The Original Building
Beginning before 1972, the Boards of the two local hospitals, the Brockville General Hospital and the St. Vincent de Paul Hospital, had discussed the need for a nursing home in the Brockville area. Acute and chronic care beds were often occupied by persons who did not need this type of care and it was needlessly costly to maintain them in a hospital. A study also showed that the Leeds and Grenville counties had a significantly higher ratio of persons over the age of 65 than the provincial average. On February 6th, 1973, the Boards of both hospitals undertook to develop this project jointly. A committee became the first Board of Directors of Sherwood Park Manor, with Mr. Duncan Fraser as the first Chair.
The hospitals and the Board agreed that the area was best served by a non-profit nursing home in which the community would have a sense of ownership. The project received the support of local business, industry and municipal governments, including Brockville, Prescott and the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville. The community developed a strong sense of pride in its nursing home and has continued its generous support of Sherwood Park Manor over the years.
The Board inspected several possible sites for the new nursing home and chose the present location on County Road 2 because it offered easy access. The name of the Home derives from the Sherwood family that had originally owned the land. The Brockville Psychiatric Hospital ceded the property to the Manor and the nearby St. Lawrence Lodge shared their expertise in staffing and food service, etc. The design chosen by the Board incorporated extra wide corridors, private and semi-private bedrooms with en suite bathrooms, and wide, wheelchair accessible doorways. At that time, it was considered the most innovative in the province.
The MPP, the Honorable James Auld, broke the sod to begin construction on October 24, 1974. The official opening occurred on February 27, 1976, although the first residents were admitted on December 30, 1975.