Souris Valley Mental Health Hospital

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Souris Valley Mental Health Hospital
Souris Valley Extended Care Centre (Oct 2008)
Location Weyburn, Saskatchewan, Canada
Coordinates 49°40′26.21″N 103°52′27.69″W / 49.6739472°N 103.8743583°W / 49.6739472; -103.8743583Coordinates: 49°40′26.21″N 103°52′27.69″W / 49.6739472°N 103.8743583°W / 49.6739472; -103.8743583
Care system Public
Funding Government hospital
Hospital type Community
Beds 900 (initial)
3,000 (peak)
Founded December 29th, 1921
Closed 2006 (demolished 2009)
Lists Hospitals in Canada

Souris Valley Mental Health Hospital also called the Souris Valley Extended Care Centre was a public hospital in Weyburn, Saskatchewan. Originally called the Weyburn Mental Hospital when opened in 1921, it was the largest building in The British Commonwealth and was considered on the cutting edge of experimental treatments for people with mental disabilities. The facility had a reputation of leading the way in therapeutic programming. At its peak, the facility was home to approximately 2,500 patients. The hospital was an early example of Socio-architecture.

Many of the early techniques used by the hospital included insulin therapy, hydrotherapy, lobotomy and electroshock; by 1954 experiments using Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) therapy were done on volunteer staff and eventually applied to patients.[1] Much of this early work conducted by Humphry Osmond and Abram Hoffer.[2]

There were several attempts to save the historic building that made up the hospital complex. However in 2009 the decision was made by the city to demolish the buildings.[3] A tender for the demolition of the building was awarded to Demco Decommissioning & Environmental Management Company of West Seneca, New York on September 19, 2008. The demolition was completed by the end of 2009.[4]

The history of the facility is explored in the documentary Weyburn: An Archaeology of Madness.[5]


  1. ^ "Weyburn Mental Hospital". Virtual Museum of Canada. Canadian Heritage Information Network. Retrieved 2011-04-01. 
  2. ^ Osmond, H. (1955). "OLOLIUQUI: The Ancient Aztec Narcotic: Remarks on the Effects of Rivea Corymbosa (OLOLIUQUI)". The British Journal of Psychiatry 101 (424): 526–537. doi:10.1192/bjp.101.424.526.  edit
  3. ^ "Souris Valley Hospital in Weyburn to be demolished". Leader-Post. Postmedia Network. October 6, 2008. Retrieved 20111-04-01. 
  4. ^ Kenter, Peter (December 9, 2009). "Demolition of old hospital a tough job in Weyburn, Saskatchewan". Journal of Commerce. Reed Business Information. Retrieved 2011-04-01. 
  5. ^ "Weyburn: An Archaeology of Madness". Internet Movie Database. 2004. Retrieved 2010-11-10. 

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