The Humber College Lakeshore Campus is located on the shores of Lake Ontario in South Etobicoke. While today the 60-acre property welcomes over 10,000 students, in 1888 it was home to the Mimico Asylum.
The various buildings, or cottages, still on the site form the hospital that was used for several decades to treat patients. Many of the buildings, including the popular Assembly Hall, were actually built by patients: work and daily tasks were part of the “therapy” used at the time.
Tunnels connected the buildings of the hospital and were used by staff to navigate the grounds and move around items. You can still see the various stone and brick used throughout the years, including some remaining vibrant paint used to help improve the mood of those walking through.
Although closed off to the public today, guided tours are available through the Lakeshore Grounds Interpretive Centre. The tour provides an “overview of the 89 years of the Hospital’s history, acknowledges the varied experiences of patients and staff across different decades, and traces major treatment changes across time.”
Located in one of the cottages is an old attic. This is the only spot on campus that has not been renovated since it once held patients when the hospital was overcrowded.
Visiting these spaces is a reminder that although we’ve greatly reduced the stigma around mental health, we must continue to sufficiently fund and support a proper mental health care system for those in need.
If you or someone you love is in crisis, call 1-833-456-4566 toll free, 24/7 or visit https://talksuicide.ca
For mental health supports and resources visit https://cmha.ca