Architecture of Space;
The Teachers' College
The Carrying Place;
Trails of Toronto
The Location Scout;
Movies @ Humber
Trunks and Tweets;
Life in Sam Smith Park
Our History, One Click Away
The Hospital; Psychiatric History
The institution most commonly known as the Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital today held several different titles through its history. Often these changes reflected the political and social climate of the period.
1888- Mimico Branch Asylum
This title was used as the original institution was opened under the umbrella of the Provincial Lunatic Asylum (colloquially, the Toronto Asylum) on Queen Street West.
1894- Mimico Insane Asylum
In 1894 the Mimico Asylum separated from the Toronto Asylum and changed its name to reflect this transition.
1920- Ontario Hospital, Mimico
The change from Asylum to Hospital is significant. The general hospital system had earned a more positive view from the public while the asylum system increasingly struggled against heavy stigmatization.
The change in language was an Ontario-wide attempt to distance the institutions from the growing negative connotations associated with the word “asylum”. Asylum administrators wanted to align mental health with physical health by putting it all under the same name. The title Ontario Hospital, (location) was standardized through the province.
1934- Ontario Hospital, New Toronto
The change from Mimico to New Toronto was for geographic accuracy. Mimico is actually the name of the community to the east of the Hospital property. It is unclear why the name Mimico was previously used but may have been named for the closest train station.
1964- Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital
Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital was adopted for use by the institution in 1964. Although there was discussion in the 1970s about the possibility of replacing “Hospital” with “Mental Health Centre,” the institution would close as the Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital in 1979.
A 1910 postcard showing the original design of the Administration Building of the Hospital. The tower over the front door was removed in the 1930s. Image courtesy of the Toronto Public Library.
Cover page from the Annual Report of the Inspector of Prisons and Public Charities in Ontario for for 1900.
The annual report typically included a summary of the institutions admissions and discharges, changes to the property or buildings, notes about treatment philosophies, and announcements of events that occurred during the year. contained statistics on the hospital.
The full annual report can be read via Archive.org
The Hospital exhibit presented a plethora of information to be navigated. Narrowing the scope of the exhibit proved difficult, but became the three sections of The Treatments, The Names, and The Cottages, which focus on continuing elements of the Hospital’s 89 years of operation. This exhibit is designed be used as a guide if you were to walk the site, but to also be readable to people not in the area.
While this information is optimized for readability, I was adamant about accuracy. I also decided, in regards the The Treatments section to leave out some of the surgical details as I wanted it to be family friendly. I have however included further details in my sources for those wishing to learn more.