Throwback Thursday: The Don Gaol

Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday: The Don Gaol

This week, we have an image of the (in)famous Don Jail across the river (English roots are showing in the picture where it is spelled “Toronto Gaol”). The Jail was built between 1858 and 1864 with this picture dated May 4, 1915. The sign at the entranceway includes the warning “No admittance except on business”. The building is now part of Bridgepoint Health and the residents are there ostensibly by choice.

I believe that the building to the left in the background was originally a “House of Refuge”, built in 1860 on the same property as a home for “vagrants, the dissolute, and for idiots”. The House of Refuge became the Riverdale Isolation Hospital in 1875 during a smallpox epidemic, and later evolved into a hospital for those with chronic ailments and/or needing rehabilitation.

Image of Don Gaol in May, 1915

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