Despite all the drama Bridgepoint Health (and the Don Jail) went through between Doors Open and now, they broke ground right on schedule just this past Monday and put the wheels in motion to build the new Bridgepoint Hospital with the adjacent old Don Jail being repurposed as a research and administration facility.
Talk of renovating the old Don Jail sparked heated comments from architectural enthusiasts who wanted the nineteenth-century edifice kept under glass and used as a museum instead. At the same time, a less vocal yet passionate group of people have been protesting the planned demolition of the ’60s-era “half-round” (the current Bridgepoint Hospital). Opposition started as far back as 2005, but despite efforts from many, the structure is still scheduled to come down in 2013 to make way for a revitalized medical campus, designed by Diamond and Schmitt Architects. In his press release, Gregory Colucci of Diamond and Schmitt said that “we believe in the restorative power of good design. It is as essential to our well-being as are food and rest. For Bridgepoint Health we have designed a hospital that will rehabilitate bodies, restore courage, and lift spirits.”
While demolition is not for a few years, Torontoist dropped by nice and early to capture the funky details of the building that was in its day called the “Taj Mahal of bed-care centres,” according to Dave LeBlanc of the Globe and Mail.
All photos by Nick Kozak/Torontoist unless otherwise specified.