Note: CAMH has clarified the changes:
Does tearing down part of the (patient built) CAMH Wall disrespect patient history?
CAMH getting rid of piece of Toronto history by tearing down portion of wall, critics say
City designated wall as heritage property in 1997
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health is erasing a piece of the city’s history by taking down a section of the wall surrounding the property, community members in the West Queen West neighbourhood say.
Patients were tasked with building it as part of their treatment, explained Parul Pandya with Community Impact Non-Profit Consulting.
… “There is a very small portion of the wall that is being removed as part of our ongoing redevelopment project,” said CAMH’s spokesperson, Janet Mawhinney.
She said a small section of the east wall will be removed, in order to accommodate a new roadway that will eventually connect Stokes Street with Shaw Street, while increasing pedestrian access.
“The vision with redevelopment is really integration with the local community — preserve the wall and preserve the history but also to create a greater integration with the rest of the grounds”
And Psychiatric Survivors?
What about the work of Psychiatric Survivors to create resources, signs, and walking tours about the history of the work, exploitation that took place within these walls?
“New Paper: Geoffrey Reaume on Psychiatric Patient Built Wall Tours at Toronto’s CAMH”
April 19, 2011 New Paper: Geoffrey Reaume on Psychiatric Patient Built Wall Tours at Toronto’s CAMH
Professor Geoffrey Reaume of York University’s piece on the successful wall tours he has been running at Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) appears on ActiveHistory.ca today. Professor Reaume’s piece previously appeared in the Active History theme issue of Left History and we are very happy to cross-publish it here.