Dome Porcupine Transitional Living Centre inc., "Spruce Hill Lodge" located in South Porcupine, ON began its journey back in 1996 when the South Porcupine General Hospital, which was operating at the time as a chronic care/rehabilitation facility, was transferred to the new Timmins and District Hospital. Consequently, the building was closed, jobs were lost and another business in South Porcupine ended.
When the building was set to be demolished following the transfer of facilities to TDH, an opportunity presented itself for the creation of a much-needed independent living facility for seniors. This initiative would save the building from demolition, create employment, and assist in the economic growth of the community.
Funds were raised by volunteers through various efforts including baking and craft sales, bingos, yard sales, fashion shows, and dinners & luncheons. The sale of memberships was also important, not only to bring in revenue, but to increase public awareness of the goals in mind for the building. The numerous donations that came in from different organizations in the city such as credit unions, service clubs, church groups, and small businesses & large corporations alike were also very influential at this point in the development of the facility.
The building itself dates back to 1937, with additions in 1961, 1964, 1981, and 1991, increasing its size to more than 40,000 square feet in area. The Central Wing, which was built in 1981, housed 30 Chronic Care beds, while The North Wing, built in 1991, added new Chronic Care beds, as well as a hydro-therapeutic pool, an activity centre, and a dialysis unit. Though the hospital equipment and furniture had been removed, serious renovations had to be made in order to have the building prepared for tenants, but the volunteers banded together to plaster, paint, and clean. Numerous other organizations dedicated their time and expertise to help bring the building up to code with materials, inspections and utilities.
Spruce Hill Lodge was incorporated on August 21st 1997 as the Dome Porcupine Transitional Living Centre (DPTLC), but began to operate under the name Spruce Hill Lodge due to its location on a hill surrounded by spruce trees (as selected following a citywide naming contest). Spruce Hill Lodge (DPTLC) was also incorporated as a charitable, non-profit organization & registered charity around the same time.
When the doors officially opened on June 6th 1998, we had three residents, and the Lodge’s everyday activities were administered by dedicated volunteers. At the time, the property was owned by Placer Dome Canada Inc.; however, on October 3rd 2002, Mr. George Pirie, Vice President of Placer Domes Ltd., on behalf of Porcupine Joint Venture, presented the deed to the building and 40 acres of surrounding land to Spruce Hill Lodge.
Presently, the Lodge has grown to house over fifty residents and has become renowned in our region for offering quality service and care. We continue to rely on our many volunteers but we also have been able to develop economic growth for the community by employing ten full-time and seven part-time employees. It is our desire that we can continue to offer economic stability for the community and expand our staff base when needed, allowing Spruce Hill Lodge to continue to provide the services for which it has become known.