50-52 Peter Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
In around 1909, Barnardo's moved its Canadian headquarters in Toronto from Farley Avenue to new premises at 50-52 Peter Street (now Blue Jays Way), Toronto. The building had previously housed Mrs Nixon's Ladies School.
Under Barnardo's tenure, the establishment continued in its role of receiving boys being emigrated to Canada, who were then placed out in situations, supervised, visited and corresponded with.
In 1913, the Rev, W.J. Mayers made a tour of Canada with a group of ten musical boys from Barnardo's UK homes. They are pictured below outside the Peter Street premises, together with its superintendent Alfred de Brissac Owen and other staff.
Owen was subsequently dismissed by Barnardo's after a number of revelations came to light about his conduct, most seriously that he had had improper relationships with girls that were in Barnardos' care, at least one of whom had become pregnant by him.
The First World War brought emigration to a halt and the property stood empty for a period. The establishment was re-opened after the war, now in the charge of John Hobday and his wife Rose. In 1922, however, it relocated to new premises on Jarvis Street.
The Peter Street building, looking semi-derelict, was still standing in recent years but its current status is unknown.
Note: many repositories impose a closure period of up to 100 years for records identifying individuals. Before travelling a long distance, always check that the records you want to consult will be available.
- Barnardo's Family History Service deals with enquiries regarding records of individual children — various services are available costing from £25 upwards.
Making Connections — a service for those wishing to access their Barnardo's adoption records.
- Barnardo's historical administrative records are now deposited with Liverpool University's Social Welfare Archives with stringent restrictions on their access.
- Bagnell, Kenneth The Little Immigrants: The Orphans Who Came to Canada (2001, Dundurn)
- Birt, Lilian M The Children's Home-Finder: the story of Annie Macpherson and Louisa Birt (1913, J. Nisbet)
- Corbett, Gail H Nation Builders: Barnardo Children in Canada (2002, Dundurn)
- Kershaw, Roger and Sacks, Janet New Lives for Old: The Story of Britain's child migrants: The Story of Britain's Home Children (2008, The National Archives)
- Kohli, Marjorie The Golden Bridge: Young Immigrants to Canada 1833-1939 (2003, Natural Heritage Books)
- McEvoy, Frederick J 'These Treasures of the Church of God': Catholic Child Immigration to Canada (in CCHA, Historical Studies, 65 (1999), 50-70)
- Parker, Roy Uprooted: The Shipment of Poor Children to Canada, 1867-1917 (2010, Policy Press)
- Barnardo, Syrie Louise, and Marchant, James Memoirs of the Late Dr Barnardo (Hodder & Stoughton, 1907)
- Batt, J.H. Dr. Barnardo: The Foster-Father of "Nobody's Children" (S.W. Partridge, 1904)
- Bready, J. Wesley Doctor Barnardo (Allen & Unwin, 1930)
- Rose, June For the Sake of the Children: Inside Dr. Barnardo's: 120 years of caring for children (Hodder & Stoughton, 1987)
- Wagner, Gillian Barnardo (Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1979)
- The Barnardo's website.
- The Goldonian Website — memories and information from former Barnardo's children.
- British Home Children in Canada.
- National Library and Archives Canada especial the Home Children section.
- Young Immigrants to Canada.
- British Home Child Group International - has database of over 23,000 Canadian British Home Children
- British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa (BIFHSGO) - has several indexes of the names of children brought to Canada by various organizations in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
- National Archives of Australia — Immigration Records.
Except where indicated, this page () © Peter Higginbotham. Contents may not be reproduced without permission.