This facility was built between 1846 – 48 and opened on December 12, 1848 with 90 patients on a bluff above the St John River near the Reversing Falls. It was built to replace an aging wooden building on the corner of Wentworth and Leinster which was the first mental health facility constructed in British North America (Canada).
Patient population grew after both of the two World Wars and more buildings and facilities were constructed including wards for woman and a farm. In 1956 the largest number of patients were admitted at 1,697 and the institution was nearly closed in 1958 but plans changed when the Provincial Government was changed.
In 1985 the name was changed to Centrcare and in 1992 the administration was given to the Atlantic Health Sciences Corporation. For many years the facility had both needed and been asking to be fully upgraded with modern necessities and services and in 1996 the decision was made to build an entirely new facility rather than update the old hospital.
In 1998 the new facility was opened in South Bay and the 48 remaining patients were moved to the new building. The grounds passed back to JD Irving (whose family had owned the land before the Provincial Government purchased it) who completely demolished the facility in a few days in March of 1999, reseeded the land, and converted the lands to a private (pubic accessible) park with views of the Reversing Falls.
The grounds of the former hospital are now Wolastoq Park.
There are rumours of an accessible tunnel system beneath the park.
Apparitions of former patients and staff are still seen walking through the park. Shadow figures are often seen in the area.
Disembodied voices and whispers are heard including a report of babies crying in the area that was formerly the infant and children’s facility.
There are also reports of feelings of unease, fear, being watched and not being alone. Electronic objects have a history of malfunctioning in this area.
Light anomalies and mysterious mists are also reported.