Saturday, October 01, 2016

Ottawa Valley Home Children Plaque

In Renfrew, Ontario, the Ottawa Valley Home Children plaque occupies a place on the wall to the right of the main door of the Renfrew Public Library on the southeast corner of Raglan Street South and Railway Avenue.


From 1869 until the Great Depression England exported about 100,000
children to Canada as cheap farm labourers. Hundreds, perhaps thousands,
came to the Ottawa Valley. Not all were orphans; some were sent
over without the knowledge or permission of their parents; others were
sponsored by benefactors who saw greater hope for them in this land of
plenty. Virtually all were poor. Most were between 7 and 14 years of
age, but some were mere toddlers. Each child was supposed to ge room,
board, token pay, and some education. Many received no wages, no
schooling, and much abuse. To their credit most "Home Children"
overcame privation, lonliness and prejudice to become productive and
proud Canadians. Their descendents and the citizens of Renfrew honoured
them and celebrated their contribution to this country at the first
Reunion for Home Children, in Renfrew in 1991.

Erected by Heritage Renfrew, Home Children and their
descendents and the Ontario Heritage Foundation with the cooperation
of the town of Renfrew and the Public Library Board.