KDH has been a valued and vital part of North Grenville since 1960, when it was officially opened on June 29 of that year. It had been quite a campaign for the community to reach that point, and some small, private hospitals had been operating for many years before that. The first moves to provide a facility with full hospital services was launched right after World War I, when Dr. David Wallace opened a hospital Victoria Avenue, later moving to the corner of Asa and Joseph. More attempts were made in 1939 and 1946, but these came to nothing.

In 1955, a provisional charter for a hospital was granted by the Department of Health, and an organising committee was formed, but lack of financial support meant that effort, too, failed to go forward.

Finally, in 1958, when the Winchester Hospital could no longer cope with the numbers using that facility, a public meeting was called in Kemptville, attended by more than 400 residents from around the region. It was decided to raise funds for a 32-bed hospital, and the immense sum of almost $200,000 had to be raised, in addition to the funds donated by government and charitable institutions. In September, 1958, six acres of land were bought on Concession Road in Kemptville, and construction work began in April, 1959. But costs were rising, as well as the walls. An extra $150,000 was needed, so fund raising continued; but by February, 1960, all the money raised had been spent, and the campaign was actually in debt by $25,000! But the building continued, along with the fund raising, and the doors were officially opened on June 29, 1960 by the Ontario Minister of Health and Marjorie Hawkins, Administrator of the new hospital.

Since then, KDH has expended both in size and in the range of services it provides, and has become a tremendous asset to North Grenville and the surrounding area. It has continued to receive financial and volunteer support from the people it serves, people who appreciate what having a local community hospital means to a rural community like ours.


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