(Ontario Hospital)(Regional Mental Health)

467 Sunset Drive, st thomas, on

Status: Former Psychiatric Hospital; Some Parts of Building Repurposed; Majority of Building has been Abandoned; No Access to Grounds or Building

Military History Article


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This location is patrolled by the OPP. Do not enter the grounds and especially the buildings without permission. Our Paranormal World does not condone Trespassing.



Construction was begun on what was then known as the Ontario Hospital in 1937. It was built on land that had previously occupied 6 family farms. In April 1939 the first 32 patients were admitted and by August of that same year the facility's population had swollen to 1,100.

Soon after the hospital opened World War II broke out in September of 1939 and the patients were moved to other facilities while the province turned the facility over to the Department of National Defense to use as a training facility. When the war ended, the site was returned to the province and became a psychiatric hospital again.

The hospital opened again in November of 1945 and was called "the most advanced in the Dominion" by its Superintendent in 1958 when its population peaked at 2,238 patients. During this time the facility operated its own farm which provided food for the entire hospital.

As the 1970's began, as with most other psychiatric institutions of the time, emphasis began to change from institutionalization to moving patients back into society to lead productive lives with the help of pharmaceuticals and ongoing care. The forensic (criminal) mental health department also opened at this time and can still be seen today - evident by the bars and wire on the windows.

In 2001 St Joesph's Health Care took over the facility and changed its name to Regional Mental Health and the hospital became part of a family of healthcare institutions all over Southwestern Ontario.

In 2013 a new much smaller building was opened on the site and the original hospital was closed down. It is rumoured that a developer will be tearing down the old site and replacing it with a commercial government property.


Paranormal Activity

Apparitions of former patients and staff. Lights going on and off on their own as well as unexplained lights seen inside buildings. Empathetic feelings of sadness, anger, hopelessness and loneliness as well as feelings of being watched, unease, not being wanted and not being alone. Curtains moving on their own; often times with a misty apparition seen. Unexplained bangs, cries and other noises. Disembodied voices and whispers. Light anomalies and unexplained mists.

Many urban legends have been spawned from this site but it does seem to be genuinely haunted.