Asylum Patients and Work

The Provincial government of Canada required that the Medical Superintendent of each of Ontario’s Asylums submit an annual report to the Inspector of Asylums. These reports can often be found in the “Sessional Papers”. They are a good source for reports and information about the Asylum’s day to day activities, finances, patients, employees, etc.

These examples are from the year 1900 and demonstrate the nature of some of the work that took place on the grounds of the Hamilton Asylum for the Insane. The Asylum was largely self-sufficient with most of the work done by patients. This report was submitted by Dr. James Russell.

Work performed by patients at Hamilton Asylum in 1900
Farm and garden returns at the Hamilton Asylum in 1900
Laundry activity at the Hamilton Asylum in 1900
Reports of Tailor shop, Tinsmith, and work performed in the wards at Hamilton Asylum in 1900

(The Sessional Papers from 1868 to 1900 can be found on the website “Early Canadiana Online”. The 1901 to 1925 Papers are on the University of Toronto Library website.)

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