Phoenix Rising PDF downloads.

PSAT is now open. Click here for instructions.

See the Lakeshore Asylum Cemetary Project.


Psychiatric Survivor Archives, Toronto.
Meeting Changed To:

Saturday, October 25, 2014 from 1 am to 4 pm
Room 305, The 519 Church Street Community Centre

PSAT has had their first meeting of the 2014-2015 year! There was a questions for the general membership. If you have any response please use this e-mail.

1. Does anyone know a chartered accountant who would be willing to do PSAT taxes for free or low-cost?

2. Would you please share the two call-outs below with your mailing lists.

Call Out!!!

The Psychiatric Survivors Archives of Toronto (PSAT) would like to invite you to learn more about the lived-experience of people who have experiences with the mental health system. You can also get involved! There are two ways to get involved with PSAT this year.

First: There are two board positions open! We are putting out and official call for nominations. If you are interested, please contact PSAT with the following information:

Second: This year PSAT introduced general membership roles. These are roles that help to run PSAT that any person who is a member can do. The general membership roles open this year are:

Hope to see you at the next meeting!

Psychiatric Survivor Archives, Toronto.
Eighth Annual General Meeting
Saturday June 7th, 2014
1 - 4pm.

The 519 Church Street Community Centre,
Room 106
(just north of the corner of Church and Wellesley Streets)

Psychiatric survivors/consumers/current/former patients and allies are welcome to attend.

Hear/read a report on past activities. Discuss future directions. Elect board members for the year ahead.

This meeting is wheelchair accessible.

Refreshments will be available.

For more information please call: 416-929-8910

Poetry Through the Ages
A commemoration of poetry by psychiatric survivors. Read one of ours, share one of yours.

Saturday, March 2, 2013
1 - 5 pm
May Robinson Auditorium, 20 West Lodge Ave, Toronto.

roar of words
circling us
in a clearing
we are swaying
letters playing
loud or slow or faint
our own


with thanks to ruth ruth for organzing the event.

Click through images of Poetry through the Ages. Photos courtesy of Graeme Bacque.

link to this page


On Tuesday evening, October 4, 2011 the Psychiatric Survivor Archives, Toronto won the Community Heritage Award from Heritage Toronto, in recognition of our decade long effort with allies and community support to preserve the still existing nineteenth century patient built walls and to memorialize with nine historical plaques the work and contributions of unpaid psychiatric patient labourers at the former Toronto Asylum for the Insane.

The citation read out at the Heritage Toronto awards ceremony is as follows:

Founded in 2001, the Psychiatric Survivor Archives of Toronto collects and preserves archival material - ranging from written documents to videos - created by persons who have had, or are having, a first-hand experience in the psychiatric system.  In the early 2000?s, the Archives, in collaboration with the CAMH Archives, began an advocacy campaign to preserve the brick boundary walls, built by psychiatric patients in the 1860s and 1880s, at the Centre for Addiction of Mental Health on Queen Street.  In 2010, after a fundraising campaign, the Archives unveiled nine heritage plaques and an audio tour that tell the story of the walls and of other unpaid labour undertaken by psychiatric patients at the Queen Street hospital beyond its boundaries.

The jury felt this group accomplished a lot with very little, using creative ways to fundraise and make their cause known.  The jury also commended the work of the Psychiatric Survivor Archives in recognizing the significant contributions that a marginalized community has made to the City?s fabric, shedding light on a little known dimension of Toronto?s history.

Unveiling Ceremony
Memorial Wall Plaques Dedicated to Patient Labourers Past

Saturday, September 25, 2010
at 1:00 p.m.
Corner of Queen Street West and Shaw Street.

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the oldest part of the patient-built boundary wall, constructed in 1860, which stands on the south side of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) at 1001 Queen Street West. These patient-built walls, along with the 1888-89 walls on the east and west sides, are a testament to the abilities of people whose unpaid labour was central to the operation of asylums in the Province of Ontario during the 19th & 20th centuries.

Join us as we unveil a series of nine memorial plaques in remembrance.

A tour of the wall and all nine plaques will follow the dedication ceremony.
Sponsored by Psychiatric Survivor Archives, Toronto (PSAT), CAMH,
and the generous support of many community donors.

For more information or media inquiries, please call 416-595-6015; 416-661-9975.

Geoffrey Reaume in Conversation with Ruth Ruth

The Force For Cultural Events Production (FORCE) presents This Is Not A Reading Series (TINARS) with the generous support of the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council and Canada Council For The Arts. Visit: and

To celebrate the re-issue of his groundbreaking study, Remembrance Of Patients Past (University of Toronto Press), scholar and activist Geoffrey Reaume will conduct a walking tour of the wall surrounding the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH ) grounds at 1001 Queen St. West. He will then guide the group to the Gladstone Hotel, where he will have an on-stage conversation Ruth Ruth Stackhouse of Friendly Spike Theatre Band. Three of the installation pieces from  inSANITY: The Story Behind The Wall, an exhibition by Workman Arts (WA) inspired by Reaume’s text, will be featured on-stage. There will be a silent auction of bricks painted by local artists. Proceeds from the auction will be donated to the Psychiatric Survivors Archives of Toronto (PSAT) for the purpose of purchasing commemorative plaques detailing the history of the 19th century patient-built wall and other aspects of unpaid patient labour. Marc Glassman, Executive Director of This Is Not A Reading Series, will host the evening event. – A TINARS event presented by University of Toronto Press, Gladstone Hotel, NOW Magazine,, Take Five On CIUT, Psychiatric Survivor Archives of Toronto and Workman Arts.

Gladstone Hotel Ballroom, 1214 Queen St West, Toronto

Wed Apr 21 - 8:00pm (Doors 7:30pm)

$5 (Free With Book Purchase)


Silent Auction Viewing Begins 4pm, Gladstone Hotel Ballroom,
Wall Walking Tour 6pm, Main Entrance (Unit 4), CAMH, 1001 Queen St West
Interview / Auction 8 pm (Doors 7:30pm), Gladstone Ballroom, Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St. West

REMEMBRANCE OF PATIENTS PAST Historian Geoffrey Reaume remembers previously forgotten psychiatric patients in his groundbreaking study, Remembrance Of Patients Past, by examining in rich detail their daily life at the Toronto Hospital for the Insane (now called the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health - CAMH) from 1870-1940. Psychiatric patients endured abuse and could lead monotonous lives inside the asylum's walls, yet these same women and men worked hard at unpaid institutional jobs for years and decades on end, created their own entertainment, even in some cases made their own clothes, while forming meaningful relationships with other patients and some staff.
Using first person accounts by and about patients - including letters written by inmates which were confiscated by hospital staff - Reaume weaves together a tapestry of stories about the daily lives of people confined behind brick walls that patients themselves built.

For Media / Info

Geoffrey Reaume: Andrea Wilson,
PSAT Silent Auction: Andrea White,
TINARS: Chris Reed,

Open House

Check out PSAT's Open House event of 2006, held at Sound Times Support Services.

The Lakeshore Asylum Cemetary Project

A group of psychiatric survivors and allies have convened to recover the cemetary grounds used by the Lakeshore Asylum.


Restoring grave markers at the Lakeshore Asylum Cemetary, 2005

Restoring grave markers at the Lakeshore Asylum Cemetary, 2005

Download the pamphlet for the April 29th 2006 Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital Spring Rememberance event.

See Agatha's historical site about the former Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital.

PSAT's 2004 Commemoration for the Victims of Eugenic Mass Murder.