Curated Lists

Search our themed lists of stigmatized properties and other noteworthy homes

Get ad-free browsing by Joining our Patreon »

Tag: neighbourhoods

How an Insane Asylum Shaped this Toronto Neighbourhood
insane asylum
neighbourhoods
toronto
How an Insane Asylum Shaped this Toronto Neighbourhood

How an Insane Asylum Shaped this Toronto Neighbourhood

When John Howard designed the Provincial Lunatic Asylum in the 1840s, he envisioned a state-of-the art facility. However, when the facility first opened in 1850, it was understaffed, underfunded, and plagued by overcrowding and pollution that blackened the walls. The institution's negative reputation followed it well into the 20th century, inspiring several name changes. The address itself was even changed from '999 Queen' to '1001 Queen' in 1979. Meanwhile, the bordering neighbourhood of Parkdale was establishing a reputation of its own, particularly South Parkdale. Once known as an affluent neighbourhood with beautiful Victorian mansions, Parkdale began its decline during The Great Depression, and by 1941 many of those stunning mansions had been converted into multi-family dwellings. In fact, 62% of houses constructed as single-family dwellings had multiple household occupancy, twice Toronto’s average at the time. Parkdale was dealt another unfortunate blow when it was cut off from Lake Ontario by the Gardiner Expressway in the late 50s, which saw the neighbourhood's middle class shrink and many of the mansions demolished to make way for the Expressway. Many homes were also demolished in favour of high-rises funded by federal housing programs. It's the late 1970s and South Parkdale has been regarded as a slum for over two decades. The Provincial Lunatic Asylum, or the “Queen Street Mental Health Centre”, as it was called during this time, was trying to distance itself from its stigmatized past. Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital in nearby Mimico was shut down and partially re-merged with the Queen Street facility. Still suffering from overcrowding, the provincial government decided to release many of the patients in favour of community-based care. While a nice idea in theory, the deinstitutionalization of patients was not properly thought out and many mentally ill men and women were left to their own devices without adequate housing or care. Many of Parkdale homes that had been converted to multi-household dwellings, were now used as boarding or rooming houses. In addition, many rooming house units were converted into illegal 'bachelorette' mini-apartments that simultaneously contained sleeping, living, and dining space, with a separate bathroom. By 1985, most former patients were living in unofficial boarding houses, with only a small number living in the 39 official group homes in the neighbourhood. Instead of being treated as people in need, the community saw former patients as 'crazy' and dangerous. Parkdale's already unfavorable reputation worsened, with the neighbourhood increasingly being associated with poverty, crime, drugs, and homelessness. Taking a quick look into Housecreep's vault, it's easy to see that although Parkdale has experienced some gentrification in recent years, the neighbourhood is still plagued by many of these same issues.
Read More »
Get ad-free browsing by Joining our Patreon »

Browse lists by tag

death (10)crime (9)murder (8)toronto (4)paranormal (3)serial killer (2)unexpected discoveries (2)infamous (2)attic (2)bruce mcarthur (1)ghosts (1)decomposed (1)explosion (1)insane asylum (1)church and wellesley (1)mansions (1)hollywood (1)meth (1)btk (1)film (1)haunted (1)shootings (1)halloween (1)drug lab (1)spooky (1)apartments (1)famous (1)neighbourhoods (1)assault (1)ghost (1)drugs (1)basement (1)noted (1)meth lab (1)notable (1)ontario (1)movies (1)fire (1)bizarre (1)unexpected discovery (1)

The Vault

Find the exact addresses of 27,000+ murder homes, famous houses, allegedly haunted houses, and other noteworthy properties from all over the world.

Explore Now

Our Community

Meet our community of sleuths by joining us on Patreon or Discord

Our Patreon Our Discord Top Reporters

The Vault

Disclaimer & Privacy:

Although we do our best to fact-check the user-submitted reports in our database, we cannot guarantee their accuracy. Most of the addresses published on this website are private dwellings, so please do not attempt to visit them. The primary purpose of this website is to promote disclosure in the real estate industry and to serve as an informational resource. Please see our FAQ for more info.

This website uses cookies. By using this website you agree to our terms-of-use and privacy policy.

© 2022 Housecreep ®