Honouring the past
Honouring the past

Waypoint’s roots are steeped in history. First settled as a naval establishment following the war of 1812, the site later became a boy’s reformatory before it was converted to a mental health hospital in 1904. 

“Waypoint has always had a strong connection to history,” says Carol Lambie, President and CEO. “Our original History Walk was initiated by a group of staff and volunteers who wanted to make sure the important heritage and the many contributions of the hospital to the understanding of mental illness was captured.”
History Walk
During the construction of the Atrium Building, most of the original exhibits were re-located to storage for safe keeping with a plan to find a new home for them upon completion of the building. It was also at this time we recognized the need to capture the legacy of what was the Oak Ridge Building, which housed the high secure forensic mental health programs for more than 80 years.

Dr. Jennifer Bazar joined the hospital in 2014 to do just that. A post-doctoral fellow in the history of psychology, Dr. Bazar set to work immediately on the research and documentation needed to launch the Remembering Oak Ridge Digital Archive and Exhibit. The exhibit features artefacts, photographs and archival documents to demonstrate how things changed and also remained consistent from the division’s opening in 1933 until the closure of the Oak Ridge building in 2014.

This work was followed by the resurrection and expansion of the Waypoint History Walk, located in various public spaces throughout the hospital. Thanks to Dr. Bazar and her team, parts of our brand new building are now alive with history.

“So much of what is captured in both exhibits continues Waypoint’s journey of healing and hope for the people we serve today, and those who found refuge and care since 1859 on this site and in these buildings,” says Howard Barbaree, VP Research and Academics.