Vacant Psychiatric Hospital Urban Exploration 2014 to 2018
Over the years I’ve explored this old psych hospital dozens and dozens of times, even put up hammocks in the forensics unit and spent the night in 2017.
My first few visits were done the usual way, we walked the property and found a way in and explored what we could.
On my very first explore in 2014 we just got lucky, we found an open door and the access to the tunnels was unlocked, so Darkman and I would explore a few buildings until we ran into Stan, the maintenance guy who sporadically comes by to check on things. He was kind and he was scared and he simply walked us out while answering questions we had that he should not have answered. Information that would help with all future visits.
Following this initial visit that was cut short and knowing now what Stan the Maintenance Man told me, RiddimRyder and I returned not long after and we managed to make our way inside and explore as much as we possibly could with the few hours that we had. We would explore the tunnel system, the forensics unit, the morgue and autopsy room, many of the various wings and pavilions, all with much success.
Knowing that we still needed to see more, we would secure ourselves three alternate ways to get in when we came back in two weeks time so we could see everything again and also explore the areas that we missed this first time.
Fast forward two weeks and RiddimRyder and I are on site and ready for a full day of exploring, we make our way to one of our pre-set entry points….it’s locked.
Move to the second one – locked
And the third….LOCKED!
We walk the perimeter looking for any open doors or windows and come up with nothing, they’re onto us and they’ve sealed off the entire facility.
That’s okay, because then we moved onto something MUCH bigger, the St Thomas Ford Assembly Plant.
The map below shows the lay of the land for us at this time, the buildings in red we could access from the underground tunnels, the tunnels are marked in yellow.
The four buildings at the bottom of the image, in the black square, are entirely sealed off. On the inside they have been sealed off by thick brick walls in both the tunnels and the ground level, on the outside they have been blocked by high, flimsy fencing, all doors locked and broken windows boarded.
By the end of 2014, we had managed to explore almost all of the buildings in the red circles, with exception of a handful of places.
So now it’s 2015 and I have been by a few times to find no access to the facility, not one to break windows or force my way in, I leave and hope for another day that Stan the Maintenance Man will have forgotten to lock that door!
The 4 pavilions at the back of the property were fenced off, closed many years before the closure of the rest of the facility and had been blocked off from the inside, fenced off from the outside all doors were locked or windows well boarded up. But from the outside, looking in the windows you just knew that these buildings were good, they had been sealed off with no heat, no power, no temperature control for many many years…..they have to open up at some point!
Later in 2015 Finz519, RiddimRyder and I discovered that a lower window in a door had been at some point kicked in on one of the back pavilions that were sealed off (the ones on the right side of the black square), so we now had the opportunity to explore these two buildings, and just our luck we could also get into the main facility that day.
The damage and decay inside was amazing, the other side of the facility was still in such great shape with no decay or damage, so to see this side, which looks JUST like the other side, only with decay was a very cool experience. It was like stepping into a time warp!
From 2015 to 2018 the rear pavilions had been sealed off (at least when I would go to check)
For a brief time in 2017 someone with a serious commitment to get in opened up the last 2 pavilions (on the bottom left of the map), brought in a sledge hammer and smashed a hole in the walls that closed off the old pavilions from the main hospital, in both the tunnel walls and the main floor walls. This allowed many to finally get inside without the use of a key, but the inside doors were still mostly locked.
The maintenance team here are on the ball and they are pretty quick to close up any holes, broken windows, open doors etc, so access is always for a very short period of time, so the access to these two buildings had been closed when we went by, so we would have to wait for another chance.
I would not visit at all in 2016 but in 2017 I would stop by once for a solo explore just for the hell of it and then again in December 2017 for an overnight with RiddimRyder and Carlo Paolozza
Through all this time, over the course of four years those last two pavilions were always on my mind and I was never satisfied with only exploring 80% of the building,
I wanted to see the whole place, in the summer of 2018 I drove through and found that finally, someone had kicked in another window and maintenance had not yet spotted it! I finally had my chance to explore the last two buildings of this old psychiatric hospital.
It was just as incredible as I imagined it would be, the decay, the destruction, the damage! To make things even more interesting, in the one pavilion is where they held the staff daycare centre so the walls were covered with chalk drawings, tiny palm prints and more. At the time, I was certain that I was in the children’s ward but some former staff members advised me after the fact that this was the staff child care centre.
It still makes for some incredibly creepy and interesting photo opportunities!
I have seen photos from others from the main facility over the last year, which tells me that perhaps maintenance has loosened up and access has become easier and more frequent. However, I do not recommend that anyone attempt to explore this facility for many reasons:
- There is an O.P.P. station on the property and they actively and frequently drive through the property.
- There is security who frequently drive through the property, if they catch you it is a guaranteed trespassing fine and depending on the circumstances, maybe more.
- On the site there is an active Psychiatric Care Centre, patients are allowed to roam the grounds.
- It is dangerous, there is the potential of hazardous materials such as asbestos, mould, lead paint and more.
For me, my time exploring this vacant and abandoned psychiatric hospital is over, I have seen all that there is to see, I have experienced the morgue, the forensics unit, the gymnasium, the theatre, the tunnels and everything else in between.
This has been one of my favourite locations to explore and I am happy to now put it behind me!