The Southdown Institute, located on an idyllic 37-acres site in Holland Landing Ontario, is an integrated inpatient-outpatient mental health and addictions treatment facility serving clergy and the vowed religious. It includes accommodation for 22 residents, treatment spaces and offices for clinicians, food services and dining room, and a range of recreational facilities. A chapel, adjacent to the main entry, is the building’s showpiece with a visually stunning stained-glass window salvaged from the original building. It offers residents, staff and visitors a dedicated space for private meditation, group prayer and community liturgies. 

The tranquil, wooded site is essential to and an integral part of the emotional, physical and spiritual healing of clients. The design serves to promote the restorative merits of the building’s natural setting and offer greater meaning to the institution. A modest canopy greets clients as they arrive, introducing the intimate scale of the building. Upon entering, a courtyard is immediately visible. Situated in the centre of the plan, embracing a stand of tall white pines, the courtyard is not only a focal point, but also a place of respite, reflection and renewal. From here, residents have easy access to walking trails and shared gardens, endorsing the benefits of physical fitness and fresh air. In the summer months, sliding doors open directly onto a terrace in the courtyard, making it an integral part of the life and activity of the building. In the winter months, the ever-changing quality of light seen through the trees penetrates the gallery that bounds the courtyard. The gallery, the primary circulation component at ground level, links all major public spaces and doubles as a breakout space for group sessions. Modest, private bedrooms are located on the second floor, affording equally engaging yet more solitary views of the site, nurturing more private spiritual reflection.


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Building Size:

33,000 sq. ft.

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