Dozens of survivors of the Huronia Regional Centre are celebrating after a monument was unveiled, honouring the thousands who lived and died at the centre.

The one of a kind metal sculpture has been in the making for the past three years. Built by an artist in Gravenhurst, organizer Debbie Vernon says it was all driven by the stories of those who survived.

"This is a project that's led by survivors, and it's all about survivors," said Vernon. "What you will see today is a symbolic representation of what people had to overcome once they left the institution."

Hundreds of people are buried at the cemetery on Memorial Drive; some only known by a number, others have no markings at all.

Betty Bond, who lived at the centre for six years until she was nine-years-old, and like many, she says she endured a great deal of abuse. She adds she's just happy to see a permanent monument put up on the grounds.

"This is huge, I'm excited," says Bond, "it's been a little nerve-racking this week because it still brings up memories, but today, this is almost like a clean slate in a way."

Organizers and survivors are still hoping to add a plaque and cement walk was leading from the cemetery in the coming years.