Visualizing Absence: Memorializing the histories of the former Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital

The following message is from Ed Janiszewski, who has for many years been active with initiative related to the Lakeshore Asylum Cemetery Project:

Please consider attending this moving exhibit:

Visualizing Absence: Memorializing the histories of the former Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital

Nuit Blanche, October 3rd to December 3rd, 2015
Opening reception: Saturday, October 3rd, 7-9 pm

Visualizing Absence runs October 3- December 3, 2015.
Exhibit hours:

Tuesday through Friday: noon to 5pm.

Co-presented by

Tangled Art + Disability
at the future home of
Tangled Art Gallery
401 Richmond St. West
Studio 122 (main floor)
Toronto, Ontario
M5V 3A8


Anne Zbitnew

Visualizing Absence: Memorializing the histories of the former Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital is a collaborative art response to archival images, patient records, and hidden and lost stories and memories that constitute the historic Lakeshore grounds.

Artists Alison Brenzil, Dave Clark, Stas Guzar, Susan Mentis, Lucy Pauker and Hannah Zbitnew, in collaboration with Anne Zbitnew, use a variety of media to publicly recover untold, hidden and forgotten histories.

We respect the past by recognizing the Lakeshore grounds as Aboriginal land, and by remembering the psychiatric patients who built, lived, worked and died there.

This exhibit follows Dr. Geoffery Reaume and other mad scholars, historians, activists, artists and allies who tell stories in a historical context from psychiatric patients’ perspectives.

To paraphrase Thomas King:

Take these stories. Do with them what you will. Tell your friends, ignore them, forget them. But don’t say you would live your life differently if you had only heard these stories. You have heard them now.

There will be difficult but important themes of institutional life, including institutional violence and abuse, discussed and represented at this event.


The future home of the Tangled Art Gallery is located at 401 Richmond St. West, studio 122 on the main floor. The closest accessible subway station is at Union Station. The gallery is also accessible by the Spadina streetcar (Queen Street stop going south from Spadina Station, Richmond Street stop going north from Union Station), which is intermittently accessible.


This event is in a barrier-free location. There is an accessible washroom on the 4th floor of 401 Richmond. We will have ASL interpretation and supportive listening. We request that you help us to make this a scent-free environment. The exhibit follows Smithsonian Museum guidelines for accessibility and inclusivity. Audio description of the artwork is available. Most of the artwork can be touched. The labels are in a large font and in plain language. The labels include a line drawing of the artwork. For any other accessibility arrangements or questions about accessibility, please contact Anne Zbitnew at This is a child-friendly event and a sober space.


A Feb. 2, 2016 New York Times article is entitled: “Fighting ‘Erasure'”.

A July/August 2017 Atlantic article, which I learned about through a July 1, 2017 CBC “Second Opinion” article, is entitled: “The Smartphone Psychiatrist: Frustrated by the failures in his field, Tom Insel, a former director of the National Institute of Mental Health, is now trying to reduce the world’s anguish through the devices in people’s pockets.”


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