Please note that I have no interest in ghosts or other supernatural phenomena, nor will I answer any inquiries pertaining to them. Consult Haunted or Not? instead. In addition, I am not affiliated with the current leaseholder of the former asylum buildings, Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning. If you seek access to the property, please contact their staff directly.

If you are researching family history, please refer to Research Guides for detailed sets of instructions on how to find specific archival information about different aspects of the history and the patients of the asylum.

Please direct reference and research questions, comments, and various other inquiries to agatha.barc@utoronto.ca.


Asylum by the Lake is dedicated to the 1,511 patients resting at Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital Cemetery and former patients of the Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital.

Since the vast majority of this project has been inspired by Dr. Geoffrey Reaume’s book, Remembrance of Patients Past: Patient Life at Toronto Hospital for the Insane, 1870–1940, this web site is also dedicated in honour of the author and his work.

In addition, this project is also dedicated to Ed Janiszewski, John Court, and other persons actively preserving the history and the memory of the former patients and of the Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital.


I would like to thank Ed Janiszewski of the Lakeshore Asylum Cemetery Project, who has maintained contact with me and patiently and promptly responded to all of my questions.

I must acknowledge John Court, the Archivist at the Archives for the History of Canadian Psychiatry and Mental Health Services for all the assistance with the research.

Ian Smith, the Principal of Humber College Lakeshore Campus kindly allowed me to see the former hospital buildings and the underground tunnels, while Peter Maybury gave me a tour of the buildings and supplied me with additional information about the present state of the buildings. I must also acknowledge him for his honesty.

I would also like to thank Abe Lam, the Web/Digitization Specialist at Victoria University Library for providing his expertise and guidance in the elements of web design.

Dr. Geoffrey Reaume’s book, Remembrance of Patients Past: Patient Life in Toronto Hospital for the Insane, 1870–1940, has provided a lot of valuable insight and inspiration for the project. Prof. Reaume’s work at Critical Disability Studies Graduate Program at York University continues to inspire me in my endeavour.

Thanks also go to all the countless individuals, who sent their suggestions and made kind comments about this web site.

Statement on Trespassing

Asylum by the Lake does not support or condone trespassing or vandalism on the property of Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning. Urban exploration and paranormal investigations are counterproductive to the goal of commemorating the history and the patients of the former Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital.


While every effort has been made in order to ensure the accuracy of the information presented on this web site, no responsibility is assumed with regard to its content.


This entire web site, unless otherwise stated, is licensed under Creative Commons License 2.5 Canada. This means that you are allowed to use the content, but not for commerical purposes, and an appropriate credit must be given. In addition, you are not allowed to modify any of the work presented here. Please keep in mind that this entire project, including the design and the content, has been created by me voluntarily over the last eight years and that you respect it accordingly.

Privacy Policy

Any of the information that this site collects from you may be used in order to improve this web page. This site uses cookies to compile aggregate data about site traffic and site interaction through Google Analytics, which allows me to improve the design and the overall experience of users. Any changes to this privacy policy will be posted on this page.


First published online May 28, 2005 under the name “The Former Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital Project.”

Web design by Agatha Barc, using Adobe Dreamweaver Creative Suite 5. Web page hosting by Atspace. Domain name hosting by Sibername. All images created and/or edited with Adobe Photoshop Creative Suite 5, with the exception of the background image, which is courtesy of Vincent Klaiber, published by Subtle Patterns. Original Lightbox 2 script courtesy of Lokesh Dhakar.

Typefaces used on this web site are Modern No. 20 (main header images, headings, and dropped capitals), Verdana (left column text), and Lora (main text and image captions). Web fonts courtesy of Font Squirrel @Font-Face Kit Generator and Google Web Fonts.

The typographical ornament on the main header images is from Handy Specimen Book: Specimens of Type, Border, & Ornaments, Brass Rule, Wood Type, Etc. by the American Typefounders Company, downloaded from the Internet Archive.

All other content reproduced with a prior permission from their respective owners or used under the provisions of fair dealing.