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Toronto Jail to be replaced by a park

The official handover was Dec. 31, they got the keys on Jan. 6, and if you go down to Broadview and Gerard today, you may see the windows coming off. It’s the end of the road for the Toronto Jail.

According to Shawna Curtis, a spokeswoman for Bridgepoint, the medical operation that runs the nearby hospital and has already occupied the old Don Jail building, the place should be gone by April, May at the latest.

In its place? A park.

"It will be knocked down and made into green space," Curtis says of the red brick building built in 1958 as an addition to its more famous predecessor, "with Blue Rodeo Way between that little piece of land and the old Don Jail."

Blue Rodeo Way, named for the band with strong Riverdale connections (their studio is nearby, and lead Jim Cuddy is a longtime Riverdalian) will link up with Jack Layton Way and Bridgepoint Drive.

The old Don Jail next door, which shut down in 1977 and was scheduled for demolition after it was deemed too dank and cold to be used for anything else, is now home to the offices of, among other Bridgepoint corporate employees, Shawna Curtis. Apparently, it’s a fine place to work.

"They've really paid a lot of attention to the inside o the building," she says. "It's an incredibly workable building."

Landscaping of the old Toronto Jail site is expected to start in May. PCL is in charge of the demolition.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Shawna Curtis
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