Snapshots from the
Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital
Images courtesy of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) Archives, Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital (LSPH) fonds
Click on any photo below to see the full gallery
Mimico Branch Asylum (later Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital) opened in 1890 as a rural annex of the Provincial Lunatic Asylum (later known as the Queen Street Mental Health Centre.) The Mimico Asylum was located beside Lake Ontario with nearby farmland added soon after. In 1894, Mimico was administratively separated from Queen Street until 1979, when it was closed due to a broad movement to decentralize inpatient psychiatric care.
The history of this hospital provides us with an opportunity to remember and respect the psychiatric patients who lived, worked, and died here. In fact, the cottages and the grounds were built and maintained with the unpaid labour of the patients. And, just a few blocks north to the intersection of Evans and Horner Avenues, is the hospital cemetery where a little over 1500 patients are buried.
Our grounds’ past will lead us into critical conversations about mental health today. How can we care for our families, neighbours and friends while reducing the stigma around mental health that still exists?
The purpose of such activities, whether in the late 1950s or today, is not simply for an “arts and crafts” hobby or to keep clients busy -- a popular misconception about Occupational Therapy. Rather, the goal of arts, crafts and other purposeful activities is to help clients develop or regain life skills.
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