I visited the Don Gaol on Gerrard Street East last week.
The jail has a new section and an old section, and I visited the old section. It was built in 1865. The old section stopped being used as a jail in 1977, so you can stop making jokes about what I was doing there. 🙂
It is now used as administrative offices for an adjoining hospital called Bridgepoint Health.
Here’s the front door.
The whole place has been renovated, but a lot of the original ironwork remains. This is the room you come to immediately after exiting the lobby:
As I exited the room, I noticed the bars in the arched doorway overhead. A little bit ominous.
I wasn’t allowed to wander around (I would have loved to take more photos, but alas…). Here is one more of the interior of the building:
I also walked along a hallway which was lined with small archways similar to the ones in the above photo….solitary confinement maybe? Eeeeeeep.
The Don Gaol was also the site of hangings before capital punishment was abolished. I didn’t know that before I visited….but of course I wasn’t allowed in the section of the building where that took place. I wonder if that section is in use today….or if it’s been closed off for good.
Here are some tenth floor views of the old Gaol from the building next door:
The red building is the new section of the jail, which was closed down in December of 2013.
For more info on the Don Gaol, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Jail
Luckily they let me out at the end of the day!