The Old Janeway


It might very well have been the only children’s hospital in Atlantic Canada to have a bombproof basement. 

The old Janeway building in Pleasantville is now being demolished. According to the Department of Transportation and Works, the government has no further use for the facility, which in a serious state of disrepair. Kelloway Construction has been contracted for around $1 million to demolish the building and clean up the site. 

The building was first constructed during WWII and served as a United States hospital for the Pepperrell Air Force Base. Once the military base lost strategic importance, the building was left vacant in 1960.

As a legacy to Newfoundland, American paediatrician Charles Alderson Janeway worked with the provincial government to help set up a children’s hospital in the building in 1966. Dr. Janeway spent much of his life teaching modern paediatrics as he travelled the developing world, setting up hospitals in Iran and Cameroon. The local hospital was originally named after him—the Dr. Charles Alderson Janeway Child Health Centre. 

After 35 years, Janeway staff and services relocated to an annex built onto the Health Sciences Centre in 2001. After attempts to sell the building came up short, at the beginning of 2008 the provincial government moved to demolish the building, following the real estate company’s suggestion.

There’s been a move to develop the Pleasantville area for a few years now. In 2006, a major makeover of Pleasantville was put in motion after the federal government sold its section of the land. That land will likely become residential housing in the form of townhouses, single family homes and apartment/condo units. It’s unclear what will become of the old Janeway site.

— Katie Sears

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Joey Pynn

31 January 2013

  1. David Schulz · January 31, 2013

    I remember being there as a kid, my mom worked for the hospital. memories. Sad to see it go

  2. Paul O. Sylvain · January 31, 2013

    I served at the hospital as an Airman 2nd Class Medical Corpsman. It seems a shame that this extremely well-built hospital unit could not serve as a museum or school or housing for the elderly, at the very least. A million dollars spent to demolish seems to me could go a long way in refurbishing for the above purposes. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. It brings back many memories. I was one of the final persons to serve there, leaving in July 1960.

  3. Jack Dunlap · January 31, 2013

    I was born at that hospital when back in Sept. 1956, when Pepperell AFB was still active. My father was in the Air Force stationed there with the 6901st Security Region. We left there when I was 2 1/2 years old. A little unsettling knowing the place you were born no longer exist. I’d like to go back one day just to see where it all started for me.

  4. glenpurdy · January 31, 2013

    Do you remember a restaurant there called “The Sugar Bowl” Chinese food? 1950’s