CORNWALL, Ontario - Counties council is mulling a request to have County Road 34 in Glengarry dedicated to the children sent from London's slums overseas to work at farms in the United Counties between the early 1870s and late 1930s.
A picture of British Home Children. Source: http://www.bytown.net/homekids.htm.
Jim Brownell, director of the Ontario East British Home Child Family (OEBHCF), wants to rename the roadway the 'British Home Children Commemorative Highway.'
County Road 34 runs through Lancaster, Green Valley, and Alexandria.
"The OEBHCF members have identified this highway, in the heart of Glengarry county, as a most approriate highway for the purpose of commemorating the British Home Children's contributions to the historic counties of Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry," said Brownell at a Counties council presentation.
In the 19th century, 100,000 British Home Children were sent to Canada to work as farm labourers. One of them was Brownell's grandmother. He noted that their contributions are rarely told in history books.
Just how many children were sent to work on farms in Glengarry is unknown. But OEBHCF is certain that many of them would have used the highway, probably a dirt road back then, to travel to their new-found homes.
"It would be an outstanding follow-up to Ontario's annual British Home Child Day, and the government's declaration of 2010 as the 'Year of the British Home Children,'" he said.