Community Papers

RIVERVIEW STORIES: An historical timeline

The Centre Lawn building at Riverview Hospital, previously Essondale, as it looked in 1949. - Riverview Historical Society
The Centre Lawn building at Riverview Hospital, previously Essondale, as it looked in 1949.
— image credit: Riverview Historical Society

Riverview Timeline

1904 — Province acquires 1,000 acres for a mental hospital and botanical gardens.

1911 — Botanical garden established at Riverview.

1913 — New hospital is opened and named Essondale to honour the provincial secretary who initiated and saw it through to completion (later renamed Riverview).

1916 — An estimated 26,000 plants are moved to the new botanical garden at UBC but a nursery remains for 40 years, supplying trees and shrubs for government properties; 1,900 significant trees have been identified and tagged.

1922 — Boys Industrial School opened for "juvenile delinquents."

1924 — Centre Lawn is opened.

1930 — East Lawn (for women) opened.

1949 — Crease Clinic of Psychological Medicine opens for short stays, up to four months, includes surgical unit and laboratories.

1955 — North Lawn building opens primarily for patients with TB.

1955 — Pennington Hall opens with a cafe, theatre and bowling alley.

1956 — 4,306 patients live at Riverview but new treatments and medications will result in a gradual decline in patient population.

1959 — Valleyview 300 for elderly patients opens.

1981 — 1,690 patients at Riverview.

1983 — Colony Farm, West Lawn close.

1990 — Plan to replace Riverview with smaller, more specialized facilities.

1992 — Riverview Horticultural Centre Society opens to advocate for the land, tree walks held, Crease clinic closes.

2002 — Riverview redevelopment project reconfirms plan to continue with transfer of patients to newer, specialized facilities.

2005 — East lawn closes.

2007 — North Lawn closes.

2012 —  Last 40 patients are being moved from Centre Lawn to facilities in Surrey and Vancouver; Riverview Hospital closes.



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