Schools and Institutions

Rockwood Asylum for the Criminally Insane

History: 

Construction of Rockwood Asylum began in 1859 to house the "criminally insane" of Kingston Penitentiary. The asylum's site overlooking Lake Ontario was thought to have a calming effect on patients. The new limestone edifice - still situated near here - began accepting non-criminal patients in 1868. Rockwood became part of the Ontario provincial asylum system in 1877.

Parry Sound Hospital

When I arrived at this place, my expectations were low. I had checked it out on Street View, and it appeared that everything was boarded up pretty tight. Still, I wanted to have a look just the same.

To my surprise, we were able to get a look inside after all. The kitchen remains fully equipped, the morgue was quite cool, and all-in-all, this was a great place to visit. So much so, in fact, that we went back a second time.

Lavigne School

We noticed this place as we wandered the back roads of Lavigne. Our attention was first drawn by the outdoor skating rink, but quickly noticed the boarded-up windows of the nearby building.

The remnants of the sign indicate that it was once called Ecole de la Visitation, and was apparently later used by the municipality for social programs.

Pennhurst State School

History: 

Opened in 1908, Pennhurst was a school for disabled students. Covering 1400 acres, this enormous institution would be accused of dehumanization, and eventually abuse of its students before finally closing in 1986 in the grip of yet more scandal.


Personal Commentary: 

I wasn't here very long before the authorities kindly requested I not be.

Perry County Poorhouse

History: 

The land on which this building stands was originally purchased from Adam Bernheisel in April, 1810. The almshouse that was subsequently built, and all of the records, were destroyed by fire in 1839. It was rebuilt but became insufficient to suit the needs by 1870.

A report in 1870 indicates that, aside from the main almshouse, there was also a "mad house" on the property. It contained 8 cells for the insane.