Exploring the Abandoned London Psychiatric Hospital

Exploring the Abandoned London Psychiatric Hospital

Since 1870 this property has served as the London Psychiatric Hospital with London Health Sciences, from as far back to the days when alcohol was used to sedate patients, restraints were common and a lack of sensitivity to the mentally ill was captured by the name “Insane Asylum”.  Over the years, health care would progress and the province would take over mental health care, moving away from the asylum for more of a clinical and hospital like setting.

The area within the province of Ontario and the London Psychiatric Hospital is in close relation to a number of others that have also been closed down, vacated and abandoned as the province builds larger hospitals with more specialized care and treatment.


In 1963, demolition began on the Ontario Hospital London, formerly the London Asylum for the Insane, and soon after construction began on a new mental health facility – the London Psychiatric Hospital (LPH). During the 1960s to late 1990s the hospital was still a regional resource and people came from all over Southwestern Ontario to receive care. It was also during this time that many changes to mental health care were developed, including new therapies, programs and advancement

As St. Joseph’s Health Care London began their governance of the psychiatric hospital in 2001, the name of the facility changed from the London Psychiatric Hospital to the Regional Mental Health Care London (RMHCL). This era was especially tied to change as mental health transformation began to take shape, including plans to build a new facility. The region also saw a shift in location of care. Individuals no longer came from across the region to one facility. Instead patients were cared for in newly established or expanded programs in their home communities, and a stronger emphasis was seen on community programs and support.

I have had the opportunity to explore this abandoned Psychiatric  Hospital several times over the years and have come to be very familiar with its long dark tunnel system that connects all of the wings.


21 thoughts on “Exploring the Abandoned London Psychiatric Hospital”

  1. Gorgeous photos. This looks similar to the old mental health building in London, Ont.

  2. Ah, I recognize this place 🙂 my old workplace 🙂 Now if you could get into the old Men’s Surg that is boarded up you would enjoy that historic building!

  3. i worked at the kingstone KSH Ontario, for some years in the 1960s and am at a loss as to what to say, I visited the site sept 2016 while visiting a friend at kingstone, what a mess.

  4. Great shot of looking out the window. Love looking at this stuff. Keep up the good work. Where is this?

  5. Ron Cameron

    I am pretty sure that is the London Psychiatric Hospital on Highbury Ave. I recognize so much of the inside and outside of it . They need to reopen the place since there is a shortage of psychiatric beds in the city .

  6. Cant believe its been closed for like 2 years now, so many memories of working there!

  7. I am guessing this is the old Psych Hospital on Highbury in London as well.
    Some of the things shown such as the Code Legend that has newer codes that would indicate that it has not been closed for very long. Same with the labels on the hand sanitisers on the walls. Those were from fairly new Hand Washing programs as well.

    I’d love to be able to walk through there.

  8. It shut down for health and safety reasons. Asbestos…., I would not want any patients sleeping at that location nor health care providers ever stepping foot into that building. It served its time.

  9. these are really neat pictures brings back so many memories i was there for depression about 20 years ago iv ‘e got post traumatic stress disorder and its got some things it causes and it is very hard to live with it can be very challenging a lot of times they were very strict there with very stupid rules sometimes i hated the track suites they made you wear and the way guy staff would come in to places when women were supposed to come in to make you put on hospital things it was a very hard place to be i felt sometimes they would make you feel worse then when you came in and the Med’s they would force you to take a lot of times have very bad side affects and they would put them to very high levels to the point that you could not function it was very scary i would lay on my bed and convulse really bad this one drug they gave me ‘Haldol it made me stop walking talking could not swallow very well kept drooling i had no emotions and i was unaware of who was around me it was terrible i had to have an emergency shot of cogentin a side affect med oh and also broke out in hives it was so awful you loose total control of everything its a very bad drug for someone that dose not need it that is is just tested as a lab rat enstead of a person as far as drugs go they tested me with so many drugs and gave me so many labels it was terrible i had nightmares for a long time after there was a few good times but its still all about control there and in any Phyc ward if you don’t do exactly what they say

  10. Back when buildings had windows in the rooms and they could open for some air.
    LHSC is hell.
    I imagine the treatment was the same, but light, windows, air, green space, people need these for good health.

  11. i remember ariving at this place as a thirteen year old ..with my social worker from children;s aid society.i think it was 1979. anyway I was escorted to a room on h2 ward .(Behaviour modification) I was the youngest on the ward.Most of the patients had schizophrenia and violent mental disorders..I was bit, scratched,choked numerous times by other patients,I was put into a seclusion room and gave we had to earn priveleges a shot of cpz ( called back then).w were made to hook and unhook rugs, once i saw a man on ward k2 put his head through the window,another male on our ward jumped off a second story window,I also witnessed my roomate attempt suicide in the bathroom but i called staff in time.perverted staff checking on me in bath .Definetly a terrible place.I ran away in 1981 when we had canteen privleges.I ran out a side door and hitchhiked to alberta,been here ever since.It was a horrible experience..I have been back for a visit (2008).took old elevator up to ward h2. a staff asked me if i wanted a tour.I said no.and left.

  12. Man, I remember during my ambulance days, bringing form one patients here, I remember that circular part with the elevators, and the smell.

  13. I would’ve loved to see the inside of the Victorian LPH. I’ve seen the inside of the newer buildings (shown here) in the past, I had this friend in high school whose mum worked there and we would stop in occasionally to pick her up or give her something. It looked depressing and very clinical. The shallow ceilings and fluorescent lighting didn’t help either, it made you feel like you were in a bunker. It’s a shame they didn’t carry on the ideas of the Victorians by highlighting the green space, sure they still had tons of land but I seldom saw patients anywhere other than cloistered in their rooms or parked in front of the television. It always bugged me that the out buildings were boarded up. I figured the old main building was probably beyond repair but the smaller buildings looked fine. For those who may be interested, the property was acquired but Old Oaks Property developer and they fully intend on restoring/maintaining several of the heritage outbuildings which includes the chapel.

  14. Robert Burke

    I was a patient there in 1965 when i was only 14. I was a very troubled child who later in life became a schizophrenic. I have only vague memories now as its been 56 yrs since i was there. But i do remember all the constant testing they did on me. Some of it not so pleasant. Im glad psychiatry has advanced so much as treatment was sometimes barbaric in there.

  15. crazey nowdays they live in alleyway and river banks out of sight out of mind

  16. YES , that’s the old highbury ave LPH .H2 was behavioral modification ward. It was locked .you had to earn privileges; if you were on your best behavior , after three weeks you were moved to G2 ; open ward with more privileges/freedom. K2 was kitchener/ waterloo unit ; where I watched a man smash his head through the window ; I watched it while on H2.The H2 ward was run by strict, cold ; heartless staff who had no problem giving you a shot in the arss with CPZ ; then through you in seclusion; ( cold dark room with no window) they would have you strip down and put on a gown.you only had a small mat and no pillow or blanket. This was a cruel ward.people were violent and suicidal.

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