Developer buys old London Psychiatric Hospital grounds for $17M

The former London Psychiatric Hospital on Highbury Avenue just south of Oxford Street. Google Maps

A 160-acre piece of property that used to be home to the London Psychiatric Hospital now belongs to local developer Old Oak Properties.

The Ontario government announced this morning it had sold the land at 850 and 900 Highbury Ave. near Oxford Street for $17 million, in a move it believes puts “more money in people’s pockets.”

“Putting this property back into productive use will benefit London residents by providing well-needed economic development and jobs,” said Jeff Yurek, MPP for Elgin-Middlesex-London.

According to a media release, the city of London has approved a plan for redevelopment that includes residential, transit, heritage, open space and academic elements.

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“This sale demonstrates how reducing red tape is helping to make life better for the people of Ontario by saving millions of dollars in maintenance costs and generating significant revenue for the province,” said Bill Walker, minister of Government and Consumer Services.

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The province says it’ll save nearly $780,000 a year in maintenance and liability costs. It also expects the sale will generate $15 million in net revenue for Ontario.

The property has 23 buildings, including the original psychiatric hospital which dates back to 1884. A tree-lined boulevard, the infirmary building, the Chapel of Hope, the assembly hall and the horse stable are all considered heritage that’ll be protected through the Ontario Heritage Trust.

It’s one of 243 properties the government says it’s putting back into productive use.

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