Exploring an Abandoned Childrens Hospital Buddhist Temple and Forgotten Playground
Originally opened in 1965, this is a former children’s psychiatric hospital, it was originally intended to provide residential supports to children with a developmental disability, however, by the early 1970s, there were more adults than children. The psychiatric hospital closed in 1998
For several years the facility sat vacant and abandoned until 2006 – 2008 when it was opened for a short period of time as a seniors retirement residence, however it went bankrupt after only a short time,
In 2010 the facility was purchased by a buddhist temple and they began some renovations on the roof and built a temple, however another buddhist temple in the province was providing some still competition and because of that, as well as ongoing problems with leaking roofs and water damage, the temple is mostly vacant, and unused – and has been for a very long time.
When operating as a psychiatric hospital, residents often arrived at these facilities as young children. Parents were discouraged from visiting leaving children in the care of strangers and with the sense they had been abandoned.
The facilities provided no private space with residents sleeping in dormitories and sharing open toilets lined up in rows. While some training was offered, it was only in the last few decades that formal education was made available. More often than not residents were not paid for their labour while living in these institutions.
Most disturbing is the fact that residents experienced physical, psychological, emotional, and sexual abuses at the hands of fellow residents as well as employees of the facilities. With little outside monitoring by parents, the public, authorities or even the provincial government, the abuses continued unchecked.
In 1974, the warehousing of people with developmental disabilities hit its height of 8,000 individuals spread throughout the 16 provincial facilities. It was also at this time societal attitudes began changing and community living was viewed as a preferable choice, but it would take another 40 years to complete the transition.
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The Remains of the Childrens Psychiatric Hospital