In a creepy urban exploration photograph of the Grace Hospital in St. John's, Newfoundland, an old broken down hospital bed is seen in a dilapidated gymnasium of the hospitals nurses residence.

Going Out With Grace

A week inside the Grace General Hospital before it was torn down piece by piece in 2007

Filed in Articles on October 12th 2010 • Dev • Live

grace.low.06-21-05.0138.001A number of years ago (2007) I was lucky enough to be granted access to the Grace General Hospital & Nurse’s Residence formerly on Lemarchant Road just before it was completely disassembled from the top down.

It was interesting to say the least as the place was fairly spooky, eerily quiet and full of nooks-n-crannies. Sadly it was 2007 and I wasn’t shooting the style that I do these days and I was using a lesser quality camera and lenses than what I currently operate with. That’s not to say I didn’t capture some interesting pictures, I’d just wish I could do it all over again, as I’d of captured it with more of an eye towards documenting the hospital and it’s finer details as opposed to creating creepy pictures of urban exploration.

Also, by the time I was given access one half of the hospital itself was gone (the oldest half, the side with the morgue and some other interesting things). The main section of the hospital and the nurses residence, labs and school were still standing though and that’s what I had access to.

Info: The first Grace Hospital was constructed in 1922 and was known as the Grace Maternity Hospital. Major extensions were added in 1955 and 1965 and a nurses’ residence was added in 1964.

If you like this post you might also like my long street photography series documenting downtown St. John’s titled “Environs and Denizens“, or my article on the dangers of Urban Exploration, or perhaps my coverage of Hurricane Igor, the serious weather event that stuck Newfoundland in 2010.

81 responses to “Going Out With Grace”

  1. //d. says:

    ahhhh damn thats cool.

  2. Wow, those are some great shots! I especially love “Entrance to OR and RR.”
    I don’t think I would have the nerve to visit a closed hospital. Too creepy.

  3. Elaine Wells says:

    These are incredible, thanks for the tour!

  4. Elaine Wells says:

    These are incredible, thanks for the tour!

  5. J.Reid says:

    Man i wanted to get in to shoot there and the Janeway so bad before they were taken down. I’m glad someone captured some great shots!

  6. Rick114boone says:

    GREAT SHOTS THAT CAN NEVER BE RECAPTURED! I am sure it will bring back alot of memories to thoses who have frequented those buildings over the past 80 odd years of its existence. How can one view more of your great work!

  7. Wams says:

    I love it…. excellent shots. Too bad you could not get the old part of the hospital. I loved the Grace as it was my favorite hospital and i really miss it. Spent nights there after surgery and childbirth. Also worked there when it was a treatment center back in 2001. It was pretty creepy overnight when it was no longer used as a hospital. We did get to explore parts of the hospital and I did get to go into the morgue when it was no longer in use. Very scary! Wish I had taken more interior pictures although I only had a couple but they were not the clearest. Good job!

  8. Caribou 123 says:

    Cannot believe grace hospital is completely gone i myself and my sister were born in there ;( sad

  9. Soniamoores says:

    Wow, excellent shots. Had some great times in that building and met some fantastic people when I worked there. Brought back a lot of great memories and yet felt terribly sad looking at the pics.

  10. Sonyawhite says:

    Wow! What an emotional look that was for me. My mother did her nursing assistant course there, I was born there, I did my nursing training there and worked there on the 6th floor until it’s closure in 2000. There is actually a picture there of the wall in the 6th floor nursing station which we had all signed and there was my name, my maiden name. Brought tears to my eyes.

  11. Jennifer Reid Barrett says:

    I, too, was born at the Grace, trained there, and worked there until it’s closure in 2000. The shot of the 6th floor wall exhibits much of my ‘art’ work…lol. Ahhh the memories! Thanks so much for sharing this!

  12. Kim Barrett says:

    what a flood of memories these pics create! great memories, ones that will last a lifetime, thanks!

  13. Tasha says:

    Fantastic shots! I’d never been in the Grace but it’s really neat to see. 

  14. Evelyndodge says:

    Omg,the saddest thing ever. I know times and things change but I honestly thing this was politically and religion motivated. Just a personal opinion.  Thank god for freedom of speech. I spent 20 yrs of my life working there and my babies were born there.Have many,many fond memories.  Great photography.

  15. Lisa Rose says:

    I feel a little like the character, the elderly Rose Dawson, looking at the images of the decayed Titanic on the ocean floor. Those were the times when the “care” in healthcare meant something.

  16. Spencers4 says:

    Great pictures, Colin!  Some great memories, as I worked there from 1990 until it closed.  The wall of names that you thought was the 3rd floor was actually the 6th floor.  I saw my name, as well as those of all my co-workers.  We started signing that wall just a few days before we moved to St. Clare’s Hospital.

  17. Stevecallahan60 says:

    so many great memeries. as i worked there from 1974 to 1993 . then moved to alberta . made a lot of friend over those years . so sad to see it go . great pics . thank you so much .

  18. BERNICE WHELAN says:

    Thanks for for the tour ohohohoho the memories hard to beleive it has been 12 years

  19. Tantokmcc says:

    I trained as an RN from 1987 to 1990 at The Grace.Thank you for the pictures.They’ve brought back some great memories,along with some sadness.I’ll never forget the place,or the people I met there.

  20. j.m. says:

    Fantastic photos and a SAD, but GREAT walk down memory lane………..went to work there in 1975 and left in 2000. 25 year career spent in the greatest work enviroment with the greatest people. Still miss it lots.

  21. Barb Benson says:

    Wow, yes it does bring back memories, I loved working at the Grace Hospital, 1980-1997. Everytime I drive pass where the Grace was – I feel so sad but also so glad that I did work with so many people that have become my friends…..thanks for the pictures…..a Grace employee will never forget!!

  22. Gordon & Violet Monk says:

    Great pictures Colin but very sad…… My wife & I worked there for over thirty years and it broke our
    hearts when it closed .  IT SHOULD NEVER HAVE CLOSED. We thoroughly enjoyed our work there,
    met so many wonderful people and still have some wonderful friends we met there.  We were like a
    big family.  We worked hard but everybody helped each other. 
    Closing the Grace Hospital is the main reason we have so many healthcare problems today.

  23. Michelle Kinette says:

    GREAT PICTURES.IT CERTAINLY BRINGS BACK ALOT OF MEMORIES.
    IT IS SO SAD THE GRACE CLOSED.A LOT OF GOOD HARDWORKING
    PEOPLE ENJOYED THEIR TIME THERE EMMENSELY.
    ARE YOU SELLING ANY OF THE OUTSIDE SHOTS GREAT PICTURES
     

  24. Great pics.
    I was born at the “Grace”, trained there, had my only child there and worked there for many years.
    I strongly agree with Evelyn’s opinion  re the closure.
    I have heard so many people express the same opinion,  and why such a “caring ” hospital is no more.
    Our class will be celebrating our 50 th  anniversary of our graduation from this wonderful instituation next year and will be forwarding this link to my classmates. While some of them ,who moved outside the “overpass'”, may not be familiar with all the shots, a lot of them will remember ,as I will, with a tear in their eye.
    Many thanks for posting on Darryl’s wall. God Bless.
    Maxine (Morris) Wentzell

  25. G.Ashton says:

    I was born in the Grace Hospital in Feb ’69, but had returned to the UK before school age with my British parents. 
    I obviously didn’t remember it from being an infant, but felt the need to include it in my sightseeing around the city when I re-visted St. John’s in ’96, seeing the hospital as it was then. It has only been in recent years that I learned of it’s demise. It’s sad to see the decay of what’s left but great pictures, & I’ll no doubt go see the site again on my next visit “home”.

  26. Glenysfillier says:

    Almost one of the saddest day of my life, when the Grace Hosppital closed down. Sooo many memories there. A lot of good, and some not so good. I met the love of my life there-I had the shiniest floors n the hospitable-lol. We were more like a family, so close knit. I was a volunteen(known as Candy stripers) at the age of 14. I was also born there, and my son, ndrew. Have a lot fond memories thee, we were like sisters and brothers, and still are. But our memories, you cannnot erase-they will live on in our hearts forever

  27. Sylviaathornhill says:

    Very sad to see.I trained there and worked there for many years.I retired before the lock was put on the 
    door,I couldn’t bear t the way it was left to decay.It was a wonderful place to work.I agree with alot of 
    former  co-workers.Care went out the window when the Grace Hospital closed.It will hold aplace in my heart forever.
    S.Thornhill.

  28. Christopher oneill says:

    I have lived in the neighberhood for many years on Beaumont street and I always admire this salvation army hospital wonder, sad to see it takened down. I still have a 1961 nurses year book called BIB AND APRON some nursing student gave me when I was a psychiatric attendant and worked at the hospital now called the Waterford, Many a student nurses affilated for three months at the H.M.N.D Waterford)
    Christopher Oneill,
    cconeill@sympatico.ca

  29. AnnieT says:

    It’s scary seeing the Grace as it was before it was torn down. I was probably one of the last ones born there possibly, at least in its last decade. Still though, times change and we have to move on. They could have used refurbished the building for something else, yes, but its too late now. Thanks for the awesome pictures.

    • Colin Peddle says:

      As I was told, they’d tried selling it from even before it was shut down to about 4-5 years afterward. There was interest but it was pre-housing boom in St. John’s. I believe if the building was still standing, someone would of renovated it as condos as they did with the much older hospital behind the Miller Center.

      Thanks for your comments! It would be very very interesting to learn exactly who was the last baby born in there.

  30. Danielle Baldwin says:

    I was a Grace baby too! :) Awesome pictures, Colin! Especially some of the black & white shots! Kudos to you for putting aside your fear of heights to get the rooftop shots – I don’t think I could have done that! :D

  31. Twin says:

    Very cool pics. My mom was flown to the grace hosptial when she was in labor with my twin sister and I. I am so thankful for the wonderful nurses and doctors who took such good care of us. My mom was very ill after giving birth and spent many weeks in the Grace. Thank’s for sharing all these wonderful pictures.

  32. B Ping says:

    Fascinating pictures and like many others it brings back lots of memories. I worked there in the 70’s as a security guard. Hung out with the ladies in registration/out patients and the house mother Mrs. Kinop. Great time!!!

  33. Mike Hickey says:

    Thanks so much Colin for sharing these. I started as an engineer at the “The Grace” in 1979, and moving on to become Assistant Director of Facilities Management before I left for BC in 1999. You did an amazing job of capturing many profound memories of the good ole Grace. I could almost hear the sounds and smells as I browsed nostalgically through each picture. Hard to believe she is gone, but we have so many sweet memories that will never fade

    Mike Hickey
    Prince George BC

  34. Lori Pasha-Sharpe says:

    OMG the memories! Remember being there the last day of work …didn’t want to leave

  35. Paul Kinsman says:

    Crosspost from FB: Fantastic vibey shots Colin. Reminds me of Sandy Morris’s old studio space at the old Children’s Rehab Centre in Pleasantville. The building was Very photogenic in its decay, like the basement swimming pool filled with discarded, child-sized prosthetic limbs and wheelchairs. We went down there one night in the elevator with no lights in it. As freaky-looking as it was, it wasn’t particularly scary considering how many kids would never have been able to walk, etc, without that place. Same as the Grace, grim and picturesque in its last days but not an entirely unpleasant place. A lot of us passed through there:) – Paul Kinsman

  36. CK says:

    Wow, a great walk down memory lane thru your photos, Colin! I was born at the Grace, as were
    my 2 babies, plus I trained and worked there. Those were some of the best years of my life working with some amazing people some of whom are very dear friends to this day. You have captured history and what a shame the bldg is gone, not the memories tho!!!

    CK

  37. dianef57 says:

    Thanks for posting these, sad to see and errie as well

  38. Qualified Medical person says:

    Delivering babies was its only credit. Eye sour and a Medical disappointment.

  39. Teedy44 says:

    Thanks for sharing. Wonderful photos. What is located on the grounds today?

    • Colin Peddle says:

      As of right now it’s a big lot of nothing. Not sure what the plans are but nothing’s happened since they tore it down several years ago. The nurses residence is still standing. I believe that it’s newer then the hospital portion was and they are hoping to save the structure and probably renovate into condos.

  40. Diane says:

    These pictures brought back so many memories and stirred a lot of emotions inside me…some of the best years of my life were spent there…it was such a tragedy when it was torn down, It is also very sad to see ‘our’ residence in such poor repair, I feel the Government should have put a little work in maintaining the newer buildings!

  41. Todd Rumsey says:

    Wow, so many memories and stories. I trained there and worked there, prior to moving to the U.S. sad to see it go. That place changed my life for sure.

  42. Richard says:

    I was a security guard there from 04-06. The German and war writings on the chalk board are from another security guard named Sean who was studying History and German

  43. Yegappan Suppiah says:

    My dad was an anesthesiologist here when we first moved to St. John’s. I remember going to the gym during christmas holidays; someone dressed as Santa Claus would give us gifts that we had asked for. I later realized that the parents would just pass the gifts onto the staff organizing the event beforehand.

  44. Adriana Rock says:

    it was really well done, the photographs were very well lit and i felt the emotions looking at the images. you did a great job :).

  45. Amanda Goulding-Noseworthy says:

    My dad worked there for many years as a Carpenter..He loved that place

  46. Carolyn says:

    This is amazing. I’m so glad to have seen these.

  47. Grammarnazi says:

    Than. It’s than.

  48. linda doody says:

    Great pictures–some would make great paintings esp the ones with the privacy screens and the one with the beds in the cafateria but it also looks haunted–like something from a scary movie –well done

  49. Marilyn says:

    Thank you for the trip down memory lane,very sad though.I saw the desk where I worked for so many years.
    How can such a busy hospital be closed without causing major problems in the health care system ??????

  50. Kay Jenkins Von Riesen says:

    I trained there & graduated in 1967.. Many fond memories. Lived in room 622 of the residents. Had a lot of fun & made lifelong friendships.

  51. Steve Gulliver says:

    Wow, these pics bring back memories, I was born in there and I learned to swim in the pool shown above! My dad worked in shipping/recieving in the basement and I can remember riding on the trolly carts through the main area was with the double doors that opened out to the loading ramp. Great memories in that place and amazing job on the photos!!

  52. Linda says:

    in 1980 I worked in the ICU/CCU. At five in the morning, I would pull a chair over to the window and get up and look at the sun rising over signal hill, it was just beautiful!

  53. Susangpaul says:

    Sad, but what I don’t understand is why so much equipment was left. I am sure it could have been used elsewhere!!! That stuff isn’t cheap!!!

  54. Nicole Fry says:

    Thanks for sharing!!

  55. Walsh says:

    I was born there on January 2, 1961. Anyone with any photos of that time? I would be the fat baby in the back 11 pds 9 oz lol Last name Walsh

  56. Ann Marie Norman says:

    Great pictures. Many fond memories from the Grace. I too was born there, trained and worked there from 1983-2000. So sad to see it close and even more saddened to see it torn down.

  57. Guest says:

    I was born a year after the Grace was abandoned (2001), and never had any interest in it while it was still standing (because I was 0-6 years old). I have only started to become interested in the Grace late last year (2013). I am going to try to gain access to the nurses residence which is still standing.

  58. Scott Barter says:

    Great shots. Many wonderful memories from the Grace. I graduated from there with my Diploma in Nursing 1990.

  59. Guest says:

    delivered three of my babies there in 1984, 88 & 92 with help from some wonderful staff. Best moments of my life ❤️❤️❤️

  60. Jim Smeaton says:

    Sad to see the Grace go. It was a part of growing up in the city. Visited many relatives, and some friends I knew a girl from Wabush who did her nurse training there A shame it couldn’t have been converted to low income housing or something like that.

  61. Travis Chaulk says:

    Great Memories. I remember working Security there in the Mid to Late 80.s…the staff were awesome!

  62. carol GOSSE says:

    HI WHAT A WALK DOWN MEMORY LANE BUT WHAT A STATE FOR A HOSPITAL TO BE IN I KNOW IT HAS SINCE CLOSED DOWN BUT SOME THING COULD OF BEEN DONE WITH THE BUILDING LIKE LOW RENTAL WITH THE PRICES OF RENT THE GOVT COULD OF DONE THE BUILDING & MADE LOW RENTAL SEEING THE PRICES OF HOUSING IS IN ST JOHNS BUT TO LATE TO TALK THAT NOW WHAT A EXCELLENT JOB U HAVE DONE WITH THE PICTURES U HAD TAKEN . I HAD MY SON THEIR BACK IN 1974 WHAT A SHAME WHAT THE GRACE HAS BECOME JUST SO SAD

  63. George Crocker says:

    My mother was a Grace Nurse..class 40….and I was the first C-section at the Grace and when I was being delivered the Dr cut me on the right side and I still have the scar…In those days there was no such thing a law suits…My parents we glad I was born …I could live with a scar….Sorry to see it go …great job with photos

  64. Jewel says:

    Wow. Great memories. Trained there. Graduated in 1982. Love those phone booths in the residence.thanks for sharing.

  65. Carla Williams says:

    Great Pictures….Great people….Great Memories. “The Grace” and all it stood for will always hold a special place in my heart!

  66. Marion Victory (Cofield) says:

    My Goodness! What a fabulous job! My mom had all four of her children there and my sister’s children were born there as well. As a matter of fact, my sister would come back home from Toronto to give birth! I delivered my first child there in September of ’72’ and if memory is correct, Anne Murray’s brother, I think his name was Robert (not sure) was one of the doctors there at the time. I’ve had a few surgeries there since my return home in ’94’ and I must say there was no better care anywhere else but the Grace …. suitably named. Thank you for the tour!

  67. Blake Twin says:

    So many very fond memories of nurses training, moving to the new residence in 1964, working there for 19 years after graduation, seeing the new wing open in 1966, having my 3 boys born there and enjoying the friendship and fun with hundreds of colleagues. I cannot say one negative thing about my life at the Grace. It didn’t hurt to have my twin sister there with me as we survived training and provided care to so many patients.

  68. Debbie says:

    WOW!!! I was born at the Grace, trained as a RN and had both my boys at the Grace, as far as photography goes these shots are fantastic, as far as memories go, I find them very sad. There was a lot of excellent care given at this hospital and to see how it was abandoned and demolished is shameful.

  69. lorraine walters says:

    YES WALK DOWN MEMORY LANE FOR SURE . MY FIRST TWO CHILDREN WERE BORN AT THIS HOSPITAL

  70. jane peddle says:

    Dear Carol,Excellent job of stirring up wonderful memories.I was born at the Grace in the elervator.Quess I was in a hurry.Then,18 yrs later I trained there.A Great place to “grow up.”Some of the finest people Ive ever known,I met there.Thanks.Good job.

  71. Rose Slaney says:

    Wow. I graduated from the Grace in 1982. Thank you so much for capturing so many great memories. It makes me quite sad to see how delapitated is was before it was torn down. So many great momories.

  72. Hannie (Hettasch) Fitzgerald says:

    It was a home-away-from-home, filled with many great people.I trained there 1962-65, and had only visited it once since then, and I was sad not to be able to see the place at my last visit.But I do remember those phone booths in the Residence which always seemed to have someone curled up inside each one as secrets were passed back and forth.Fond memories, for sure. Thanks for taking the time to get these shots and for keeping the Grace’s memory alive.

  73. Hannie (Hettasch) Fitzgerald says:

    It was a home-away-from-home, filled with many great people.I trained there 1962-65, and had only visited it once following graduation, and I was sad not to be able to see the place at my last visit.But I do remember those phone booths in the Residence which always seemed to have someone curled up inside each one as secrets were passed back and forth.Fond memories, for sure. Thanks for taking the time to get these shots and for keeping the Grace’s memory alive.

  74. […] Many locals say it’s haunted and with good reason. This place will defiantly give you chills even if it’s located in the dead centre of St. John’s. The structure was once apart of the Grace Hospital and was active until the year 2000. With a new medical facility project underway the Grace Hospital was deemed obsolete. Obviously not open to the public photos from inside are few and far between. However, one local photographer Colin Peddle did an excellent job shooting the place before most of it was demolished. You can view more photos here. […]

  75. nickeldoor5 says:

    why did they close it. I had my daughter there in 1975 It was a great hospital.The healthcare is horrible in NL.

    • Colin Peddle says:

      Ahh costs and a huge section of the building was basically at end of life. The health science became the main hospital in St. John’s an eventually the Children’s Janeway, too, was relocated to the HSC.

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