On January 26, 1850, the Provincial Lunatic Asylum, as it was then known, first opened its doors on Queen Street West in Toronto.
Throughout the years there have been numerous name changes – the Toronto Lunatic Asylum, the Provincial Lunatic Asylum, "999 Queen Street", and the Queen Street Mental Health Centre.
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health was created as a result of a 1997 report of the Health Services Restructuring Committee, an independent agency appointed by the Government of Ontario to redesign the Ontario health system.
In 1998, the former Addiction Research Foundation, the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry, the Queen Street Mental Health Centre, and the Donwood Institute merged to create a new public hospital: the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, which is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.
CAMH was created to address four key challenges:quality of care, access to care, fragmentation of services, and stigma.
The organizational merger of CAMH was a first step in addressing these challenges and developing strategies to improve patient care.
The current redevelopment of CAMH’s 27-acre site – begun in 2006 – provides an opportunity for CAMH to modernize its services and continue to address these challenges.