Saturday, October 8, 2011

Dougie Patients Go Berserk Over UFO............................Oh Wait it's the Montreal Wanderers Rugby Team Using the Dougie's Grounds

                                                   Wow, 1/7th of Verdun is made up of the Douglas Hospital Grounds..........that's just crazy................I mean unbelievable                                                                                                                         MONTREAL - In 1890, the Protestant Hospital for the Insane, as it was then called, began to operate a farm. It allowed the hospital to be self-sufficient in terms of food, but also served another purpose – doing farm work was considered to be a healthier way for the patients to spend their time.

The farm officially closed in 1961, but the tradition of using the Douglas Hospital grounds to the benefit of its patients, and now the public, continues.

Marc Kenney, chief of installations and grounds maintenance, says the hospital took down the fences that used to surround the grounds, making it more accessible to the public, around 1991.

With 165 acres of land, the Douglas Hospital takes up one-seventh of the total area of Verdun, according to the borough’s website. More than half of those 165 acres is sprawling green space and, save for a few places, it is all open to the public.

Seven sports teams currently use the grounds officially for practices, games, or both. All the organizations that use the fields rent them from the hospital. They don’t pay to play there, but they are asked to make a donation to the hospital.

The Montreal Wanderers rugby team has been playing on the grounds since a strike of the city’s blue-collar workers in 1991 denied them access to city parks.

The team divides the grounds into two pitches, one for their practices and the other for their home games.

Kevin Thiruchelvam is the team’s field manager, and he sets up the fields on a weekly basis with a few volunteers from the team. He paints the lines, erects the posts, puts up ropes to separate the spectators from the field and, at the end of the game, he makes it look like they were never there.

“It’s a sporting event, but you get a sort of Sunday afternoon barbecue vibe to it sometimes,” he explained. “People bring their kids and they have picnics and watch the games.”

The Montreal Ultimate Frisbee league has been there for roughly the same amount of time.

They split the grounds into 18 different fields three days a week for their games.

Lorne Beckman, who has been involved with the league since it began, said the central location and field space were key reasons why they chose to play their games at the Douglas in the league’s early years.

“We love the site. It’s a tremendous place. There are trees everywhere, gigantic, mature trees, so you get a lot of shade everywhere and because of that it’s not just one great big field space, so we aren’t cramped at all,” he said.

A soccer team, two cricket clubs, a mixed football league, a lacrosse team and a community garden round out the list of the grounds’ official tenants. In the past, it has also been home to events such as the Montreal Highland Games, which are now held in Pierrefonds.

The patients also have their own spaces on the grounds.

Among them is the sculpture garden, which opened 10 years ago. It boasts 20 sculptures donated by professional artists. The goal of the garden is to improve the patients’ quality of life by beautifying the grounds.

And a team of horticulturists is in charge of designing the hospital’s gardens and flower beds, some used for patient activities.

Though there are some people who are still nervous about holding events at a psychiatric hospital, Kenney said he tells them it’s no different than having an event in any other park.

“We encourage people to break that stigma of psychiatric hospitals. People coming here to play ultimate Frisbee, or rugby, or who knows what, are going to realize that it’s not what they imagined it would be.”


Les F said...

you can click on the photo in the article to enlarge it.......& see the UFO

john allison said...

I sent my 1st wife there......It should have been for treatment, in retrospect. But I actually arranged for her to go to nursing school at the Dougie. We lived on Lise, in LaSalle at the time and it was very convenient. I would take her early in the morning before I went to work, and at the same time let my dog run around the grounds for a good 30 minutes. I relaxed under a tree and found it very peaceful. Glad to see they are allowing it to be used by the public. I sure hope that don't trash the place. It was always so beautiful, and peaceful...

Guy Billard said...

Here are 3 photos from my album no. 39 on the Douglas Hospital including one from 1900. The land developers have an eye on that property and would'nt be surprised to see changes in the years to come.

Les F said...

the place always had well kept grounds,but that black wrought iron fence around it always gave the place a sort of creepiness, as kids we knew nothing about mental illness,we just thought people in there were crazy like the movie's portrayed the Insane.......... even the word insane speaks for itself.As life goes on we certainly understand the saying "there for the grace of god ,go I" things that can happen to people are rather sad.
There no longer is a fence around the place,at least not on the Lasalle Blvd side.
Way back on the old MSN VC site I posted some photos of the buildings at the Douglas including interior shots & the tunnel that connected the buildings...I will dig them up & post them again.

Les F said...

Ok here you go as promised, see a 'promise made is a debt unpaid'- LOL

Ok you know the drill, full screen option speed control etc etc HF&RV

Les F said...

Hmmm a little Verdun logging drives this girl nuts. So much for peaceful surroundings,..cut down some trees for a road ...whatever happened to the 'long & winding rd' .that would have been just as easy. They paved paradise ,to put up a parking lot.........

Thursday, August 11, 2011Douglas Hospital cuts down century-old trees for road
When Denise Gérin-Lajoie noticed the branches and the huge trunk of a hundred year old tree behind the Dell Pavillion on the grounds of the Douglas Mental Health University Institute, she panicked and called the Borough of Verdun. She discovered that the hospital has a permit to cut down another three trees for a “voie routière.” She then called the hospital and they said they will plant four mature trees to replace those removed.

Green space management was discussed at a board of directors meeting recently. Board members were told that a new parking lot would be built on the hospital grounds this summer. When a board member asked that the director to consider asking an outside organization to help manage their 60-hectare site in an eco-friendly way, she was told that the hospital doesn’t have the resources to solicit such assistance.

Les F said...

Ok here's the two songs I referenced in the previous post "Long & Winding Road"

and the Big Yellow Taxi (they paved paradise & put up a parking lot) originally by Joni Mitchell, but this version is the counting crows ( remember the crows in the trees at the neither) LOL

Obviuosly I have nothing to do,& all day to do it............LOL HF&RV

Les F said...

Madeleine was rolled into the operating room on a gurney and prepared for surgery, her head shaven. A local anaesthetic was applied to a portion of her scalp. The surgeon cut away a flap of skin and drilled a hole through her skull. Wielding a spatula-type instrument, he made several sweeping incisions through her brain, slicing all the way to the back of her skull. While the surgeon worked, psychiatrist Ewen Cameron stood over the young woman, plying her with questions until he was assured the surgeon had achieved the desired result. When Madeleine stared vacuously and could only grunt in response, the “surgery” ended. Madeleine lived the rest of her life an automaton in the confines of an insane asylum.

Madeleine Smith, a 28-year-old newscaster, was just one casualty of the ghoulish experiments conducted in the 1950s and early 1960s under Ewen Cameron at McGill University’s Allan Memorial Institute.

The experiments were part of the infamous “MK ULTRA” program conducted under the aegis of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency in the 1950s and 1960s, exposed in media and United States Congressional hearings in the 1970s. Patients were brutalized and maimed with drugs, shocks and lobotomies as Cameron sought a means to “depattern” and “re-program” the human mind. Canadian survivors still able to seek reparation finally obtained some compensation from the U.S. government in 1988.

you can read the rest of this stuff from the website itself: