Hazelbrae Group History

The Barnardo - Hazelbrae Memorial Group was formed in 1998 by founder Ivy Sucee and was asked by Barnardo to represent them in this area of Ontario. Many people were looking for a place to gather, talk over their concerns and to meet others who share the same interests. Approximately 50 members meet bi-monthly January to November at Northminster United Church.

We have raised the funds to place a heritage marker on the site where the Hazelbrae home was located. As well as a monument in Little Lake Cemetery in memory of 13 children who passed away while in the home. Currently we are raising funds to erect a monument in memory of all the 10,000 children who passed through the home, which was the largest of all the Canadian Homes.

There is no Barnardo connection neccassary to be a part of our group and the meetings start at 1:30pm.

Hazelbrae History

In the summer of 1883, Peterborough millionaire George A Cox offered Dr. Thomas Barnardo his choice of several homes he owned in Peterborough to establish a home for wards and orphan children from England. Having selected Hazelbrae, George A Cox began preparing to make the home ready for the children. On July 22nd the first 150 of the 10,000 children to pass through the Hazelbrae home arrived.

The children’s new home was a magnificent three storey brick home sitting high on what was called the "Conger’s Hill" facing out on to present day on George Street. It occupied five acres of land surrounded by extensive lawns and orchards, flower and vegetable gardens.

The main floor of Hazelbrae consisted of a secretary’s office, a staff dining hall for the children and a children’s play room complete with a lavatory. On the second floor were sleeping rooms for the staff plus a section used for a dormitory. Fitted little cots sufficient to sleep 150 children occupied the third floor. Each cot had a pillow, fresh linens and were cover with a gray blanket.

In 1912 the home was re-named "The Margret Cox Home" for girls (in honour of the wife of the original benefactor George A. Cox). The home closed in 1922 and by 1939 was completely torn down.
Today a Heritage plaque recognizing the home stands on the grounds of the former Hazelbrae home.

For further information on Barnardos or the Hazelbrae Group we can be contacted at: carlynshe@sympatico.ca