Toronto Orphanages and Day Nurseries

January 17, 2011 | Kathryn

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Did you know that orphaned boys as young as 7 years of age could be hired out to work in the late 19th century ?  And that a third of their wages could be used to pay for their keep in the Toronto Boys' Home? 


                          The Boys' Home 2nd Annual Report, 1861. BR


In the 1890's staff at the East End Day Nursery charged about ten cents a day to board children so that mothers could support their families by going out to work in laundries or as domestic servants.



East End Day Nursery, Dundas St. E. north side, between Sackville & Sumach Streets?. Photograph, ca 1903?. Reproduced in East End Day Nursery 12th annual report, 1904, p. 4. S51 and T11846


The Girls' Home and Public Nursery, which opened in 1863, provided shelter for girls up to the age of 14.  Girls as young as 12 could be apprenticed for a term ending at age 18.

The Girls' Home, 229 Gerrard Street East. Photograph. 59th Annual Report 1915. Papers of the Orphans' Home and Female Aid Society. L 30

Please visit our new virtual exhibit, Toronto Orphanages and Day Nurseries. to see more photographs of Toronto homes for orphaned boys and girls.