A crazy plan to turn the Don Jail into a community centre

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A while ago I was writing a story for The Grid on the Toronto South Detention Centre and as part of my research I went to the Toronto Reference Library to read up on the Don Jail.  The article was supposed to be a comparison of the two jails so it made sense since the new superjail will replace it.

I went to the librarian on the second floor and said, “Get me everything you have on the Don Jail!” And she came back to me with this; an old proposal from 1980 called The Old Don Jail Tomorrow which outlines a plan to turn the jail into a community with apartments, cafe, restaurant, museum, theatre, nurses, and lawn bowling. It was just so crazy I had to write an article on it. Thankfully Torontoist let me do it.

The above picture is a scan of what the Don Jail Preservation Society, the authors of the study, though it would look like.  Would you want to live in a place that was once called “an embarrassment to the Canadian criminal justice system” and probably has ghosts? I didn’t think so. Read all about it on Torontoist.


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