Transforming Lives Here: Grand Opening of the first buildings of CAMH's bold redevelopment and 10th Anniversary celebration

    Minister of Health Promotion Margarett Best joins the list of attending

    TORONTO, June 18 /CNW/ - On June 26, 2008, The Centre for Addiction and
Mental Health (CAMH) marks its 10th anniversary with the Grand Opening of the
first phase of the redevelopment of its historic Queen Street site -- an
award-winning project which will transform a stigmatized psychiatric facility
into a mixed-use 'urban village'. Four specially-designed new buildings for
CAMH client care, a newly created street and a public park will be inaugurated
during a street festival celebration featuring musical entertainment, guided
tours of the new facilities and an extreme ribbon cutting ceremony.
    "This marks the first step toward our goal of building a neighbourhood
centred on care," said Dr. Paul Garfinkel, CAMH President and CEO. "An
inclusive place where people with mental illness or addictions are fully
integrated into the wider community, where cutting-edge hospital facilities
blend seamlessly with local shops, galleries and residences. What could be a
better way to celebrate CAMH's tenth anniversary than by seeing the first
phase of our vision become a reality?"
    For the first time, CAMH will unveil the 'Alternate Milieu' units, which
provide a new home-like environment for treatment of people with mental
illness and addictions. Aimed at creating a natural transition toward
community reintegration, these units are designed to empower clients to regain
their independence and assert control over their recovery plan.
    CAMH's historic 27-acre site housed the first Provincial 'Lunatic Asylum'
in 1850 -- and had remained largely sequestered from the community ever since.
With this Grand Opening, CAMH begins transforming a significant section of
Queen Street West into a welcoming mixed-use community where patient care and
services for people with mental illness and addictions will exist side by side
with businesses, restaurants and homes. Newly-created city blocks and through
streets will connect the new urban village to one of Toronto's most vibrant
    "This unique redevelopment speaks volumes about CAMH's bold approach to
mental health and addictions, but says even more about the way we as a society
are moving away from the stigma of the past," said Dr. Garfinkel. "It should
be a source of pride for everyone in our city."
    Terry Montgomery of Montgomery Sisam Architects, one of the architects of
CAMH's redevelopment, sees it as an important city-building initiative for
    "These new buildings are tangible proof that we are changing our
attitudes about hospitals and cities, to their mutual advantage," Montgomery
said. "New accommodations for patients are intricately woven into a context of
courtyards, streets and parks that are an integral part of the existing
neighbourhood. An environment for healing and wellness is created, which also
contributes to the mending and enrichment of the surrounding city fabric."
    "This historic opening celebration marks the first step toward our goal
of breaking down the barriers between our clients and the community -- between
'us' and 'them,'" Dr. Garfinkel added. "We have been looking forward to this
day for a decade."
    Join VIPs, CAMH clients, staff, community partners, neighbours and
well-wishers in front of its new buildings on White Squirrel Way for the
street fair, grand opening ceremonies and tours of the new buildings.

    When and Where

    Thursday June 26 at 11 am.
    Western edge of the CAMH site at 1001 Queen Street West between
    Ossington Ave. and Dovercourt Road.

    The formal ceremony will begin at 11AM. Remarks will be given by:

    Olivia Chow, MP Trinity-Spadina
    The Honourable Margarett Best, Minister of Health Promotion
    Rosario Marchese, MPP Trinity Spadina
    Adam Vaughan, Toronto City Councillor
    Taborah Johnson, Canadian Radio personality
    Peter Smith, Artist and former CAMH Client
    Dr. Paul Garfinkel, President and CEO, CAMH
    Paul Beeston, Chair of the Board of Trustees, CAMH

    Photo op:

    The Honourable Margarett Best, Minister of Health Promotion will
    take part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

    Media tours:

    Will begin at 12 PM, following the formal program.

    Media please note:

    CAMH clients cannot be identified by the media without their consent.

    Please check in at the media table upon arrival.

    The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is Canada's largest
mental health and addiction teaching hospital, as well as one of the world's
leading research centres in the area of addiction and mental health. CAMH is
fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, and is a Pan American Health
Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre.
    CAMH combines clinical care, research, education, policy development,
prevention and health promotion to transform the lives of people affected by
mental health and addiction issues.
    CAMH was formed in 1998 as a result of the merger of the Clarke Institute
of Psychiatry, the Addiction Research Foundation, the Donwood Institute and
Queen Street Mental Health Centre.

For further information:

For further information: Michael Torres, Media Relations, CAMH at (416)

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