously buried in secret in an unmarked grave as a small child. Their lives were cut short, but their story stands as a microcosm of the immense tragedy of the Western World's 20th-century disastrous treatment of intellectually disabled children and youth. Through the interwoven narratives of a family story with critical institutional survivors, a question preoccupies the film: how do we allow ourselves to dehumanize the most vulnerable people in our care?

Listen to the podcast Invisible Institutions

Invisible Institutions



In the documentary podcast Invisible Institutions, creator and host Megan Linton explores the past and present of Canadian institutions for people labelled with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She toured the grounds of current and former institutions, and she interviewed survivors, community activists, and experts, to expose the exploitation, isolation, resistance, and survival facing people labeled with disabilities. 



Listen to the podcast COVID in the House of Old

COVID in the House of Old


In COVID in the House of Old, host Megan J. Davies talks with a cast of characters about eldercare issues and the first 20 months of the COVID-19 pandemic: a journalist who set out to keep a tally of the deaths and ended up a Go-Fund-Me star, a nurse in charge of infection control at Toronto’s largest public care facility, a resident who rebelled against being shut inside, a gerontologist who was born in an old age home, a sociologist who has spent a decade searching for the best in eldercare, and a public artist committed to moving grief out of the Kleenex box and into the community.

Visit the website Remember Every Name

Remember Every Name is committed to making sure that people, locally and nationally, remember the brutal and recent history of eugenics and abuse that took place on the site. Remember Every Name organizes Lost But Not Forgotten, a mother’s day memorial procession every year, to share their difficult and traumatic stories and to memorialize their experiences, and advocates for measures that should be taken in order to best honour the need for healing.

News Media on Huronia

Readings that Reference Huronia

Ben-Moshe, L., Chapman, C., & Carey, A. C. (Eds.) (2014). Disability Incarcerated: Imprisonment and Disability in the United States and Canada. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Burghardt, M. C. (2018). Broken: Institutions, Families, and the Construction of Intellectual Disability. Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Burghardt, M.C., Clayton, J., Dougall, H., & Ford, C. (2020). Listen to Our Stories and Learn from Us: How Helping Professionals Can Support Institutional Survivors. Journal of Progressive Human Services, 32(1), 63-69.

Daley, A., Costa, L., & Beresford, P. (Eds.) (2019). Madness, Violence, and Power: A Critical Collection. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. 

davis halifax, n. v., Fancy, D., Rinaldi, J., Rossiter, K., & Tigchelaar, A. (2017). Recounting Huronia Faithfully: Attenuating our Methodology to the ‘Fabulation’ of Truths-Telling. Cultural Studies <=> Critical Methodologies, 18(3), 216-227.

McKercher, C. (2019). Shut Away: When Down Syndrome was a Life Sentence. Fredericton: Goose Lane.

Park, D. C. (1990). Changing Shadows: The Huronia Regional Centre, 1876-1934. Toronto: Master’s thesis, York University.

Rinaldi, J., & Rossiter, K. (2021). Huronia's Double Bind: How Institutionalization Bears Out on the Body. Somatechnics, 11(1), 92-111.

Rinaldi, J. (2021). What Survivors See: Creative Condemnations of Total Institutionalization. Emotion, Space & Society, 40, 1-8.

Rinaldi, J., Rossiter, K., & Jackson, L. K. (2017). Canadian Journal of Disability Studies Special Issue: Institutional Survivorship, 6(3). 

Rossiter, K., & Rinaldi, J. (2018). Institutional Violence & Disability: Punishing Conditions. London: Routledge.

Rossiter, K., & Clarkson, A. (2013). Opening Ontario’s “Saddest Chapter”: A Social History of Huronia Regional Centre. Canadian Journal of Disability Studies, 2(3), 1-30.