Between the Mimico and Etobicoke Creeks sits the Colonel Samuel Smith Park and the Humber College’s Lakeshore Campus with a sweeping array of promenades reaching Lake Ontario. Once the site of the Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital (1890-1979), the orderly arrangement of Romanesque and Gothic brick buildings, its curved streets, lush and swirling marsh lands, densely wooded areas and the rocky waterfront were once composed with the purpose of treating patients at the former mental health institution. This installation proposes a series of ephemeral architectural interventions that respond to the walls and thresholds of the human and other-than-human built forms found on these grounds. Taking a closer look at the buildings’ bricked-up walls and windows, the work reflects on these environments as both apertures and enclosures, openings, negations, and possibilities of dreaming different pasts, presents, and futures. The work engages in a speculative conversation with the ways of living, sheltering, controlling, caring, and remediating that once constituted this place, and the ones that still run through the roots of their porous and eerie formations.
Images courtesy of Nuit Blanche and Dana Prieto, 2023.