The infamous Don Jail was opened in 1864, and is a beautiful building designed by architect William Thomas, the same architect who designed St. Michael’s Cathedral. When it opened it was located outside the boundaries of the City of Toronto until twenty years later when Riverdale joined the city of Toronto. Many of the cells measured only 1 meter wide.
The building served as a prison for 113 years until 1977. The gallows at the Don Jail saw 70 executions, including the last in Canada on December 11, 1962 when Arthur Lucas and Ronald Turpin were hanged for murder.
The east wing of the Jail, which was completed in 1958, continued to be used as the Toronto Jail until January 2014 when it was officially decommissioned after all inmates were transferred to the new Toronto South Detention Centre. The property is now part of the Bridgepoint Health Centre who have refurbished the historic building for use as hospital administration offices. The east wing of the building is currently being demolished.