Last year, we reported on the opening of the new Bridgepoint Hospital at Broadview and Gerrard. Designed by Diamond-Schmitt, HDR, and KPMB Architects, the 11-storey building replaced the aging semicircular Riverdale Hospital building. While the building was a landmark for drivers heading southbound on the Don Valley Parkway, the 1960s building could not be retrofitted to suit today's health care technologies. The Riverdale Hospital was subsequently torn down. Another building on the unique site is now being demolished as well.
Next door to the former Riverdale Hospital site sits the historic Toronto Jail, more often referred to as 'The Don Jail'. The original jail building was opened in 1864, followed by a large expansion in 1958. For decades, the Don Jail was one of Toronto's busiest jails, and the facility eventually became overcrowded, holding prisoners well past its capacity of 550. To make matters worse, guards at the facility had staged strikes at times in response to the less than ideal building conditions. As a response to overcrowding, the new and improved Toronto South Detention Centre was constructed and officially opened this January. The 1958 wing of the Don Jail became empty as of December 31, 2013, and formally decommissioned on January 6, 2014 when all prisoners were moved to the new centre.
With the prisoners now gone, the corner of Gerrard and Broadview has a become a busy site. While the original Don Jail building was retrofitted as the administration centre for the new hospital last year, the 1958 wing was not deemed worthy of protection and its demolition is now under way.
Thanks to UrbanToronto forum contributor kotsy, we have recent photos of the demolition. While the historic 1864 building remains, demolition workers are carefully taking down the unused portion of the jail floor by floor.
Keep up on the demolition by checking out the Projects & Construction Forum thread linked below. To check out renderings and pictures of the new Bridgepoint Hospital, click on the dataBase link. You can leave a comment in the space provided on this page.
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