Humber College’s Lakeshore campus is a setting of significant history and the Lakeshore Grounds Interpretive Centre, set to open in September 2016, will commemorate it.
Built in 1888 as the Mimico Asylum, the original psychiatric institution, became the Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital for decades before closing its doors in 1979. A few years later, while the City of Toronto was discussing what would become of the site, Humber proposed turning it into a campus.
Humber signed a 99-year lease on the property in 1991 and renovations followed soon after.
“Humber Lakeshore campus is a hidden gem in the Etobicoke Lakeshore community with rich history,” said Wanda Buote, principal of Lakeshore campus.
Humber’s Lakeshore campus is centred on the old cottages of the former psychiatric hospital and the last of the nine cottages is being restored. It is also expected to open this year and house the Centre for Entrepreneurship.
Moreover, Humber’s Lakeshore campus is expanding.
The Lakeshore Grounds Interpretive Centre will be a 200-square-foot area within a new Welcome Centre, described as an area celebrating art, the surrounding community and civic engagement.
The campus’ history will also be well displayed in the exhibition space on the first floor of the new four-level Welcome Centre.
The gallery will focus on four main themes: Aboriginal history of the site, natural ecology of the area, the Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital and educational history.
“The amazing thing about this area is that there’s no one history, it’s multiple histories that intersect and influence each other,” said Tara Mazurk, curator for the new centre.
Also part of the college’s new additions is an online gallery of stories about the area. Anyone with any memories associated with the location is welcome to write out their story to be posted to share with everyone.
A new 24,000-square-foot Athletic Centre is also being built on the north side of Lake Shore Boulevard near 24th Street. The building is expected to open later this year.