The House of Providence | St. Paul’s Basilica

One of Toronto’s largest charities, the House of Providence stood in downtown for more than a century. A Roman Catholic charitable institution, the organization still operates and has been active since 1857. Commissioned by Armand-François-Marie de Charbonnel, the second Roman Catholic Bishop of Toronto, the institution provides help to “the needy, the immigrants, the old, the invalid, and destitute”. The original building on Power Street, just south of the St. Paul’s Basilica, was for many years a landmark in the city of Toronto. Designed by architect William Hay, construction on the building began in 1855 and was completed in 1858. The organization began to use the building in 1857 after the majority of the construction was completed. In 1962 the building was demolished to make way for the Don Valley Parkway. In 2017, Providence celebrated 160 years of providing a culture of community, compassion and innovation in care.

Irish immigrants were buried in the adjacent graveyard of St. Paul’s Basilica Parish after a pandemic in 1847, during which the R.R. Michael Power “laid down his life for the fever-stricken members of his flock.”

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