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London, ON

Ontario Realty Corporation

Cultural Heritage & Community Planning



Originally known as the London Asylum, the 19th Century London Psychiatric Hospital complex may be the most significant site in the history of mental health in Canada. The asylum was among the first to champion 'moral treatment' in the care of mental health patients.

on the theory that beautify surroundings were conducive to good mental health and provided social opportunities, the asylum was turned into a working farm and an elaborate plan for the beautification of the grounds was implemented. Although much of the original lante 19th Century asylum complex has been demolished, the landscape setting and several significant structures remain very much intact. The site is considered a cultural heritage landscape of provincial significance. 

MHBC was retained by the Ontario Realty Corporation to prepare an Area Plan for the 180 acre property with the objective of creating a compact urban village, while conserving the significant cultural heritage landscape. The Plan prepared by MHBC has been designed to reflect the historic structure and landscape setting of the site, while creating prominent views of historic structures, retaining mature vegetation, and sensitively introducing more intensive urban development patterns into the site. In support of the Area Plan, MHBC undertook a Heritage Landscape Assessment, Land Needs Study, Community Facilities Study, Urban Design Study, Opportunities and Constraints Study, and an Urban Design Strategy.

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