The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) | Phase 1C Redevelopment
Communities are facing significant increases in demand for mental health and addictions support. Working to address these challenges and transform lives is Canada’s largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). This journey began over 170 years ago when an asylum was built in the middle of a farmer’s field outside of the city of Toronto. It was surrounded by a stone wall built by patients that served to keep visitors out and patients in - a metaphor for the public attitude toward mental illness of the day. A century later, the city of Toronto had grown up around the hospital. Buildings were replaced with practical but institutional-looking concrete structures. Fast-forward to today, and CAMH has now completed the third of its four-phased master plan. Phase 1C engaged patients, families, and care teams in the design process - selecting colour palettes, finishes and room features, something patients expressed pride in contributing to. The addition of therapeutic art installations serve as a means of positive distraction, and sources of pride and beauty. The community was involved in the selection of the therapeutic art, many of which were created by those with lived experience. The resulting spaces support healing, social interaction, and a safe transition back into the community. A unique urban village which normalizes mental health treatment CAMH helps patients feel connected to their neighbourhood - not alienated from it - something everyone struggling with mental health or addictions deserves.