Monday, 31 March 2014

New Westminster: the haunting maw of an old stream valley that carried salmon and run-off well before a penitentiary masking as a hospital absorbed the space into its grounds. Collectively we were each reminded of the horrific silences we individually experienced visiting concentration camps throughout Europe.

The grim history of Woodlands has an incredibly vacuous write-up on the wiki site leading us to suspect the administrators seek erasure. A more exhaustive inventory of facts and figures can be found via an art project undertaken by Vancouver photographer Michael de Courcy.

Philip Timms took this photo of the grounds circa 1905. The government had the structures built on the site of an old cricket pitch. (VPL)

A series of fires (four in four days) destroyed various structures in 2008 after Woodlands was closed. Former inmates insisted the remaining parts of the complex be destroyed. The entire area is now carpeted with condominium developments.

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