Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre celebrates 125th anniversary

Barrie’s first hospital dates to 1891, when a group of women banded together to fund a four-bed hospital

News release – Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH)

RVH is celebrating its 125th anniversary of providing high-quality care to the people of this region.

An RVH flag has been raised at Barrie City Hall to signify this anniversary, just one of many significant milestones for the health centre this year including the 125th Anniversary of the RVH Auxiliary, the 25th anniversary of the move into the Georgian Dr. facility and the 10th Anniversary of the opening of the Phase 1 Expansion, including the Simcoe Muskoka Regional Cancer Centre.

That’s a lot to celebrate! 

RVH has received best wishes from Governor-General Mary SimonPrime Minister Justin Trudeau and several provincial and local dignitaries. Even Queen Elizabeth II, celebrating her Platinum Jubilee this year, sent congratulations.

“I much appreciate your kind words on the Seventieth anniversary of my Accession to the Throne and, in return, send my best wishes to all concerned on this significant milestone in the history of Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre.”

Barrie’s first hospital dates to 1891, when a group of women banded together to fund a four-bed hospital – the Barrie General Hospital – on Duckworth Street.

As Barrie grew, four beds weren’t enough, and a house on High Street was converted into a 13-bed hospital and renamed Royal Victoria Hospital in recognition of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. The RVH School of Nursing opened that same year.

RVH’s story has been one of constant growth and expansion:

  • 1903 – a new 35-bed hospital was opened on Ross Street
  • 1997 – RVH moved to a brand new facility on Georgian Drive
  • 2012 – RVH doubled in size with an expansion that included 101 new beds and the regional cancer centre
  • 2018/2019 – RVH opened its regional cardiac and child and youth mental health programs

“During our 125 years, RVH story has been one of constant growth and innovation,” says Janice Skot, RVH President and CEO. “We’ve grown from a tiny cottage hospital to a respected regional health centre with more than 3,500 employees and 470 physicians; many highly specialized programs including cardiac care, renal care, and child and youth mental health as well as a regional cancer centre.

“The population of the Barrie-area is expected to double in the next twenty years and, to meet healthcare demands, RVH will double the size of the current North Campus and develop a South Campus in Innisfil. RVH has always, and will always, be there for our region.”

The RVH Auxiliary has kicked off its own celebration with the creation of specialty products — butter tart-flavoured coffee and butter tart-scented candles.

Did you know RVH is the birthplace of the butter tart? A submission from Mrs. Mary MacLeod to the Women’s Auxiliary Royal Victoria Cookbook in 1900 is the first recorded recipe for the tasty tart filling. Purchases can be made at

“RVH has come a long way in 125 years, but one thing has never changed – our commitment to safe, high-quality, compassionate care. I am so proud of this organization and, while we cherish our rich history, we embrace the future with tremendous enthusiasm,” says Skot.

Feature image via Royal Vicotria Regional Health Centre