Peace Ranch began as a group home in 1990 to provide residence and programs for ten people in a rural setting. Concerned families from the Brampton chapter of the Friends of Schizophrenics, headed by Diana Fishleigh-Eaton developed this idea and saw it through to its inception. In 1995, Ms. Fishleigh-Eaton retired. Susan Barrington filled her position for seven years until she left in January, 2002. Deborah Hinchey was the Executive Director from January, 2002 through June, 2003. Senior staff member and former House Manager, Eric Tripp-McKay was appointed our Executive Director in September of 2003.
Funding for Peace Ranch comes from the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. In 1997, Peace Ranch received funding from the United Way in order to expand the Day Program. This allowed us to open it to people in the community who would benefit from this programming. We look forward to further expansion this year as well as promoting community involvement in the mental health system.
The property that Peace Ranch presently occupies was originally issued to Elisha Lawrence in 1824. This was in recognition of his father, a volunteer for the United Empire Loyalists.
In 1887, the original brick house was built with the large front verandah and intricate gingerbread trim that presently exists. The total cost of construction was $1800.00. The reconstruction of the same house, in 1997, totaled $250,000.00. This has provided the residents, staff and volunteers with a warm and welcoming place to live and work.
The existing barn was built with lumber from the woodlot and help from the neighbours. An orchard was planted and crops grown for the animals.
In the late 1960’s, a greenhouse was built as well as a work space for several professional crafts people. The present programs provided by Peace Ranch have followed the historic focus of agriculture, animal husbandry and crafts. The tranquility of the area is welcoming to residents, families, staff and volunteers. Its success still relies on the generous spirit of people drawn towards the farm. Whether seeking an environment for healing, helping, gaining knowledge or acquiring experience, the spirit of a generous community prevails. We continue to depend on one another to expand our breadth and depth of life.