Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Abandonment Issues: St. Joseph's Hospital (Parry Sound)

St. Joseph's Hospital (Parry 
Sound)

St. Joseph's Hospital (Parry Sound)

In 1995, St. Joseph's Hospital, which provided chronic care, merged with The Parry Sound District Hospital, which provided acute care.

“Parry Sound was the first community directed to build a new hospital by the province’s Health Services Restructuring Commission,” says Norman Maciver, chief executive officer of The West Parry Sound Health Centre. The new West Parry Sound Health Centre opened in 2005, at which time St. Joseph's hospital was closed and has sat vacant ever since.

St. Joseph's Hospital was originally a three story wooden house built in the 1890s. As of this moment, I have yet to ascertain the date that it opened as a hospital. The 4 storey South Wing was added in 1938 and the 2 storey East Wing was added in 1951. Both additions were made of concrete and steel.

On a beautiful September morning in 2011, Ninja and I awoke at our campsite, fried up a quick breakfast and began our pilgrimage to the old hospital. Thankfully, we found a way in, where we stumbled into pitch blackness, unfortunately though, we had forgotten our flashlights at the campsite.

After a quick drive to the hardware store, we were finally ready to explore the second St. Joseph's Hospital of the year, the other of course, in Peterborough. The entire first floor was tightly boarded up, and our entry point led us into pitch blackness yet again, this time though, our flashlights lit the way...straight into the morgue.

This hospital had several features that excited us from an urban exploration and photography perspective: Decay, peeling paint, leftover equipment, signs, colourful wallpaper and curtains, and interesting lighting.

In my last post, we delved deep into the lives of the Down family, and became entrenched. We connected emotionally with the love, the trials and tribulations, and the overall story of who they were, as it was told to us by the belongings that they left behind many decades ago.

While exploring this hospital, albeit void of these same personal items, we felt a similar connection to the people that once passed through and occupied these rooms. We tried to picture it up and running, bustling with energy and activity. We envisioned doctors and nurses walking the halls, family members visiting at bedsides, and patients re-learning to walk on the parallel bars in the rehabilitation unit. We were constantly cognizant of the lives that would inevitably have been lost here, but also the success stories and hope that would have been present.

With no further adieu, to the theme of chronic illnesses, I hope you enjoy our photos of the former St. Joseph's Hospital in Parry Sound. 

Huntington's Disease
Huntington's Disease

Blindness
Blindness

Parkinson's Disease
Parkinson's Disease

Systematic Lupus Erythematosus
Systematic Lupus Erythematosus

Asthma
Asthma

Chronic Renal Failure
Chronic Renal Failure

Sickle Cell Anemia
Sickle Cell Anemia

Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia

Cerebrovascular Disease
Cerebrovascular Disease

Haemophilia
Haemophilia

Chronic Hepatitis
Chronic Hepatitis

Occupational Therapy
Occupational Therapy

Palliative Care
PALLIATIVE CARE

Castile Soap - Solutions - Dressing Basket - Fleets - Enema Cans - IV Basket
Castile Soap - Solutions - Dressing Basket - Fleets - Enema Cans - IV Basket

Transfer Belt
Transfer Belt

The Hospital Laundry
The Hospital Laundry

X-RAY Darkroom
X-RAY DARKROOM

Profexray
Profexray

Profexray
Profexray

Hospital Housekeeping
Hospital Housekeeping

The Chapel
The Chapel

The Morgue
The Morgue

St. Joseph's Hospital (Parry Sound)
St. Joseph's Hospital (Parry Sound)

Physiotherapy Equipment
Physiotherapy Equipment

Physiotherapy Equipment
Physiotherapy Equipment

Parallel Bars
Parallel Bars

Learning To Walk (Parallel Bars)
Learning To Walk (Parallel Bars)

Epilepsy
Epilepsy

Diabetes Mellitus Type 1
Diabetes Mellitus Type 1

Diabetes Mellitus Type 2
Diabetes Mellitus Type 2

Diabetes Insipudus
Diabetes Insipudus

Cardiomyopathy
Cardiomyopathy

Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid Arthritis

Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis

Cystic Fibrosis
Cystic Fibrosis

Cancer
Cancer

Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia

HIV / AIDS
HIV / AIDS

Chronic Encephalitis
Chronic Encephalitis

Glaucoma
Glaucoma

Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple Sclerosis

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder

Addison's Disease
Addison's Disease

Ulcerative Colitis
Ulcerative Colitis

Chronic Graft-Versus-Host Disease
Chronic Graft-Versus-Host Disease

Acquired Brain Injury
Acquired Brain Injury

Coronary Artery Disease
Coronary Artery Disease

Dysrhythmia
Dysrhythmia

Crohn's Disease
Crohn's Disease

Cardiac Failure
Cardiac Failure

Hyperlipidaemia
Hyperlipidaemia

Hypertension
Hypertension

Hyperthyroidism
Hyperthyroidism

Alzheimer's Disease
Alzheimer's Disease

Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis

Chronic Renal Disease
Chronic Renal Disease

Degenerative Disc Disease
Degenerative Disc Disease

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

St. Joseph's Hospital (Parry Sound)
St. Joseph's Hospital (Parry Sound)

click here to check out all of jerm & ninja IX's ABANDONMENT ISSUES

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi, My name is Daniel Berman and I am a TV series creator, producer/director, DP, editor, photographer and founder of the Mobile Photo Awards.
Enjoy reading your post! Keep on doing good!
twitter.com

Anonymous said...

I lived in Parry Sound for a few years and this was one of my favourite hang out spots.
This brings back memories.

Anonymous said...

Has been repurposed as apartment buildings, entire facility is lived in now, as of. Aug 1 2013. Aam here now :c

Anonymous said...

Still abandoned - The General Hospital was converted not St. Joe's

Pat McIntyre said...

So sad to see what happened to St. Joes. I was born there and in later years worked there for a short time during my nurses training. Many of my family were patients in the hospital over the years. the location would have been ideal for renovation into apartments.

Anonymous said...

I find this very sad. I worked at St Joe's through high school and both my mom and my dad died here. The patient care was outstanding. My brother in law worked here for over 25 years. It is very depressing to drive by it and there is nothing. Very sad.

Glenda

connie harris said...

Absolutely heartbreaking; I walked these halls for over 20 years. I don't know how a place that touched so many lives in so many ways can be left like this.

Anonymous said...

This HAS NOT been converted to an apartment building NOR DOES ANYONE live here! I live here in Parry Sound and walk by this building quite frequently lol wonder why someone thinks this

Lorna Dennis said...

Wow! Thank you so much for these pics. The very first one - admitting/reception is were I worked part time while I was going to Parry Sound High, for over 4 years, with Sister Theophanie as my boss and mentor. Lots of memories of our chronic patients who would come in regularly for inhilation therapy; the "old" switchboard with the pull cords; Dr. MacKay bringing us chocolates at Christmas time. All very fond memories. Once I even had a radio station from Boston phone me and ask me on air, if this was the hospital where Bobby Orr was born. Even if I had known, I could not have divulged that information.I and 3 other siblings were born in "St Joe's", an elder sibling was the head Xray tech and as I looked at the pictures of X-ray Dept., I remember helping her with filing so she could finish up her day on time. Occupational therapy is where you could find me, at lunch, and on my breaks, working on a wood and sea grass foot stool. Finally, it is where my mother, having a chronic ailment, spent the final years of her life, being lovingly cared for by all the staff, including Dr. P. Scott, who had been our family doctor all my life, until he passed away.....hmmmm - memories. Thank you again for posting these and helping me revisit a wonderful time in my life.

Anonymous said...

Some people say that the forth floor is haunted by a bishop who once stayed there. There is at least one door that will not stay shut no matter what is done to it.

Anonymous said...

I have a lot of memories in this hospital as my grandfather's health deteriorated before he passed away. I'm sad that so many have seen this empty building as a place to deface. You have captured its aging with beauty. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I was born at the General in 1966 and it was open for 40 years. Dr Hunt a surgeon in Parry Sound had his office in the basement of St Joes the last babies were born in 1965 . It was converted to the palliative and occupational therapy. The dialysis unit was on third floor with the Hospice. The sisters of St Joseph ran it for years living at the back. When they got older they stepped down and the nurses who were trained under them stayed on to continue. These nurses were all exceptional nurses to the patients and to work with.. My Aunt Joyce worked here all or most of her Career and she volunteered here after her retirement which was when the new hospital opened. I too have good memories here. It is too bad it was not repurposed. as the housing in Parry Sound is needing... I hope I remembered the dates right etc if not please kindly advise. Very nice article...

Anonymous said...

This is what Woodstock Hospital would have looked like after we moved into the new facility in 2011 had administration not had the foresight to sell/donate old equipment and furniture. It was due diligence on their part to demolish the buildings and out of respect for the neighbourhood. The building had asbestos and was disjointed due to many additions over the years, which I suspect would have been some of the reasons St. Joe's was not converted into some type of residence. Your photos are great, and a bit eerie at the same time.

Anonymous said...

Yes that's too bad. My mother worked there as a cook and later in life she entered the nursing field and found employment there once again. I remember it as a busy bustling hub of energy. And I find it disappointing to see what it has been aloud to become with neglect.

Anonymous said...

my grandmother volunteered at this hospital while my grandfather was staying there after a stroke. She would often pick me up after school and we would go to the hospital where she would help him either get fed or bathed or clothed and she would also help other patients as well. It had to be a great hospital because if anything improper happened to any of the patients including my grandfater; I can assure you my grandmother would caused a stink. My grandmother visited that hospital everyday, i would often go with her and the one memory that stands out is how absolutely clean it was. I can also remember girls i went to high school with telling me how they volunteered at the hospital. To see those pictures was pretty hurtful especially when you know all the good work that was done at that hospital; and wonderful workers and volunteers. What was really upsetting is seeing the equipment still there that probably cost a fortune and then could still be used at a third world hospital even isnt already destroyed by now. I think the important question is who was responsible for this and why wasn't the hospital equipment removed and donated or sold to someone who could use it. Who was responsible for that? whoever it was they dropped the ball.

Veronica said...

I too worked at St Joe's during high school as a student aide,then as a nurses aide while obtaining my nursing diploma and again as a grad nurse and RN. I often think of my times there, so sad to see it abandoned. I plan to take my children back to Parry Sound soon and show them where mommy grew up. Many fond memories were brought back by your pictures, thank you for a walk down memory lane

Dianne Phillips-Ditchburn said...

Very well written article and pictures after abandonment. I worked in admitting and switchboard during my high school years and right after graduation in 1968, I became Ward Clerk. I remember the students who volunteered as Candy Stripers. Sister Theophanie was the Administration director and my supervisor while I was in admitting/switchboard and Sister Alexandria later called Sister Catherine was the Nursing/Lab/Ward Clerk administrator. So much learned and experienced at St. Joseph's Hospital in my first employment career. Thanks for the memories through this article & pictures.

Anonymous said...

Does amyone know of any history to the house next to old st Joe's hospital it is a part of the hospital and apparently wad a dr's house?

Anonymous said...

I also worked in St. Joseph's Admitting/Switchboard Office part time (1958-1959), and full time (1959-1961) under my Administrative Supervisor, Sister Theophanie. I was saddened to see the devastation of what was a wonderful and caring Hospital. The Sisters gave a lot of us High School Students an opportunity for employment and a wonderful learning experience under their excellent teaching.

Anonymous said...

Very good article & pictures ! I worked in Laundry & went on to take my PSW , then worked on second floor ! I also live across the street on Willow & have to see it on a daily basis ! So, so sad to see it falling apart as a lot of people have so many good memories of working there !What a waste of a building & the property .

Anonymous said...

As far as I know, St. Joe's was sold several years ago and has just sat and rotted ever since. The town council should be getting after the owner and having something done with this place. It's all boarded up and no one is supposed to be in it, it's trespassing.
This place could and should have been converted into apts. as Parry Sound has a huge shortage of affordable places for people to live.

Deanna Desjarlais said...

My heart is saddening to see this structure not being used into something that this community needs more of (housing/apartments)it should be renovation into apartments. I drive by many times a week and just wonder what will become of it. My heart goes out in many directions as I look at the pictures in this article, thank you for sharing a history of Parry Sound.

Peggy said...

So very sad to see all the history in St Joe's gone. To see it in this state is terrible. I was a Candy Stripper there while in public school and later worked there. Really too bad it could not have been saved.

Anonymous said...

A stripper you say?

Anonymous said...

My Mother's life was saved here in this hospital in 1938 and she was nursed back to health by the Sisters of St. Joseph. It was a very sad time for Mom's family. Her father had moved the family to Depot Harbour as he was a foreman on the CN. It was here that he died of pneumonia, six months before the discovery of penicillin. My Grandmother was left with 5 children to raise, the youngest, my uncle was 2 months old. After my Grandfather's death my Grandmother moved the family back to Barrie.
I have heard, many times, my Mother's story. My Mom has since passed away this past year. I been over to Parry Sound and have shot photo's of the old hospital from the outside. Seeing the photo's of the inside of this building mean a great deal as do the comments which I have read. Thanks for doing this!

MaryJane Lowe said...

I have just written a paragraph about my Mom and her story in 1938. Her name was Agnes Cloughley. If you want to insert her name, that is fine with me, as someone may remember her and may be able to share information. Also you can use my maiden name as the author. It is Maryjane Lowe.
Thank you.