The Necropolis, 1850, is one of Toronto’s oldest cemeteries

TORONTO’s “city of the dead”, the Necropolis, covers 7 treed hectares (roughly 18 acres) in the centre of Cabbagetown at 200 Winchester Street . . . . . . . Among those buried here: William Lyon MacKenzie (1795-1861), celebrated reformer; John Ross Robertson (1842-1918), journalist and philanthropist; Thomas D. Morrison (1796-1856), third mayor of Toronto; Senator John MacDonald (1824-1890); Edward Hanlan (1856-1908), World’s Champion Oarsman; George Paxton Young (1824-1890), philosopher and teacher; William Thomas Aikens (1827-1897), physician; the Honourable George Brown (1818-1880), journalist, one of the Fathers of Confederation.This memorial <PHOTO ABOVE> honours Peter Matthews and Samuel Lount, who died for political freedom and a system of responsible government.  They were among the ‘patriots of 1837’, hanged following a rebellion.  “Their minds were tranquil and serene; no terror in their looks were seen; their steps upon the scaffold strong.  A moments pause . . . their lives were gone.”Nearby <PHOTO ABOVE>, the gravesite of World Champion oarsman, EDWARD HANLAN.

The Gothic Revival chapel, built in 1872, is the oldest of 10 Commemorative Services properties in Ontario.  The Necropolis was Toronto’s second non-sectarian cemetery, replacing the Potter’s Field of Old York (in the area of today’s Yonge at Bloor Streets).  984 bodies were transported from Potter’s Field, where they were buried in a special section known as the “Resting Place of Pioneers”.  In 1933, the Necropolis Chapel opened Ontario’s first crematorium.

472 vertical windows = 472 chronic-care beds . . . at the new Bridgepoint Health

A distinctive landmark already, and the doors don’t open until April, Bridgepoint Health perches above the Don Valley Parkway, Don River, and acres of ravine parkland.  The 680,000 hectare structure further cements TORONTO’s longtime status as Canada’s #1 medical centre.57% of Ontarians older than 65 live with 3 or more chronic diseases – sometimes as many as 8 or 9.  Once patients move into this bright new hospital, staff’s primary goal is to get them out and about, learning to manage their illnesses.  All aspects of the building – from communal dining rooms, to an Internet café, spiritual room, rooftop garden, visitor lounges, outside terraces and hairdressing services – have been designed with this end in mind.  <PHOTOS BELOW – construction of Bridgepoint 2010-12/ the semi-circular old hospital (to be demolished)/the restored Don Jail (1848) /landscaped parkland on the lip of the Don Valley>

BRIDGEPOINT2Bright floor-to-ceiling windows in every patient’s room offer spectacular views of the Riverdale neighbourhood to the east, the city skyline and Cabbagetown to the west.  Cabbagetown, just across the Gerrard Street Bridge  (Sumach/Sackville/Spruce Streets) contains several early medical buildings which have been turned into townhouses and apartments.  The first Toronto General Hospital (demolished), Women’s College Hospital (renovated) and a block of medical residences were established in this heritage neighbourhood.