As there is growing attention and interest in the Doctor’s Residence Land I thought I would provide some context for our community and those interested in this proposal.
Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Ontario Shores) reached out to the developer when it seemed to be the consensus by all that this building could not be restored.
At that time there was an application to build more homes with architectural features similar to the Doctor’s Residence.
Ontario Shores believed there was a better option to preserve the history of our organization than a private residence with a plaque or some replica. We started speaking to the developer about a different option.
Our past legacy is not a structure, but more importantly it’s about people and commitment to mental health. We had hoped that a wellness garden with historical features that represent the entirety of our history and not one building would be something that the community would prefer over new homes.
We held an open house before Christmas to hear from neighborhood residents which was well attended. At that time the majority who attended were supportive or this proposal. We continue to be interested in your feedback and comments and for you to express your views during the planning process and moving forward expeditiously with a plan.
Just for clarification, our hospital didn’t stop in 1996. We moved our patients and staff into a more modern facility that was better suited to recovery and reducing the stigma around mental health. It was 10 years later we divested from government and became a public hospital.
For years, the vacated buildings were home to trespassers who would create disturbing and horrific images that fueled stigma of psychiatric hospitals and people living with a mental illness. We continue to live with those images on social media and an interest for all the wrong reasons.
This Wellness Garden Proposal would be a future gateway to the waterfront and be a place that people could enjoy and read about our full history for generations to come. We value your input.