Colquitz Mental Hospital

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Colquitz Mental Hospital
Construction Began 1913
Construction Ended 1916
Opened 1919
Closed 1964
Current Status Active
Building Style Single Building
Architect(s) William Ridgway-Wilson
Location Victoria, BC
Alternate Names
  • Provincial Mental Home
  • Colquitz Centre for the Criminally Insane
  • Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre



History[edit]

Ten kilometres northwest of downtown Victoria, the Provincial Mental Home for the Criminally Insane was opened on March 25, 1919. The Provincial Mental Home for the Criminally Insane was also known as the Colquitz Mental Home, and was operational until 1964. It was a specialized facility that focused on the containment of the ‘criminally insane’ mental patients. The creation of this institute was necessary to relieve crowding at the province’s two other mental institutions, Woodlands in New Westminister and Essondale, now Riverview, in Coquitlam. The institution was the second of its kind in Canada, the first being the Rockwood Asylum in Kingston, Ontario.

The majority of the all-male residents came from the general mental hospitals (namely, those deemed too hard to manage), provincial prisons or federal British Columbia Penitentiary (if they were found insane when prosecuted), or from criminal courts (if they were deemed unfit for trial, or guilty by reason of insanity). The home had 300 residents at its peak, and operated as a branch institution to British Columbia's central psychiatric facility on the mainland (the Public Hospital for the Insane in West Minister until 1924, and the Provincial Mental Hospital thereafter).


Images of Colquitz Mental Hospital[edit]

Main Image Gallery: Colquitz Mental Hospital