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Exploring South Etobicoke’s hidden stories through Postcards

Mislabeled as “Mimico Sanitorium” (it was never called this), the Cricket Pitch on the grounds of the Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital depicts an idyllic scene of play. The camera faces north toward the Hospital's campus, with male players mid-game in front of manicured landscaping and blue skies.

People in white playing cricket in front of cottage buildings

The Hospital adhered to Victorian gender identities and roles, and throughout its history divided patients between male and female binaries. The cottages in this image housed the dormitories and cafeterias for female patients. Labour assignments were also prescribed by assigned gender, though all patient labour was unpaid.


The Cricket Pitch is still in use today as part of Colonel Samuel Smith Park, just south of the Cottage Buildings of Lakeshore Campus.

Cricket Pitch postcard, front and back

Female patients were assigned to tasks inside the service buildings that ran down the centre of campus: they performed work in the kitchens, laundry, and were charged with cleaning the wards and dormitories of the cottages.

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A group of male soldiers with hands on hips, standing in front of a factory building

The “Small Arms Factory” postcard shows a company of male soldiers performing training exercises outside the Small Arms Manufacturing Plant. This scene was captured with the purpose of showcasing strength and security under the looming threat of World War II.

3.3 front.PNG

Reflecting a similar gendered separation as the “Mimico Sanitorium” postcard, the buildings in the background of the “Small Arms Factory” hide women from the camera’s view. With the majority of the male population overseas, women previously barred from the workforce found an opportunity for employment to make munitions and materials in support of the war effort.

At full operation, the munitions plant employed 5,500 people, with approximately 3,454 of that population recorded as women. Although at the time women composed the working majority, they were not included in the scene circulated on this postcard, which begs the question:

What was the reason for this image?


The former arms factory is now the Small Arms Inspection Building at Lakeshore and Cawthra in Mississauga!

A group of male soldiers with hands on hips, standing in front of a factory building

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Curated by:
Nadine Finlay
Sarah LeFresne

Virtual Exhibition Curated by:
Nadia Tagoe


Humber Lakeshore Campus is currently closed to visitors.

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416.675.6622 ext. 3801

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