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Southwestern Regional Center is up for sale

Southwest Regional Centre in Dealtown

Southwestern Regional Centre in Dealtown. Photo Greg Holden

By Daniel Swan

A For Sale sign has shown up outside the grounds of the former Southwestern Regional Center in Dealtown.

The property was formerly a home for the developmentally disabled and has sat idle since 2008. The Ontario government decided to move away from institutional based services to a community approach for treating the patients of the facility.

Originally opened in 1961 as Cedar Springs Hospital, the provincially operated facility housed developmentally disabled adults in an institutional setting. Originally designed to accommodate children under 10 years old it was the last of the large institutions constructed in Ontario to treat the mentally disabled.

In 1966 there was a resident population of 1,200 and a staff of 600. By 1979 the resident population had been reduced to 620 as changes in policy emphasized the use of smaller home like facilities. Later the center shifted to serving adults and senior citizens.

The 234 acre estate is listed for $3.5 million.

In recent months the center was used as the filming location of a  horror film entitled Kingdom Come to be released in 2014.

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Daniel Swan is a local writer who blogs about Chatham-Kent news and events.

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