Victorian Order of Nurses (VON) National Historic Event

Black and white photo of two women dressed in black
Two nurses of the Victorian Order. One wearing a hat. Home Nursing. Department of Citizenship and Immigration, Information Division, between 1930-1960.
© Canada Department of Manpower and Immigration/Library and Archives Canada

The Victorian Order of Nurses (VON) was designated as a national historic event in 1997.

Historical importance: Major national organization which provides health services to poor and isolated Canadians.

Commemorative plaque: Argyle Street, Ottawa, OntarioFootnote 1

Victorian Order of Nurses for Canada

For more than a century, this national organization has provided vital home nursing and health education to Canadians. Founded in 1897 by Lady Aberdeen, the Order developed innovative programs to improve the health of mothers and children, particularly among the poor and the isolated. It established the first Canadian training homes for public health nurses, set a national standard for visiting nurse services, and later expanded its work to meet the needs of the elderly and the chronically ill. Through advocacy and by example, the VON helped lead the way to broader public health care programs.

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
English plaque inscription


Black and white photo of a group of kids and a woman
Children are showing their hands to a VON nurse for inspection in Kentville, Nova Scotia, 1937.
© Victorian Order of Nurses for Canada/Library and Archives Canada/e002712846
Black and white photo of a group of women in front of a building
VON nurses leaving the Montreal branch building to go out into the district, Montréal, Quebec, 1910.
© Victorian Order of Nurses/Library and Archives Canada/e002504612
Photo of a car in front of a house
A nurse is sitting in a more modern looking VON vehicle, circa 1985.
© Library and Archives Canada/e002504613

The National Program of Historical Commemoration relies on the participation of Canadians in the identification of places, events and persons of national historic significance. Any member of the public can nominate a topic for consideration by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.

Get information on how to participate in this process

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