Don Jail Redux

To continue last week’s wire thread (with pictures), the Stroll column that came out this week in Eye has more about the jail and can be read here. More pictures can be found on the Reading Toronto site.

Yesterday a friend recounted a story about his family’s tangential experience with the Jail. When the Boyd Gang escaped, the Toronto police followed his grandmother home to a street near Carlaw, as her green car was the same as the getaway car. When she got home, they rushed the house and took away his grandfather, who looked a lot like Edwin Boyd. Once they established his identity, he was released, ending the story for my friend’s family. The real gang was eventually caught in a barn in the Toronto hinterland and a couple of them hung together (they sure liked hanging ’em back to back at the Don) in ’52. Edwin Boyd was eventually freed though, and moved to the West coast.

Some other neat bits I found that couldn’t fit in: Gerald Whitehead, superintendant of the jail in the late 50s and 60s said, upon his retirement, “Our pea soup is world-renowned. It has straightend out many a drunk on Sunday Mornings.” He also said he would miss the jail’s fish and chips.
Some more (bad, sorry) pictures I took in the Jail:

This one is blurry, but it’s the window in Death Row that the Boyd’s escaped from, later reinforced with 3 layers of steel bars.

Looking across the Tom Cruise memorial atrium.

Looking down to the bottom of the gallows.

Paint peeling everywhere.

A fire warning from the latter days. Who gets to leave the building? The warning to lone hero’s seems particularly Toronto the Good-ish.

And the terrible death row toilet.