"Closed - Riverview Psychiatric Hospital"
TITLE - "Closed - Riverview Psychiatric Hospital"
WHERE - Coquitlam, B.C. (2014)
A sprawling facility whose many buildings were scattered across a hillside park, this legendary mental hospital dates from the 1870s and housed more than 4,000 patients at its peak in the 1950s, only to be shut down almost entirely in 2012. (The police's high security forensic unit, with room for about 50 disturbed inmates, still operates in one of the compound's smaller buildings.) No Bedlam, this place must have helped many on their difficult journeys.
Even so, as a visitor to its deserted grounds, one finds it hard not to project dread onto what's left of the ghostly ruins and their 150 years of accumulated personal disorder, travail, and coercion. A heaviness hangs there, the long shadow of suffering, suffering of the hidden kind.