In This Section
The official name of the asylum by the lake in Etobicoke, Ontario, was the Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital when it ceased to operate in 1979. It was originally known as the Mimico Branch Asylum, when it first opened. Between 1889 and 1979, it was also known as the Mimico Insane Asylum (renamed 1894), Mimico Hospital for the Insane (1911) Ontario Hospital, Mimico (1920), and later Ontario Hospital, New Toronto (1934). This site attempts to portray the long and interesting history of the hospital, as well as honour the memory of the patients who lived, worked, and died there.
The direction that this project has taken was directly inspired by Dr. Geoffrey Reaume’s book, Remembrance of Patients Past: Patient Life at the Toronto Hospital for the Insane, 1870–1940, which is a seminal work on the history of psychiatric patients.
The name of this web site was inspired by Dr. Ruth Koeppe Kajander’s description of her time as a doctor at the asylum in 1952: although she admired the “lovely setting by the lake,” she was highly critical of the deplorable conditions in which the patients were forced to live.
Walk for Change and Cemetery Spring Visit and Clean-Up
Date: Saturday, May 11, 2013
Place: LAMP Community Health Centre.
On Saturday, May 11, 2013, join LAMP Community Health Centre on a 5-kilometre walk, celebrating the rich psychiatric history of the Etobicoke— Lakeshore community. The walk will start at LAMP Community Health Centre (registration starts at 9:00am and the walk starts at 10:00am), and journey to the Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital buildings (at the corner of Lakeshore Boulevard West and Kipling Avenue). We will continue past the Mastercard Centre on Kipling, and head towards the Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital Cemetery on Evans Avenue at Horner Avenue. Along the way, speakers will bring the history to life while discussing the importance of community mental health services to those of us affected by mental illness.
This event is being held in order to reduce the stigma of mental illness in our community, and raise funds for local mental health support programs including: Among Friends (LAMP Program), the Psychiatric Survivor Archives of Toronto (PSAT), and the Lakeshore Asylum Cemetery Project.
All members of the public are welcome. For more information, please contact Among Friends at 416-251-8666.
Following the fundraiser, at 2:00pm, you are invited to the Spring Visit to the Lakeshore Cemetery, to remember and honour in a dignified and respectful way the lives of the 1,511 people buried in the Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital Cemetery and to acknowledge their contributions to our community.
We will be gathering to do some yard work and freshen up the grounds. Grass/hedge clippers and lawn-edgers will be useful. You are welcome to join us. Donations of artificial flowers would also be appreciated.
Directions to the cemetery:
TTC: from the Royal York Subway Station take route number 15 Evans bus to the northeast corner of Evans and Horner Avenue where the cemetery is located. Alternatively, from Kipling Subway Station, board route number 44 Kipling bus to Evans Avenue and walk east.
Cars: the cemetery is between Islington and Kipling Avenues just at the onramp to the QEW where Evans and Horner meet. There is a parking lot on the south side of the Evans Ave.
Please note: the graveyard is not wheelchair accessible, there is little shade, and no water supply.
For more information, please contact Nancy Barkman at 416-251-8666.
December 24, 2012: I have added galleries and made slight changes the appearance of the web site.
July 7, 2012: I have updated the visual appearance of the web site and improved the navigation.
March 13, 2011: Updated Maps. I have added images and historical descriptions.
February 20, 2011: I have set up Lightbox 2 for all the galleries in order to make the navigation easier. All the images on Flickr are still there, however.
January 26, 2011: Watch Hellucidnation, an experimental film by Romy Shiller, filmed in 1994 in the underground tunnels of the asylum in 1994, prior to the renovations that were later undertaken by Humber College.