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Letter to the editor: LPH should be preserved for historic value

Like Finnish Labour Temple, facility has historical importance within the city, letter writer says
Letters to the editor

To the editor:

It is important that we preserve important buildings as their histories and stories contribute to the collective memory of the city.

It is good to see the efforts being made to sustain the Finnish Labour Temple which played such a crucial role in the labour movement history of Thunder Bay.

I would suggest that similar efforts should be made regarding the Lakehead Psychiatric Hospital which faces an uncertain future. 

Built in 1938 and later extended it stands as a reminder of the scale of mental health challenges in this city. These have become even more significant since the LPH closed, and have been compounded by racism and poverty. 

With the COVID-19 pandemic triggering a new wave of mental health challenges it is timely to remember the important role that the LPH played in the city’s history for over 50 years.

I would like to see all or part of the LPH preserved or repurposed in some way. It could become an isolation hospital for future pandemics or an evacuation centre for communities displaced by fire or floods or an arts centre or a combination of these and more.

John Pateman

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