Sous-fonds F01-SF06 - Fontbonne Hall sous-fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Fontbonne Hall sous-fonds

General material designation

  • Graphic material
  • Textual record

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  • Source of title proper: Title is based on the contents of the sous-fonds.

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Reference code

CA ON00279 F01-SF06

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1900-1995 (Creation)
    Fontbonne Hall

Physical description area

Physical description

16.9 cm of textual records
2 photo albums (321 photographs)
23 photographs : b&w
8 photographs : col.
5 photographs : col. negatives ; 4.8 cm x 4.8 cm
4 slides : col. (Kodachrome)

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Administrative history

Fontbonne Hall, located at 534 Queens Avenue in London, Ontario, was a residence for the Sisters of St. Joseph from May 1951 to September 1953. The building, which was built by William Spencer in 1856 and had previously served as a former Knights of Columbus residence, was purchased to provide more room for the Sisters who had been living at Sacred Heart. On September 11, 1953, all children were transferred from Mount St. Joseph Orphanage to Fontbonne Hall due to changes in government policy that required improved boarding care. A total of 41 children were moved. As a result of this policy change, children under the age of two were placed back with the agency that had referred them. The building was officially opened on December 20, 1953. Fontbonne Hall was more like a foster home than an orphanage, as the new government policies required. In addition, the Sisters operated a Day Nursery School at this location which was licensed from 1954 until 1965 for the children of working families.

In 1963, the decision was made to change Fontbonne Hall’s focus to care for emotionally disturbed children in order to fulfill a growing community need. In June 1965, the Fontbonne Hall Board disbanded and in October 1965, the orphanage came under the direction of Madame Vanier Children’s Services which operated under the Catholic Charities. In June of 1967, the Sisters of St. Joseph withdrew. In 1968, Fontbonne Hall became the first private treatment centre licensed in the province of Ontario under the children’s mental health services legislation. In June of 1972, the contract at Fontbonne Hall was terminated, but the residents of Madame Vanier Children’s Services were allowed to stay until their new quarters were ready. On August 4, 1972, the new facility located at 871 Trafalgar Street was opened for the children’s care, and Fontbonne Hall was closed. The building at 534 Queens Avenue was reopened by the Sisters of St. Joseph under a new program called Internos, which served as a group home for teenage girls.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The sous-fonds contains policy manuals, newspaper clippings, intake procedures, photographs, scrapbooks, correspondence, meeting minutes, financial records, as well as the record book and cash book of the Fontbonne Auxiliary. It also contains information about the history of the building, the children who were at Fontbonne Hall and the people who were involved in their care. There is also information about how the purpose of Fontbonne Hall changed throughout its time in operation.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

The records were transferred from Fontbonne Hall to the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada - London site archives.


Language of material

  • English

Script of material

    Location of originals

    The records are located at The Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada Archives.

    Availability of other formats

    Restrictions on access

    This sous-fonds is partially restricted to access by the public. The files which are restricted are:

    F01-SF06-S001-02 Madame Vanier Children’s Services 1952-1991
    F01-SF06-S002-02 Mt. St. Joseph Orphanage 1942 – 1965
    F01-SF06-S002-03 Department of Public Welfare Reports 1962 – 1965
    F01-SF06-S003-01 Advisory Board Minutes and Correspondence 1960 – 1963
    F01-SF06-S003-02 Correspondence (Miscellaneous) 1962 – 1965
    F01-SF06-S003-03 Correspondence 1965-1971
    F01-SF06-S003-04 Ontario Welfare Council – Correspondence 1949-1965
    F01-SF06-S005-01 Nursery School Photographs 1960-1965
    F01-SF06-S005-02 Nursery School Photo Album 1950-1958
    F01-SF06-S005-03 Photographs 1953-67
    F01-SF06-S005-04 Mt. St. Joseph Orphanage Photographs

    The Archives reserves the right to restrict access to the collection depending on the condition of the archival material, the amount of material requested, and the purpose of the research. The use of certain materials may also be restricted for reasons of privacy or sensitivity, or under a donor agreement. Access restrictions will be applied equally to all researchers and reviewed periodically. No researcher will be given access to any materials that contain a personal information bank such as donor agreements or personnel records, or to other proprietary information such as appraisals, insurance valuations, or condition reports.

    Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

    Permission to study archival records does not extend to publication or display rights. The researcher must request this permission in writing from the Archives.

    Finding aids

    Series and file list available.

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    No further accruals are expected.

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    Level of detail


    Dates of creation, revision and deletion

    October 30, 2018
    July 2, 2020

    Language of description

    • English

    Script of description


      Accession area