View of Phase 1A buildings across street
View from Queen Street of Phase 1A building
View of Phase 1A buildings across street
Interior common areas looking into courtyard

The Centre for Addiction & Mental Health Phase 1A

Phase 1A is the first phase of the CAMH multi-year campus redevelopment. The master plan developed by Kearns Mancini and its joint venture partners resulted in a complete transformation of how mental healthcare is delivered in an urban setting.

Phase 1A focuses on three residential buildings and an outpatient clinic. Through consultation with CAMH, the design consortium devised Phase 1A as an Alternative Milieu program in the form of three recognizable residential buildings, linked to a commercial office-style building. Each block contains 24 patient rooms with six en-suite bedrooms on each of the four floors. Each floor functions as an 'apartment,' with six patients sharing kitchen, dining and living spaces. The design of each floor plate forms an L-shaped building plan around a landscaped courtyard at grade which is shared by the patients. The entire Phase 1A complex houses a total of seventy-two resident suites.

View from sidewalk

The units in the Phase 1A are residential buildings designed specifically for patients preparing to re-integrate with society after treatment; a process vital to the rehabilitation of mental health patients. As such, the spaces and organization within each block are designed to facilitate communal integration and access to shared interior and exterior spaces. The outpatient clinic provides community and group therapy rooms for rehabilitated individuals, while the building’s inpatient program caters towards people suffering from mood disorders and schizophrenia. In addition to communal spaces for treatment and consultation, an alternative milieu is created by the grouping of six clients on each of the four floors of each building. Every patient has a private bedroom and washroom with access to expansive light and air, while sharing the use of the living and kitchen areas.

Separating programmatic zones allows patients a sense of place and feeling of home; nurses and doctors entering into the patient zone are received as guests providing care.


1001 Queen Street West, Toronto

Completed, 2008

Building Size
88,000 sq. ft.

Project Value
$27.9 Million

LEED® Gold Certified

Project Team
Jonathan Kearns, Peter Ng, Dan McNeil, Christine Leu

In Joint Venture With
Montgomery Sisam Architects, KPMB Architects

International Academy of Design and Health for Mental Health Design | 2009, Toronto Architecture and Urban Design Award – Honorable Mention | 2005

View from Queen Street

Strategic to the design process was ensuring the safety and protection of clients, staff and visitors, as well as providing varied levels of security depending on the patients' status. Each residential building is linked to a secure landscaped outdoor space within a garden court. This available access to nature, views and daylight, assists patients in their recovery, and are integral elements of a relaxed and regenerative environment that provides an opportunity for informal interaction amongst clients and staff members.

Phase 1A of The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health is the first phase of a larger urban plan for the campus. The planning decisions and hierarchy of street presence were strategically implemented to respond to the design of the future campus. Overall, the project delivers on CAMH's intent to step away from earlier approaches to mental health care conventions. The design promotes an approach that treats clients in a respectful, dignified, holistic manner within an atmosphere that normalizes mental health care and supports a recovery and a return to the community.

Media Coverage

Brick by Brick

Canadian Mental Health Association

A review of the approach to mental health treatment at CAMH’s renewed campus. Only a few decades ago, says George Baird, architect and dean of architecture at the University of Toronto, architectural theorists firmly believed that “if you get the building right, human behaviour will be transformed.


New CAMH campus a sign of civic and mental health

The Toronto Star

CAMH has transformed an isolated campus into a new neighbourhood integrated into the West Queen West community, determined to break down the stigma of mental illness. Thursday's opening of CAMH's evolving campus is a sign of growing civic and institutional maturity...


Rethinking a home away from home

The Globe and Mail

At some point in life, just about everyone spends some time in a dwelling designed for temporary use. It could be a bunkhouse at camp, or a university dormitory, or a resort or business hotel. It might be a hospital room. A review of the first phase of the $382-million overhaul of CAMH’s historic...



The sense of isolation so many clients have railed against may never completely disappear, but it won’t be because of the buildings; they do their job admirably. Indeed, CAMH’s new streetscapes could serve as an excellent model for modern cities where mid-rise and mixed-use are the order of the day.
Christopher Hume
Toronto Star
Kearns Mancini continued to deliver good results and made especially notable contributions towards an early works package of municipal infrastructure and the municipal approvals process.
David Cunic
CAMH – Vice President, Site Redevelopment

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