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The House of Industry and Refuge was Built in 1869

In 1867, the local County of Waterloo decided to build the House of Industry and Refuge in anticipation of an upcoming Municipal law. The law would require all municipalities in Ontario to build a House of Industry and Refuge for the “destitute, poor and infirm The County purchased 141 acres from a local farmer, John Eby. Located on Frederick St. between Edna and East Avenue, the House opened its doors on June 15th, 1869 admitting approximately 37 residents in the first year. Previous to this, many people who found themselves destitute, sick or were disabled were put in local jails. After the house was built, other municipalities looked to the County of Waterloo as an example. By the 1920's there were 76 Poor Houses in the Province.

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