What was going on in Toronto in 1837

Toronto was a booming city, with the population doubling in the decade leading up to 1837. Many of the people entering the city found themselves in destitute and were sent from their parishes to look for assistance from the House of Industry.

The reason for building the House of Industry in Toronto in 1837:

“To take into consideration the most efficient means to relieve the poor and destitute of the city.”*

The House of Industry was the first to offer public charity assistance to the poor. Before the House of Industry became helping the impoverished, there were private charities who assisted. The  House of Industry assisted both “in the house” poor and “out-door poor.”

*From the Centennial Report of the House of Industry, 1837-1937. (Fonds 1035, Series 804, File 66)

Relief Given between 1837 to 1954

The amount of relief given within the first eighteen years of support more than doubles for the men, women and children being supported through the House of Industry.

From the Report of the Trustees of the House of Industry: City of Toronto. From the Year 1854 (Fonds 1035, Series 804, File 1)

The Important People during the First Year of  Service

During the first meeting with council it was announced who would compose the committee for the Relief of the Poor and Destitute and for the House of Industry for the year of 1937-1838.

They Include:

  • The resident clergyman of the city
  • The Honourable W.H Draper
  • Sheriff Jarvis
  • The Mayor
  • Capt. Fitzgibbon

Along with various other names that can be seen in the minutes.

From the Centennial Report of the House of Industry, 1837-1937. (Fonds 1035, Series 804, File 66)


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