Winnipeg Psychopathic Hospital

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Winnipeg Psychopathic Hospital
Opened 1919
Closed 1969
Current Status Closed
Building Style Cottage Plan
Location Winnipeg, MB
Alternate Names


The Winnipeg Psychopathic Hospital was built in 1919, near the Winnipeg General Hospital, following shifts in the care of the mentally ill in Manitoba post-World War I (WWI), which looked towards improving conditions of institutions. The hospital tried to emphasize the important role of community in treating the mentally ill. The hospital closed in 1969.

Shifts in care of the mentally ill were largely due to the impact of the First World War. Prior to WWI, the conditions in Manitoba’s institutions were poor due to lack of funds and staff. During this period, Manitoba had only two psychiatrists, Dr. A.T. Mathers (1889-1960) and Dr. T.A. Pincock (1894-1978). Following the war, more money was allocated toward improving mental hospitals and caring for the mentally ill. The Psychopathic Hospital was to be a brief stay for those suffering from “recoverable” mental diseases, and it was voluntary.

The hospital staff presented the institution as a first step in the development of community psychiatry and often contrasted it to the patient custodial care received at the Brandon Mental Hospital. The director of the hospital, Mathers, presented it in the following way, “the four walls of the hospital do not limit its activities. They can never again be an obstacle to that shuttle—social service—that constantly works back and forth between the hospital and the community…The Psychopathic Hospital is the centre of the circle, the circumference of which is coterminous with the boundaries of the community itself” (cited in Vingilis et al, 2001). The hospital closed in 1969.