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Demolition by neglect – The apparent fate of Vaughan Glen Hospital

September 2021

Sitting behind a chain-link fence, and almost completely hidden behind leafy bushes and trees, sits a crumbling Georgian Revival style estate home. It’s the only one of this style remaining in the City of Vaughan, north of Toronto.

This historic house on Bathurst Street, south of Rutherford Road in the former Village of Thornhill, was built in 1914 on land owned by Edward Prentice, being part of Lot 14, Concession 2, Vaughan Township.

After going through several owners over the next six decades, the home and 30 acres of the original 100 acre lot, was sold to Villa Private Hospital in 1987. Smaller portions had been sold off in the 1960s.

The following year, both were sold to Vaughan Glen Hospital, for use as a 100 bed childrens’ rehabilitation hospital. This facility closed in 1994, and the estate house was sold to the Islamic Shia Ithna-Asheri Jamaat of Toronto for use as the Jaffari Community Centre and School.

When a new building was erected at the opposite end of the property in 2007, the former Prentice house/Vaughan Glen Hospital was vacated and has remained so ever since.

Despite being added to the Vaughan City “Listing of Building of Architectural and Historical Value” in 2005, the future of the old estate home remains in doubt. A proposal to add several new buildings to the property (a condominium building, 60 three-story townhouse units, a private secondary school, and a parking garage), along with the existing Jaffari Community Centre, call for the old house to be moved a little to the west of its current position.

Given the current, deteriorated state of the house, it’s more likely that it will eventually have to be demolished. This is known as demolition by neglect.

Sources: https://freaktography.com/demolition-by-neglect-the-original-toronto-sick-kids-hospital, https://www.preservethornhillwoods.com/2014/02/20/demolition-by-neglect-of-vaughan-glen-hospital-heritage-building, Petition · Designate the Vaughan Glen Hospital as a Heritage Site · Change.org, Abandoned, Forgotten Children’s Hospital – Abandoned Explorers (wordpress.com), Microsoft Word – 9000 Bathurst (vaughan.ca).

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

Permanent link to this article: https://militarybruce.com/demolition-by-neglect-the-apparent-fate-of-vaughan-glen-hospital/

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