Series GR-3019 - Provincial mental hospital registers

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Provincial mental hospital registers

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  • textual record

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on the contents of the series

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  • 1934-1971 (Creation)
    Riverview Hospital, Essondale

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5.4 m of textual records

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Biographical history

On April 1, 1965, Riverview Hospital, Essondale was formed by the union of the Provincial Mental Hospital, Essondale and the Crease Clinic of Psychological Medicine, Essondale. It was located in present-day Coquitlam, B.C.

Mental health facilities had operated on the site since 1913 when the first building at Essondale opened. The building was originally referred to as the Hospital for the Mind, and later renamed the Male Chronic Building. All male patients at the Public Hospital for the Insane in New Westminster were transferred here in 1913. This building was renamed West Lawn in 1950.

Many different facilities operated on the Essondale site. Some events of note include:

1920: Boy’s Industrial School opens
1924: Essondale’s Acute Psychopathy Unit opens, later renamed Centre Lawn
1930: Female Chronic Unit opens, later renamed East Lawn
1934 : Veteran’s Unit opens
1936: Coquitlam Home for the Aged opens in Boys Industrial School building.
1949: Crease Clinic of Psychological Medicine opens in a new wing of the Veteran’s Unit
1950: British Columbia Mental Health Service was formally established and various mental health activities were amalgamated including Woodlands School, Colquitz, Essondale, Crease clinic and the Home for the Aged (in Coquitlam, Vernon and Terrace).
1955: Essondale’s peak population of 4,726 patients and about 2,200 staff.
1955: Tuberculosis unit opens, later renamed North Lawn
1959: Home for the Aged Coquitlam is renamed Valleyview Hospital
1983: West lawn closes
1983: End of farming at colony farm
1985: Tranquille closes
1986: Valleyview closes
1992: Crease Clinic closes
1996: Woodlands School closes
1997: Forensic Psychiatric Hospital opens, replacing Riverside Unit
2005: East Lawn closes
2007: North Lawn closes

Riverview was officially closed in 2012.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The series consists of admission registers for the provincial mental hospitals (1947-1971) and Crease Clinic (1951-1971), registers of persons denied admission to the mental hospitals (1952-1964), probation, discharge and death registers, supervisor daily report volumes (daily ward census, lists of persons admitted, discharged, transferred) (1953-1954; 1960-1967) and a record of operations and patients seen in consultation (for non-psychiatric conditions) (1951-1957).
The series also includes alphabetical indexes of various kinds which cover the period 1934-1966. These appear to have been created as indexes to current residents at various times. As the patients were discharged they were crossed off the lists in some cases

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Physical condition

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Transferred to the Provincial Archives in 1988.


The volumes have not been reorganized. The box and volume numbers still apply to the same volumes and no material has been added or subtracted.

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Restrictions on access

These records are restricted. Please contact the BC Archives for information about access.

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Associated materials

For related records see:
GR-1754 - Mental hospital records
GR-2880- Mental Health Services patient case files

Related materials


General note

Accession number(s): 89-0941 (G88-025)

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