Stonehenge Therapeutic Community started in the spring of 1971. Dr. John Dougan was a local psychiatrist who ran the Guelph Mental Health Clinic. He saw that many of his patients had addiction issues but there weren’t enough local programs to help them – so he started his own! Dr. Dougan knew about the therapeutic community model of treatment and thought it would work well for the addiction issues he was seeing in Guelph.
He secured a local farm for a $1 lease and brought in his first ten residents. The residents grew and tended their own vegetables, and raised chickens and a goat. This setting forced residents to work together and solve problems proactively. They also received daily counselling from Dr. Dougan or his staff at the Clinic. This location only lasted for 4 months so Dr. Dougan found another farm near Belwood, and the program continued in the same manner.
In the mid-70’s Stonehenge started to become recognized for its success at treating addictions and received funding from correctional ministries, both provincial and federal, to treat those with substances as part of their probation/parole. Soon after, the provincial Ministry of Health started to provide funding for an additional 10 beds.
In 1979 Stonehenge moved to another farm, this time in the Orangeville area. And finally in 1981, Dr. Dougan and several investors found and purchased ‘Alden Hall’ at our current “Wellington” location. At this time, Dr. Dougan also incorporated as a not-for-profit which created the agency’s first Board of Directors. Alden Hall has since been renamed ‘Dougan Hall’. In recognition of our excellent treatment program, more beds were funded by the Ministry of Health. This gave rise to the construction of ‘Morrow Hall’ in 1989, with help from the Guelph Lion’s Club. Morrow Hall is named after Irene Morrow, one of Dr. Dougan’s early supporters and to this day, Stonehenge’s only Honourary Board member.
The program remained co-ed at the Wellington site until our “Westwood” site was purchased in 2000. This site also had two buildings with the ‘Ellenburn’ house being converted to our women-centred treatment facility. In 2002 Stonehenge’s residential program officially became gender-specific. This gorgeous building from 1860 has since been renamed ‘Century Home’.