Don Jail has done its time: After 150 years of controversy, notorious Toronto facility to be shut down

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April 13, 2013 by

Another example of a flawed penitentiary system.

National Post | News

The Don Jail is full of ghosts.

Ghosts of the executed, of the murdered, of the suicides; ghosts of their countless victims, whose legacies are forever tied to these men. The terrible history hangs heavy in the hallways, reveals itself in the etchings on cell walls, still preserved beneath layers of thick paint.

But after casting its shadow over east-end Toronto for a century and a half — surviving a raft of controversies and repeated calls for reform — the city’s most notorious jail is preparing to ship out its final inmates and shut down for good. The oldest section, featuring the iconic limestone image of Father Time above its entrance, has already morphed into administrative offices for the new Bridgepoint hospital next door, which begins treating patients this weekend. The rest of the Don, attached to the east end of the original building, will be decommissioned and torn down…

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