Royal Ottawa Sanatorium

From Asylum Projects
Jump to: navigation, search
Royal Ottawa Sanatorium
Established 1907
Opened 1910
Demolished 2008
Current Status Demolished (Original buildings)
Building Style Single Building
Location Ottawa, ONT
Alternate Names
  • Lady Grey Hospital
  • Royal Ottawa Hospital
  • Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre


In the early 1900s, tuberculosis was still greatly feared, and few services for its treatment and prevention existed. In 1904, the Anti-Tuberculosis Association was formed in Ottawa. Those that they identified as suffering from TB and who were able to travel, were sent to Muskoka. The association also arranged for a nurse to visit homes of TB sufferers with advice on how to care for patients and how to protect other members of the family. However, it quickly became apparent that the what the city really needed was a hospital of its own, one dedicated to the treatment of tuberculosis.

Although, not the sole contributors, the IODE Laurentian Chapter raised the majority of the funds needed to build the hospital. In 1907, the chapter organized the “Fair for All Nations” campaign, a week-long initiative. The event raised an impressive $17,000. On February 10, 1910, the Lady Grey Hospital, later renamed the Royal Ottawa Sanatorium, was officially opened. The hospital received its first patient 11 days later, and by March, was treating 23 patients.

Until the 1950s, the best treatment for tuberculosis was fresh air, good food and clean surroundings. This treatment influenced the architecture of many TB hospitals, including that of the Royal Ottawa Sanatorium, which was built with plenty of windows and large balconies to allow for lots of fresh air and sunlight for the patients. Dr Duncan Angus Carmichael was medical superintendent from 1926 to 1955 when he retired. The new wing of the hospital, added in 1951 , was named for him

By the 1960s, tuberculosis was all but eradicated in Ottawa. In 1969, the sanatorium became part of the Royal Ottawa Hospital. Sadly, the original building was demolished in 2008, and a new one built. Today, staff continue to provide various programs for the homeless and poor communities of Ottawa. The site is now home to the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. Today’s 400,000 square-foot facility features a state-of-the-art psychiatric teaching hospital with 188 inpatient beds and houses the University of Ottawa Institute of Mental Health Research and the Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health.