1909–1928: Further Expansion


  • additions to the Gatehouse are made, which include new kitchen, pantry, bedroom, closets, bathroom, and enlarged cellar with a hot air furnace
  • construction of a building for intensive care is requested, but never completed.


  • an incinerator, paint shop, and barn are built
  • a shortage of adequately trained psychiatric nurses forces the provincial Department of Health to establish a nursing school, which is housed in the attic of the Administration Building until 1931
  • the asylum now houses 602 patients and has 111 staff members.
Lakeshore Road, 1927.


  • a pumping house is built
  • the former egineer’s house (constructed in 1891) is converted into the Lakehouse and serves as a residence for various members of staff over the years.


  • July 16: The Toronto Daily Star reports that “[t]he whereabouts of Chas. Naylor, who escaped from Mimico Asylum on Friday afternoon, are still unknown to the local police”
  • the asylum is renamed as Ontario Hospital, Mimico
  • a fire tower is added to the rear building (situated directly behind the Centre Building)
  • the hospital now provides treatment to 619 patients with a staff of 104.


  • October 14: a nurse named Rachael Lake rescues a “a female patient suffering from manic depressive of the depressed type with strongly suicidal impulses”
  • the patient attempted suicide by jumping into the lake.


  • Doctor Fulton Schuyer Vrooman becomes the superintendent
  • the Occupational Therapy Department is inaugurated.


Anonymous. “History of Ontario Hospital, New Toronto, Henceforth to be Known as Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital” [Unpublished, written by an unnamed patient with the assistance of John Sutherland, Chief Attendant, c. 1964].
Bond, Ian K. “History of Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital.” July 1976.
Court, John. “Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital–A Vital Part of the CAMH Legacy.” May 1, 2001.
Court, John. “Re: Humber College Timeline.” E-mail to Jim Graves. March 1, 2004.
“It All Started Back in 1890.” Rapport February 1975.
Keefer, Alec. “Excerpt of Market Gallery Exhibition Didactics re Lakeshore.”
“Lakeshore Volunteers Meet.” The Advertiser April, 1971.
Melamet-Vetter, Walther. “The Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital, A World of Its Own, Another Coocoo’s Nest, In New Toronto.” Toronto: July 1989.
Ontario Heritage Properties Program. Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital, Etobicoke, Ontario: N00406. April, 1986.
Rogers, E.R. Esq., Inspector of Asylums, Parliament Buildings, Toronto. [Untitled].
“Volunteers Hear History of Psychiatric Hospital.” Mississauga Times May 5, 1971.

All primary sources retrieved from the Archives for the History of Canadian Psychiatry and Mental Health Services, January 30 and April 21–22, 2005. Images from the Archives of Ontario, Asylum Projects, RootsWeb, City of Toronto Archives, and from author’s collections. Additional information and corrections were provided by Ed Janiszewski and Ron McKinley.