Save Century Manor
Save Century Manor
Construction began in 1874 and Ontario’s 6th asylum officially opened two years later in March of 1876. Sitting along the Mountain Brow in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada lies an empty field of what was once one of the grandest buildings Hamilton had, the Barton Building. The land becomes a community for the mentally ill. Adding many more buildings to the property over the next 10 years. More property was acquired to maintain a self-sufficient farm for the patients and staff, complete with cattle, pigs, chickens, vegetable and fruit gardens. The grounds also had a chapel, it's very own fire hall and brigade, a powerhouse, and an entire fleet of vehicles. It also had a bakery, butcher's shop, greenhouse, cellars, a tailor's shop, a sewing room, and upholstery shop, a skating rink, bowling lanes, and tennis courts!
What is left of all this property now? Century Manor, originally known as East House, built-in 1884 it opened as part of the Asylum as a reception hospital to house 60 patients that were acutely disturbed or mentally ill. From 1890 to 1921, the hospital was set aside for the detention of the Province's "Criminally Insane" and housed 915 patients and employed 119 staff.
Century Manor is now facing the wrecking ball, the Ontario Government has rezoned the former Hamilton Psychiatric Hospital Lands allowing residential development. They listed townhouses, semi-attached housing, and single-family homes on this land. This would not only wipe clean a 136-year-old Asylum, but it would also claim 12.5-hectares of green space. The Ontario Government made this rezoning change without notifying the City of Hamilton.
"It has been said that, at it’s best, preservation engages the past in a conversation with the present over a mutual concern for the future." - William Murtagh