Skip to content

Hospital History

We’ve Been Down
This Road Before…

In ‘Chesley…Past and Present’, the Chesley Centennial Committee in 1980 summarizes:
“The history of Health Services in Chesley has largely been the struggle to keep a viable and fully equipped hospital in town.”
“Since 1948, when the Chesley and District Memorial Hospital opened, there have been at least two major attempts by the government to have it closed in favour of larger facilities in nearby towns. Each time the move has met with strong protest from the townspeople and the doctors, as an active hospital is crucial to a town’s ability to offer full medical services to its people.”
At least one more attempt by the government to close this hospital was made in 1992. Once again the townspeople rallied to defend it and won the day. The struggle continues. Past generations have fought to maintain our hospital and now it is our turn. Stand strong and join us in supporting our hospital and our ER.

Not Our First Rodeo…

Yes, this community has faced down threats to the hospital before!
The residents of our rural community have confronted this issue a number of times. In 1976 the government of the day, under Premier Bill Davis and Health Minister Frank Miller, did actually close the hospital. It closed in April 1976 and re-opened a few months later after the community’s legal challenge was successful.

On the day the hospital closed Mayor McClure and his son led the staff in a mock funeral cortege.

(Chesley Enterprise, 1976. Photo provided by Faye Bell McClure.)

Who Does This
Hospital Serve?

This hospital and ER serves an area larger than the town of Chesley itself. It includes about 6,900 people. Many are disadvantaged by the long distance and lack of transportation to health centres in larger communities. It serves the whole population of Arran-Elderslie Township and includes people living in Tara, Paisley, Desboro, Dobbinton and Elmwood. It includes a large farming community in Brant, Sullivan and Bentinck Townships. We also have a large population of Amish and Mennonite families who are part of our community.


In our deliberations and activities, we provide equal opportunity for participation by all members of our community.


The principles of integrity are applied to all of our actions and communications, and we commit ourselves to truth, honesty, sincerity, civility and respect for those with other points of view.


It is our intention that any activities that we undertake will be conducted in a peaceful manner and that we will discourage disruptive and dangerous behaviours.