The roots of Surrey Place Centre begin in 1962 when the University of Toronto’s Department of Psychiatry established a community clinic for Developmental Disabilities. The clinic was located on the top floor of a three storey house at 34 Grosvenor Street, two blocks from the Toronto Psychiatric Hospital, at 2 Surrey Place. The clinic’s mandate was to provide assessment and diagnostic services to people with developmental disabilities living in Metro Toronto and to establish a setting which provided comprehensive exemplary services to clients with developmental disabilities and their families, supported by academic affiliations and a strong research base.
In 1966, the Toronto Psychiatric Hospital moved to the Clarke Institute and the Grosvenor Street Clinic moved to 2 Surrey Place to become the Mental Retardation Centre.
In 1971 education, behaviour analysis, occupational therapy, audiology, speech pathology and genetics were added to a range of disciplines which included psychiatry, psychology, nursing and social work.
In 1974 the Mental Retardation Centre was renamed Surrey Place Centre.
In 1987 the provincial government divested the Centre’s services and a community board and foundation assumed responsibility for the Centre’s activities.
During the 2000s Surrey Place Centre experienced significant growth with new programs while assuming numerous leadership roles in the sector. Some of the primary expansion areas included the creation of the School Support Program, the Toronto Partnership for Autism Services, the Toronto Autism ABA Services, Developmental Services Ontario – Toronto Region, the Mashkikiiwininiwag Mazinaatesijigan Wichiiwewin (MMW) Video Conferencing Program and the integration of the Ontario Foundation of Visually Impaired Children into Surrey Place Centre.
Today, Surrey Place Centre provides services annually to over 6,000 clients, families and caregivers. The Centre also operates 7 satellite offices in the City of Toronto, in addition to the main clinical site located at 2 Surrey Place. Surrey Place Centre is affiliated with the University of Toronto, York University and George Brown College and provides over 100 student placements each year. In 2012 Surrey Place Centre received Accreditation with Exemplary standing from Accreditation Canada.
- First organization in Canada to offer a new “Behavioural Therapy” service in 1970.
- Name was changed to Surrey Place Centre and moved to the 2 Surrey Place building.
- The Centre developed Ontario’s first early intervention service for infants with significant developmental delays.
- Community-based Family Behaviour Management Services was initiated.
- In 1977 the Communication Summer School Program was launched.
- Introduced the Parenting Enhancement Program which provides parenting skills training to parents who have developmental disabilities.
- Established a clinic for people with Down syndrome to screen for medical complications over the life span, the first of its kind in Canada.
- Community Behaviour Management services were offered.
- Surrey Place Centre hosted the “Quality of Life,” international conference for families and professionals exploring and promoting quality of life for people living with developmental disabilities.
- The Toronto Partnership for Autism Services was developed to help children with autism and their families, through a highly structured learning program called Intensive Behavioural Intervention (IBI) and related services. Surrey Place Centre is the lead agency.
- School Support Program is initiated. Surrey Place Centre staff creates a template for “Connections for Students” Service, and Surrey Place Centre becomes a pilot site for this new service.
- Led and authored by Dr. Bill Sullivan of Surrey Place Centre, the first Consensus Guidelines for the primary health care of adults with developmental disabilities, first version was published in the Canadian Family Physician in November 2006 and the second version in May 2011. Also in the Canadian Family Physician, the Tools for the Primary Care of People with Developmental Disabilities were published.
- Established the Family Practice Clinic with St. Michael’s Hospital to meet the wide range of primary health care needs for adults living with developmental disabilities.
- The Centre’s clinical services are extended with the implementation of the Mashkikiiwininiwag Mazinaatesijigan Wichiiwewin (MMW) Video Conferencing Program. A partnership with community partners providing specialised clinical support services and educational services is established for adults with developmental disabilities who live in northwestern Ontario communities.
- In 2008 Surrey Place Centre partnered with Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital and the Hospital for Sick Children to become the first Canadian site in the Autism Treatment Network (ATN). The first network of hospitals and physicians across North America dedicated to improving medical care for children and adolescents with autism.
- Partnered with Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital and the Hospital for Sick Children to host and provide a psychopharmacology clinic where children with complex behaviours are seen by a consultation team of specialists.
- In 2009, the Behavioural Medical Assessment of Complex Kids & their Environment Clinic (BMACKE) was launched, providing comprehensive, inter-disciplinary healthcare assessment and clinical consultation for children and youth with developmental disabilities, complex developmental behavioural conditions, and/or compounding internal medical issues.
- The Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Diagnostic and Assessment (FASD) Clinic for Adults was launched in 2008. In 2009 the FASD Clinic for Children and Youth ages 6 to 18 was established.
- The Augmentative Communication and Writing Aids (ACWA) Program was launched in 2007 to provide assessment of individuals with complex communication needs and those who may requires access to more complex communication aids.
- In 2011 Surrey Place Centre assumed the role of co-lead in the Toronto Autism ABA Services, partnering to with Adventure Place, Aisling Discoveries Child and Family Centre, The Etobicoke Children’s Centre and Kerry’s Place Autism Services.
- On July 4, 2011 Developmental Services Ontario Toronto Region (DSO Toronto Region), located at Surrey Place Centre opened its doors. DSO Toronto Region makes it easier for adults with developmental disabilities and their families to apply for services and supports. Services are available in both English and French.
- In 2012 the Ontario Foundation for Visually Impaired Children (OFVIC) merged to become part of Surrey Place Centre. Surrey Place Centre assumed OFVIC’s Blind-Low Vision Early Intervention Program (BLVEIP) which included the early intervention service and the Ontario BLVEIP Training and Development Centre.
- On October 21, 2013 the Thistletown TRE-ADD program officially transferred to Surrey Place Centre. The Thistletown Regional Centre TRE-ADD Program is a comprehensive, tertiary-level, evidence-based assessment and treatment program offering a continuum of treatment services and supports to children and youth 6-18 years of age with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) along with other developmental disorders.