NNPBC Blog

History of RPNs in BC: 1850 - 1899

1899

The Public Hospital's population exceeds 300. The hospital is also used for housing developmentally disabled people and unwanted, physically handicapped children along with psychiatric patients. Overcrowding complaints are made.

1897

The Hospitals for the Insane Act is passed, B.C.'s first legislature enabling commitment to a facility. The Act stipulates that two medical certificates are required for commitment. The New Westminster Provincial Asylum is renamed the Public Hospital for the Insane (PHI).

1883

Work therapy is introduced and patients work in the gardens.

1878

The first asylum is closed and patients are moved to newly built Provincial Asylum for the Insane located in New Westminster.

1873

The Insane Asylums Act is passed, which is B.C.'s first legislation regarding mental illness.

1872

B.C.'s first asylum for the insane, known as the Lunatic Asylum, opens in the old Royal Hospital building.

1869

The Female Infirmary and the Royal Hospital amalgamate and patient care is moved into the Pandosy building.

1864

The Female Infirmary, located in a one storey building on Pandosy Avenue in Victoria, opens and includes some occupants known as "lunatics". here is no formal treatment or care for these women and they are left to fend for themselves. If they become troublesome or are deemed dangerous, they are locked in city jails either in Victoria or New Westminster.

1859

The Royal Hospital, the first hospital in B.C., is opened in Victoria.

1850

British Columbia records the first case of insanity following an assault of a jail doctor. The assailant, a Scottish immigrant referred to as the "maniac", is sent back to Scotland on the next ship.