Points of Interest > Don Jail
Designed by architect William Thomas in the Renaissance Revival style, the Don Jail was the largest prison in North America when it opened in 1864. With its central rotunda and designated spaces for education and inspection, the jail's design reflected the progressive ideals of mid-nineteenth century penal reform. Located outside the city limits at the time of its construction, the jail facilities included a farm where inmates grew potatoes, peas, and other crops. Among the jail's first prisoners were participants in the Fenian Raids of the 1860s.
Text: Jennifer Bonnell
SourcesSewell, John. "The Benefits of Local Jailing." Eye Weekly, February 17, 2005. http://www.eye.net/eye/issue/issue_02.17.05/city/citystate.html
City of Toronto By-law No. 410-2000, July 6, 2000. "To designate the property at 550 Gerrard Street East (Don Jail) as being of architectural and historical value or interest." www.toronto.ca/legdocs/bylaws/2000/law0410.pdf
"Gang's second jailbreak becomes CBC's first TV news story." The CBC Digital Archives Website. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Last updated: 24 Jan. 2003. archives.cbc.ca/society/crime_justice/topics/543/ [Accessed 26 March 2009.]
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