Tranquille Sanatorium opened in 1907 due to the tuberculosis epidemic (also known as the white plague) at the turn of the century. The area itself, just outside Kamloops city limits, where the North and South Thompson meet and flow into Kamloops Lake was purchased in 1905. The 191 acre area and community built around the sanatorium was named Tranquille, after the Indian chief “Sanquil”, but the locals and residents referred to the area as Padova City. By 1950, Tranquille became a self-sufficient community consisting of 40 buildings, four of them designated as hospitals, which were come to be known as the Main Building, the Greaves Building, the infirmary and two large pavilions referred to as the East Pavilion and the West Pavilion. The remaining buildings were cottages that housed doctors and staff, a fire hall, a large kitchen, a laundry, farm buildings and a dairy barn, nurse’s buildings and halls. Below the grounds, every building was connected by an extensive tunnel system which was used by staff and patients to get between buildings and to transfer food and laundry; certain areas of the tunnels were used as a barber shop and even a morgue. The main aspect to note is the self-sufficiency of the community; cattle, pork and honey were produced to a surplus, allowing sales and trade with other local producers.
Before Padova’s decline, between 1953-1958, the sanatorium housed over 600 patients and staff. But the occurrence of new cases of tuberculosis had sharply declined, making the institution and its extravagance obsolete. In 1958 the hospital was closed as the last of the patients were transferred to Vancouver. Tranquille was reopened in July of 1959 to treat the mentally ill, as a relief for the overcrowding at Essondale (Riverview) and Woodlands. The institution shut its doors for good in 1984, marking the end of an era for the near century old hospital.
Today, Tranquille is an urban farm with plans to become a sustainable village community on Kamloops Lake.
There has been lots of rumours and people saying that the site of Tranquille is extremely haunted. On my first visit to the sanatorium, I spoke with the owners and asked them their thoughts on it. They very clearly told me that all the stories are lies and that the land is god’s land. I do not agree with them, but I am also open to their beliefs.
On this first visit we went on a tour of the property, it was a very cool and informative tour, they even took us into the entrance of the tunnels. Immediately upon entering the tunnel system I felt a very heavy presence. I took a couple quick shots with my camera and upon review I realized that i caught a couple orbs; I debunked that they were not dust particles or bugs because the orbs were only present in two of the pictures.
My second visit was a little more intense in the paranormal sense; it was my first time inside the buildings. We had heard that all the buildings were connected by tunnels so it didn’t matter which building we gained access into. After two hours of walking around the property, pulling at every single boarded up window, we were losing hope; until we saw the small window on the second floor of one of the main hospital buildings. We scrambled up the side of the building and crammed our bodies through the window, my shoulders barely fitting through. We stood up inside a greenish shower room, ceramic tiles peeling away from the walls; and high fived eachother, estatic that we finally got inside this incredible institution. Suddenly, we heard a loud deep grunt come from some room off of the main hallway, followed by heavy bootsteps on the old wooden floors. We immediatly shut up, for fear that a care taker was in the building for some odd reason and that we had been caught. To frightened about getting caught we crouched in the rank shower room. I finally mustered up the confident and said “Hello”. Instantaneously another grunt, louder this time, echoed down the hall followed by more heavy foot steps walking away from where we were hunkered down. I could feel all my hairs on my body standing on end, like there was an electric current streaming through the air. “BAM” a door slammed shut, and the footsteps stopped. After what seemed like hours, I crept towards the bathroom doorway into the hall; I craned my neck past the door frame and peered into the vacant hallway. There was no one there, in fact, not a single foot print had disturbed the layer of dust on the wood panelled floor. Unfortunately, since this happened right when we got access into the building, we didn’t have any of our equipment out and ready, meaning we did not capture any audio evidence of our encounter.
For the rest of the day, walking around in the abandoned asylum; I had the constant feeling of being followed as well as the constant sounds of voices chatting away. All in all, the place has an extremely creepy vibe, whether you believe or not.
16 thoughts on “Tranquille Sanatorium/Padova City”
Good article. I am doing one on here as well. Such a cool place. Thanks for sharing and you took some great photos.
Great information and webpage.
I have lived in Kamloops my whole life and growing up here as a youth we would hear all Different stories about “Padova”. In my teenage years it became the cool place for teenagers to explore….especially at night. The whole place takes on a more ominous feeling in the dark. I’ve been many places in the dark but this place is very different you have to stand there to feel it. I’ve explored Padova a handful number of times… from the buildings inside to the tunnels below. I’ve been caught by the caretaker and shot at with rock salt. There used to be Trip motion sensors set up all over the place and me and my friends have been escorted off the property many times but this one time will always stand out to me and one of my buddy’s.
One evening after dinner we decided to pile into my buddy’s car. There was 4 of us Me, Him and 2 girls. It was still light out with about 20-40 minutes of daylight left. We parked in front of where the main entrance was and made a plan. We agreed that we would go straight up to the main caretakers house and knock on his door and ask him politely if we could just walk around before dark take some pictures as long as we promised not to break anything (a common thing teens do) or entry any buildings (a common thing teens do) and if he said no we would just drive to the backside and do common teen things anyways. We started walking past the main gate and up the road it was me and my buddy in front with the 2 girls a little ways behind us. I suddenly noticed up on top the grounds in front of an old looking house there was smoke maybe 15ft high it was coming from a campfire and there was 4-5 people standing around it warning their hands. I thought to myself “Ohh we can just go ask them – it must be the caretaker and some family or friends.” As soon as my thought finished I blinked and people and the smoke had vanished along with any sign of there ever having been anything there at all! The hair on the back of my neck was standing up and I felt this dark feeling come over me. I looked over at my Buddy beside me and I said “Did you just see….” And before I could finish my sentence he said “A campfire but now it’s gone!” We turned and looked at each other and said “Let’s go!” We turned around and started to walk back down the road and said to the 2 girls who were looking at us confused “we have to go now – back to the car!”
That was the last time I ever went to Padova. I have only told a few close friends and family members this story most people just kinda laugh it off as a “spooky made up story” but as for me and my Buddy we have talked many times about what we saw that evening and we both agree that Padova is definitely haunted and neither of us will even return.
Looks like Talgarth lunatic asylum Brecon powys wales uk abandoned
My grandad was vimy veteran with TB died 1921 in T B San check out Talgarth
I grew up I Kamloops and have gone to Padova City regularly when I was a teenager, I have had quite a few paranormal interactions. One being hearing someone following us, another hearing screams in the old water tower. Another I took a picture of an old building that had nothing but dust in the window. When I developed the picture there was a smiley face with the word written smile underneath.
My father was a patient ther in 1956 we would like to share his story and view this place. He is still with us at 82 yrs old….can some one contact me about this please
1 250 540 4443
i live here and have been to tranquille many a times. i found this very interesting and the photos were wonderful! thanks for sharing as a local 🙂
This place was actually legit. I visited a few weeks ago from the states, and the deafening silence is the first thing I noticed, followed by a crushing and overwhelming sense of anxiety. I was eerily engulfed by anxiety and I couldn’t figure it out. Walking by the playground, and the staff quarters were more notably anxious feeling.
is the only way to get in is to sneak in? and I’m writing an article about Padova and if you have any information about it please contacts me 778-220-5657
I WAS THERE ON A SUNDAY DRIVE OUTTA KAMLOOPS AND ENDED UP DOWN THE ROAD TO THE ASYLUM IN 1964 AND IT WAS IN FULL SWING THEN. I WAS BORED ONE DAY AND TOOK A DRIVE DOWN THE SAME ROAD IN THE YEAR 2006 AND SEEN IT ALL BOARDED UP. TWO HOUSES WERE STILL OCCUPIED ON THE EDGE OF THE ASYLUM GROUNDS. I’VE SEEN SCOUTS, CADETS, AND MILITARY UP THERE FOR WHAT EVER REASON AND NOW SURROUNDED BY HAY FIELDS. BEAUTIFUL PROPERTY BUT A HORRIBLE HISTORY!
Padova City was what the first private owner called it ,in 1991 .Theres a great story about how He stripped ever thing out of there for salvaging…Strip of the first 3 feet of dirt from the fields and sold them ..also the city of Kamloops! Witch boarders it Never ask the Government for the property …it sat empty for 25 years then sold for 350’000$ ..I squatted in the Greives building ,sun tanned on the Roof ..in the dental offices top floor ..you have pictures of the old autoclave..and distillery barrels …..first floor had the isolation cells and the hallways had rings 3 feet off the floor ….to Chain people in straight jackets too …took me 30 minutes before I came to that conclusion…Weird me out a little …if you follow the Creek up the Canyon ..its legal 25 minutes…there was a nice little play ground ..gone now ..Guess they’d March then up and down to wear them out ..
My grandmother , who had tuberculosis, was a patient in Tranqille for two years starting in about 1927. They transported her from Vancouver to Kamloops because the climate was ideal for helping the healing and Tranquille was the only center that could really help people.
The doctor had to collapse one of her lungs so the other one could heal. She told me they taught her all about good nutrition & vitamins there and she followed this for the rest of her life. She was young , only about 26, and had to leave her small son in Vancouver. She spent two years in Tranquille.
If you survived the dreaded disease you were lucky as many people didn’t. Tranquille played a very important role in saving hundreds of lives There was no vaccine. TB spread all over the province and many people died. It was very contagious.
My grandmother was left fairly frail with breathing difficulty but she lived until age 86.
I have a question, do you know where I can find who died there?
Supposedly, my grandmother died there.
Please let me know as I am trying to find my real grandparents
Hayley – I know your post is old. Just in case: my grand uncle passed there. I found him listed as a TB patient via an Ancestry.com record, if that helps.