My dad told me a story once, on how when he was a child his grandfather (my great grandfather), were walking by the Mimco Insane Asylum. My dad remembers being with his grandfather one day at the site and one of the patients approached him. My dad, as any child would be, was scared out of his mind, but the patient just came to say hi to my great grandfather for no reason, but to say hi. That is the feeling many of us have when we are around asylums. We get scared, because of the image we have grown up with. However, that doesn’t even begin to compare to the fear of studying and living in and around a former asylum.
The asylum opened in 1889 at 3131 Lakeshore Blvd West and closed in 1979 (an address that is no longer used by any of the buildings). It was designed by Kivas Tully who for all you U of T students should know him as the guy who designed Trinity College (another haunted building - hm possible trend?). The buildings have elements of Gothic Revival and Romanesque Revival styles.
The site was originally chosen because it gave off a peaceful country like setting for the patients which was good for so called Moral Treatments where patients would garden and work outdoors as well as play sports.
In 1979 the asylum closed because of deinstiutionalization the belief that mentally ill patients can recover by participating and living in their community rather than being confined. Sadly this led to mass homelessness and some patients had no where else to go but back to the abandoned building.
Also there are tunnels under the asylum, which allowed for quick travel between the buildings and during intense whether. These tunnels were only used by the doctors…Today the tunnels are still in use today by Humber College Staff!
Now students, staff and construction workers have all reported odd/ unexplained things. Some student report that the former cottages are haunted by patients. Another report came from an electrician who refused to return to a room he was working in after he said he saw a ghost moving across the floor. Other people have reported lights turning on and off and a faceless nurse who walks in dimly lit corridors.
Also there are reports of creepy and disturbing things that may have happened back in the asylum days. Apparently under the former orchard along Lakeshore there is a mass grave of aborted fetuses and children of patients. However, some of the children were buried at the asylum cemetery. Another is that the Smokestack known as the Powerhouse burned bodies of dead patients and under Cottage Four there was once a morgue. Also like many old asylums back then, many of the patients went through electroconvulsive therapy, insulin shock, were put in straight jackets, and had lobotomy’s performed on them.
So the question then is who haunts Humber College? Is it a nurse? is it the bodies of the aborted children or tortured souls? Or is it the patients who simply had no where to go after the asylum closed and stay there because it is the only place they belonged? You have to understand that many of these patients may have returned simply because the asylum was all they knew and therefore many may have simply died here. However, nothing of that nature has been confirmed here, but has happened across the world.
Images Blog TO and http://www.asylumbythelake.com/images/