1867 Children in Jail

  • Street Urchins

    Indigence and Criminality

    In 1867, a public meeting held in Toronto made specific recommendations regarding ways to solve the problem of children living on the streets, engaging in criminal activities and being sent to “gaol” (jail). The phenomenon of these vagrants was not new to the city’s population. Annual Reports of the School Board had been decrying the situation from 1859 onwards. A census taken in 1861 and again in 1863 revealed that many hundreds of children did not attend school, which was thought to lead to criminal behaviour.

    Photographer unknown

    Black and white photo


    Black and white photo of little children in dirty clothes by the railway tracks