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The Hamilton Asylum for the Insane
, also called the Ontario Hospital and later the Hamilton Psychiatric Hospital, was initially intended to be an asylum for ‘inebriates’. However there was more need for beds for the mentally disturbed and this became its sole concern. The Hamilton Asylum for the Insane began operation in 1876 on 529 acres of land with 202 patients. The two closest asylums were Toronto and London. The first structure, the Barton Building, opened in 1876 with Dr. R. Bucke, internationally known for his humane treatment of the mentally ill, as the first Medical Superintendent. The hospital grew quickly to meet the expanding health needs of the province.