The Journey In

I've left my original write up here from when this was the only page I had for Weyburn;

The Weburn Mental Hospital or Souris Valley Extended Care Centre as it was known later in it's life is one of Canada's most notorious mental hospitals. The following was quoted from a CBC article on the facility.

"The Weyburn Mental Hospital opened in 1921 and quickly became one of Canada's most notorious psychiatric institutions. It was the site of lobotomies, electric shock therapy, and some of Canada's controversial LSD experiments. It was here that Dr. Humphrey Osmond coined the word "psychedelic." Virtually anywhere across Canada, if you mentioned you were from Weyburn, there would always be somebody who would know about the hospital and say, 'Oh,' and make some comment about either your own mental health or the mental health of the community, or just a joke about mental illness," remembers Schultz. In 1971, the Weyburn Mental Hospital closed its doors and patients were transferred to other institutions."

Now I have had the opportunity to visit the site a couple times, it is very sad place. The more I learn of it's history the more I feel that there is something strange about the property. It is almost like the tragic events that occured at this hospital have forever left a mark on the location. I feel very uneasy while near this facility and it remains until I leave the grounds. It is a dying breed, most comparible hospitals have been long since abandoned and destroyed (Hospitals like Whitby Psychiatric Centre, Oxford Regional Health Centre, Riverview Psychiatric Hospital, and Tranquille Asylum to name a few). On my most current trip I have found that the Health District is preparing to abandone this facility, it is listed for sale, but for the most part the facility suffers from over 30 years of neglect, and would require extensive renovations. The chances for sale of the buildings are growing slim the the replacement facility is complete (it is located on the south side of the grounds), so the health district has began boarding up the facility. I blew a great opportunity to check it out last year, most of the building appeared to have activity and I could have easily just walked right in. I am sure I could have seen alot of it without any trouble, however I didn't, call me chicken I guess.

Future trips are planned, as I impatiently wait for my opportunity to see it all.

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Front Enterance
The Weyburn Mental Institution was built in 1920 and opened in 1921. This is probably the most elusive UE site in Saskatchewan. Access is currently very difficult. Although this facility officially closed as a Mental Hospital in 1971, it still has some patients that have been since 1971. There are only approx 300 beds left and a new admission or a discharge is very rare.

Overhead Shot
This arial photo was taken shortly after the facility first opened. It gives an idea of the size of this hospital. The top left hand wing is the abandoned, now boarded up wing. The areas on the right side are still partially in use. The bottom right wing and the main enterance are the best maintained.

The Abandoned Wing
This wing is the oldest abandoned portion of the main building. On subsequent visits I noted that this entire wing is boarded up (and well, they have put some effort into securing this property).

Main Enterance
Another shot of the main enterance

South Wing
This is the south wing. The facilities main building consists of 3 large wings meeting at the main enterance. The south wing is in the best condition, and shows some renovation over the years.

East Wing
The still used, yet decrepit north wing in the foreground, and the long since abandoned west wing in the background

Longshot of Front Enterance
I wonder how many people were taken up this drive and left at the hospital, never to leave until they died.

This building served as a library at one time I am told. It was the only boarded up building on this visit in 2004

South Wing
Although the south wing was better maintained then the rest, when you get to this portion it is hard to tell it from the rest of this aging, falling apart facility

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