Extra Research for Season 4 – Episode 13 – Abby’s Torment
Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Picton officially opened in 1941 to train students in bombing, navigation, and air gunnery. From 1944 the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) established a maintenance unit that was responsible for aircraft storage and maintenance of the airfield itself. A unit at RCAF Station Trenton absorbed its functions in 1946.
When the base closed in 1969, the military housing was sold to the Government of Ontario and then to the Ministry of Community and Social Services that named it Prince Edward Heights.
No words can adequately describe the abuses the residents of Prince Edward Heights (and other institutions) were subject to during their incarceration. With no outside help from family or the government, some staff and even fellow residents inflicted psychological, physical, emotional, and sexual indignities upon them.
In 2014 a Class Action Statement of Claim was filed against the Province of Ontario on behalf of still living former individuals that resided at 16 mental health facilities (amended to a final 12) between the 1960s-1990s. This included Prince Edward Heights that operated from 1 Jan 1971 to 31 Dec 1999. In April 2016 the Superior Court of Justice approved a $36 million settlement agreement that will provide compensation to the people who suffered while living in these facilities.
Today, Prince Edward Heights is a paintball arena run by PRZ Paintball. The folks there have basically left it the way it was when it closed.
— Joanne Schiavoni
Photo credit: Abandoned Prince Edward Heights