Centre Lawn Building Essondale

The Acute Psychopathic Wing [sic] opened in 1924 in what we now call the Centre Lawn building. Its original capacity was 300 beds, but it was often overcrowded. 

During this time Colony Farms was at peak production. The farms operational model depended on unpaid and often mandatory patient labour. The crops, piggery and dairy produced most of the food for Essondale. At the time, it was considered one of the largest farming operations in Western Canada. 

The Royal Commission on Mental Hygiene was passed in 1925. This era marked an increase in forced sterilizations. This practice is now widely acknowledged as lacking scientific backing and being a cruel violation of basic human rights.