Abandoned Riverview Insane Asylum, Canada

riverview-mental-hospital-abandoned (Image: Tjflex2, cc-nc-nd-3.0)

In 2012 the expansive Riverview Hospital in British Columbia, Canada, was closed with an uncertain future.  At time of closure, some of the historic buildings were already derelict and deemed unsafe.  To date, the fascinating location has been used by an impressive number of films and TV shows, including Watchmen, X-Files and Battlestar Galactica.

riverview-mental-hospital-abandoned-2 (Image: Tjflex2, cc-nc-nd-3.0)

Riverview Insane Asylum originally opened in 1913 as The Hospital for the Mind.  The first buildings accommodated around 350 male patients who could enjoy the fresh air of the enormous grounds and gain access to the asylum via its very own train station.  By the 1950s, the asylum had over 4.5 thousand patients as new buildings and facilities were added, such as a reformatory school for boys, wards for women and a self-admittance clinic.




riverview-mental-hospital-abandoned-6 (Images: Shoes on Wires; ephotography; cc-3.0)

As more local psychiatric care units were opened in the 1960s, patients were slowly moved to other hospitals or placed back in to communities.  Over this time, Riverview, which had its own bowling alley, bakery and cinema, began to downsize.  In 1983 the asylum’s large farm closed and, in 1995, a lot of the former farmland became a regional park.  The protection of the asylum’s buildings, land and trees is currently of interest to Heritage Canada, while there are also proposals for several housing development projects.

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  • George Tom

    i use to help my parents years ago when i was little doing janitoral cleaning for x files crew in new west bc at a old mad house facility the place was called woodlands OMFG! my dad use to tell me to clean the top floor of one a four story building at night 12pm it just gave me the creeps so bad i remember one time running down stairs as fast as could one day then tumbling down the stair way cause i like scared shit cause no one was there it was all dark no electricty just these construction lights an me 12 years old i tripped down the stair way, tumbling an then just booked it outside. and the door ways to the patients room were hard wood with key locks if you happen to get stuck in the rooms there was no way out you had to phone the security guard guarding the grounds to let you out cause the doors where only unlockable from the outside. thats one experiance of a life time i’ll never forget. now i think they reopened
    but as a co-op.


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