A couple weeks ago me and a good friend went on a little "SW Ontario Urbex Road Trip" heading to Sarnia then London. The stops included Holmes Foundry, London Asylum for the Insane and the McCormick's Biscuit factory. Luck and timing were on our side and all three visits were a success. I recently started a new job so I haven't had time to edit all the pictures yet, but I figured I'd start with the asylum.
I actually lived in London for a few years (2011-2014) while the modern portion of the asylum was still operating as the Ontario Hospital for the Mentally Ill. I would pass by on the bus on my way to work but never thought much of it. I had acquaintance that explored the Biscuit Factory and possibly the asylum too but at that time I had not yet gotten in to urbex personally.
When we arrived at the asylum we were surprised to see about half a dozen cars in the parking lot at the Highbury entrance and a few lights on in one of the taller buildings. It became apparent that at least a small portion of the Hospital for the Mentally Ill was still operational. We approached from the Dundas entrance and were even more surprised to see a couple more cars in the parking lot, as well as a people walking, biking and driving around the premises. It almost felt like a public park, although every building was clearly marked with "No Trespassing" signs. We were unable to enter any of the older Asylum for the Insane buildings with the exception of a small, barn-like structure that was starting to cave in. It was still awesome walking around and checking out the old buildings clearly labeled A-Z on the outside.
When we approached the newer but still "abandoned" Hospital for the Mentally Ill buildings we ran into a group of younger explorers. One of them even told us a wild story about a previous explore there. Apparently they were hit by a flash-bang Call Of Duty style and got chased away by a group of men with dogs, who were "building something" inside. Obviously we took the story with a grain of salt.. We parted ways and shortly after found a way inside one of the buildings. Inside was incredibly creepy and after a couple minutes we were interrupted by the young explorers again. At that point, we decided to head to the candy factory while there was still some daylight left. It was really cool to see that the whiteboard still said "Move to new hospital on Sunday November 16th" I definitely plan on going back in the near future.
If anyone has any info on what's going on in the buildings and why part of it is still being used, I'd love to know. I'm also curious why there are so many people there treating it like a public park. Is it open to the public or actually off limits? Thanks for reading!
The first 3 photos are HDR and shot on my Leica V-Lux 5, the rest were shot with my cellphone..